Sydney prog-metal band Polaris seemed destined for the top.
They are enjoying a boosted profile after opening for Aussie metal mainstays Parkway Drive during their January tour earlier in the year.
Polaris also released their debut full-length album 'The Mortal Coil' last year, the response to which vocalist Jamie Hails says has been unprecedented. “The way that things have been going, especially quite recently, it's really blown us away with how well the album has been received,” Jamie says.
“The [fan] response has really helped us know we have made the right decisions.”
“Even going back two years ago when we released 'The Guilt & The Grief' (EP, 2016) that completely blew us away. We were so nervous about dropping that, and that EP really put us on the map and got our name out there.
“There was so much hype around us releasing an album; when we released the singles, 'Consume' did quite well then suddenly when we released 'The Remedy' everyone really took us by surprise.”
Surprised as they may be, Polaris have put in the hard work necessary to reap the rewards of heavy metal success in the national and international arenas. “In all honesty, writing and recording 'The Mortal Coil' was pretty stressful for us,” Jamie laughs.
“We knew writing an album would be different to writing an EP. We've released two EPs and they're easy; you can release a strong five or six tracks and it works well. But for an album it's a completely different ballgame.
“You have your rise and falls throughout the album, and you want everything to be just as interesting as the next; you don't want to have any throwaway songs or dead songs on the album because that can happen quite a lot.”
As a five-man unit Polaris undertake songwriting as a group endeavour, meaning that not everyone always agrees on the finished outcome.
But Jamie says 'The Mortal Coil' represents an important turning point in the band's sound. “When we finished recording the album a couple of us had our doubts about the album,” he says.
“We weren't really sure if it was the best way to represent who we are as a band and where we're at as Polaris. The [fan] response has really helped us know we have made the right decisions; we did write the right songs the way they should have been.
“In terms of what we tried to accomplish, when we released 'The Guilt & The Grief' that sound was completely different, at least in my opinion, to our previous release, which was 'Dichotomy' [EP, 2013]. Then we wanted to take 'The Guilt & The Grief' and in a sense elaborate on it but also change a little bit and show some growth.
“We've always wanted to add a rock aspect into our music but without it being your standard, typical rock. I feel we've accomplished that on 'The Mortal Coil'.”
Polaris' performance at Dead Of Winter in Brisbane this July comes after the band return from a European tour through April and May with We Came As Romans and Alazka.
Jamie says he's looking forward to playing Dead Of Winter for the first time and alongside bands such as Frenzal Rhomb, Ocean Grove and Clowns. “I'm pretty stoked and honoured to be part of the festival, to tell you the truth... it's really awesome to be part of such a great festival and not only that but playing alongside all these amazing bands as well.”
Polaris play Dead Of Winter festival, which takes place at The Tivoli Theatre and Jubilee Hotel (in Brisbane) 7 July.
Thu 12 Apr - Amplifier Bar (Perth)
Polaris Tour Dates
Fri 13 Apr - The Triffid (Brisbane)
Sat 14 Apr - The Factory Theatre (Sydney)
Wed 18 Apr - Corner Hotel (Melbourne)
Thu 19 Apr - Fowler's Live (Adelaide)
Fri 20 Apr - Arrow On Swanston (Melbourne)
Sat 21 Apr - Corner Hotel (Melbourne)