New Yorker's Polar Bear Club are on the verge on something great. With two class albums full of honest punk rock under their belts and their forthcoming third album "Clash Battle Guilt Pride" promising to be perhaps their best yet it's very exciting times in the PBC camp. Following their impressive showing on the Sunday of this year's Hevy Fest we caught up with frontman Jimmy Stadt to learn more about the new record including an insight into its recording process, how the year has been for the band and what the future entails. The chat was lengthy and insightful and gives an interesting picture of what the band's recent history has been like.

R13: Having heard 'Killin' It' and 'Screams In Caves' from 'Clash Battle Guilt Pride', their sound is very uplifting and anthemic but also eclectic with a lot going on, does the record follow in the same vein?
JS: Definitely, I think we've always been a band that has all these different influences, we decide on the songs together and everyone brings a little piece of themselves to the table. Although you may not be able to tell, I can tell a lead that Chris (Browne, guitar) is playing a mile away, stuff like that, we start to build the song up with little bits of ourselves and it becomes this sort of dynamic where we've all decided together on a universal canvas I guess. But yeah there's a lot of rocky songs on the record but also some weirder ones but generally people I've played it for have said just that, that it's very anthemic. We really just focused on telling a good clear story within the songs and everything else was just kind of a by-product of a natural organic thing and I'm proud that we were able to do that in the way we did on this record.

R13:You worked with producer Brian McTernan (Thrice, We Are The Ocean) on the album, how was that?
JS: It was great, of all of the skills that a producer and engineer should have I think he understands songwriting the most, it's his top trade. So the bulk of the work was pre-production, we talked about the songs for two weeks, playing them, recording demo versions, tweaking them here and there, which is something we've never done before, he had such a songwriter's mind so it was great to have that in the mix. It was also great to have this captain of the ship, we're a very democratic band when it comes to writing and deciding things so it was really nice to have one person we could all be like 'well, what do you think?' to so then we could be like 'that's what we're going to do'.

R13:In terms of tracks we've heard there's a song with a funky chorus, is that true?
JS: That's 'Life Between The Lines', yeah Brian said it was kind of Michael Jackson-y, I don't really hear that personally but it just sort of happened. We had this riff and I was really set on not putting a stock melody over it and then this melody just came out that was a little funky I guess, it's not weird funky, you're not going to hear it and be like 'what the fuck are Polar Bear Club doing?' (laughs), but it's one of my favourite choruses on the record, I like it a lot.

R13:We've heard a lot of good things about the final track on the record as well, could you tell us about that?
JS: That's another really different song, it came about in a way that we never really write songs, it was very jam-orientated, we went into pre-production with it and it wasn't really working so we started over and began to build off the vocal melodies and then just got it up in a room. The bridge of the song honestly was written in one track, I don't mean to say that like we're amazing geniuses, I just mean it came about very organically and we've never done that before, we've never written a song so instinctually, Chris, Nate (Morris, guitarist) and I will come to practice with these different songs and parts and we'll sort of bang them around together until we're happy but that last track was just 'what do we feel' and sonically it harkens back to bands like Sunny Day Real Estate and Elliot. Mainly the lyrics I write are in the same style but about different things but that song was the first time that I've experimented with a narrative story and characters so the verses are about different characters and the chorus ties them all together. I'm really proud of it, it's one of my favourites on the record.

R13:The previous two albums are equally quite eclectic affairs, you've got the more mosh-pit ready songs and then the more songwriter based slower songs like one of our favourites 'Convinced I'm Wrong' from the first album, are there any songs on the new album in a similar vein to that?
JS: I think the last song is the most different song on the album and I think 'Convinced I'm Wrong' on that record (2008's 'Sometimes Things Just Disappear') was the same case. Another really different song on the record is the opener 'Pawner', it's primarily guitar and vocals only and then builds into a song. It's a very weird song for the record and we only decided at the last minute to make it track one, we just really felt it, it shows a different side to our band and it's a good song to us. I think people who haven't heard Polar Bear Club before will find it weird and that's fine but people who know us will think it's cool, I don't care so much either way though I just wanted to put it forward, we all did, it's one of the weirder songs on the album and I like it a lot.

R13: You mentioned Sunny Day Real Estate and Elliot, were you very influenced by such early emo bands?
JS: I love those bands, Jimmy Eat World, Embrace, bands like that and if you had to peg us it would that style but I like all kinds of music, we all do in the band and the beauty about working with Brian is that he's the same way. I mean there are certain hip-hop artists who I love more than any of that stuff but that's also the stuff that really hits me and I really relate to I guess.

R13:You've also got a new drummer in the fold, how's that working out?
JS: It's going really well, we haven't played with him much yet though. He started filling in for us when our old drummer left, we did a whole tour with him that was a shorter set and a little unpractised but he did amazingly. We've actually got a different guy on this stretch as our new drummer had a project to finish that he was already committed to so he starts again with us in the Fall. I love his style of playing, it's hard-hitting and energetic and I think it'll be really cool to see what he brings to the table.

R13:As a respected lyricist what are your main personal sources of inspiration?
JS: Simply put it's anything from a conversation that I'm having with someone or little perfect moments within the day that really make things crystal clear for you, a lot of movies and plays as well, I mean I just really respond to stories I think. I don't mean directly so much but movies are my first love for example and there are scenes in movies when you're just like 'oh my god!' (laughs) and its moments like that that just make me want to go and write a good song. So movies, books, plays, relationships, just life in general I guess, all that stuff. My favourite playwright is Eugene O'Neill and I love Shakespeare as well, just good stories, small stories too about families for example, its things like that that really get me.

R13: Have you seen 'Magnolia'?
JS: Yeah that's a great film, in fact Phillip Seymour Hoffman went to the same high school as me in a suburb of Rochester, New York called Fairport, I did theatre in both high school and college and my teacher was actually his teacher. I met him once, he's one of the best actors ever and the fact that he's from my town blows my mind. He's really great in everything he does, I couldn't tell you my favourite role of his because he's always so great, a really solid awesome actor.

R13:Talking about the day now, how was your Hevy Fest performance>
JS: It was awesome, we played last year which was also awesome but this year we were on a nice big stage with room to run around on, the crowd was great, it was a really nice way to end the tour. We fly home tomorrow, have some time off and then start the headline tour in the US when the record comes out. We're also really looking forward to touring the UK with Rise Against and Tom Morello's The Nightwatchman, I can't wait to see that. It's going to be a cool tour.

R13: To finish off, what do you hope for the record once it's out?
JS: Well we just want to keep moving forward, to get a little better every time and hope that people hear this record and like it (laughs) but honestly in the grand scheme of things I don't really care, I had a great time making this record and I'm really glad with how it came out and I can honestly say that if no-one liked it I could rest easy with that and that's something I've never been able to say to myself. I mean on previous records it's never informed the songwriting or the choices but when it's all said and done there's always been an element of 'I hope people like it' but that's not really there this time around. I hope people will listen to it and internalise and read the lyrics and think about them, that's my hope.

A massive thanks to Jimmy for such an insightful chat and we're certain that he doesn't need to even think about no-one liking the new record with reports coming in from all over stating indeed just how good it is. Make sure to read our review of the band's brilliant performance at Hevy Fest and get your tickets for the Rise Against tour in November. 'Clash Battle Guilt Pride' is due out on the 12th September so stay tuned to Room Thirteen for a full review in the coming weeks.