This Providence Bio:
Evolution is an extensive process, however the Seattle rock act This Providence have managed to condense this feat into a scant two years with their full-length Who Are You Now? While their 2006 self-titled Fueled By Ramen debut introduced the world to the band’s inventive brand of indie rock, with their latest album they’ve proved how versatile they’ve become from spending the past two years on the road and refining their craft—and they can’t wait to finally show the rest of the world the fruits of their hard-earned labor.
Originally formed in the suburbs of Seattle in 2003 by Australian-born vocalist Daniel Young and guitarist Gavin Phillips, the band’s current lineup also features bassist David Blaise and drummer Andy Horst and is their strongest to date. “It’s like a family, it’s really awesome,” Young says about the band’s current status. “We finally feel like a real band.” In fact these four musicians are probably closer than the average nuclear family when you consider the fact that they spent the last year together holed up in the Pacific Northwest in order to write the songs that would appear on Who Are You Now? “We took a long time off the road before going into the studio because we wanted to write the right record, unique songs with substance and honesty. You can’t rush that,” Young explains, “I think the end result is much stronger because of that.”
Recorded with Matt Squire (Panic At The Disco, Boys Like Girls, All Time Low) in Los Angeles, the album is a collection of extremely varied rock songs that were influenced by everyone from the Cure to the Beatles and showcase This Providence’s rock edge as much as it does their stripped-down sensibilities. From dance-floor anthems like “That Girl’s A Trick” to pop-inflected rockers like “Playing The Villain” and ambient acoustic explorations like “Chasing The Wind,” This Providence have truly realized their musical potential with Who Are You Now? “When we started talking about this record we realized that less is more, so we tried to really simplify things this time around,” Young explains. “There’s definitely no lack of depth, but I think there’s a sweetness to the simplicity of some of these songs and that’s something we really wanted to capture.”
This approach is perfectly illustrated on the aforementioned “Playing The Villain,” a crowd-pleaser that could appeal as much to fans of Oasis as it could This Providence’s previous tourmates Paramore. “We ended up getting the title for the album from that song and I love the way it’s structured because it’s something that’s totally different for us,” says Young. “When we started writing the record we talked about how we wanted it to have more of a rock 'n roll feel and I think that track captures the vibe of where we were at that point perfectly.” The band also insist that Squire had a huge hand in helping sonically shape these songs and was on the same page as the band throughout the recording process. “We actually learned a lot about songwriting and production from him,” Young beams, “he just totally got what we were after from the start.”
Lyrically, these songs center around a short story Young wrote that was inspired by Oscar Wilde’s The Picture Of Dorian Gray—and in some ways you could say that Who Are You Now? serves as the soundtrack to his autobiographical tale. “I dug into my childhood for inspiration about the record, so there’s a lot of talk about love and loss as well as the theme of the hospital because I spent a lot of time in hospitals as a kid,” he says. “I’ve experienced a lot so it’s kind of a big mix of all that.” However despite the intensely personal nature of the album, it’s also clear that anyone who’s ever experienced love or loss can relate to songs like “Selfish” or “Somebody To Talk To” on a purely emotional level. “I’m really proud of the way my lyrics turned out this time around,” Young says. “It’s definitely the best work I’ve ever done.”
Ultimately after spending the last year concentrating on the Who Are You Now?, This Providence are just excited for people to listen to these songs and they plan on spending most of 2009 on the road making sure they’re heard by as many people as possible. “I think I’m going to be playing guitar a little bit more [on tour] because we want the live show to sound bigger. We want it to enrapture you,” Young explains when asked about what fans will have in store for them this time around. “We definitely are going to maintain our energy level and have the crowd involved as much as we have in our past, but I think everything about the live show will sound bigger to mirror these songs,” he summarizes.