The Questionnaire: Polish Club
Polish Club is a rising "heavy soul" duo from Sydney, comprising two sweaty reprobates named Novak and John-Henry, both of whom have Polish roots. Novak sings and plays "beautifully brash" blues guitar, while John-Henry pounds away at the drums. "The loudest goddamn soul outfit you ever heard" reckons a reviewer at Aussie radio network 3JJJ. "Sydney's Polish Club writes pop songs fifty years late and twice the speed. In any one of their numbers, which barely nip at the three minute mark, the full-bodied howl of Motown's finest frontmen is parsed through the garage-rock scuzz of Detroit." Interview: Grant Smithies.
What are you plugging right now?
"No one knows who we are in New Zealand, so I guess our plan is to use these answers to convince people that we're an awesome band and you should come and see us when we play our first overseas shows ever, in Auckland and Wellington on June 30 and July 1. Fortunately, we actually are an awesome band that you should see live, so no problems there."
Any product or service of someone else's you reckon we should know about?
"I'd like to plug your local record store. I don't know what its name is, but surely you have one in your town and you should support it because records are back, all the cool kids are buying them again. And you can probably buy our debut LP Alright Already there, which I thank you in advance for doing."
How did you initially get involved in music?
"We've been a band for about two and a half years now. My first job in music was volunteering at Sydney's community radio station FBi Radio, back when guitars were still a thing and they played them on the radio heaps. I guess I should be grateful that rock isn't being played anymore because it makes us look like we're doing something completely different to what's been done, which is hilarious."
What is a song you remember from childhood?
"I still remember every single lyric to every song on the Space Jam soundtrack, particularly Hit 'Em High which featured Method Man, Coolio, LL Cool J, Busta Rhymes and B Real. It sits alongside the Venga Boys Greatest Hits Vol 2 in the soundtrack to my deep-fried childhood."
What was the first piece of music you purchased?
"The soundtrack to Batman & Robin, the Joel Schumacher Batman film whose Bat-nipples basically led to Christopher Nolan revolutionising superhero movies. It had a f…ing awesome soundtrack, featuring Smashing Pumpkins twice, R Kelly, Bone Thugs n Harmony and Eric Benet."
What are the ingredients for a great live performance – as a performer or an audience member?
"Charisma and a bit of danger. If you're nodding your head in the crowd but also slightly stressed that the band you're seeing might f… it all up at any moment, then it's a good show. Just don't be boring, and remember that no one gives a s… about how earnest you are."
Can you describe a perfect Saturday?
"As a broke musician, days of the week don't mean much anymore. A perfect Saturday would start with someone giving me some money so I can actually go do something."
What do you do to relax?
"Playstation Horizon Zero Dawn is amazing. You should buy it now. Fifa 17 is the same old garbage but I can't stop playing it."
What's your idea of happiness?
"Most brown foods."
What life lesson would you pass on?
"For better and for worse, no one cares. That thing you're stressing about? No one cares. That time you said something stupid at that party to that person? No one cares. Lock-out laws destroying Sydney's nightlife? No one cares. Australia doing nothing to combat climate change? No one cares. And so on."
Which living person do you most admire and why?
"Jean-Claude Van Damme, because he's badass."
What are you reading right now?
"A Belgian novel about cheese."
"The Football Ramble podcast."
What is a current political issue close to your heart and how would you solve it?
"Lack of action and urgency regarding climate change. Sydney's Lockout [after-hour drinking] laws and more importantly the blatant corruption from which illogical laws were implemented. Human rights abuses at detention centres and across Australia in general. I can't solve these. You just have to stay informed and decide how you feel about these issues and try to talk with anyone who will listen. The biggest issue we face is a general sense of complacency, which I am 100% guilty of."
What's exciting you at the moment?
"We just played to over 1000 people in Sydney, which is over three times the amount of people that we played to last tour. So my hubris overtaking my self-deprecation is pretty exciting."
What's freaking you out?
What are you looking forward to?
"Bringing our music to more people, on record and live. We're starting with NZ and hopefully we can take it to the US and the rest of the world sooner rather than later."