With Polo Club having a new mixtape to unleash on the masses, working towards a brand new album to follow up debut The 13 from 2009 and a huge show looming at The Evelyn this Australia Day Eve, what better time to put them under the grill! We sat down with vocalist/producer Dyl Thomas to see what’s going on.
You guys played The Evelyn three years ago. Looking back over that time, how have your circumstances changed; how have Polo Club evolved since that gig?
“Well, since then we’ve done a lot of touring around Australia which helped us find our balance and made us see what songs worked and which ones didn’t. We’ve added two other members to our live line-up – Adam (Fitzgerald) helps with the singing and Aidan (Mclaren) on the drums – which has helped our style evolve into a much larger monster and also gives the crowed something more to look at and engage with. We’re also looking at this new line-up and album as an opportunity to start fresh.”
You guys have recently returned from a national tour, how did you find it; any favourite places to play?
“The tour was awesome; everyone involved was great and it ran really smoothly. We enjoyed playing The Metro in Sydney, there were so many people and heaps of them had never seen Polo Club play before, also Melbourne is always good to us; it was great to come back home and play to our local crowd.”
How does playing interstate compare to playing in your locally? Do you prefer one experience or the other?
“I personally love to play interstate; it’s less predictable and you get a chance to showcase your music to a lot of people who may’ve never heard or seen you before. For example, when we played up north on tour, the locals had never seen a hip-hop act like Polo Club before and we got heaps of love from the crowd; they really embraced something different, which was refreshing.”
What does new vocalist Adam Fitzgerald bring your band and how does his influence affect your sound?
“Adam’s great, he has a really individual approach to his vocal style, which Cam and I love. We met him at an MTV gig, and after we saw his set we were like, 'We gotta work with this dude'. Adam’s sound helped us head in a more electronic direction, and it opens a lot of doors for us, in a sense that it helps us cross even more genres than before.”
How did you know he was fit for the position as Polo Club’s vocalist?
“When we got him into the studio for the new Polo Club album he just kept nailing everything we threw at him, and helped push the songs in a direction we would have never thought to go. I ‘spose you could say he just impressed us!”
You guys have a reputation for putting on an electric live show, is providing an energetic and visually stimulating performance a priority? Do you guys plan your production, or just feed off the energy generated by a live environment?
“We get asked that a lot; it changes from gig to gig I think. But generally it’s a bit of both; we love rocking out to the vibe of the show… it also helps with a great team of people around us. Our lights guy Rhett puts a lot of effort into making the show visually appealing.”
What role does each member of Polo Club play in the song writing process?
“Sometimes I’ll show Cam a track or idea I’m feeling and he’ll come up with something that makes my head nod aggressively! Cam will write the music mainly, and helps a little with myself and Adam with melodies and lyric ideas – as a team – to workshop ideas. Sometimes I’ll take tracks home to work on, or just bang them out in the studio. Working with Aidan live on drums has made us go back and rework on the rhythms to try and re-capture his energy and flow within each song. We generally just step up and take the reigns where need be.”
Tell us about the mixtape you'll be launching at The Evelyn, Don’t Believe The Hyper Colour …
“It's completely different from the band’s work, but has heaps of influences – artists and styles of music – we love in it. It started as a mixtape of beats, loops and samples found in our op-shop record collections with cut up singers and rappers fused into the beats. With some polo production on top, two tracks into making this, it felt like an album… that’s why we left all the tracks separate, to make it feel like a pop compilation vinyl from the late ‘80s-‘90s. With the idea that the tracks needed to feel like their own original songs, so far lots of people have mistaken the finished tracks to be just songs we have just found around the place and put them together, which is a complement in itself. It's basically a party album mash up, to get ya moving for the summer!”
The release is available for download free on your website, what made you decide to make the release so easily accessible?
“We’re just giving back to the people who have got behind us as a band and supported us. Hopefully it also brings in some fresh faces to our shows. Oh, and we can’t forget the DJs; we wanna hear these bad boys pumping in the clubs!”
You guys are renowned for creating music that borrows from a variety of genres; describe your sound in five words or less.
“Voltron, each limb, different style!”
What are Polo Club’s plans in the near future?
“Mainly to focus on finishing the new album, and doing live shows, we'd love a national tour this year, and also try to get a few Polo Club DJ shows.”
POLO CLUB launch their awesome new mixtape Don’t Believe The Hyper Colour at The Evelyn this Tuesday January 25, Australia Day Eve – joined by Ok Sure and Ishu. The mixtape is downloadable for free from poloclubmusic.com. The 13 is out now as well.