Thursday, 28 March 2019

Invoker Interview (UK Tour w/To Kill Achilles Starts Today!)


Swiss hardcore band Invoker are due to play four dates in UK with To Kill Achilles and Reclaimer, beginning today. I recently caught up with the band to ask them a few questions about what hardcore means to them, about the writing process for their recent EP "Cursed To Feel" and about coming across to tour the UK for the first time. Read on...

TNIO - First up, what is the history behind Invoker? How did you guys meet and what made you decide to form the band? 

Andy Meier (Guitar) - When Peter’s and my old Band split up in 2012, our desire for a new music project grew, that’s when David, our singer who played in different Bands before, got involved. We all knew the new project would circle somewhere around Hardcore. Shortly after, we asked Raphael if he wanted to join us on the drums. We all grew up in the same Village in the countryside of Lucerne, Switzerland. Our rehearsal room was in a barn, and we’re quite glad that these times are over and we moved to a nicer place about two years ago, haha! 

Shortly after we started rehearsing our first songs, we began looking for a bass player. That’s when Patrick, a good friend who we knew from the Swiss hardcore scene, joined the band and completed the line-up. 

What does hardcore mean to you, especially being part of a growing European scene? 

AM - It means a whole lot. Even though we listen to a whole bunch of genres ranging from like hip hop to grindcore, we still see ourselves as hardcore kids. We just feel home in hardcore.

First: Hardcore shows are still the best thing ever! The energy onstage and in front of it is unmatched! 

Second: There is a common sense in this genre, that appeals to us. Like believing in equality and a big “fuck off” statement to stupid shit like racism, fascism, sexism or homophobia to name a few. It’s just normal in hardcore like it should be everywhere. And speaking of the growing European scene: You can feel this everywhere in Europe! Hardcore is one big family and we are happy to be a part of it. 

I reviewed your 2018 EP “Cursed To Feel” not so long ago and really enjoyed it. Can you explain about the writing process that Invoker goes through? 

AM - Thank you, glad you enjoyed it! The writing process goes mostly this way: Peter or I are writing the song ideas or sometimes whole demo songs at home. We are lucky to live in this digital age and both have recording software at home, what makes it so much easier. After we have the ideas or demos together, we send them to Raphael and he adds or reworks the drums. David has most of his lyrics written before the song material. After the adding of the drums we come together build in the lyrics and work on the material until we feel happy with the result. 

What subjects do you cover on “Cursed To Feel” (if you want to reveal them)? 

AM - The songs on “Cursed To Feel” circle around the matter of mental health issues such as depression or anxiety. Some in our bands struggle from said subjects and our singer David processes this in his lyrics. He went through some dark times and writing the lyrics to those songs helped him a lot to handle it. 

We think that mental illness, even though it somehow became something of a trend, is still a taboo for many people and in lot of cases don’t get to be taken serious. We want to help those people who feel mistreated or misunderstood and want to show them that they are not alone. 

You teamed up with Grim Reality Records to release the EP. Is it important to you to have your music available on physical formats as well as digital ones and why? 

AM – Yes, it is! We all love to hold an LP in our hands and put it on for a spin. I think the CD as a format will go extinct in the next couple years, but the revival of the vinyl showed that people still love having physical copies and we do to! Of course, all our music can be accessed digitally but having it in physical form is way more satisfying. 

You’re going to be playing some shows in the UK with To Kill Achilles in March. Have you played in the UK before? If so, can you tell us what it was like playing here compared to mainland Europe? 

We have never played in the UK before and we are hell of excited! We’ve all been to some shows in the UK on vacation and those were sick! So, we are stoked and I’ll gladly give you a feedback and compare the UK shows with the mainland shows after the tour! 

What bands do you guys count as influences? 

Oof! There are so many. We take our influences from everywhere. I think if you love music and listen to a lot of stuff you unintentionally take influence from everything you listen to. But if I had to cut it down to five bands that just pop in to my head I’d say: Counterparts, Modern Life Is War, God Is An Astronaut, Landscapes and Totem Skin. 

What is your local hardcore scene like now and are there any other bands from the Lucerne area that we should check out? 

Well you could count Switzerland as one local scene. The country is small enough that the scene spans over multiple cities and it is a scene that is still growing! When we speak of our hometown Lucerne, there are two bands that you should check out. Insanity and Cancel. Both are just the coolest dudes and their live shows are killer!

When we speak of whole Switzerland as a scene, there are too many bands we love to decide. But We made a playlist some weeks ago with bands from friends: https://open.spotify.com/playlist/0kCeY6MumQmkxyE6rtl6AI 

Check it out! 

With regards to the UK dates mentioned above, Invoker's van broke down yesterday after their Prague show and as such, they won't be able to make it in time for the first show in Birmingham. Check out the poster below for the other dates (Note: it looks like tomorrow's gig in Oxford may have been replaced by Manchester, see the Facebook event page here - https://www.facebook.com/).


You can read my review of "Cursed To Feel" here. You can stream the EP and purchase it on vinyl, CD or digitally below:-

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