With one foot dragging through the hazy past and the other dangling over the precipice of bad decisions, Polish Club welcomes you to their second album, Iguana. The long-awaited follow-up to their dashing debut has arrived, armed with some surprisingly different sonic weaponry. To commemorate, Polish Club will tour the nation on a series of capital city and regional dates this June and July. It was really cool to speak to John-Henry Pajak about the trials and tribulations of making Iguna.
How exciting has the build up been to the release to Iguna?
It has been a pretty stressful period even just making it which was tough. It is a huge relief now that it is out.
In what ways was it stressful?
The whole process was stress, the first album was two and a half years in to when we started the band and we had heaps of time to write songs just having fun with it. There was no pressure, the only pressure was on ourselves to move it a long. When we started we weren’t really sure how to do that. It was like starring down a big open space not knowing which way to turn. It was a lot more challenging than I had ever expected.
Does the second album blues come in to it as well?
This is the first second album that I have made, I’ve never got to a second album before. I’ve always looked at those bands that have whinged about the second album thinking what’s the big deal. I really get that now, it’s fucking tough but now that it is out it’s a nice relief. I’m already thinking about what to do next.
If it was stressful how did you get through those tough times?
We really had to grin and bare it and kept going and kept going. When there’s deadlines on us makes it really hard as well, so there’s always pressure coming from some where whether it’s management or the label, ourselves or other things in our lives. On top of that we did a lot of touring last year so we had to fit that in between. If one recording session didn’t go to well puts even more pressure on to make the deadlines. A lot of the time you just have to go for it despite being frustrated and uninspired. I said to Dave that if we didn’t break up after this we never will. I think we’re made for each other, I don’t see it being any harder than how it was!
Was the idea of adding another band member something that was ever discussed to help get the album over the line?
We played around with a piano for a bit, our producer Wade was pretty helpful. He was there the whole time, he plays bass with us now and I think he was kind of like our mum and dad. If things got stuck he would tell us to move on to something else.
How do you see the difference between both albums?
Doing it, it felt when we were listening back to it feels like a totally different band to what we were when we started. I know everyone else is going to listen to it and be like “oh yeah, that’s a rock band”. It feels to me that the journey we went through to find where we were heading is so different. A lot of the songs when we were writing them, I was trying not to write rock songs and I was trying to hard not to do that and I won’t look at them as rock songs but everyone else will. It is a weird thing on the inside, it feels different, there’s so much more production and so many more layers. Even if you put them next to the first album it feels like a completely different band. How we play I think unifies it and to me it’s just weird looking back on it.
Are there any songs you would consider as being significant from the process that will end up as some of your favourites?
Um, It’s weird because we’re listening to it so much it gets to the point where I’ll never listen to it again. I’ve listened to it so much, there’s a song called Time Crisis we re-recorded five times and it sounded different every time. I look at that song and remember the shit we went through to finish it. We binned it, for a time it was going to be a single then we binned it and we were struggling to write another single so we resurrected it. Then we didn’t like it as a single so we binned it again then we brought it back right at the end. I won’t forget the process, stressful and hard work, interesting I guess and I learnt a lot about creativity.
Will playing these songs on tour be a lot different to having to listen to them back?
Playing live is a whole different thing, it is what I need right now and rediscover what I love about the songs after sitting in a studio listening to them on headphones. It is like bringing them back to life and it is fun working out how to do them live.
Interview By Rob Lyon
Catch Polish Club on the following dates, tickets from https://polishclub.co/