What got you into music, and if you had not gotten into music what would you be doing today?
A: I’ve always loved singing and music. When I was a young girl, I was in honour choirs, got into musical theater and then fell in love with 90’s rock which propelled me into writing my own music. If I weren’t creating music, I would be creating visual art, which I do now or I would choose working with animals in some capacity.
What do you like to do when you are not playing music and how does that influence your creativity?
A: We’re all generally creative people so outside of music we all have our hobbies. Jasmine creates amazing artwork; I’ll provide the link below if you so wish to browse. Michael is a martial artist and trains in a few different schools such as Goju Ryu and Tai Chi. Julian creates blown glass artwork in his free time. Deren is a performing wrestler who wrestlers across Ontario and Sheldon builds guitars and has the most extensive Lego collection ever.
How long has your band been around?
A: Polarity has been around since 2008, we released our first album in 2009 toured around Canada, recorded an EP in 2011 and then embarked on our largest album to date, Action Potential in 2016, released our ‘Trilateral’ EP in 2018 and are now releasing our latest originals Live off the Floor at Jukasa Studio.
Where are you based out of and how did that influence your music?
A: We are based out of Southern Ontario, Canada. I think because Canada is such a diverse country, it influenced all of personal tastes in music very differently as we all have such different musical tastes
How did you come up with the name of your band and what does it mean to you?
A: It was a word Jasmine brought to the table and was a word and concept that had been swirling around her ether for quite a while before she found Mike Sitana who was the original other first member she connected with. It not only represents one of life’s greatest truths, there is POLARITY in everything, light, dark, positive, negative, good and evil, it also represents our music and how we blend heavy and ethereal. A lot of Jasmine’s lyrics also play into the concept of various Polarities we humans have to navigate… so you’ll find a lot of POLARITY in our music as well…wink wink, nudge, nudge.
Tell me about your most memorable shows.
A: We used to play a show called “Barn Burner’ where a huge field was opened up for a weekend party and a massive stage was set up. We always loved playing those shows because they were just great outdoor shows where everyone was in it to party and have a great time. I’m fond of some of the shows on tours where we played totally random venues that are so unique and meet incredible people we never would have gotten the chance to had we not been in this band. I love that music truly brings people together and it’s usually the people at the shows and the energy they bring that make it most memorable.
What is your favorite venue to play at, and do you have any places you want to play that you have not already?
A: Our home away from home when it comes to venues here probably would have to be Lee’s Palace it’s where we play the most often as it’s got an incredible sound system and the staff loves us so we’re lucky.
If you could play any show with any lineup, who would be on the ticket?
A: It would definitely be a mixed bag of a show, and we mean very mixed. The lineup outside of ourselves would probably consist of Tool, & Deftones, some of Jasmine’s favorites. Eluveitie & Aurora, two of Deren’s favorites and then there’s Protest the Hero, one of Sheldon’s favorites, Periphery, one of Sitana’s favorite and to round it all out Ghost, one of Julian’s top bands. So, it would be a festival realistically.
What is some advice that you would give to someone who is just getting into playing in a band and some advice that you would give to your younger self?
A: Advice we would give to other bands are nothing is make or break, everything is one step at a time and to always focus on creating the best music you possibly can, and be able to play it live very well on a dime if anyone gives you the opportunity. Advice I would give to my younger self would be to not be so hard on myself in the beginning and not focus so much on the perceived ‘numbers’ the band as on our social channels, just work hard and let things grow organically as they will.
If you could go back in time and give yourselves advice, what would it be?
A: Don’t stress about Math class, not doing well in one subject in school doesn’t condemn you to a life of failure! Haha, focus on your strengths and allow those to flourish and build.
Of your songs which one means the most to you and why?
A: That’s a really hard question because they all mean something. I can’t write nonsensical lyrics and thus each song has its own message and its own teaching. I hope our listeners have favorites, but I think I’m too close to each song to pick a favorite…it would kind of be like asking a parent which kid is their favorite.
Which songs are your favorite to play and which get requested the most?
A: Similar answer to the above, I know a few of our members have their favourites. Deren for example loves playing Seraph and Keys of Valour. As for most requested, we would probably have to say The Fight or Tug of War.
What is the creative process for the band, and what inspires you to write your music?
A: We all write the music which is a creative process in and of itself because each song is different. Oftentimes Mike Sitana will come up with some riffs or ideas he’s been working on or Jasmine will come to the band with a concept she envisions for the band like our song Rotator which is a palindrome. Sheldon is an excellent improviser and can come up with great guitar parts in the moment as well as awesome suggestions to make the parts perhaps a bit more unusual. Deren is great at rhythm suggestions as well, so he’ll often pick up on some great ideas and make sure the band gets them for the appropriate parts.
What kinds of messages do you like to get across in your music?
A: Messages of hope for the greater evolution of humanity essentially. I write a lot about going through the darkness to find your greatest light, and the fact that the human experience is meant to be filled with textured emotions and experiences because that’s how we learn and evolve. I write a lot about our own personal autonomy and our ability to exert our own free will in our lives so we can become our best selves. I write about observations on society and what we’re being fed and how it affects the collective. Our music is meant to awaken all of us to our greatest human potential.
Do you ever have disagreements in your band, and how do you get past them?
A: Underground fight pit style…but in all seriousness we do have disagreements when it comes to writing music, but realistically what band doesn’t? We can’t always get what we want, especially since being in a band is a collaborative effort. However, nobody's voice is ever nullified, if we can’t get an idea or a riff to work in one song, pocket it, we can build a whole new tune using it.
What are your plans for the future, and do you have anything that you want to spotlight that is coming up?
A: We just released our first Live Off the Floor at Jukasa Studios single this past Friday, Destruction of Memory can be listened to on all streaming platforms and has a nifty little studio video on YouTube as well. We’ll be releasing 2 more singles in a similar fashion over the next two months and after that we’ll likely be getting hard to work on the next studio album. So, between writing, touring this summer and these releases, there’s lots of exciting things on the horizon for Polarity and for our fans.