By Zach Collier
Polytype was making huge strides. After the release of their debut album Basic//Complex in 2013, they found themselves at SXSW a year later, playing an official showcase and two high-profile day parties at one of the largest music festivals in the world.  BYU’s Daily Universe even went so far as to credit Polytype as the reason why Provo has diverse musical genres at all.  “I think that might be a bit of an overstatement. I don’t think we were the reason for much of anything,” Polytype’s Mason Porter told Reach Provo with a laugh.
But after the departure of guitarist Scott Haslam and guitarist/synth player Jason Gibby, lead singer Mason Porter and bassist Jared Price were left to figure out what to do with the project. They continued to play shows with Fictionist’s drummer Aaron Anderson filling in on drums and TJ Nokleby of Parlor Hawk taking over guitar duties, but it wasn’t the same. “The sound and feel of the band had changed so much from what it originally was,” says Porter. Eventually, Porter and Price decided to end Polytype and move on.
Porter has been busy since then. He’s worked on some other projects with Price since the split, and he’s also started a new band with Nokleby and Asher Seevinck. Haarlem, as they are now called, has seemingly been inactive since August of 2015. But behind the scenes they’re in the mixing stages of their first batch of songs as a new band. The songs are currently being mixed by Dave Wilton.
“It’s been a long time coming,” says Porter. “We are talking about how and when to release that music. We kind of stopped playing shows to finish that up, but you can expect Haarlem to start playing shows again very soon.” The other bandmates have moved on as well. Jason Gibby finished up his classes and graduated from school, and Scott Haslam has “like 16 kids now,” according to Porter.
Polytype’s end was a peaceful one, albeit premature. From the outside it’s easy to label them a success, but Porter sometimes wonders how meaningful the Polytype experience was for anyone outside of the band. “I don’t know how much of a mark we made, really. I see someone wearing a Polytype shirt every now and again, so I guess we clothed a few people? Honestly, though, I hope Polytype’s music made a positive impact in some people’s lives, even if that was just to help them escape for a bit.”
The truth however, is that people definitely noticed Polytype. That’s why tonight Polytype is reuniting once more for a one-off performance at Velour Live Music Gallery as part of its 10th anniversary celebration. “We never had any intentions of playing another show until Corey [Corey Fox, owner of Velour] invited us to be a part of the 10-year anniversary show,” says Porter. “To be able to play with The Moth & The Flame and Sego is a great way to go out, in my book.”
Concerning Velour’s influence on his music career, Porter said, “Velour has been a part of my life since it opened. Corey reached out to me when I was a 15-year old kid who barely knew how to play guitar – I’m still not good. He gave me a CD by this band Palomino (true Provo music fans know what I’m screaming) and it changed my life. I didn’t realize local music could be so great. Since then I have played on Velour’s stage more times than I can count. It’s such a huge part of who I am and I’m really honored to be a part of the celebrations. I can’t wait for the next 10 years […] I hope to see more artists making the jump to national audiences and being proud to rep Provo on a grander stage. You’ve gotta stay loyal to your soil.”
All three of the bands performing tonight are Rooftop Concert Series alumni, and all three incorporate elements of electronic music. Sego sits a little more on the rhythmic, dance-y side, whereas The Moth & The Flame relies more on ambience, space, and harmony. Polytype lies somewhere in the middle of the two. Polytype fans will enjoy the interlude pieces the band has added between their songs as well as some of the interesting ways the band has gone about replicating some of their older sounds. “We sold lots of the gear we used to use, so recreating some of the sounds is going to be different, for sure,” says Porter.
When asked what else people can expect from Polytype tonight, Porter joked, “You can expect to see a fatter version of Polytype. If you took our total weight from 2013 and compared it to 2016, you’d probably think we added a fifth member.”
Come see Polytype, The Moth & The Flame, and Sego tonight, January 22, at Velour Live Music Gallery. Doors open at 8PM. Tickets are $10 at the door (cash only). You can also purchase tickets online at 24tix.com. According to 24tix.com, this is currently the #1 best selling show in the Utah region. So act fast.