Getting to Know: Polar System
With the recent release of their debut single Ray , French band Polar System have hit the ground running and shown that they mean business and are here to stay. Having seemingly come out of nowhere, we wanted to find out a bit more about them, so we sat down to ask them a few questions...
Sweet Track Selected:
Congratulations on the release of your first single, “Ray”. It certainly makes a bold statement and I’m sure will leave a powerful first impression to all that hear it. Although this is your first official release, it’s quite clear from listening to “Ray” that there is a certain chemistry and harmony between all of you. This obviously doesn’t happen overnight, so how long have you been a band and what lead you to form Polar System ?
" We all come from different musical worlds and we all grew our own experiences before the band : Lili went to music school as a child and was part of projects including jazz but also experimental performances. Tom played in several professional rock and metal bands in France. Louis and Marius formed their first band together as teenagers; rock at first, nu-disco/ electro in the end. It didn’t happen overnight of course, as friends and with all our different paths, we really wanted to make something out of it and we could feel straight away that something nice was happening. It is funny to mention, but ,the actual beginnings of Polar System, musically speaking, came from a special challenge. We were just starting to play together and we had our first concert for an art show in an apartment. So we had to work on our set to adapt it to the context. And it lead to a lot of arrangement choices and gave us, without us realising it yet, a real artistic direction. It’s been a year and a half now and we're still surprising ourselves in the expansion of our possibilities; nothing is fixed and it is very exciting! "
“Ray” certainly has a unique sound to it, with a combination of what sounds like many different influences and ideas being brought together. There’s definitely both retro and modern elements to it as well as hint of a darker side to the band, which all works magically! What are some of your influences and how did you, as a band, end up with this particular sound? Was it something you thought about and decided, or did it just naturally come together?
"It didn't naturally come together because our many varied influences needed to be balanced, so it is something we definitely thought about. On one hand we were attached to the 70's old school psychedelic rock and 80's disco-funk and on the other, new wave, metal and progressive pop from the 90's; all that mixed with modern bands. Artists like Archive, Massive Attack, She Past Away, but also Jungle or Parcels are on our "sources of inspiration" spectrum. We love synths, the electro sound we bring thanks to technology and the midi magic, but it is also important to us to preserve an organic touch; that's why for instance, we decided to record real drums on “Ray”. "
A full band can often have interesting dynamics when it comes to the songwriting and creative process. How do you go about this process? Do you each have a specific role in songwriting or do you just get together and jam?
"The main idea generally comes from one member of the band ,whether it is the lyrics or the melodies - for example, “Ray” started with the bass line - and then we make it grow with the band, all together, by rehearsing or producing at our home studio, exploring the alternatives. We spend a lot of time studying our sound and we really pay attention to details and arrangements ; this part is sometimes longer than the rest and computer-aided music is a great way to try new things and create our own sound effects. We all play our part in the creative process but each member has their specific strengths. "
Your live shows are described as an “immersive and multi-sensory experience”. Tell us a bit more about that, and what can audiences expect from your shows?
"The visual aspect got our attention after many concerts we went to, where we could see the importance of light effects on the audience. People were definitely more receptive to the music. So we decided to get there too! We first contacted our glitch artist friend Kaspar Ravel to do some glitched VJing in order to show something trippy and textured. But we didn’t want just a flat screen to project videos onto so we met a collective of stage designers called Nymph and they are currently building a structure for us. All this is quite ambitious and we are working on it at the moment to have it ready by September, but we believe communication with audiences during live performances is sometimes not all about the music and our goal is to make it a visual experience as well."
I have no doubt that your debut single will be very well received, but, what can we expect in the future from Polar System? Can we look forward to more enchanting singles like “Ray” in the coming months?
"This is the beginning of a beautiful adventure for us and we intend to keep up the hard work. Ray is the first single off our EP and we plan to celebrate it's release with another single that should be out in September. Other tracks are coming along and hopefully the different atmospheres in them will please your ears."
Lastly, please curb our curiosity. Why the name “Polar System”? How did this come about?
"We just love penguins!"
Well that's good enough for us! Thanks for allowing us to get to know you a bit better, and we look forward to hearing what you have in store for us in the not-so-distant future!
Watch the amazing new music video for Polar System's debut Single below:
You can download/stream "Ray" here: https://riptiderecords.fanlink.to/ray
Support Polar System:
Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/polarsystem/
Soundcloud : https://soundcloud.com/wearepolarsystem