Prowler Talk The Curse, Completing Twitter And Writing Songs About 5 For 6 Booze Deals
London hardcore kids aren’t like other hardcore kids. They’re often as much of a part of the city’s graffiti culture, grime and rave scenes as they are the hardcore scene and sometimes affiliated with a crew of miscreants called the LBU who like fun. They’re more inclined to wear Reeboks than Vans, and they tend to dance harder and look harder than your average hardcore kid from the ‘burbs. The bands they form tend to be pretty hard sounding too: breakdowns, beatdowns and mosh parts that’ll make your eyes bleed are par for the course for London OGs Prowler, who have been soundtracking brutal spin-kick sessions around the city since 2002, with a type of metallic hardcore that is both uniquely London and uniquely vicious.
Prowler have just put out an album called The Curse on the infamous London hardcore label Rucktion Records. It’s a record filled with anger, Stella, breakdowns and wah pedal solos(!) that completely shreds - think Hatebreed, Wisdom in Chains and VOD, but leaner, sharper, more pissed off. We love it and we’re backing it, to the point, in fact, that we took a break from playing it loudly in our headphones while scowling on the bus (like the Londoners we are) to speak to the band’s guitarist Gav about the album, the London scene and the band’s famous Twitter followers. Let’s do this:
Hi Gav! The Curse is sick, what’s it all about?
It’s our muthafucking comeback! We’ve been steadily brewing up vexation through a post recession Tory government, stockpiling super heavy riffs and writing bars about 6 for 5 booze deals through the permafrost of enforced austerity. There’s a lot to be pissed off at, [in particular] multiple buffoons at the helm of the ‘free world’. It’s full of personal and political rage, [for instance] Divide and Conquer is written about the ever expanding wealth gap in the city and the consistent shutting down of venues and knocking down estates. But it’s not all doom and gloom though, there’s also From Early, which is a homage to the London scene in the early noughties set to a 140BPM grime flow. It’s angry songs for the underdogs and a middle finger up at the establishment - 12 tracks of ultra heavy metallic hardcore, plenty of bang for your buck.
Prowler - Devilman
How’s Rucktion doing these days? It’s been around for a long time!
Rucktion Records is still going strong! DIY since day one, hugely influential in the shaping of the UK and London scene and instrumental in keeping it ticking over. They’ve put on raggo squat shows, coach trips to Belgium, legendary 12 Bar residencies and now a free bi-monthly night at the Unicorn in Camden that pops off each and every time. They’re your one-stop shop for double heavy, original and diverse hardcore. It’s the 20 year anniversary [of the label] next year and they’re organising a fuck-off gig to celebrate. Everyone’s invited, just remember to put your guard up during the slow parts, wear a gum shield and hold your drink tight!
Got any good back-in-the-day LBU/London hardcore stories you wanna share with Kerrang!’s readers?
The squat shows back in the day were a personal favourite, absolutely lawless - crackheads, getting carried away in the pit and being threatened with guns at the bus stop on the way home! There is a bit of a rep attached to this scene sometimes but it’s all love, believe that! There was a phase some years back of regular scuffs with nazis at gigs, or you would get the ‘normies’ or whatever the kids call ‘em nowadays wanting to come into the gig and take the piss out of the thing we love - they would get a slap or chucked down the stairs sharp-ish. Regulated.
If you like heavy music with an London edge, get down to the Unicorn for a free Rucktion show, the vibes are off the chain. See it for yourself.
How do you feel about London hardcore in 2017?
London-wise, Life Betrays Us are smashing it at the moment, their album’s double heavy. Dropset also bringing the super heavyweight metallic pain too. The GOATs, Ninebar have just released seven certified bangers along with the best album cover in musical history. Check them out 2nd of December at the Unicorn, if you don’t enjoy ‘em I’ll refund your entry fee personally. TRC are in the studio at the moment threatening a comeback, and you’ve got bands like Splitknuckle who’ve got that Essex groove on dial, along with all the RAGE Records heavy hitters.
Between Rucktion and Ready Eye Collective there are regular shows in LDN to get your windmill on to, so have a word with yourself and get down to those. Hardcore in general around the UK is thriving. Power moves are being made up North in Leeds, Manny and Sheffield at the moment - some huge bands doing bits up there.
Are you psyched that Rou Reynolds got your track on his recent Kerrang! playlist?
Yeah, stoked to be on the playlist, Enter Shikari are absolutely huge so hopefully we pinch a few moshers from that! We follow each other on Twitter, he’s one of two famous bods who follow us on Twitter (@bigbadprowler), him and DJ beats from People Just Do Nothing, we did briefly have Krishnan Guru-Murthy from C4 News following us, but he must have got the hump, or maybe his beatdown hardcore phase was short lived. We’re working on getting Post Malone to follow us and getting blocked by Piers Morgan, then we will have completed Twitter.
Thanks for talking to us Gav!