Pacer is a UK punk band and they recently released their second long player to the masses, it's called 'Mechanical' and we think it's rather great, we liked it so much, we hitchhiked up to a service station on the M25 where we met up with the singer Mark Pavey. We couldn't quite get enough money together for a coffee each so we split a latte and then just had enough leftover for a jam doughnut. We chatted about the new album, embarrassing CD's and a small band called The Descendents who we got the impression that Mark likes.....a lot! Here's how we got on....
Please introduce the band and your music in one sentence....
Hi, we are PACER and we play Punk-O-Rama 3 era punk rock.
You’re called ‘Pacer’, how did you come to choose this name? Did a minty soft chewy sweet from the 70’s influence you?
The name PACER was picked from long list of names that was collated from NBA team names. 1 stroke of fate and we could have been the Bulls, but instead we settled on PACER after the Indiana Pacers
‘Mechanical’, the first track off your second album is basically about life with no plans, what are your plans for the album and your future?
The track Mechanical is less about a lack of plans in general, more about the peroid at the end of completing something where you are struggling to suddenly be without focus. PACER exists as a counterpoint to everything else we all do in our lives, it's never been about being a touring band or taking over the world. Just meeting up regularly to enjoy making music together. If people like what we are doing then thats a plus as well.
What will ‘Mechanical’ add to where ‘Making plans’ left off?
Musically I think Mechanical represents PACER as a whole much better than Making Plans. Mike, our bassist, joined fairly late in the writing process for Making Plans and John our second guitarist joined the band after Making Plans was released. Writing Mechanical was the first time we have been able to make songs in a room with all of us contributing equally, and I think it shows in the overall bigger sound of the album.
In your opinion, what is the BEST album/record ever released and why?
Osker - Idle Will Kill. Unappreciated in its own time but probably one of the best things Epitaph has ever put out.
If you had a chance to put together your own ‘super group’, who would be in it? (only living members please)
Milo Auckerman, Bill Stevenson, Stephen Egerton and Karl Alverez. The Descendents are the only super group I need.
Is there something you would like to tell each of the band members that you haven’t told them before?
Pacer has no secrets.
You guys are signed with Shield Recordings, what advice would you give to a musician/band on getting noticed?
Be passionate about what you play and try not to be a prick.
What classic song would you have liked to have recorded and why?
Silly Girl by Descendents, its the quintessential pop punk love song.
First gig you ever went to and where is your favourite venue to play?
Ash at the Guildford Civic Centre probably in 1998? I'm pretty sure a couple of the others were there as well but that was before I knew them. When I make tea at practice everyone plays late 90's brit rock covers. Favourite venue is the Kingston Peel (RIP).
Where did you record your debut album ‘Making Plans’ and what made you choose that studio?
We recorded both Making Plans and Mechanical in Perry Vale Studios, SE London with Grant Strang. We have recorded pretty much everything we have released with him. Perry Vale is a great place when were can all set up and record whilst playing live together. Grant knows how to get a recording sounding live and full of energy rather than shitty and all over the place.
Name three people (alive, dead or fictional) that you would like as party guests?
Milo Auckerman, Bill Stevenson, Stephen Egerton. Karl Alverez is coming later after he finishes work.
There are many good bands and musicians out there, who would you ask the readers of musicmuso to look out for?
Who would you like to know has your music on their iPod, MP3 or cassette walkman?
Milo Auckerman, Bill Stevenson, Stephen Egerton or Karl Alverez.
Do you own a record that you wouldn’t like to admit you have?
Records? No. CDs yes, but I'll never tell.
If you could describe your music in the form of a fictional character, who would it be?
Paul Hobbes, from the novel GO.
Do you think we can ever live in a world where a chicken can cross the road without having its motives questioned?
What the hell is that chicken doing over there?! GET OUTTA HERE YOU CRAZY BIRD!
What are your plans for the remainder of 2014?
We have a few smaller shows booked that should be fun but other than that - playing computer games factors highly on the to-do list.
Lo and behold, the nice lady from behind the counter wandered over and offered us a free refill on the coffee, we even managed to sweet talk her into letting us have a slice of slightly stale flapjack for half price. We then thought it would be nice if Mark was to answer a bunch of quickfire questions....
Coffee or Tea?
Coffee to wake up, tea to relax.
Coke or Pepsi?
Drum machine or the real deal?
A drum machine sellotaped to a bass drum.
Mac or PC?
Mac for work, PC for playing Counter Strike.
Taco or Burger?
John Lydon or Joe Strummer?
Fry up or Sunday roast
CD or Vinyl?
Hulk Hogan or Stone Cold Steve Austin or CM Punk?
Car or Motorbike?
Motorbike (that answers for you Jaff)
Acoustic or electric?
Shower or Bath?
Tattoos or Piercings?
Robert De Niro or Al Pacino?
Robert De Niro
God or Google?
One and the same
We'd like to thank Mark for sparing the time to run through our questions and we wish the band every success with the recent release of their new album 'Mechanical', we look forward to seeing the band live when they play, hopefully early next year....
Interview by Mark Wincott