Off the back of their recently released new album Melencolia we caught up the Poly-Math lads for a chat about the new record, expectations, their new home on Superstar Destroyer Record and their future plans.
You’ve gone from strength to strength since Reptiles and Melencolia feels like a real progression for the band. How have the last couple of years been for Poly-math?
As far as writing is concerned the last couple of years have been really great in a challenging sort of way. We’ve tried to push ourselves as much as possible between the two records. We’re very keen not to repeat ourselves from record to record.
It’s easy for Math bands to repeat themselves I think; to fall into bad habits or to just focus too much on a few tricks or styles that work. We’ve been trying out new tunings and styles and just trying to stay as fresh as possible.
Was there a concerted effort to make Melencolia so ambitious and expansive?
Definitely. Reptiles was a very straight, riff driven record. We wanted to make Melencolia more of a journey, more of a complete piece of music. We wanted to lean on our Prog influences a bit more and stray from the well beaten track of riffy Math Rock.
We were keen to not be pigeon holed as another Math band, and I think that’s why we were happy to go off on more experimental atonal sections for long periods of the record.
One of the questions Melencolia posed for us was what’s the difference between an EP and a mini album? We decided on length, what about you guys?
Yeah, length was a large part of it, but the arrangement of the album has a large part to play as well. I guess we think of EP’s as being a set of individual tracks, which Reptiles certainly was. Melencolia is more a complete movement with a start and an end. It’s a single 35 minute idea, so we felt it deserved more than to be thought of as an EP. EP’s are for bands to showcase themselves, or to try new ideas; this record is more of a complete message.
Melencolia was released on Superstar Destroyer Records, can you tell us above the move to the label and what attracted you to them?
I guess what attracted us to them in the first place before anything else was their previous roster. Any label who have put out the last Alpha Male Tea Party album clearly have their finger on the pulse of popular Math music. We knew Poly-Math weren’t strong enough on their own and we’re looking for a label who were known for releasing strong Math and experimental music, SSDR ticked that box for us quite well.
Poly-Math have been tipped as a band to watch, do you feel the pressure of other people’s expectations?
Well if we have it’s the first we’ve heard of it. Poly-Math started life as a side project in order that we could all do whatever we liked without the pressure of expectation. Even though we’ve moved on from that now, and Poly-Math is very much a main project for us all, I still think we approach it without boundaries. We’re writing the next record at the moment and if anything we are trying to push it further away from the sort of thing people might expect from us.
Who would be Poly-Math’s bands to watch in 2016?
There are a few, Math and Post-Rock are really vibrant genres at the moment, there are loads of brilliant and interesting bands turning up from all over the world.
For us it’s impossible to choose between Body Hound and Broken Oak Duet, both bands are completely unique and absolutely unrivalled in ability. BOD are a two piece of drums and baritone guitars, their music is packed full of incredibly heavy riffs and tidy little off-kilter time signatures. BH are the world’s greatest ever riff writers; they create whole tracks that never repeat themselves yet stay consistently catchy (within a Math sort of sense). If you haven’t yet then buy everything both bands have released.
What does the rest of 2016 have instore for the band?
A lot of touring. We’re heading out on some great little runs this year with some brilliant bands like Let’s Talk Daggers and Tides From Nebula. We’ve got a pretty packed festival season too. We’re heading to Fog Formula in Romania and Sauzipf Rocks in Austria, and of course we’re very proud to be heading back to ArcTanGent this year to be included in the returning bands on the Thursday bill.
We’re in the studio at the moment writing a sequel to Melencolia and we will do our best to fill the rest of this year with a few secret releases and freebies.
Album Review: Rust on the Gates of Heaven by Wear Your Wounds
Album Review: Admission by Torche
Album Review: Vulture Culture by Fangclub
Album Review: White Bat by He Is Legend
Album Review: Pale Season by Thenighttimeproject
Album Review: Awful Truth by Woes
Album Review: Caprice Enchanté by The St Pierre Snake Invasion
Album Review: Gold and Grey by Baroness
Album Review: Absenteeism by Quiet Lions
Album Review: Celebrity Mansions by Dinosaur Pile-Up