One of the more interesting bands of 2012 has been the Minneapolis based group, Polica. The group was one of the breakout acts of SXSW with a dynamic live show anchored by two drummers and a melodic bass player. The absence of any guitar allows lots of space for Channy Leaneagh’s ethereal vocals to bob and weave through the mix – with a little autotune assistance. Music Unlimited caught up with the band shortly after their main stage performance at the inaugural Counter Point music festival in Atlanta. After reading on the band’s blog the Channy likes to multi-task during interviews, we challenged her to make a self-portrait during the 10 minute interview, the results of which you can see below. Pretty good, right?!
MU: You guys have developed a unique sound. How would you describe Polica to someone who hasn’t yet heard your music?
Ben and Drew: Bass and Rhythm heavy electronic pop outfit. Female fronted by our vocalist, Channy.
MU: Justin of Bon Iver calls you the best band in the world. You’ve said the same about them. Any collaborations in the works?
Polica: It’s not in the works, but we are all big fans of each other. You want to talk up your community and talk up people you look up to. The camps have worked together a lot of times and even if we haven’t made music together. We have played shows together and we have other projects that overlap. They’re buds.
MU: You are all big Outkast fans. Did you meet Big Boi before or after his set? That would be a killer collaboration!
Polica: No we didn’t. (bummed faces). Unfortunately not. We saw a little bit of the show. He sounded great. Channy: Actually I got lost in the festivities and forgot and missed it unfortunately. I was wrapping myself in tie-die clothes (laughs). I have a horrible habit.
Sorry, I laugh at my own jokes, it’s very distracting.
MU: I love that Polica has multiple drummers. Which are your favorite bands that have had two drummers?
Ben and Drew: Genesis were better at it than all those other classic rock bands, (Allman Bros, Grateful Dead etc). King Crimson. And I also liked Ministry when they had two drummers. Pigface. Thee Oh Sees. Fugazi have done it. They were one of the first in my world to do it. The Boredoms toured through with three drummers. I know for a fact that was a very influential moment for our producer, Ryan Olsen. Since then all his bands have had multiple drummers. I think that was in like 1998/1999.
MU: Ben – Tell us about the Marijuana Death Squad side project?
Ben: It’s a band that I play in with Ryan Olsen. That’s another band that utilizes two drummers. There is a lot of improvisation when we play live. A lot of times we get a bunch of friends together to perform. We actually toured with Polica and all members of Polica have performed with Marijuana Death Squad at one point or another.
Channy: I got two on my hands; My daughter’s name and an xoxo backwards. She’s 3 ½ and back in Minneapolis with family and her Dad. Everyone got a tattoo also that day. Ben: I got a crest tattoo on my chest. Drew – I got the letters TFB which stand for Total Fucking Blood, another band I’ve played with. Chris: Actually, I didn’t get a tattoo!
MU: Channy, one last thing you wrote on your website was that you’ve learned that no one is pure at heart. Why does that matter? Or does it?
Channy: Maybe not necessarily in retrospect to this band, but I think when you are writing songs you are sort of examining people and songwriters are often just people that observe human beings and the human condition and it was just a comment on that. Everyone is capable of doing horrible things and not necessarily being horrible people. I think what matters is that you don’t judge people and that you don’t have expectations for people that you don’t hold yourself.