You probably don’t expect your friendly neighbourhood preacher to come at you kicking and screaming with rock’n’roll swagger, unless it’s one of those nutty preacher dudes in America. But that’s exactly what you get from Brighton newcomers Preacher, who’ve honed a deliciously raw and grungy rock sound that they describe as “energetic, nostalgic but fresh.”
The trio began with childhood friends Ollie Thrower (lead vocals and guitar) and Sam Wilson (bass), whose mums were friends when they were pregnant with them and the duo have been best mates ever since. The pair have played music together since they were kids but Preacher first started when they met Stanley Webb (drums) at music college in Guildford four years ago.
They’ve since moved to Brighton and made it their hub, honing a sound that combines the raw energy of grunge rock heaviness with catchy funk and blues grooves.
As Ollie describes the Preacher sound: “Nirvana meets Led Zeppelin, but with a variety of other artists and genres sprinkled on top. We all listen to a wide array of music, which helps massively with songwriting.”
Preacher made their mark in impressive fashion with their debut single Forty, which was released in November. It opens up with light guitars that jump into lively chords and drums. That flows into an engaging opening chorus that begins with the line “Right here, right now, We’re gonna start a revolution.” The guitars and vocals intensify heading into a big singalong chorus “You know we love you but we don’t love the way that your mind works, We’ll start a revolution so we can prove to you and all the other kids, I won’t resist.”
A little scream ushers in a blast of guitars that bridge into another verse and chorus. A fun stabbing riff takes over and drops into light guitars before a funky solo that continues over driving chords. And that feeds into final cries of “I won’t resist” to bring the track to a heavy conclusion.
On the single, Ollie tells us: “We’ve had a great response to the single. The most common comment is that you can tell where our influences lie, but it still sounds fresh and unique, which is what we wanted to accomplish.
“The song is a homage to classic rock but with a grungy twist. We feel Forty is a good jumping-off point for our sound. Our next singles are quite different to this one, but still have that Preacher touch. We want each song to be different to the last and have a character of its own. As a tease, the next one is a little bit heavier than the first.” Check it out, along with the the tale of Monkey Boy and Vulture Man, in the video here:
The biggest influences on Preacher’s sound have been Nirvana and Led Zeppelin. But the band members listen to all kinds of music, from The Doors to Frank Sinatra to MF Doom, which all have an impact on their songwriting.
And on what inspires them to write music, Ollie tells us: “Playing and writing music is something we all (as a band) need to get out of us, in a therapeutic way. The lyrics are meant to be interpretable, but essentially our music is about the inner struggle and breaking free of something you feel is controlling your life. These are things anyone can relate to. The music isn’t aimed at any group of people, everyone is welcome.”
There’s plenty more to come from Preacher, including two singles that are currently being mixed and plans to work towards doing an album eventually. They’ve been gigging heavily in Brighton and plan to expand outside the city. For now, their next gig is a headliner at Green Door Store in Brighton on Tuesday, March 1 alongside The Timeouts and Demure. It’s also free entry, so get yourself along to it!