Poliça is not even one year old yet, but has 30k Facebook “Likes,” been named the best band at SXSW of 2012, featured by Rolling Stone Magazine, described as “the best band I’ve ever heard” by Bon Iver, and booked back-to-back shows around the nation for their new-found, yet solid fan base. It has been a good year for the Minneapolis-born group, to say the least.
Poliça is the kind of psychedelic, R&B that energizes emotions. Front-woman, Channy Leaneagh manipulates her voice distorting it to traverse celestial climates stretching throughout each track on the band’s debut album, Give You The Ghost.
Before their show at Los Angeles’ Echo last night, we got the chance to ask the group a few questions we had. Okay, we also played ‘Would You Rather’–so what? Check out the interview below + their new video, “Dark Star.”
TL: Let’s play would you rather: Would you rather perform for a private party of friends or the Hollywood Bowl? Would you rather kiss Eminem or Justin Timberlake? Would you rather tour via bike, bus or train (if time efficiency didn’t matter)?
POLIÇA: I’d rather play the Hollywood Bowl, with a bunch of friends on the bill along with us. Time with friends is better spent not performing for them. I’d totally rather kiss Timberlake. He’s way cuter and has a nicer smile. And while touring by train would obviously be a blast, it would have to be able to stop randomly for in-n-out burgers and jump rope sessions and hikes. -Drew
TL: You have held a separation with a loved one as the motivation for forming Poliça and creating an album in such a short time. Do you encourage others to get heart broken for creative growth? How do you feel you have grown creatively and personally since splitting from your duo?
POLIÇA: People often write about whatever is in front of them. If you see a fallen leaf on the ground and it looks interesting, maybe you’d write about that. Or maybe you want to write some outrageous fantasy filled with abstract moods and textures, painting a picture that doesn’t necessarily maintain literal connections to reality. I think the record probably falls somewhere between these two worlds. If you want grow creatively, be honest with yourself and then let it go. Everything else is chance and circumstance. -Ben
TL:What is your favorite part of performing material that is so close to your heart? How do you stay connected to feelings you may not necessarily identify with anymore?
POLIÇA: What really has been exciting about performing these songs are the ways the songs have changed since we first learned how to perform them. I don’t think I necessarily need to be connected to the feelings in order to be connected to the song. Feelings are feelings. They come and go. -Chris
TL: What moves you about affected vocals? Why did the group decide to use a filter, rather than raw voice?
POLIÇA: I recommend listening to Blue Moon on Elvis Presley’s 1955 Sun Studio recordings. His voice is drenched in slap delay, and he sounds like some lost lonely ghost peering through the ether. The effect achieves something elvis alone could not: a haunting, unearthly quality that greatly influences the mood and atmosphere of the song. We seek to achieve a similar quality with our own vocal effects. – Ben
TL: What major childhood experience(s) encouraged you to dedicate yourself to music, especially that of a nostalgic sensibility and mixing blues, rock, rhythm, and somewhat electro dynamics?
POLIÇA: After years of pleading my parents bought me a guitar when I was 9 or 10. We met this really weird guy at the end of a pier one night, who had a Stratocaster in the trunk of his car. It was way too cheap not to be stolen. That single moment has influenced my life more than I care to think.
TL: Why do you think the progress and success of Poliça and its material–after only being created early this year–has been so rapid?
POLIÇA: The record was actually made last year. Last summer, to be exact. I guess after passing the recordings out to a few folks we were able to immediately start getting to work on touring and actually being a band. Since then we have completed 6 tours in the U.S., and 2 trips to Europe. These tours, along with our participation in both SXSW and CMJ in the last year, has helped us get our music in front of a lot of people in a short amount of time. We’re proud of the work our team has put into getting our music out there, and we like to think we are busting our asses to help make their efforts worth it. -Drew
TL: What can we expect from Poliça within the next year?
POLIÇA: ‘Give you the Ghost’ was reissued on August 14th by our new label Mom and Pop Records. We are currently driving to Vancouver for the first stop of our west coast tour. We’ll be doing a criss-cross tour through the south up the east coast back down south to Texas in late Sept. through mid-Oct.. Then we go back to Europe in November and next March. We’ll probably be playing a hometown show in Dec.. Somewhere in there we’ll try to find some time to work on writing new songs. -Chris