Provoker: “It’s not about how well we do, it’s how well we do it”

Listen to the south coast hardcore band's new EP, 'The Long Defeat'

Provoker: “It’s not about how well we do, it’s how well we do it”

By Glen Bushell

Feb 27, 2017 15:00

“I’ve never been in a band with this much passion and energy,” states Angus Roberton, vocalist of Provoker. The passion of which he speaks has been poured into the band’s powerful debut EP, ‘The Long Defeat’, which has been “A long time coming,” for the south coast hardcore band.

Formed after the break up of Housefires by guitarists Joe Spratt and Ollie Soundy, the two searched for new members. “Initially, we were going to carry on with the same name,” explains Spratt. “After a year or so we caught up with Jack (Stephens, drums) and Richard (Worrall, bass) and started writing new material.”

It was then that sadly, tragedy struck the members of Housefires. “The drummer of our old band passed away due to leukemia,” reflects Spratt, explaining how it really set the band back and, as he will go on to state later on, put a lot of things in perspective. “Once we got back on our feet following the loss, we found Angus after his previous band, Elephantis, broke up.”

When things were looking up and, as Spratt says, they were “getting all our ducks in a row,” the band faced yet another set back. “Just after we finished demoing everything, we discovered there was a Christian worship band from the U.S called Housefires,” he laughs. “We then decided it was time for a fresh start, we came up with the name Provoker, and here we are.”

For ‘The Long Defeat’, some of the initial seeds were sown for the record during Spratt and Soundy writing for what would be Housefires, yet Spratt says they eventually took their own direction. The new line up brought something different to the table, allowing Provoker to become an entity on its own.

“It’s been a over two years since we initially settled on everything,” adds Roberton. “We recorded, rerecorded, and did all we could to ensure [‘The Long Defeat’] was the best it could be. I’m really happy with the final product.”

Initial tracking took place at Envy Studios in Portsmouth, with Stephens and Worrall handling record duties themselves. From there, the EP was mixed by highly regarded producer, Neil Kennedy, who has built up an impressive C.V since working with Milk Teeth, Creeper, Landscapes, and countless others.

“I think if Neil was a woman, he would definitely be ‘the one’,” laugh’s Spratt, explaining the bands relationship with Kennedy. “Jack and Richard knew him very well beforehand, and I had worked with him in the past. He is great friend of ours, and I completely trusted him with out mix.”

The end result is a deeply personal record for Provoker. Having worn their heart on their sleeve during the writing, ‘The Long Defeat’ evokes both emotion and anger. With ‘Admission’ acting as a cathartic release in the wake of their friends passing; ‘Solitary’, expressing a “never give up” mentality regardless of the situations you find yourself in; and ‘Accountable’ giving Roberton a chance to immortalise his grandparents in song after losing them during the writing of ‘The Long Defeat’.

With the members of Provoker not being strangers to the inner workings of life in a band, Roberton feels it gives them a chance to use what they have learnt to do as much as they can on their own. “I’ve had to deal with managers, booking agents, labels etc, and I’ve taken all of that on board this time,” he says, admitting that they are more grown up now and know how to handle it.

“In our previous bands, we were the members that knew what we wanted to,” adds Spratt, explaining there is much more push and pull with Provoker. “We rarely all just say yes at the first idea that gets brought up, and we all have opinions on how to do things. It works well, though, and it brings out the best in us. We were always trying to do things to get big or to get noticed, but that isn’t the case anymore. It’s not about how well we do, it’s how well we do it.”

On that note, we briefly look ahead to the future of Provoker. Still very much in the early stages of their life as a band, their ambitions and aspirations are humble. “Our goal is just move through this record, on to the next, keep enjoying what we do and have fun with it,” concludes Spratt. “Also, I’d like to think that our listeners are as angry as we are, so I hope we can go through this together.“

‘The Long Defeat’ is released on March 6th, and you can listen to it exclusively below. Keep up with the band on Facebook.