Polish Club: Alright Already, Let's Just Have Some Fun
An interview with our new fave Aussie rock'n'roll duo, celebrating the release of their debut LP.
At a time when the Australian rock scene feels dominated by grungey, stoner punks like Violent Soho, Dune Rats, The Smith Street Band, Skegss et al, Sydney duo Polish Club feel like a breath of fresh air. Brandishing an energetic, soulful, bluesy take on rock'n'roll, it's less head-banging, more feet-tapping. And over the last year-and-a-bit the proof has been in the pudding, with the duo of singer/guitarist Novak and drummer John-Henry rollicking around venues all over the country amidst the release of bustling singles like The Beat Up and Come Party.
And now we have the duo's debut album release, Alright Already, which dropped last Friday 31 March. We had the fortune of catching up with Novak a couple of weeks back, in fact right on the eve of their excellent triple j Like A Version, where they tackled Flume's Never Be Like You with aplomb. So chuck on the album below, and find out a little more about your new favourite rock'n'roll band:
On how long it took to make Alright Already:
It’s always gonna be a long process, but John and I don’t like to dwell on things. So we did it in eight days, and the weeks and months before that were very long. We whittled down 14 ideas from a list of around a hundred things to go off. It’s always gonna be a long process, but it’s good to have it finally done. The actual recording and mixing was super quick, not because we rushed it, we were just that ready.
On the vibe of Alright Already:
I think we had a balance we were trying to strike. We didn’t it all to be hard and fast and two minute songs like all of our singles have been. There’s a flow to it, that was something we wanted, but not something we forced. It just so happened the songs that made the cut were a balance of mid-tempo and fast songs. I just wanted to make sure the more slow jam, relaxed vibe of it was taken care of and shown there. Because we haven’t really done too much of that so far, but it’s a huge part of our set live. We love doing those kinds of songs. I think we were conscious about keeping it balanced, and chugging along you know. When you listen to it you don’t wanna know you’re listening to that many songs, you just want it to breeze by.
Live versus recordings:
I think the rule is that we try not to add too much recorded that people will miss live. Inevitably there’s going to be stuff that we can’t do live as a two piece, and right now we very much want to keep it as a two piece. It’s more fun that way, it’s easier to tour, and people enjoy just seeing a couple of idiots on stage struggle to finish a one hour set because it’s just them [laughs]. But that’s the fun of it for John and I. And I think in the songwriting we always just write it with drums and a guitar and one vocal, and as long as the song stands up in those first sessions, anything we add after that can’t be something that changes the fundamentals of the song.
On their position in the Australian rock scene:
I think when everyone else is having fun that’s when John and I have fun. It’s a mutual thing and the only way we can get there is with people enjoying what we’re doing. I do enjoy the more gruff bands like Bad//Dreems and what not, but it is pretty fundamentally different from what we’re doing. And I guess because I view it first as I enjoy singing, I like writing a sweet melody... And our circumstances, because there’s only two of us, it just makes it a bit more ballsy, and we find that happy medium between that gruffness and sweet, melodic music. It was never a purposeful thing; we were never going for that soulful, blues vibe, but I think that’s just our comfort zone and it’s a good place to start and we’ll see where we go next.
It’s just fun, we don’t think about it that much, we do what comes easiest and what’s fun. And fortunately that’s what most of the other people come to see us find fun as well.
On how they met:
John’s been in a shitload of bands, although not to this level. He’s always been playing around the traps. I never really did. I dunno why, I just saw it as a bit of a pipe dream. Which I guess it kinda is because we’re sure as shit not making any money. He’s been around, I’ve been around, we’re no spring chickens. We know what it’s all about. Also at the same time we’re super new to this, and we’re discovering things as we go. And we’re lucky enough to get this far and be in a band and be able to do this shit and have people care about it. It’s weird, almost wrong [laughs].
On getting "match fit" before touring:
The preparation is cutting terrible things that we do to ourselves out. So stop eating burgers, stop drinking, stop shouting at each other. I dunno I think we’re getting better just by virtue of playing more, and you build up this weird match fitness. I mean I do vocal warmups and all that bullshit but it’s boring. And John tries not to get shit-faced the night before, and we don’t eat Chinese or Mexican before a gig, we’ve learnt that the hard way [laughs]. Just the little things. When there’s only two of you, it can go unbelievably wrong if one of us isn’t feeling right. We’re at a place where we know our limits. And we know how to prepare for a gig, but it’s super boring stuff, like keep hydrated and don’t be a dick.
On what's coming up for the rest of 2017:
I think we wanna go overseas at some point, but that’s out of our hands and we’re leaving that to the people that do the planning. And just play more shows. I think John’s really keen to follow this release up with more new music ASAP.
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