Interview: Daniel Furnari of Polaris
The upper echelon of our heavy music hierarchy needs to make a little room as South-Sydney five-piece, Polaris. They're here to have fun, kick out awesome jams and get that mosh-pit running in circles with chaos and energy. Three years of tireless touring, boundary pushing writing and independent recording saw Polaris groom an army of supporters that’s already the envy of many in the heavy music realm, all of which culminated in the unveiling of the Guilt & The Grief in January of 2016. They have shared the stage with fellow prog-metal enthusiasts Periphery and Northlane, Hellions, Parkway Drive and recently joined British powerhouse While She Sleeps, Japanese favourites Crossfaith and Byron Bay eco-warriors In Hearts Wake on their massive Ark tour around the country. Now, in 2017 they're about to release their incredible debut album titled The Mortal Coil, as well as embark on their very first European tour with some huge international acts, plus so much more exciting stuff. We spoke with drummer, Daniel Furnari about the crazy times ahead for Polaris.
How’s your day been so far? Things going pretty well I take it? Busy times?
Yeah, it’s been good. It’s been a bit of an all over the place day. I’ve been working today and have had two days to work in between the dates for this Australian tour, we had a bit of a gap so I thought I’d get a couple of shifts and get some money before we head over to Europe. I’ve had to duck out to do a couple more interviews on my lunch break today, so it’s been a bit all over the place, but nice to be home and be relaxing a bit.
It must be so full on right now for you guys, with your headline tour of Australia, and you’re off to Europe soon, and you’ve got the album out November 3rd, all at the same time basically. Things must be pretty crazy right now.
Yeah, we knew it would be a lot to do, but with how crazy this last week has been, I think we forgot how much there would be to do, it’s been a little bit of a rush. Also all of those funny little housekeeping things you have to do before you go away on a longer tour, travel plans that have to be locked in and little things like that, it’s still all going on right now. The fact that we’re away all this weekend and have one day to spare to do all of the packing before flying and everything, we’ve basically not got a spare moment, but can’t complain. Definitely can’t complain.
How have the shows been so far? A few of them have been sell outs, that must be a good feeling.
They’ve been amazing. We’ve been stoked with all of the shows. The first show in Adelaide blew us away with how great the crowd was and they gave us a really awesome welcome. Then the Melbourne show, at the Northcote Hotel, was wild. It was definitely one of our favourite Melbourne show’s we’ve ever played and it’s so nice to go down there and do a headliner after a little while of doing some supports down there, and finally going back there to give them a little bit longer of a show. The atmosphere has been incredible at those shows and they’ve been loving the new songs as well, which we’re really grateful for. A lot of these people, it would be their first time hearing these songs live, and it’s just really exciting to give them a little bit of a test.
You picked some great talent to take with you on the road this time. How’s everything been with the supports? Made some new friends, everything going well with them?
Yeah, I wouldn’t say made some new friends, more hanging out with a lot of old friend. The best thing about the tour was that, when we got to pick your own tour package, we got to pick a whole group of bands that were our friends. It was such a great opportunity, we’ve known a lot of these guys for ages, we’ve toured with Belle Haven last year, we’ve played a bunch of shows with Deadlights over the years, and spent a bunch of time hanging out with them at Bigsound last month, and Daybreak we stay with those dudes often when we go and play over in Perth. So to get three bands we’re such good friends with on the same bill is incredible. The first night of the tour we walked into the green room and I don’t think I’ve ever seen or been on a tour before where at the first show everyone’s hanging out in the one room together, just having drinks, having a great time and socialising instantly. It was amazing, and not all of the other bands knew each other so well but everyone hit it off just like that and we’re just so happy that our tour can be as much fun as that, on the first night especially.
That sounds awesome. Everyone is of course excited to hear The Mortal Coil when that drops November 3rd. Can you describe your thoughts on the album and what it means to you to have this incredible done and ready for everyone to hear?
It’s a very strange feeling, I don’t think it’s going to hit me entirely until it actually comes out and when we start getting the feedback and getting a feel for how people perceive it. A debut album is something that you think about from the moment you start a band, it’s always been this huge question of what our first album would sound like and what would we be doing as a band at that time, and to be at that point is truly amazing. We’re still coming to terms with it and the fact that it’s about to come out is a huge mixture of relief and anticipation, we’re all at that crazy stage where when you’re done recording an album and you go and get everything finalised and get everything perfect and do your artwork and videos, you’re kind of constantly worrying all the time about everything you’re doing. But you finally get past that point and you can take a step back to say this is a great album and I’m really happy about it. It’s been so amazing to just take a bit of a deep breath and be really happy with what we’ve created and now I just can’t wait for everyone to hear it. Also, in terms of the vibe from the album, I guess all I can say is that it’s probably more of an aggressive record than our previous stuff, the riffs hit really hard and I feel like the writing has really developed since the last EP, especially with Rick and Ryan on guitar. There’s also a lot of melody to it but there’s also a real kind of bittersweet feeling going through the whole record and I think it hits really hard both musically and emotionally as well.
Have you had a chance to play a couple of the new track live yet?
Yeah, we’ve played a couple of the singles that have already come out, those being “Consume and “The Remedy” and we’ve also been testing out two other new songs live as well which have been going down a real treat. We’ve been seeing come circle pits from the get-go when playing these brand new songs which is a really, really great feeling and it makes us very excited to play those when we’re over in Europe.
Speaking of Europe, you’re flying over there very shortly for the Never Say Die tour. You’re playing alongside some killer bands such as Emmure, Chelsea Grin and Aussie mates Deez Nuts. Is this your first overseas tour and what are the excitement levels like right now?
Yeah it’s our first tour anywhere other than Australia and there’s so many mixed emotions and I don’t think it’s going to sink in or seem real until we’re actually over there. It kind of all just seems like a dream at the moment. Especially with so many things happening right now, but I can’t wait and I’m a little nervous about the extremely short time we have to pack after we get back from our Australian tour. But the moment we land in Germany I just know it’s all going to get really real and I can’t wait. We’ve been getting messages from kids over in Europe for a while now asking us if we’d be coming over there to tour and to finally be able to say yes we are going to be coming over there and being able to play some shows and meet new people is such a good feeling.
Are there any bands on the bill that you’re especially stoked about playing with?
I mean it’s such a stacked bill. I’m definitely excited to see Chelsea Grin play every night, I’ve heard that they are a really amazing live band and I actually haven’t seen them yet, so that’s something I’m definitely stoked for. Emmure’s new album is absolutely incredible, I love it, so I’m really psyched to see them play every night as well.
Pretty kick ass tour to break your overseas tour cherry that’s for sure.
Yeah man, it feels amazing for this to be our first, we can’t wait.
Something I haven’t mentioned yet is the massive Parkway Drive tour in January with you guys as the main support act. What was the reaction like when you found out you’d be touring Australia with the biggest metalcore band in Australia ever?
Oh man, I can’t even describe it. It’s something that got talked about kind of just as a maybe before it was locked in and even that for us to be considered was just mind blowing. Touring with Parkway Drive is just something that pretty much every person who starts a heavy band in Australia in the last 10 years or so has always dreamed of. They’re the all-time greats, they’re incredible and they’re so responsible for a huge amount of what’s happened in the Australian heavy music scene and for bringing so much attention to heavy music and getting the recognition not only here but overseas as well. The fact that it’s the 10 year anniversary for Horizons just makes it so much more exciting, we could not have asked for a better tour for us to be doing with Parkway because that’s everyone in the bands favourite album by those guys. I think for a lot of us, that record cemented us wanting to play heavy music all the time, so yeah, I can’t even say how psyched we are about that.
It must be such a surreal feeling, plus you’re going to get so many new fans and people that have never seen Polaris live before, so that’s got to be exciting.
Yeah absolutely, and it’s cool because that’s going to be our first tour after doing the European run and the first Australian tour after our new album has been released. It will be the first chance anyone gets to sing along to our new songs and really get into it, so we get to have that awesome feeling of playing all of the new tracks at home and we get to do that with Parkway Drive. To have a whole bunch of people there who have never heard of us before also be checking us out in the room is going to be just amazing and one of the best opportunities we’ve ever had as a band.
That pretty much wraps things up, so did you have any words that you’d like to get across to your Aussie fans before you fly off to Europe and become the next big thing in heavy music?
I guess I’d just like to say, thank you so much for supporting us up to this point where we get to do these crazy things. Because the only way this is all possible and for these opportunities to happen for us is from all of the support we’ve had back home. So many people encouraging us to pursue what we want to pursue, and buying our music over the last couple of years, because that’s where I think it all comes from. I think we could have written any music that we wanted to but I don’t think the industry or touring promoters would be taking notice if people weren’t telling their friends about us at home, and talking about us and listening to our music, sharing it with their friends, every little bit helps. We’re just so thankful that any of this is happening and I hope they all buy the new record and I hope they all love it, I hope they can connect with it in some kind of personal way and I hope they can walk away from it feeling like they’ve learnt something and just made a connection with the music and lyrics.
The Mortal Coil is out November 3rd via Resist Records. You can pre-order HERE.
Written by Steve Jenkins
Check out the music video the "The Remedy" below: