A band from Minneapolis is taking to the road to perform some, new and different sounds they have never made before. Poliça is a band that plays, what the public describes as: ‘synth pop’, that was formed in 2011. Not only were we able to catch the show live, (stay tuned for live videos and pictures), but we had a one on one interview with one of the band’s drummers Drew Christopherson.
TELL ME HOW ALL OF YOU MET:
“Yeah so Poliça met about six years ago just through the music community through some other old projects, and were just old friends.”
What is so interesting about Poliça is their ability to take risks. They’re not afraid to be different. Drew and I were laughing at the fact that there are two drummers and that when most people hear that they don’t quite understand how that works. Recently the band has partnered with a chamber orchestra that is based in Berlin.
SO YOU GUYS PARTNERED WITH ‘s t a r g a z e’, FOR YOUR MOST RECENT ALBUM?
“Yeah so this whole project is an extension of the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra which is based in Minnesota and that's how we were first acquainted which then commissioned the collaboration of the two bands. However we also serendipitously in the year following that, ended up in Berlin and were able to meet with them.”
The two bands were able to get together cross country to put together their latest project ‘Music For the Long Emergency’. “It was awesome, we got to dive into the material with them, as opposed to recording and writing together from two separate countries.” The album was released in February of 2018 and the band has been on tour with s t a r g a z e since. We were able to catch the show in action and the two bands were incredible.
SO HOW MANY MEMBERS ARE IN ‘Poliça’:
“Usually you will find four of us on stage, but then Ryan Olsen produces a lot of our music, and he does a lot of vocal manipulation live as well, but he doesn’t always perform with us. When we are in the studio and writing he is very much with us. So it's five of us making the music, and four of us on stage.”
I WANT TO HEAR MORE ABOUT YOUR INDIVIDUAL STORY WITH MUSIC:
“I’ve been into music pretty much since I was a kid, I grew up in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, kind of a small city. It didn’t have a whole lot of culture, so a lot of us found music and punk rock at a young age. So we’ve been kind of playing in bands since we were teenagers and from there we wanted to take it more seriously and we were able to sign with a label and living in Minneapolis for 15 years and formed what ‘Poliça’ is today.”
Drew continued to clue me in on the fact that him, and some of the other members in the band, took more of a hands on approach to music.’We weren’t so much into music education but rather the actual music community.’ I let him know I noticed how some of us take the educational route when it comes to certain things and some of us truly learn as we go. ‘I think coming up from punk rock helped us not want to deal with the industry at large’.
I WAS DOING SOME READING AND MANY DESCRIBE YOUR STYLE OF MUSIC AS ‘SYNTH POP’, WOULD YOU AGREE WITH THAT?
“That’s a great question actually, we don’t really identify with ‘synth pop’. A lot of people in the media are lazy and don’t know how to describe our music, so they put us in a category along the lines of, I mean take the band ‘Chvrches’ that’s very ‘synth pop’, we don’t really consider ourselves pop music. When you compare our music to actual pop music you’ll notice it’s something else darker. But the synth part of it, yes we do have a very synth sound, instead of guitars. I feel like we really haven’t found that keyboard description of genre. I guess I would say were a disco folk punk vibe.”
I let Drew know I couldn’t agree more with him. If you listen to songs like ‘Amongster’ or ‘Lay Your Cards Out’, the band has a darker sound than any pop bands I’ve ever heard. I love the lead singer Channy’s voice and to me it sounds very hypnotic.
WHAT WOULD YOU SAY SETS Poliça’ APART FROM OTHER BANDS:
“We’re very rhythm driven. The bass is kind of the foundation of our sound largely because we do have two drummers so there is a lot of drums going on. But Channy, our lead singer, is the force behind our song writing, and her vocals behind the sound of everything have been our overall sound. We like to be adventurous and try to experiment with different things and see if we can draw from other genres to usually bring in the ‘synth pop’ zone.”
If you listen to Poliça you truly never get bored with them because, I promise you, not one of their songs sounds similar to another one. I also exclaimed to Drew that the band seems very versatile, I mean there aren't many musicians with a punk rock background that can collaborate with an orchestra based band.
I KNOW YOU GUYS DO A LOT OF TRAVELING, WHAT WOULD YOU SAY IS YOUR FAVORITE PLACE TO PERFORM?
“That is so hard to pin down, but we really like going to Berlin, we’ve always had a great relationship with London and same goes for New York and San Francisco. But it’s hard to top going to places like Montreal or Switzerland.”
I asked Drew for any future projects for the band and he let me know that this album is their main focus at the moment and that partnering with an orchestra band is very different for them. Check them out, they are touring with s t a r g a z e, and may be headed to where you’re at!