Indie + Alternative culture appreciates new rising artists that create diversity and new insights within their respective genres. We constantly feature notable indie and alternative artists on the verge of success. Meet this week’s featured artist in an exclusive interview. Introducing You To Your Next Favorite Artist: the Los Angeles alt-rock duo known as Polaris Rose.
We recently talked in depth with the amazing Peter Anthony and Madelynn Elyse to discuss their upcoming album release, Ocean Blue, Velvet Skies out March 25th.
Peter: I’d have to say 1) “Mellon Collie & the Infinite Sadness” by the Smashing Pumpkins, 2) “Fantastic Planet” by Failure, and 3) “Wither, Blister, Burn, & Peel” by Stabbing Westward. As time went by I got really into Steely Dan and Jamiroquai, both who inspire Polaris Rose.
Maddie: Alanis Morrisette’s “Jagged Little Pill”, Carole King’s “Tapestry”, and the soundtrack for “Almost Famous”.
What are your fondest musical memories?
Peter: A couple years ago, Maddie bought tickets for one of my favorite bands: Failure. They were touring for the first time in 17 years, and I was excited to see them. Maddie had never really listened to them. Halfway through the concert though, she turned to me and said, “They’re incredible.” She told me it was one of her favorite concerts ever, and it was for me too.
Maddie: As a listener, being 7 years old, I remember crawling through a sea of legs to see Chrissie Hynde kill “I’ll Stand By You”. That was the moment I knew I wanted to be a musician.
Lately what musical periods or styles do you find yourself most drawn to as a listener?
Peter: We are all over the place. But we’re both loving the new Beyonce. Haha. I’ve been spinning through the Deftones discography lately. Their new track is haunting.
What is your creative process like? How do you approach the writing process?
Peter: We are very yin yang with our process. Maddie really runs the show, getting all the business side of the band moving. I’m the guy who sits in the studio and generates ideas. For our new record,Ocean Blue, Velvet Skies we demoed around 35 songs before selecting what we thought really told the story. We find this process works well for us, so we’re planning on continuing this way.
We've read that you write with a metaphoric theme in mind that will run through a series of 6 albums. Can you tell us about this multi-album project? What kinds of topics do you cover and hope to cover? Where does Ocean Blue, Velvet Skies take listeners in your albumic journey?
Good question. Each record has a slightly different tone and ‘location’. Our first record, ‘Telescopes’, was a very ‘outer space’ kind of record… With lots of songs about looking for something that you can never find. ‘Ocean Blue, Velvet Skies’ was written around the idea of finding that something (in our case, our musical dreams) and building a life around them.
We have always been fascinated by the way indie artists take on all the multimedia aspects of music culture. We're really intrigued by the vintage-modern California vibe that are true to your album artwork and promotional material. How do you approach the visual side of your artistry? What's your visual influence--any specific artists or visual motifs? Do these elements transfer over to your live setting?
A lot of the time, the album art comes first. Writing an album becomes a bit like writing songs in response to a picture, which helps us to maintain our intended theme. We like using old footage and vintage postcards because they are a reflection of us all, but almost alien in the ways that they’re so similar but different. As far as our live shows, we are really looking into incorporating the art more and we have some fun ideas that we are going to be trying over the next few months.
Los Angeles is an amazing space to be in because there are so many creative people working in all areas of the artistic world. We wrote our song “Dreamers” about it, when our move to LA was still fresh. There are a lot of opportunities. At the same time, Polaris Rose’s sound has definitely taken a nod from the landscape, what with our obsession with oceans, beaches, stars, and (on the next record) the desert.
As an indie artist in the digital age, social media and streaming are essential tools for marketing and promotion. What do you think about online music sharing, both as a music fan and as a musician? How do you think social media/music streaming services impacts the rising musician?
Maddie: Well, I feel like it’s positive and negative. What’s great about it is that anyone can be their own producer and there are many ways to get your music out there and heard. We’ve had experiences where people from all around the world have contacted us and shared our music. That’s amazing. It’s so cool to connect with people who you have never met before who come from a different place and hear how your music has inspired them. The flip side is that the market is over-saturated, so you have to figure out a way to have your music cut through all that saturation. Sometimes the music can’t just speak for itself. It has to be the whole package. And that’s what we’re working on… finding a way to cut through the noise.
What is your dream collaboration and why?
Peter: I’m hoping to have Ken Andrews produce a record with us sometime haha. Maddie wants to work with Dave Grohl… or just marry him. Whichever comes first ha ha.
Maddie: Rude. I really want to work with Rick Rubin. I think it would be a dream come true.
What are you currently working on? Any new projects?
Maddie: We’re working on the next album already. It’s called The Waves Within. Hoping to release it late 2016. Besides that, we’re always writing.
Finally, a few questions we ask all of artists: which songs are you currently obsessed with? What new acts do you recommend to our listeners? What bands do you believe are your best kept secret in the indie community?
There are so many great bands here to check out… Paper Pilots, Young Creatures, Mars & the Massacre… We just recently got turned on to an artist out of San Diego named Charlie Rae and - when her record is finished - it’s gonna be incredible.
Thanks once again to the fabulous Polaris Rose for talking with us. Be sure to grab a copy of their new album Ocean Blue, Velvet Skies out next Friday March 25th!
Tickets are also available for their record release show at The Hotel Cafe in Los Angeles. Full details via this link. For more on Polaris Rose, check out the following social links, and stay tuned for our album review next week!