Poly-Math : Interview

Brighton based Math/Prog rock band Poly-math are due to release their latest album “House of Wisdom | We Are The Devil” on 20th April through Lonely Voyage Records, we caught up with them ahead of the release to find out some more about the album and their plans for the rest of 2018

Your new album “House of Wisdom | We Are The Devil” is due for release via Lonely Voyage Records on the 20th April, what can fans expect from it?

Well it’s definitely longer than anything we’ve released before, haha. The album in general is way more of a Prog record than anything we’ve released before, we’ve included a lot of organ and additional percussion on the record, and we’re far less afraid to stray off into lengthy rambling sections than we ever have been before. We’re really proud of the record, and we hope everyone enjoys this change in direction for Poly-Math. 

Was there a particular reason for releasing a double album?

It just seemed like a very Prog thing to do… also a lot of our tracks are over 10 minutes and it would have been tricky to put out a single album without either benching a few tracks or shortening them. 

This is the third release you’ve produced with Lee MacMahon, how did that all come about and how do you find working with him now he’s pretty much your unofficial fourth member?

I mean, Lee hates us as much if not more than we hate each other. Working together is a painful chore that we endure only due to some misplaced self hatred. The good thing about Lee is he finds our dynamics. If we write soft section he will make us play it softer and more delicately, and if we write something heavy he’ll make Tim add 40 guitar tracks through a bass amp and a line of drive pedals longer than an arm. He makes our rambling obsession with copying King Crimson into something hopefully listenable. 

What was the concept behind “House of Wisdom | We Are The Devil” ?

Everything we’ve released so far have been concept records, and this one is no different. HOW | WATD is inspired largely by the destruction of the House of Wisdom in Baghdad in 1258 during the Mongolian invasion. We’ve also included lengthy spoken passages that include fragments of the story of the invasion. We know it’s tricky view something as a concept piece when it’s solely instrumental, but we tried to consider the mood of each track in the progression of the story of what happened in Baghdad in 1258. We were initially inspired by the concept of the House’s destruction, where it is described that as the Mongolian army burnt the House of Wisdom and threw the manuscripts into the river Tigris, that the river ran ‘black with the ink of scholars’. The imagery of that ended up defining both our music and artwork for the record.

You’re back at ArcTanGent this year, what have you got planned for this year? More bananas and confetti cannons? 

ArcTangent will be its usual brilliant self. We’re really excited to be back there again on the Friday this year. Regarding our show for ATG…we will of course be bringing back something elaborate to our set, it’ll be bigger than inflatable bananas and better than cannons, but we might keep this one to ourselves until our set….especially as we’re still waiting for the insurance and risk assessment to come in 😉

You’ve just announced a few tour dates to promote the album too, can we expect more live dates later in the year too? 

We’ll definitely be touring more towards the end of the year, but we are probably the oldest band in Math Rock these days, so we’ll have to take it slowly, and make sure there are plenty of breaks in between. 

How have you guys found touring mainland Europe? Any plans to get back over there with the album?

100% we’ll be back in Europe. Playing Europe is always awesome. We’ve had some of our best shows and tours out there over the last 5 years that we’ve been a band, we wouldn’t ever not tour there. Mainland Europe is full of such wonderful little venues tucked away under bars, on boats, and in places you wouldn’t expect to find. It’s an amazing place.

and finally….. 

you’re all well aware of the mysterious Boe Banton by now, have you figured out who’s behind it yet or is it all just a clever gimmick to promote the new album? 

No, and we don’t think anyone ever will…. he is a mystery, an enigma, a master of disguise and misdirection. He will evade discovery potentially for all time. 

PRE-ORDER  House of Wisdom | We Are The Devil – https://wearepolymath.bandcamp.com/album/house-of-wisdom-we-are-the-devil