Polish Club chat their new record, and the 20 songs they had to scrap to make it

Before releasing their debut album Already Already and setting off on a huge album tour, we caught up with John and Dave from Polish Club in Newtown to chat about what that has been going on for the Sydney duo, and what we can expect from their upcoming release.


How does a two-piece output the same energy of an ensemble? We chat the new record with John and Dave from Polish Club.

HAPPY: You’ve just put out the new single Come Party and you’ve got you debut album coming soon, how’s everything been going?

JOHN: New single is going to be on the new album, which is coming out March 31st. We recorded it all last year in like November with our mate Wade who’s in Wolf and Cub. We bung it out in eight days, did like 20 songs over those days. Just super happy it’s coming out finally, it’s been a bit of a long process. Last year we started recording it in LA with a producer over there, but we got back and it just didn’t sound like we wanted it to sound, so we had to go back to what we were comfortable doing. We discovered that it was more about getting the vibe right, rather than gear and fancy studios that give you as many meals and coffees as you want. But we tried to make it a step above our last EP.

HAPPY: So was there a particular sound you had in mind for the album as a whole or did that just all come together during the writing process?

JOHN: It’s just based around what we do live basically, so we always record just drums and guitar live together without a click track, so it’s natural. And Dave just does the vocals over the top, then we’ll add a bit of bass here and there. So it’s a fairly natural studio recording.

HAPPY: Did you use any of the stuff from LA or did you scrap it all?

JOHN: Yeah scrapped it all. It was a really hard decision because it was an amazing experience. It was a tough call, but it just didn’t sit right.

HAPPY: How long did you spend over there?

JOHN: It was three weeks. We were in such an awesome studio, Beck was next door recording strings, and Father John Misty was there too, he always seemed to be smoking out the front. We were rehearsing in the studio the week before, and Dave and I were listening to the people next door in the studio, and we were like “that sounds like a sick Last Shadow Puppets cover band”, but it actually was The Last Shadow Puppets.

DAVE: At the studio there’s like 100 interns there too, and they get you food whenever you want, like they’d go out and get In N Out burgers whenever you wanted, it wasn’t conducive to a healthy lifestyle. It was super fun though.

JOHN: There was cable TV too.

DAVE: We watched way too many movies for a recording session though. You’d sit down and watch full movies and full basketball games and have no idea what anyone else was doing. It was awesome though.

HAPPY: Did you get to speak to any of the other musos that were there?

JOHN: Nah we were too scared.

DAVE: Yeah we were too shy. What do you stay to Beck? I actually recorded a whole video of the Shadow Puppets rehearsing from the corner outside. I don’t know what I’m ever going to do what that, but it’s nice to have some sort of proof. They’re not actually in the video, it’s just of a brick wall but you can hear them

HAPPY: You said you had 20 songs that you recorded all together?

DAVE: Yeah, we started with around 23 and naturally whittled it down within 8 days, and then we ended up with the 14 that we’re releasing, so it was a pretty productive session.

HAPPY: How did you pick what ones were going to get cut, was that hard?

DAVE: We cut the ones that sounded like balls.

JOHN: There was a couple songs that didn’t fit in. We had an idea of the flow we wanted the album to have.

DAVE: Yeah, there was enough room for so many fast songs, and enough room for so many slow songs, and we kind of plotted everything we have, and towards the end of the list were the ones we were happy to get rid of. Like the song without a chorus, or the one that didn’t have many lyrics.

HAPPY: You’ve just put out the video for Come Party, who came up the idea?

JOHN: I just got my mate to do it, she’s a really good director.

DAVE: A professional mate though, we’ve graduated from calling in favours.

JOHN: Except the next one we’re calling in a favour.

DAVE: Oh yeah. We blew all our money on this one.

JOHN: That was like a proper production company that did the clip, we didn’t really have anything to do with it. All we had to do was let them do what they wanted, which was kind of hard.

DAVE: There’s a certain amount of trust you have to give when you’re not part of it. John is a very visual guy, he’s a graphic designer by day, so he would have had a lot more worries about what they were doing that I did.

JOHN: I trusted them.

DAVE: I was just happy we didn’t have to wake up at 5am to show up. But they did an amazing job.

HAPPY: Why did they do the whole vampire thing?

DAVE: Don’t know, I think they just wanted to incorporate some sort of sinister vibe, because we are kind of weird.

JOHN: It’s kind of an innocent song, but it’s not really.

DAVE: It sounds like a party song, but it’s not really about wanting to party, it’s more about wanting to go home, so I guess it’s just exactly like the video (laughs).

HAPPY: Do you ever find it hard with just the two of you?

DAVE: Yeah, because we’re both assholes. When we tour it’s only us.

JOHN: And McDonalds.

DAVE: We spend a lot of time, but it’s totally fine. I kind of look at the other bands we tour with and see the five or six members, and think how different the dynamic must be, when there’s so many different personalities to deal with. But we’re pretty relaxed, we don’t spend a huge amount of time together in our spare time, so it’s pleasant enough when we have to, and everything usually goes off without a hitch. There’s been no fights…yet.

HAPPY: Is it hard on stage with just two?

JOHN: Yeah it’s hard work, we have to work really hard during a show.

DAVE: Whenever we watch supports or bands that we’re supporting play on stage, inevitably we always end up looking at the rhythm guitarist and going “could you imagine just being able to stand there and just hang out for like 30 seconds”. Because if I stop, or if John stops, it’s silence, it’s dead silence. So after every song, if you’re in a four piece, maybe the bassist will be noodling on a tune, or the drummer will keep going, but we’re fucking wiped after a two-minute song. And that usually ends in us playing a set that’s far too short, but hey it’s quality not quantity right.

HAPPY: You just need to add some banter in between songs to drag it out.

JOHN: Dave is very good at banter

DAVE: That makes me even more out of breath, I just need to get a bit fitter. I’m slowly adding things to the set though, like kissing dudes in the front row. I kissed a dude in Brisbane at a show. He was super into the band before the set started, he was wearing one of our shirts and got me a drink, this is actually sounding a lot more romantic than it actually was. But during the set, I saw him and was like “YOU”, and I leant down and kissed him, but I think it freaked him out a bit. So he was stuck in the front row for the rest of the set, but I think I may have ruined one fan there.

JOHN: The next day I’m pretty sure we had one less Facebook like.

DAVE: It was a sacrifice in the name of impressing other people. Kissing dudes impresses people right? It’s something to do I guess, and it means I don’t have to talk or play music if I’m kissing someone

HAPPY: Are you guys going to be playing a fair few songs off the album during the tour?

DAVE: We already kind of do, it’s a bit of a mix of new and old songs.

JOHN: There’s some songs too that we don’t have a clue how to play.

DAVE: Yeah, that includes the new single, we’ll figure out. We recorded it so technically we can play it, there’s evidence of that. But there will be new songs, it’s just yet to be decided what ones.

JOHN: I’d say probably most of them. We only have one album so there’s not a huge selection there.


Polish Club’s debut album Already Already is set to drop on March 31st, and you can catch the boys during May and June on their east coast album tour:

Fri 5 May – Oxford Art Factory, Sydney
Sat 6 May – Narara Festival, Kariong
Thu 11 May – Small Ballroom, Newcastle
Fri 12 May – Rad Bar, Wollongong
Sat 13 May – Republic Bar, Hobart
Fri 19 May – Rocket Bar, Adelaide
Sat 20 May – Amplifier, Perth
Thu 25 May – The Foundry, Brisbane
Fri 26 May – Elsewhere, Gold Coast
Sat 27 May – Big Pineapple Festival, Woombye
Thu 1 Jun – The Transit Bar, Canberra
Fri 2 Jun – Workers Club, Geelong
Sat 3 Jun – The Corner, Melbourne