Wilkes-Barre-based rock band Unveiling The Oppression to host showcase
When Pittston songwriter Paul Williams finished his military service and began civilian work, he nearly left making music behind him.
“That transition was tough, and I focused on work,” Williams said.
But meeting another local musician at work put Williams back in touch with his creative side and launched the development of his band.
Unveiling The Oppression will headline a spring music showcase that starts at 7 p.m. Saturday at the Community Room at Heather Highlands.
All ages are welcome at the show, which will feature special guests Talon Co. and The Charming Beards.
Williams, 27, began playing guitar and writing songs during his tenure in the U.S. Air Force between 2008 and 2012, but his workplace encounter with Frank Marcinkowski brought him back from hiatus.
“(Frank) told me his band was playing, and I checked it out, because I always like supporting local music,” Williams said. “He was really talented, and once we started working together, it came together really quickly.”
With a finalized lineup of Williams on bass, Marcinkowski on lead vocals and rhythm guitar, Quade Spencer on lead guitar and Michael “Skam” Skamarakus on drums, Unveiling The Oppression went about learning Williams’ original songs and booking their first gigs.
“The first time we ever played together as a band, it was really good, and you could tell something clicked,” said Marcinkowski, 20, of Nanticoke.
Although Williams is the primary lyricist and tends to generate the riffs used to develop songs, he credits his bandmates in the creative process.
“I show up to practice and lay down the foundation of the song, and these guys add to it and build a house,” Williams said. “We get all kinds of sounds out of it.”
Williams said the band often takes on a hard-rock identity but is not limited to it.
“We might play some heavy riffs and go back to something else,” Williams said. “It’s any kind of genre.”
Williams names Metallica as a major influence by also draws inspiration from another NEPA-rooted heavy-rock band, Breaking Benjamin.
“Aaron Bruch and I are friends,” Williams said of the Breaking Benjamin bassist. “He actually gave me guitar lessons. I get some of my sound from him.”
Adding depth to the pool of inspiration, Marcinkowski said he is affected by everything from classic rock to reggae to metal.
“I try to make my influences come from as many styles of music as possible,” Marcinkowski said. “But it has to fit with the direction of our band.”
Unveiling The Oppression has recently released singles “Holding On” and “Tidal Wave” and plans to release an EP in early May, but the band’s tune “Anxiety,” about post traumatic stress disorder, Williams said, is currently the fan favorite.
“I was deployed a couple times, and I suffer from memories,” Williams said. “It’s about when you have mental illness, how terrifying it can be. I really enjoy playing it, because I had really bad anxiety and episodes, and I really feel it’s helped me get through that.”
Marcinkowski said he feels the band is making good music and that he hopes the Saturday showcase will introduce that music to new listeners.
“I like the attitude and energy of this band a lot,” he said. “We have the same ideas about the kind of music we need to write and our goals, and we work hard at it.”
Reach Matt Mattei at 570-991-6651 or on Twitter @TimesLeaderMatt.
IF YOU GO
What: Unveiling The Oppression, The Charming Beards, Talon Co.
Where: Community Room at Heather Highlands, 109 Main St., Inkerman
When: 7 p.m. April 29
Ticket information: The event is free and open to all ages. No alcohol or drugs will be permitted at this event.