Poliça's City Pages cover story interview and photo outtakes


By now you've hopefully already seen our cover story on Polica in today's City Pages. You may also have seen Gimme Noise's slideshow and our review of last night's album release show at First Ave. But those aren't the only goodies we have for you.

Below the break, check out excerpts from my conversations with Channy Leneagh, Drew Christopherson, and Ryan Olson that didn't make it into print, but which help shed further light on Polica's music and its members.

Channy Leaneagh on the differences between Roma di Luna and Polica:

Don't get me wrong, I love folk music too. It was definitely a place for me to get a foundation for singing. In Roma di Luna, I sang a lot of old blues songs, gospel songs; it was the perfect place for me to learn to be a performer, learn how to sing. [But Polica] is just something I wanted to do, I wanted to do something different. I love drums; I love beats; I love to dance; I love to be able to play around with melodies. So it's a fun band in that sense.

Poliça's City Pages cover story interview and photo outtakes
Photo by Tony Nelson

Leaneagh on her decision to collaborate with Ryan Olson:

The main reason I wanted to work with him was I knew he had bigger ideas than me about beats. I knew he would know where to take the music that I had in my head... But I didn't know before I asked him to help me how many other projects he has! I just asked him, and then people were like, "Everybody asks Ryan to do something with them." And I was like, "Oh, well okay. He probably won't have time to do it then."

Leaneagh on using her voice "as an instrument:"

Even in Roma di Luna I was writing to the chords -- writing with sounds and melodies first, and words after. It's more intense in this band because I'm not the one coming up with the beats or chords; I'm reacting to Ryan Olson's beats and directly writing to the emotion that those make me feel. The words are sort of more a catalyst to evoke that emotion.

Drew Christopherson on the challenges of having two drummers in the band:

What we do is very much reactionary to the vocals and the beats, which are very much the foundation. But having two drummers, it's almost more of a task to stay behind it all, because it's easy to overpower everything else. It's more, "How do we play to our full extent but also be on same level as everything else when so thunderous on stage?" It's an exercise in restraint.

Poliça's City Pages cover story interview and photo outtakes
Photo by Tony Nelson

Ryan Olson on recording Give You the Ghost:

These songs just popped. I had a bunch of other things going on; I wasn't necessarily trying to start something hardcore, you know? I wanted to just have a project. But [Leaneagh] worked so fast, and I had time booked with Jim Eno down in Austin that I was going to use to mix other stuff. But she had everything ready to go, so we just did it. We lucked out, really.

Christopherson on the drummers' recording experience:

We kind of have to learn the record to a T before changing it up at all. A lot of the things that happen on record were sort of improvised in the studio. When we were done we had to relearn the parts we improvised in studio, but from there we've gotten more comfortable

Leaneagh on plans for the follow-up to Give You the Ghost:

The thing Ryan does do in this band is look to make sure that everybody is creatively motivated, is inspired. So he worries about that. We're trying to keep the songs coming, so the band has more songs to play. At the same time, we have more time with this record to think about it, to take more time with the writing. The great thing about this last record was it was written in a fear; it was intense. I want that feeling to stay but I want to have a little bit more time to experiment as a writer.

Give You the Ghost is out now.

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