JON POLD SYN­ERGY

Prog - - INTRO -

Two parts melody and one part mu­si­cian­ship from Dan­ish bassist and vo­cal­ist.

THANKS, MARK KING. If it wasn’t for the prog-cer­ti­fied Level 42 bassist, there may never been a Jon Pold Syn­ergy.

Jon Pold, the brains be­hind the Dan­ish prog rock­ers, was en­cour­aged to ditch an up­bring­ing of clas­si­cal pi­ano and youth choirs and pick up a four-string in­stead af­ter see­ing slap-happy King per­form live as a teenager.

“Watch­ing him play­ing those songs, some­thing just clicked,” Pold re­flects. “I locked my­self in my bed­room for two years and re­hearsed for eight hours a day.”

Pold has be­come an ac­com­plished bassist and vo­cal­ist him­self since his epiphany as a 16-year-old, and af­ter work­ing as a hired gun he launched his Syn­ergy pro­ject with a self-ti­tled EP in 2017.

Cit­ing for­ward-think­ing in­flu­ences from Peter Gabriel to Re­turn To For­ever, the mel­liflu­ent Jon Pold Syn­ergy have one foot firmly planted in decades gone by – there’s a prom­i­nent 80s gloss – but nods to con­tem­po­rary prog­gers like Steven Wil­son tug the band back into the 21st cen­tury.

Their de­but al­bum On was re­leased in April and is less slap-bass and more key-driven prog than the EP, al­though a groove still sim­mers un­der the sur­face.

“I don’t want to make mu­sic dif­fi­cult just for the sake of be­ing dif­fi­cult, be­cause if you can make a dif­fi­cult pat­tern seem dance­able and groovy at the same time, then I feel like I’ve got some­thing in­ter­est­ing go­ing,” Pold says.

He read­ily ad­mits he is a per­fec­tion­ist, from the song­writ­ing through the pro­duc­tion. He is hands-on, but you feel he would not want it any other way.

“The open­ing track of the new record, The Wheel, is the re­sult of me sit­ting down at 10 o’clock in the evening and fin­ish­ing it at six the next morn­ing,” Pold says. “I can use 10 hours tweak­ing an EQ on a spe­cific in­stru­ment or lis­ten­ing to spe­cific re­verbs. At some time you just need to say, ‘Okay, is there is any­one else other than me that ac­tu­ally will no­tice the dif­fer­ence?’”

Pold’s buzzing mu­si­cal brain, mean­while, is eye­ing up a sec­ond stu­dio al­bum, with new tracks al­ready ear­marked for the record.

Some of the mu­sic, he says, will be “harder sound­ing, more a lit­tle bit metal in­spired”.

“But I’m still not gonna sing like a metal voice,” Pold smiles. “My vo­cal in­spi­ra­tion could be any­thing from The Beatles to Adrian Belew to Peter Gabriel. I will never be a growler or metal singer.”

The mu­sic be­hind Jon Pold Syn­ergy looks set to progress and ex­pand, but the mu­si­cian’s goal, how­ever, re­mains res­o­lute – to cre­ate ac­ces­si­ble songs with an ex­per­i­men­tal edge.

“The de­tails in the ar­range­ments makes all the dif­fer­ence,” Pold ex­plains, us­ing the peppy ti­tle track on Steven Wil­son’s Hand. Can­not. Erase. as an ex­am­ple.

“That’s when it’s not just a pop song, it’s got way more depth,” Pold ex­plains. “That’s some­thing to strive for, and I try to do the same. Hope­fully I’ll con­tinue to de­velop and get even closer to that recipe and that skill level. That’s my end game.” CC

JON POLD SYN­ERGY: LEV­EL­LING UP. “I DON’T WANT TO MAKE MU­SIC DIF­FI­CULT JUST FOR THE SAKE OF BE­ING DIF­FI­CULT.”

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