by Reid Oakley
VANCOUVER – If you want to be exceptionally good at something, professionals say you need to have completed at least 10,000 hours of whatever said thing is. If that’s the case, then Hawking has no doubt earned that distinction, not only through their touring prowess, but also their continuing willingness to adapt in the face of adversity.
Following up their self-titled release from 2015, the guys are keen to keep pushing their sound in the direction they’ve chiselled for themselves with their first full-length release, Diverge. Talking with lead vocalist and guitarist Tom Vanderkam, deeper details arise about the band and their upcoming album. “It’s heavier, let’s just get that out of the way. Actually, I say that and then I think about the softer tracks including an acoustic one… We finally put in some breakdowns, though. Those are really fun.”
After announcing the album back in mid-November the math rockers have been hard at work, balancing tour life with a tight recording schedule. “It’s a concentrated early-20s attitude from a bunch of frustrated music nerds who wanted to make a record full of good stank-face-worthy jams.” Similar to their sound, the album title itself is a declaration of their clear push in an aggressively original and changing direction. “It’s more self-explanatory than my pretentious self would like to admit. We’re going our own way with this record. We’re fed up with waiting for any scene or any industry to have a place for us and we certainly have no intention of being overly shy or polite about our efforts to pioneer one for ourselves.”
Getting their start as an indie rock band in the watered-down Vancouver music scene was no easy task for the group, but adapting is clearly within their skillset, and they were soon defining themselves sonically on their own terms. “We embrace it. It’s like we’re too heavy for the indie crowd, not heavy enough for the metal and hardcore crowd, too prog for the punk crowd but too punk to quit touring and go get master’s degrees in music theory.”
With a planned six-week run across North America, beginning with Canadian Music Week in Toronto in April and then heading down stateside before they work their way back north along the coast, there should be plenty of opportunity to catch these highway stars when they roll into a town near you, stacking those hours.
Catch Hawking’s album release for Diverge March 10 at The Rickshaw TheatreRickshaw Theatre