The last time Texas-based shredders Polyphia came to town, the show sold out the Rebel Lounge. They’ll soon return, again sharing a bill with the headlining band CHON, this time bringing their hyper-catchy instrumental metal to Club Red in Mesa on Saturday, May 26.
It’s sure to be a solid show, even for people who wouldn’t normally think of themselves as progressive-metal fans. Lovers of rap, pop, and EDM can also vibe with Polyphia, since their influences range far outside their own genre. Think Ariana Grande bops meet virtuoso guitar riffs.
Phoenix New Times caught up with bassist Clay Gober via phone to talk about Polyphia’s next album in progress, the band’s love of hip-hop, and more.
New Times: Tell us about the album you’re working on now.
Clay Gober: It’s a lot darker than what I think any of us anticipated that it would be like. It’s very hard in the sense that the drops are super heavy. There are a few happy-go-lucky songs on it, but for the most part it’s a pretty deep record, I think. There are a few sick features on it that we’re all really stoked on, none of which I obviously can talk about now. It’s a pretty expressive record for what we’re all into at this moment in time.
What inspired you to go to that deeper, darker place?
I guess just the music that we’re all into. For myself personally, the new Childish Gambino song is pretty sick. I’ve been really into that. I’ve been listening to this band lately called All Them Witches. They’re a rock ’n’ roll band out of Nashville, like Sabbath meets Foster the People or something. It’s crazy. And some Kendrick Lamar.
Are you going to play any of the new songs on tour?
Yes, we are. We’re going to play one new song. It’s going to be sick. We’re all pretty stoked because the new shit goes hard. It’s a banger for sure.
How many hours a day do you have to practice to get ready for tour?
It depends on if we’re trying to finish recording an album at the same time. I don’t know. Four hours a day will get you ready for a tour, two or three weeks in advance. There’s no manual on how much you gotta practice to be ready, but you do as best you can.
What are you most excited about for this tour?
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The shows are going to be pretty fucking ballin’. We haven’t toured with CHON in two years. It’ll be cool to be back in that zone again. They’re our best bros. We sort of share a fan base, too, so the shows are going to be off the freaking chain. On the first tour we did with them, every show sold out. I’m probably going to shit myself on stage at the first show. Hopefully not, but it’s going to be sick.
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Do you have any tour rituals or traditions?
Not anything conventional that you might expect. The closest thing to a tour ritual that I have is just pissing in bottles. Yeah, because we usually have, like, a 12-passenger van on tour. We’re going to have a bandwagon this time. But I might just pee in bottles anyway.
Oh! Here’s another one. We go to Applebee’s a lot. That’s a thing. Me and Clay, the drummer, will listen to the Eagles a lot on tour. That’s our jam. And just to make sure we don’t get fat and ugly, we like to jump rope. Because it’s a convenient way to stay in shape, kind of, and counteract all the beer. We’ll do some jump rope and listen to the Eagles.
Polyphia are scheduled to perform with CHON on Saturday, May 26 at Club Red in Mesa. Tickets are $20 to $25 at ticketfly.com.