Sheffield’s Polkadodge are an “explosive energetic indie pop band with big sounds”. The foursome recently announced that their latest single Laughing In Spanish has received around 5, 000 views within the month the track as been posted. Wanting to know more about the single and upcoming releases, we spoke with Polkadodge bassist Tom Fletcher to discuss Spinal Tap, recording, trading places with Alex Turner, and trendy hierarchy.
AMBY: Hello Polkadodge, welcome to AMBY. Please introduce yourselves to our readers.
Polkadodge: Hello AMBY! We’re Polkadodge, an uptempo, indie pop/rock band from the steel city with a penchant for big choruses, takeaways, and winding up our double denim sporting manager. Unfortunately you drew the short straw this time and are talking to the bass player – the singer is currently busy doing his hair.
AMBY: How would you describe each member of the band in one word?
Polkadodge: John (vocals, guitar): Diva, Martin (lead guitar): Neanderthal, Tom (bass, backing vocals): Evil-dictator, Paul (drummer): Mardy-arse
AMBY: What’s the story behind your latest single Laughing In Spanish?
Polkadodge: It’s a stylistic but thoroughly honest depiction of Sheffield night-life through the eyes of a social recluse – someone who’s just not quite with it and feels alienated by modern party culture. And, of course, the recluse finds the girl of his dreams only to be rejected for someone much higher up the “trendy hierarchy”. We’ve all been there! I say this… but John wrote the lyrics; this is just my interpretation of the song. He might have written it about Quavers.
AMBY: As far as songwriting goes on the single, what or who were your influences?
Polkadodge: Hmm… Well, to start with, citing influences suggests we were actively trying to sound like said bands, which wasn’t really the case. But I guess Martin’s guitar work has a definite U2 vibe to it. Melodically, John definitely wanted a very big but equally catchy hook, so I guess similar instyle to The Killers, Springsteen, The 1975 and, dare I say it, U2… As for the rhythm section… nah, you aren’t really interested in us are you? Moving on…
AMBY: What’s next as far as recording goes?
Polkadodge: We’re in a fortunate position where we’re sitting on two more very strong sounding tracks which we plan to release in the near future, so there’s no studio time scheduled currently. Saying that, we debuted some new songs at our headline gig at Plug earlier this month, and they went down a treat! Recording is always exciting. As a member of the band, you rarely get to hear what the audience hears; there’s always a kind of special moment in the studio when you hear a new track mastered for the first time. It brings the song to life.
AMBY: What’s the funniest thing to happen to Polkadodge at a gig?
Polkadodge: Where do I start? Well, my bass amp once blew up mid-song, forcing me off stage where I watched the remainder of the song from the audience (with John humming the bassline). The funniest moment we ever had on stage, though, was in a previous band I was in with John and Martin. John went through a phase of playing keyboard whilst singing. During the middle eight of a fantastically bad cover of “When You Were Young” by The Killers, John accidentally turned on auto-accompaniment on his keyboard… A pre-recorded, completely synthetic drum beat blared out of the PA for about a minute. We made Spinal Tap look like a well-oiled machine back then!
AMBY: If you could trade places with another artist in the music industry for one day, who would it be?
Polkadodge: I wouldn’t swap these three fellas for even a day in Alex Turner’s shoes. I bet they’re recruiting a new bass player as I write this…
AMBY: Which Polkadodge lyric is your favourite?
Polkadodge: “Just think where you might be if you took your head out of the clouds” – Closer
John will be disappointed as he spends hours thinking up lyrics, but my favourite is probably his most simple, and one I think everyperson in an unsigned band (or any person for that matter) with ambition, dreams and a healthy ego can relate to.
AMBY: What has you most excited for the rest of 2014?
Polkadodge: You can’t be in a Sheffield band and not love Tramlines. We’re also chuffed to be on the Mosborough Music Festival bill alongside the Twang and Lucy Spraggan this year. And, of course, our next video!
AMBY: Lastly, what’s something about Polkadodge that nobody knows yet?
Polkadodge: None of us are actually Owls fans (or even Blades for that matter). You might as well hear it from us, eh?
Thank you Polkadodge, for giving us your answers!
Alicia Atout | @AliciaAtout