Polo Club are the perfect blend of moody loops and uplifting electronica, their juicy morsels of hip hop tucked away between dance floor synth lines and crispy drum patterns. Initially a 2-man operation, locked down by producer Gully Chaps and lyricist Dyl Thomas, the band expanded, with musicians Adam Fitzgerald and Aidan McLaren brought in to accentuate their live show. The resultant 4-piece has been creating chaos ever since, and Gully Chaps dropped us a line to talk the new Polo Club EP, Live For Tonight, supporting live music and wreaking havoc across the country on their current national tour.
Music Feeds: Polo Club traverses a lot of different sounds, and each track seems to have its own aesthetic. How do you find your samples and what shapes your songs?
Gully Chaps: Most of the time I’ll start with records. I don’t really use full samples but treat them as tones and textures then place them in the computer and mess with them, cut them up, even assign them to a keyboard and treat them like a synth.
MF: Your first show of the tour was last weekend. Who are you touring with? How was the response?
GC: Yeah, I’m still hurting a little. We went a little hard up in Canberra for our headline show. There was a large 21st in the venue and they joined in with our gig and set the tone for the rest of us. The response was great – felt like a loose house party. We are headlining the tour with local bands from each state, mixes it up each show and keeps it fresh.
MF: What does the new set consist of? Do you think its important to keep the staple bangers in there for the fans or is the list constantly changing?
GC: We have a good range of songs to choose from, so it is always best to adjust the set to suit the show. For example, in Canberra we had to just go hard on the bangers whereas in this Melbourne show we most likely drop a few more high production electronic/hip hop tracks, which are little slower but have cool sounds in them.
MF: Stylistically you’ve always broken down genre barriers – what are you trying differently with your new material? Any new influences incorporated?
GC: We have been listening to a lot of Drake, The Weeknd; moody tight production. Also Foals for the live energy. I’m always checking the music blogs for new tunes. There is a heap of cool shit going on out there, just trying to keep up.
MF: Your media release highlights the track Coming Home. Can we get a breakdown of the song’s content? Was the party a real event and what exactly went down?
GC: Dyl Thomas and I grew up in a country town called Leongatha, and we found ourselves back there having a pot in an empty pub (Bairs Hotel) around Christmas and dreamt up the idea of someday coming home to a parade for us. But it’s more likely local hero Jarryd Roughead will get that parade, ha ha!
MF: You guys have supported a slew of artists. Who have you found the most inspiring to play with (or talk to) and why?
GC: We supported Hudson Mohawke at Miss Libertines in Melbourne in 2009, I think it was. We were huge fans of his and at that time he was somewhat underground. He didn’t say much and the gig wasn’t that full, but the way he controlled a set and had heads nodding was unbelievable! He was humble and in the zone! He is now signed to Kanye West’s label, GOOD Music, as an in-house producer, and it seems lots of hard work and effort can get you great things like that. We also toured with Sydney rapper and label owner Urthboy. He was also one that stands out for me. His work ethic, love for music and humble approach is something I look up to.
MF: It seems like Polo Club likes to have fun, but life in a band, particularly with multiple members, can be very stressful. Do you ever disagree over the direction of certain tracks? How do you make sure everyone gets their say in the creative process?
GC: We disagree all the time which is a good thing; it shows everyone in the band cares about the songs. Just means you have to prove or work on your idea until its a clear winner.
MF: What’s the first rule of Polo Club?
GC: Always talk about Polo Club.
MF: You guys played a gig at Fitzroy Town Hall that was about emerging musicians. How important do you think it is for more established bands to lend a hand to those trying to make it?
GC: These programs are great. If you’re young and can’t get in to the pubs and clubs, it’s a good way to meet other musicians in person in your area and build a community to write music and play shows, etc. It’s the only way to get better. All of the guys in Polo Club did these programs as kids, playing in rock and metal bands. Supporting big acts was the best, especially growing up in country town with nothing going on.
MF: Polo Club has grown in the last few years. Why was this decision made? Do you think the live element enhances your shows?
GC: Going from 2 guys to 4 guys came about very naturally while experimenting on new material. We pulled in Aidan on drums to stuff around on some tracks to see what would happen, thinking the beats would be a bit too crazy for it to work, but he added something to them which we had to bring to the live show. Also Adam, at that same time, kept coming back to the studio, adding parts to these songs. Next thing you know we are rehearsing, then playing tours together. The show have never been the same.
MF: You guys recently released your new EP. Is this a precursor to an LP or are you shifting to a smaller format? Why do you think this has become a more popular option?
GC: For us I’d love to do albums, but they take a lot of time and cash to keep at a high standard. So EPs just feel right; a good way to introduce the band and we can put it out for free for crews to try it out and share with friends, etc.
MF: Any last words for your fans?
GC: Check out the tunes, come and hang out at our shows on this tour, good times. I just finish my little studio so I’ll be writing with some other cool artists and new material for Polo Club, which I’m excited about.
Polo Club are currently touring the ‘Live For Tonight’ EP up and down the east coast. Check out the title track from the EP as well as the remaining tour dates below.
Listen: Polo Club – Live For Tonight
Polo Club Live For Tonight EP tour dates
Tickets available from the venues
Friday, 19th July
Workers Club, Melbourne
Thursday, 25th July
Alpha Beta, Gold Coast
Friday, 26th July
X & Y Bar ‘Friends’ Club Night, Brisbane
Thursday, 1st August
Oxford Art Factory, Sydney
Friday, 2nd August
Yours & Owls, Wollongong