Harker Discuss Their Growth on Their Debut Full-Length: "It Was a Long, Tough Journey, but so Worth It Once It Was Released"
Brighton indie-punks Harker aren't the same band that they were when they formed in 2014. Long gone is the acoustic solo project and in its place are the fuzzy guitars and loud, energetic choruses that make up their debut full-length album, No Discordance. It has been a long, exhausting journey for the quartet to get to where they are now, but for Harker, it was all worth it the second No Discordance dropped.
With the album out now, the band is looking toward the future, with tour dates throughout March and April and plans to start writing again as soon as possible. Read more about the band's sonic evolution below and pick up No Discordance now!
The Prelude Press: Can you tell us a little bit about Harker for any readers who might not be familiar?
Tony Ware: Harker are a fuzz-driven indie punk band from Brighton! We started out in 2013 as almost being a backing band for Marks acoustic solo act, but since our line-up stabilized a couple of years ago, we are now definitely “A BAND”. We like choruses, loud guitars, pop music, coffee, and cats.
You guys originally formed back in 2014, but you’ve evolved quite a bit with each EP you’ve released and now, your debut full-length album. How do you feel you’ve grown, both mentally and sonically in the past four years?
We definitely don’t sound like how we sounded back when the band started. Sonically, we moved away from Mark using an acoustic guitar after we released “A Lifetime Apart”. That EP was the beginning of us starting to really sound like how we wanted to sound, and we just couldn’t produce the level of noise and volume with one electric/one acoustic. Myself and Mark wanted to do more with having a dual electric guitar thing happening, and it just wasn’t possible with him playing an acoustic, which invariably, always got lost in the mix.
The band changed AGAIN when we finalised our ever changing line-up with Matt (drums) and Phoebe (bass) two years ago. Musically and mentally, we are much more consistent, especially since “A Lifetime Apart”. We all work very well together, and we are fairly self-contained as a unit, whether that’s working on and arranging songs, to producing our own artwork and merch designs.
You just celebrated the release of your debut full-length, No Discordance in February. What did you want to accomplish with this release that you haven’t had the chance to do yet?
We wanted to prove to ourselves that we had an album in us. When we started recording it, we only had 4 songs. We were confident that we would be able to produce another six to match the quality of those, and we feel we achieved that.
We could have easily thrown out another EP – which in hindsight might have given us something to show to the world back in 2016 – but we stuck to our convictions instead and carried on working creating a full length.
We really are proud of No Discordance – it was a long, tough journey, but so worth it once it was released. The response we’ve had has been amazing!
What are some of your favorite things about No Discordance?
Working with Tim Greaves (Southsea Sound) was such a good idea. He understood what we were doing, and where our musical references were coming from. To actually have an engineer who wasn’t scared of loud guitars was a godsend for me, and made a real change from other recordings I’ve done with other bands. He has a fantastic studio, and really goes out of his way to create a constructive recording environment. Just a great experience all round with him really, can’t recommend him enough.
I’d also add the day I was layering fuzz pedal after fuzz pedal on Nancy Downs and Endless 8. This was me in my noise-making element, and was very, very satisfying!
Before you released the album, you dropped the lead single, “300 Cigarettes.” What makes this song special to you?
I think its immediacy. Mark really didn’t know where it came from when he wrote it, and it went from demo to band very quickly without any changes. It’s a full on, unapologetic pop-punk song. However, we had been playing it for a while before it even got to the recording stage – and I think we probably missed its potential while we were recording the album. It took people outside the band (like our engineer Tim) to recognise the gem it is, and to really push it as the first track to come out from the record.
What would you like listeners to take away from No Discordance?
I’d like listeners to really get to grips with the record and actually take in everything that is going on. Admittedly on first listen, it’s a big, bold, pop punk record with mega choruses – but there is so much more going on underneath the surface.
Me and Mark love so much different music, its hard to just incorporate one thing – to JUST be a fuzzy pop punk band isn’t enough. As much as we will always love Jimmy Eat World and The Get Up Kids, we love 90s Alternative bands like Husker Du, Superchunk and Pixies just as much. Everything gets thrown into the mix, whether that’s subconsciously or not.
With the album out now, what’s next for Harker? Do you have any tour dates planned?
In the short term, we have UK dates in March and April, Europe in May and June (including Booze Cruise in Hamburg in June), then more UK dates in July.
And I’m pretty sure Mark has another “Tape Club” release coming up soon, with a brand new track “Hellion” and a cover of The Wedding Presents “Sticky” on it. There will be details about that on our website/socials soon.
What other goals do you have for 2018?
More long term, we will be looking at writing what will become our next release – in whatever format that will be. We have started throwing ideas around, but are unsure of where we will be going with it yet. Personally, I’d want to go back to Southsea Sound and record something very quickly, with a very quick turnaround, almost live. It’s something I’ve wanted to do for years.
Thank you for taking the time to chat with us! Is there anything else you’d like to add?
Stick to your guns and believe in what you are doing. Be nice to each other. And finally, if in doubt – slap a fuzz pedal on it!