Breaking into the mainstream world as an instrumental band is never easy, but it’s one Texas-based quartet, Polyphia have achieved. Each video racking up millions of views, their complex and genre-bashing sound has people hooked.
Before they hit the UK for a headline tour, we caught up with Bassist, Clay Gober to find out what fans can expect from their live shows.
It’s not often you come across an instrumental band who have millions of views on YouTube – what about your music do you think stands out from the rest?
Probably that we don’t have any words in our music. And that our music is f*****g great.
Was it always the intention when you started the band to be instrumental? Or did you play around with the idea of a vocalist, too?
We had vocalists back when we were death metal local band, so no. The music was going in a different direction and we wanted to get a singer, but never found one that we felt worked. Which is great, because more space on stage.
As much as you sit comfortably with the rock/metal/prog scene, there are some clear elements in your music that hint at hip hop and even trap influences, is it important to you that you explore new sounds and territories as a band?
We've actually decided no on the new sounds and territories and decided we're going to make a country album this time around.
Do you ever worry that old school rock and metal fans will cast you off due to the more modern styling of your music?
Absolutely not. Dads f**k with us extremely hard. I think old school rock fans appreciate good guitar which we are in no shortage of.
You’ve already toured with some huge bands, but who would be the dream for you?
If we could just tour with Coheed [and Cambria] 364 days out of the year, that would be the dream.
Without an obvious frontman, how do you make sure your live shows are unforgettable?
I can see how someone who hadn’t seen our live show in the past two years or so might ask that, but I do most of the “front-manning” myself, so to speak. And my boys go crazy too.
New Levels New Devils is your third full-length album, what did you do differently this time around? Did you approach the writing and recording process in a certain way?
If anything we just went further down some roads that we experimented with on our last EP. Collaborating with Y2K, Judge and a bunch of other cats from Los Angeles.
Many artists rely on their lyrics to tell their stories, do you treat your music in the same way? Do each of your songs have a story behind them?
When we get an idea going far enough out of it’s infancy that it starts to take on a certain vibe, then it becomes easier to write to that for sure.
If someone was to listen to Polyphia for the first time, which songs would you tell them to begin with?
Probably some of the new ones. 'O.D.', 'Death Note', or 'G.O.A.T.'
You hit the UK next month – other than the shows, what are you looking forward to the most?
Definitely the drinking.
Want to experience Polyphia's live show for yourself? Grab a ticket to their headline tour now!
O2 Academy Birmingham: Wednesday 13 February Buy Tickets
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