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In an interview with Jimmy Stadt, vocalist in the post-hardcore Polar Bear Club, I am shocked to find him such a mild mannered and charming individual; a sharp contrast to the image the band emanates. During our talk at Pomona Warped Tour, he reveals the origin of the New York five piece’s nomenclature, his affinity for warm climates, and the progress of their upcoming album.
Jimmy, where does that wild name come from?
We got the name from a song we all liked by Silent Majority, a melodic punk band from Long Island. Obviously, there is a Polar Bear Club that is an actual thing as well. We also liked that it was kind of ambiguous. You can’t tell what type of band it was by looking at the name, which is something we could grow into.
What is the actual Polar Bear Club?
Have you seen the episode of Seinfeld where Kramer joins the Polar Bear Club?
I have, but let’s pretend that I haven’t.
They [Polar Bear Clubs] are all over the world, but the main one is in Coney Island, where people in the winter months go to the beach and jump in the freezing water and then have a BBQ on the fucking snowy ass beach. We’ve never done it, but it’s a cool society of weird people who like hurting themselves with freezing water.
I wish there was something like that here at the triple digit heat of Warped Tour.
I think that would defeat the purpose of their motto, but that would be fucking awesome to have right now.
Tell me about your road to the Warped Tour. How did you first jump on board?
We did half a Warped into 2010 because we weren’t sure what to expect, but by the end of that we wished we did the whole thing. So we are doing that this year. I like Warped because it is very different than a normal tour. On a normal tour there is a lot of sitting in a car, unloading the truck, waiting to play, yadda yadda yadda… at Warped Tour there is always something to do. In my mind, I like that a lot. It’s healthier for me.
What is your favorite activity to occupy yourself with at Warped?
I love doing interviews, but I love being able to play and then doing signings. That’s really fun because we meet a lot of kids who have never seen us before and just want to say, “Hi” and appreciate what we do.
Have you met any crazy fans?
I don’t have any good stories, but I’ve definitely talked to people where you look in their eyes and you can tell something is just not right with them. No one has ever given me a piece of their hair or anything.
What are your post-Warped plans?
After Warped we will be on a Europe tour, and then we start writing a new album. I’m taking a lot of time off to do that and we’re just stoked to be at home writing.
What is the best climate to write for the Polar Bear Club?
Summer time, man! We do write a lot in the winter because we usually don’t tour in the winter. Touring in the fucking north east in the winter is not something we like to do anymore just safety-wise and comfort-wise, so we write a lot in the winter which may be the underlining depression of all of our records.
Do you have anything written yet?
We have one song done and a ton of ideas.
Play it today.
Play it today? Man, I wish we could. It’s not ready. Plus, the sets at Warped Tour are like half an hour, so we want to play all of our strong songs. we have three albums as it is so it’s hard to pick stuff to play as it is.
What is the process of narrowing your set list down?
It’s really fucking hard. For Warped, we just try to bang. Some banger, crowd happy songs. Some of our more down songs juts don’t work at an outdoor festival. We also just try to play stuff we like and we know kids will like.
Anything else you want to say to your fans out there?
We covered it, man! Just come fucking say “Hi” to us on Warped tour.