It’s been two years since Sydney metalcore outfit Polaris released their ARIA-nominated, Top 10 debut, The Mortal Coil, which introduced the group to legions of fans around the country and — thanks to an extensive international touring schedule — the world.
“We worked with Ed Reiss on this clip, who’s worked on some of our favourite clips from other Australian bands, and together we developed this concept of a painter who, forever dissatisfied with his work, finds he gets more enjoyment from destroying his own creations than from making them,” says drummer Daniel Furnari.
He adds, “We asked our friend Zac Britt (Dream On, Dreamer, Young Lions) to star in the clip. Not only is he a talented actor and someone that we knew would understand and embody the character, but. he is also a painter himself. Zac actually contributed the vast majority of the paintings seen in the clip and then did a bunch of painting live on set. We filmed this clip after finishing off final vocal dubs that same morning, and then flew straight out to Canada the following day for a tour, wrapping up a very intense period of work for us!”
For the new song, the band returned to the house in the small South Coast town of Mollymook where they made The Mortal Coil, converting it into a temporary studio. The familiar surroundings acted as something of a refuge after the high-pressure situation of touring.
“As it happens, ‘Masochist’ was the first song that we began writing in the album process,” says Furnari, who is one of the band’s main songwriters. “I remember I had the chorus, along with most of the lyrics and chords for the second verse, floating around in my head on one of the first tours we did for the last record, and once we had our first real break off the road, it didn’t take too long for the rest of the guys to help flesh it out into a complete song.”
He continues, “We had a very clear vision from the start of what we wanted to do with this song — something that straddled the line between our more metalcore sound and the emo and pop punk tracks we grew up on, with some new textures in the verses, a big singalong chorus and just enough riffs woven in. We’ve never opened a song in such a stripped back way — with just clean guitar and quietly sung vocals — so we were really proud of how that came together. In rolling with it as the first single, we wanted to introduce people to this record with something a little unexpected from us.”
Funari offers insight into the song’s meaning, saying, “This song asks the question, ‘Am I to blame for my own negative state of mind? Is this habit of constantly revisiting depressive thought patterns something I do to myself because some sick, destructive part of me almost likes it, or feels more comfortable living in that place, and will I spend spend the rest of my life there and drive away the people I care about it because of it?’ It’s a heavy question to hit yourself with. But it’s one that I feel like a lot of us have asked when we’re battling through difficult times. This song is an honest representation of points in time when I’ve felt that way. And the truth is of course, no, you’re not to blame for your mental health. It’s so complicated and being angry at yourself for the way that you feel leads nowhere, but sometimes turning the mirror on yourself like that is the only way to start becoming an active participant in your own well-being.”
In the two years since The Mortal Coil, Polaris have embarked on three sold-out headlining tours of Australia, as well as supporting Architects and Parkway Drive around the country; five runs throughout Europe (including a series of arena shows supporting Architects and a slew of high-profile summer festival spots); three separate U.S. tours; not to mention performing at the Download Festival in Australia.