Exclusive interview with Polar Lights

Polar Lights are a five piece rock band from Dimapur, Nagaland. Formed in 2013, they are innovators who love experimenting with different sounds but they’re still seeking for their one original tune that will satisfy them as musicians.

It was said that, “The band’s debut single A Murder Machine made waves across Nagaland and beyond, which played a fiery pivotal role in transforming the entire music scene overnight.” and I stand by this quote without a doubt.

Since their inception they have five singles to their name, these include; A beautiful escape, Into the light, A murder machine, Parade and Bleed out loud. 

This coming from a layman’s perspective I do consider them to be one of the bands worth listening to! And I really do believe that Polar lights has a very unique sound which I think is termed as being original. Music from the Northeast has always been underrated but when one takes a listen, they’d be surprised on how much calibre our musicians can deliver. The whole vibe that Polar Lights brings forth is a repertoire of talent and I do hope to see them make their way up and open the door for upcoming bands.

Polar Lights are:

Mar Jamir on vocals

Temjen Jamir on guitar

Lanutoshi on bass

Arennungsang Jamir on guitar

Kilen Aier on drums

 

Here is an exclusive with Polar Lights by Mebanaibor Nengnong

TNT. Greetings from TNT. May I have your introduction?

PL: – Hello TNT. We are Polar Lights from a tiny little city in Nagaland called Dimapur.

TNT. Take me back to the journey on how the band was formed

PL: – All of this started in 2013. We’ve always been avid music enthusiasts. So when the opportunity arose for all of us to get together and write music, we gave it a go and 3 years later we’re still here, writing music and doing what we love. Maybe a couple of bumps along the way but it is still the best job in the world.

We’ve had a couple of lineup changes since our inception but everything worked out for the best.

TNT. I have to ask you, why Polar lights as a band name? Does it reflect the band member’s character? Who came up with the name?

PL: We’ve been asked this question a lot and we wish we had a super cool story to tell you and be all mystical about it, but unfortunately the name Polar Lights. That’s pretty much all there is to it.

We listed out a couple of names we wanted to call ourselves and Polar Lights was one of them. We took a vote and Polar Lights won!

So yeah, we hope that solves the mystery behind why we call ourselves Polar Lights

TNT. Who has influenced you the most?

PL: I think I speak for everybody in the band when I say bands from 60’s, say for instance bands like Led Zeppelin and The Who are why we picked up our instruments and started writing songs in the first place.

TNT. How would you consider your music genre? How and who have had a huge impact on the type of music you play?

PL: – We’ve been called an Indie Rock band, an Alternative Rock band and many other alternative sub genres and we’re totally cool with that.

But we’d love to consider our genre as just Music. When we sit down and write a tune, we don’t go about worrying about what type of genre we’d fit into. We usually have an idea of what the song should sound and feel like and the rest is up-to our fans to decide.

And just like the previous question, bands like Zeppelin and The Who are some of the people we look up to. They epitomize everything we want to accomplish as musicians.

TNT. Does the band have any ideology? If yes, does it influence you lyrically?

PL: – Everyone does, don’t they?  Everybody will have they own sets of beliefs and opinions on how they see the world and everything around them. So yeah, we do have our own ideology, not just as a band but as individuals and I think it’s evident in the songs we write.

TNT. The lack of sponsors and support from the government for the music scene here has an effect on all bands and musicians/artistes, what are your thoughts on this?

PL: – Do we really need them though? In this age of technology and social networking frenzy, everybody is at liberty to record their own songs on their computers and laptops. They can also promote themselves by putting them up online.

Do we think the government is doing a great job in promoting upcoming talent? Of course not! Should we be bitter about them not dragging their politics into our art? We should be glad in-fact.

TNT. I’ve listened to your singles, they’re really good. Help me through the song process of Into the Light, there’s a part that captivated me the most ‘Looking pass these walls of traditions’ what are you really trying to convey through this particular song?

PL: – The inspiration behind the line was the idea of not having our dreams manifest itself into reality. Because we are all born into a society where it’s okay to be doctor (not taking anything away from doctors) but not okay to have a career in music.

It’s really sad but that’s the utter truth. So, the line signifies us looking past tradition and moving forward

TNT. Who writes the lyrics for Polar Lights?

PL: – Our front-man Mar Jamir writes the lyrics to the songs in our band.

TNT. As a song-writer, where do you derive your inspiration from?

PL: – A good book, a great movie, a beautiful song or maybe even a beautiful scenery. We like to draw inspiration through observation.

TNT. How hard is it to create original songs?

PL: – Very hard. It takes years of experience and countless hours of just experimenting with songs you have written down. To find a sound we can call our own, we’re constantly working on it. We haven’t figured out the perfect sound quite yet but we’re getting there.

TNT. Improvising and composing can be difficult, I suppose. How do you balance the two?

PL: – That’s a very good question. I think none of us have the answer to that. Improvising a song and composing a song are two very different things yet they go hand in hand. Both would mean trying to come with a fresh and new idea, whether it’s on a song you love or on a song you’ve been writing. So how do we balance them? Tons of practice maybe.

TNT. Shows you’ve played at?

PL: – We’ve been lucky enough to have performed with some of the finest acts in country. From the Ziro Festival of Music to NH7 Weekender. Hopefully we’ll get to do more of them this year. 

TNT. What’s in store for you guys this year? Any big events coming up?
PL: – We have our EP coming out very soon after which we’ll plan out our tour to support the EP. Plus tons of music videos, more music and many more exciting stuff to come.

TNT. When did you guys really decide to take up music as a career? How hard has it been?

PL: I don’t think any of us had a particular defining moment where we suddenly decided to take up music as a career because we’ve been writing and playing music for so long, it’s all we remember doing.

Everything we know about our world, we would hear about them in the music we grew up listening to. So, not taking up music was never really an option.

Every day is a struggle and then there are questions of doubt but that’s the risk we’re all willing to take.

TNT. Any plans on releasing an EP/Album any time soon?

PL: – We’re currently in the studio working on our EP. We’ve had a couple of delays with the release date but we plan to put it out hopefully before the summer.

Thank you for your time. We wish you the best and keep making good music!

PL: Thank you for the support!

(by Mebanaibor Nengnong)

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