|Jasmine with Matt: Photo by James Nicoll Photography|
I know it's been a good minute, but I am back! Back in September, I got the chance to sit down with progressive-rock band, Polarity's newest member, Mississauga-based musician/director Matt Hamilton, formerly of melodic-punk band, IVS! Finally got the time to sit down and type it out for your reading pleasure. Enjoy!
JGIC: This is Jersey Girl in Canada on Jamsterdam Radio on the patio of East Side Mario's with Mr. Matt Hamilton of Polarity! How are you doing?
MH: I'm good- how are you?
JGIC: Good, good! Yeah- he's actually formerly from (the melodic-punk band), IVS. He's the newest member and bass player for Polarity, both who you've heard on Jamsterdam. So Matt, tell me: there's a huge difference between the sound of IVS and the sound of Polarity- what made you do the transition?
MH: Well, I was always a fan of both styles of music, I'm a bigger fan of progressive, more experimental music. As much as I love IVS and they have a fantastic sound and I have nothing bad to say about the music, Polarity is just more of a natural fit for me because, I guess, by my nature, I'm kind of a more experimental guy when it comes to the art that I do. So, there's a lot of room in Polarity for me to have fun and Polarity has so many different dimensions and I feel like it captures more breath into what I want to do in music.. if that makes any sense..
|Photo by JakeLichty.com|
JGIC: Oh, absolutely!
MH: ..Yeah, and so it's like, I love the music- I've always been a fan of Polarity and to be in the band now, they're easily my best friends. I've known them for a while- did video work for them. I always kind of secretly said as I was watching their shows "I think they should go in that direction (creatively)!" So, lo and behold, when they show me their new stuff, while doing video work for them covering the process of their new album (Action Potential due out next year), they show me their new songs and I'm like "Holy shit! That's kind of where I thought you guys were going!" It was cool- it just really goes to show that we're in the same band, and we're really on the same wavelengths. Yeah- it was a very seamless transition. Does that answer your question?
JGIC: Oh, absolutely! (sound of airplanes flying overhead) I hope you all could hear that (part of the interview), because we're in some kind of flight path right now- you hear some airplanes passing overhead!
MH: Yeah- people coming from fun places, I'm sure, vacationing unlike me- broke musician, stuck in Toronto (laughs) - well at least I'm hanging out here with you- I'm enjoying myself!
JGIC: Yeah, cheers!
MH: Fucking right! Cheers to Coors Lights for 5 bucks! Yeah!
|Mike, Jasmine and Matt: Photo by James Nicoll Photography|
JGIC: Woo! Go, East Side Marios! Anyway, so how do you feel like the energy has changed on stage in comparison to IVS because that was like a really high-energy kind of band- but Polarity is high energy as well, it's a different kind of energy. Like, how do you compare the two- like, how do you feel on stage with Polarity?
MH: With IVS it's pretty technical fast music and oddly enough, the irony of that is that playing that fast, technical stuff- there's room to move around here and there, but when you have a shred-solo, you're pretty much stuck in one place.. unless you're (one of Matt's fave bands) Dillinger Escape Plan - they're not perfect, right they fuck up still, thrashing around playing.. but you watch them live when they have to play certain parts they stop. IVS was to a certain degree, I mean there were two members of the band who had to play instruments and sing at times.. so there were two guys on the wing that were the guys that worked the crowd, but with Polarity it's like the music is still very technical- there's a lot of technical parts to it. The music's a little groovier at times, it could (also) be a lot heavier at times. There are not really that many parts where the band has to be really static, especially (front woman) Jasmine- I mean, fuck- all respect to her- she's a great singer and she has great energy.
|Jasmine. Photo by James Nicoll Photography|
JGIC: and she's gorgeous!!
MH: For sure- and she's got a lot of energy and she's not afraid to throw herself around. In Polarity, the people in the band like to throw themselves around a little bit more, so it kind of encourages that because no one has to really do two things at once and be stuck in their place, you know? So the energy, yeah because of that I think it looks like there's a lot more going on- it looks a little bit more dynamic.
JGIC: Nice! So wait- rewind- you guys are working on a new album. What are the fans to expect for the new sound? I know you probably can't give too much away, which is understandable but.. what's the difference between the sound that we've been hearing from Polarity and the new sound.. if you can possibly elaborate?
MH: Oh, I certainly can- I can use key terms here (laughs) and I can go in a little bit of detail because some of the stuff in the P3 documentary (below) I did was released there..
JGIC: (to the readers/listeners) Yeah- so he's also a director- he's not just a guitarist or bass player. He's really good by the way- you should check out his work online!
MH: Yeah, I'm ok, I guess. Thank you- I appreciate that.
MH: Ok cool- you can check us out on Youtube.com/PolarityOfficial. The thing I did was P3- I've done a bunch of really small things since then for Polarity but that's the big thing- the one worth looking at, because that's the one that will give you a better sneak peek than the one I'm about to give you with our new music. But to answer your question: Fans should expect something that is dirty as fuck. Dirty, dirty, dirty as fuck! There are some songs that are like anthems that are just going to just destroy people's faces.
|Eric and Jay: Photo by James Nicoll Photography|
MH: Yes. No word of a lie! The band has so much more dimension to it- long, long passages of beautiful instrumentation, you know? Tonnes of stuff going on- music that crawls all over the place. There are Tool moments on the album, probably some kind of Marilyn Manson moments visible at his most anthemic.. there are softer acoustic moments... aw, man. There's just a lot of stuff to this album so expect something that's HUGE!! ... I'm gonna end the ramble there.
JGIC: Yeah.. he likes to ramble... (laughs). So you've got some big shoes to fill, stepping in as the replacement for bass player, Mike (Smith). How did you feel when they asked you to join the band?
MH: At first I was.. it was surreal because these guys have been my friends for so long, doing video work for them, I guess I had a Hardcore Logo moment where the documentarian becomes part of the act. At first I thought it would be really weird, and then I started thinking about it like "This is what I've always wanted", you know? I've always been a fan of that band, always wanted to play that kind of music so when I hear "Matt Hamilton in Polarity", it's awesome because it just makes sense like I belong there, you know. I mean Smith was in the band for 7 years so certainly big shoes to fill. Funny enough, our show we played a few nights ago, he was there watching us!
JGIC: That's awesome- did you feel any pressure?
|Matt and Mike: Photo by James Nicoll Photography|
MH: So it was interesting- I don't think he had much time to stay- he runs his own business- he's a busy guy. But yeah- it was a little bit strange knowing that he was watching because it was kinda like.. it's almost like an ex-girlfriend kind of thing- you're seeing her with her latest new boyfriend, so I'm sure for him it must've been weird, and I wanted to get a chance to speak to him, like "Hey bud", you know, touch base on that note. But I mean he's a cool guy and he's always been really nice to me in the past. I know he's really happy for us and he's moved on and he's in a really good place right now so..
JGIC: It's pretty awesome that he decided to go to your show. That's really like, you know.. almost like passing the torch?
MH: Oh, for sure. I was actually really happy to see that he was there. He's still good friends with everyone in the band and so it was nice to see they were all happy to see him there too, and that there was no ill will. We all try to be friends, that's very important, and I feel him coming out that night was sealing that.
JGIC: You guys recently played a show with the band In My Coma, The Rathburns, and who else was there?
MH: Setback. They're a young band from Milton- we've been friends with them for a little while.
|Polarity: Photo by James Nicoll Photograpy|
MH: It was fucking awesome! It was a great show! I had a blast and the crowd was just so good to us like... at the end of the show, I was literally bowing to them- you guys are the best!
JGIC: I'm sure they appreciated that!
MH: I'm sure they did. I probably smelled really bad and..
JGIC: Oh my God.. I just hit a wasp...
JGIC: I just hit a wasp, everybody, and it's struggling.. (stomps on it) and I just put it out of its misery- sorry- animal cruelty on the radio here. Sorry.. go on..
|Matt and Jay: Photo by James Nicoll Photography|
MH: Wow- Jesus! You got some powers there!
JGIC: I hit it with my pinky!
MH: Shit! Really?!
JGIC: Yeah- it was flying around my beer and it was ridiculous but anyway.. yeah! I'm sure they really appreciated your whole like "Ahh- I'm not worthy" you know, response to their love for your band.
MH: Yeah,well I smelled really bad at that point so I was probably fanning all my stink at them and didn't realize that til later.. actually til now.
MH: But yeah I'm sure they appreciated that- we try to be a humble band and we're not the type of people who think we're like 'kings of the universe' or anything like that. It's very much about sharing the musical experience, we want people to enjoy it. We try to be personable with people that come up and see us because we really appreciate people coming out to see us play, and to see you never met before
wearing Polarity shirts.
JGIC: Yeah, I saw some photo online like that somewhere the other day! I was like "Wow- that's awesome!"
|Photo by James Nicoll Photography|
JGIC: Nice! Speaking of shows- do you have any coming up that you want to let people know about?
MH: Yeah, certainly, you can go to polaritymusic.com to confirm this, but we're playing in Kitchener October 17th... or mid-October - some time around there... if you check out the website, you'll be able to figure that all out.
JGIC: Any shout outs?
MH: Oh, fuck yeah!
JGIC: Oh wait.. do you wanna drink your beer?
MH: Uh.. well..
JGIC: Take a sip!
|L-R: Mike, Matt, Jay, Eric, Jasmine: Photo by Andrew Marshall Photography|
JGIC: Wicked! Thanks so much for your time, Matt! Looking forward to hearing and seeing more of Polarity in the years to come!