Welcome to Unknown Pleasures - our newly named (shout-out Matt Thomas) feature introducing you to the very best up and coming bands in the UK at the moment. First up we have the hard hitting Hardcore unit Provoker who are set to make their mark on the scene with the release of their debut EP the long defeat this week.
Hailing from Portsmouth, Provoker are certainly not going to be taken for mugs in this scene, with all members coming from previous bands that, whilst mainly achieving low to moderate success, allowed each to grow musically and learn from their experiences. Whilst predominantly they do have a Hardcore edge to their sound, there are plenty of crossover flashes with Thrash, Groove Metal and Punk all punching through as well. Guitarist Ollie Soundy gave us the full lowdown on the band's recording/writing process as well as discussing the music scene in Portsmouth at the moment!
R13: As part of our Unknown Pleasures Feature we like to give a preview of bands from the horse's mouth as much as possible. If you had to define Provoker's music in five words which would you choose?
OS: Heavy, energetic, passionate, heartfelt & exciting.
R13: Your debut EP is set for release very soon, what can you tell us about the writing and recording process?
OS: We took a lot of time writing and creating all the pieces of music from all our influences, I would come in with an idea, Joe would have his ideas, Rich and Jack would have their ideas and when Angus joined he opened up a whole world of new ideas and melodies. We reworked songs, changed tuning, re-recorded guitars and found new places to record drums to get the best sound. All we wanted with this record is to sound like we worked hard on it. We wanted to have our own sound and I think we gained that from all that work that we put in. We had the EP mixed and re-amped by Neil Kennedy from The Ranch production house, which really brought the record together and made it sound huge and then finally, mastered by Drew Lavyne who made it sound even better.
R13: As far as the tracks on the EP are concerned, they have a very mature sound considering it is a 'debut'. What have you all been able to bring to this process through experience in former bands?
OS: We have all been in bands that have done some things and we have all learnt some lessons. I think when writing these songs we sat down and took our time to write something that we are happy with playing, the music we want to listen to.
R13: You chose to self-produce on this EP, what was your thinking behind this?
OS: Jack and Richard owned their own studio so were constantly recording other bands, to me those guys are geniuses and really taught me something's about recording. We had the opportunity to take our time when recording this EP so we could be extra intense on getting things right, sounding right.
R13: What is the music scene currently like for up and coming bands in Portsmouth at the moment? Any recommendations for our readers to check out?
OS: Ever since I moved down to Portsmouth from Reading I saw that the scene around here really does have some great bands and musicians. There're so many talented people creating some awesome music. I see it day to day because of my job at a music venue and it's a really exciting thing to be involved in. If you're looking for a great Portsmouth band, check out "Horse Flies".
R13: What are your immediate plans as far as touring is concerned?
OS: We are looking to tour as much as we can, we have some things in the planning right now, including a little EU trip later this year.
R13: You've got a four hour drive between one show and the next - give us an idea of the kind of music you'll be blaring out on the way.
OS: We would probably be listening to something disgustingly heavy with some old school emo to satisfy Joe in-between.
R13: And obviously the most important question of them all, what are the Provoker hangover cures?
OS: I'm all about the Berocca, it has been a staple of mine since turning 18 almost ten years ago. It's never do me wrong. I did once try a hangover patch when I was on tour with Attention Thieves and it kinda worked. But you can't go wrong with Berocca works for me.
Excerpt from our review of the new EP - "... Of course, the key then for the new bands entering the fray is making sure they don't end up becoming lost in the minefield. Luckily for Provoker, the mix of experience and general ability has them standing tall and ready to take on all comers. - Read the full review here - LINK
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the long defeat by Provoker is out NOW