Polish Club have released their second album, Iguana, and are about to head out on their biggest tour starting this Friday, 21 June at Mojos, 22 June at Badlands and 23 June at the Prince of Wales in Bunbury.
When I spoke with David Novak, he was sitting in a park with a coffee and soaking up the sun while he still could. “I can’t complain.” he said. “It’s pretty cruisy.”
His tune changed slightly though when we spoke about the recording process of Iguana. “It was pretty shit,” he laughed. “It was long and clichéd and difficult.” He thinks though that they had to go through all of that trial and error to try to expand their sound while still sounding like the Polish Club that fans have grown to love. “We had to make those steps too far to find out where the happy medium was.”
Novak is definitely happy with the result, even if it took about a year and a half of constant writing, demoing, recording. “It’s annoying because it’s the normal sophomore slump cliché kinda thing.”
For this tour (and album), Polish Club won’t actually be one of the loudest two-piece acts that Australia has to offer. Instead, they will be a three-piece, as they are bringing along their producer Wade Keighran (Wolf and Cub, The Scare) along with them. “We wrote these songs thinking in the back of our minds that we could take Wade on tour. The good thing is that it frees us up on stage to add a bass; add a synth and just takes the pressure off John and I to just grip it and rip it.”
Whether or not Keighran becomes a full-time member of the band is yet to be seen. They still write the songs as a two-piece. Of course, they love the idea of being a three-piece but they are very ad hoc. “It all depends on what we can afford and what makes sense at the time.”
Polish Club are looking forward to heading out on tour. “When you have a long tour that lasts more than a month, it feels like school camp or something because you have the same support acts for the whole tour because you get to know them better and you have a crew.”
They are especially looking forward to playing in Fremantle and Bunbury as they have never been there before. “It’s always exciting going to cities that you’ve never been to let alone played a show in. That’s the biggest thing I’m looking forward to.”
“For us, touring has always been the fun part. We feed off the energy of the people watching us.” Novak said. The hard part is being whisked around every morning at the crack of dawn and being in a different place every day. “To be able to do that though is one of the better parts of being in a band. We’re not really a studio band.”
When asked how they deal with the pressure of being on the road, Novak pointed out that they are no longer 18. “We kinda know how not to destroy ourselves. It’s all about not being exhausted the whole time.”
He also mentioned that when it’s just John and himself touring, it can get super lonely. When there is a crew though, it is a communal experience. “It’s a lot healthier, mental health wise just having different people to bounce things off.” It’s also learning about moderation – when to have fun, when to lay off etc and having people around them that have done it before is a great help. “It may not sound very rock n roll but it can also be the most destructive thing if you don’t have that balance.”
I asked Novak what crazy ideas they have in mind for their setlist on this tour. He laughed and said that was all John. “He thinks he’s funny. Well, I think he knows he’s not but he’s very stubborn with that.” One show they played in Perth (at Capitol), John had his worst idea yet and that was to write it on a packet of sugar which broke at the bottom. Novak had to pull the bag right to his face each time to read the setlist “because it’s a fucking packet of sugar” and every time he brought said packet to his face, there would just be sugar everywhere. “I’m starting to think that the whole practice and exercise of writing it on stupid stuff is just to make it harder for me.”
The one rule they have is that it has to be local and unique to the area and they are open to suggestions. If you have a great (stupid) idea, send it over to Polish Club and who knows? Your idea may just make it on to a setlist.
Either way, they can’t wait to get out on tour and play their new songs for everyone to hear. If you haven’t got a ticket yet for one of the three shows that they are playing in WA, may I suggest that you get on to it asap because they really do put on an excellent live show.