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"Polarity" 4 Year Anniversary
February 12, 2020
Hard to believe "Polarity" has been out 4 years already. We did a short series on social media talking about each track: check it out!
“Bottomless” was the first track we wrote specifically for Polarity, as well as the first song we wrote after Andy joined the band, so it stands out in my mind as having a very specific “new beginnings” vibe. The first time we pitched it to Andy we only had written up to the bridge and I remember telling him to “do that Reign of Kindo thing” on the drums under the first chorus, which he executed without need for further instruction. I knew in that moment that Kris and I were finally out of the drummer desert and that Andy would be with us for a long, long time.We’ve done a lot of different things with the song over the years, including an extremely goofy a capella video, but I’ll remember debuting it at Andy’s first show with us forever because it just felt like it stood head and shoulders above our older material and represented not necessarily a new direction for us as a band as much as a realization of our initial mission statement as songwriters and the new set of goals that comes with it. Also the guitar solo sounds like being drunk and falling down the stairs, so mission accomplished there. - DJ
"Guts" is still the quintessential SDR song to me. We close every set with it, and we like it so much we had it remastered for the next album! When I someone to get a quick snapshot of what we're about, I play them Guts; it covers many of the styles inspire us, but still hits like a mofo and functions as a single entity. I'm particularly proud of the way it slow-burns to the B Chorus ("You're giving up..."), arrives and feels like the climax of the song, then immediately proves you wrong and takes off towards the end. The double-time and switch from G minor to F major are big contributors here.Most of the song was written in one or two sessions, it feels like it basically wrote itself. The exception is the guitar/synth solo - I had the sound in my head for a while but couldn't play it. Got lots of weird looks from DJ and Andy while I was working that one out! Matt sounds great on that part now, while I usually trip on something on stage and almost die. - Kris
Goddamn that opening riff is fun to play! "Braver Than I Was" is probably our poppunk-iest song, and one of our most direct lyrically. I had been in a relationship that was absolute chaos, manipulative and a one-way street, energy-wise. DJ brought lyrics that cut to the core of the situation and fit the frantic energy of the song perfectly. There's a bunch of videos of my vocal takes at the end, trying to get the shouting/screaming/extra vox to have the right vibe. I'm still happy with what we got, but there are some seriously funny videos of me shouting at a mic for like 10 mins. Also best lyric suggestion goes to Andy: "You screamed 'No' before, what about *dramatic pause* 'Yes'??" -Kris
My favorite "SuperSoldier" story is also one of my favorite Andy stories. We had been debating revealing the true meaning of the song; it can be interpreted different ways by different people. When we debuted the song on the radio, we were going to let that detail slide. Until the host asked, "What's this song about?" and instantly Andy: "Its about Halo!" So mysterious! So yes, this song is the back story of Master Chief from the Halo series. Are you even a real band if you don't have a song about a video game? -Kris
"Trains" was already written and arranged before I joined in 2015 and already had some pretty neat drum parts in place. The only recording of it was taken from a phone recording so I had to use deductive reasoning to figure out the parts I couldn’t hear!I did add a constant backbeat from 2,4,6 to 1,3,5,7 and back in the outtro of the song which is similar to the beginning because I felt like we needed some variation at that point.To me, the chorus with the sustained cymbal part (over “lightning in your veins”) is an iconic sound for the song and was a quintessential part of the sound of the band as a whole at the time. -Andy
“Quicksand” was the final track we wrote for Polarity, and I still can’t really play the intro. The rest of the album was already written and we knew we didn’t have anything with the right “closing track” vibe, but when Kris first showed me the head for that song we both knew this was going to be it. I set the goal of writing lyrics for it that tie up the themes we dealt with during the album, including heartbreak and new beginnings, even though the biggest theme I wanted to illustrate was that these things don’t always tie up in the neat way you expect them to. I think we accomplished that. The song is simultaneously open and optimistic while remaining honest and sometimes a little disjointed, because as they say, in life, “it be like that sometimes.”We finished tracking vocals for this song on our last day in the studio for this album, and I think you can hear the sense of overwhelming accomplishment we felt when it was done in mine and Kris’s vocal deliveries in the bridge. You can also hear Roye’s patience, belief in us, and dedication to his craft in this song and every song on the album, which is why we keep going back to record with him (thanks Roye).Also right before we left for the studio that day Andy and his wife Anna gave us all cool Star Wars shirts. I like to think that helped my performance too. - DJ
I'm busy working on my blog posts. Watch this space!