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ROCKET’s Interview with Marc Halverson of PROVEN

TMD Fire!

Portland, Oregon’s PROVEN is a hardcore metal band to sit up and really watchout for. The band is on a literal shooting star ride through the system on their way to worldwide recogniton, all in a matter of literal moments it seems since I first discovered them several months back on MySpace. The band is comprised of vocalist, Marc Halverson, Randy Ross on guitars/vocals, Sam Boggess on guitars, Josh Dixon on drums and Keith Fitzgerald on bass. I actually fell head over heals in love with their straight ahead, non-over produced hardcore sound when I first heard their demo tracks, but then obviously when I noticed they were being mentored along very closely by Billy Graziadei of Biohazard fame, I’m not going to lie, that really caught my fascination. I am very pleased to bring this new exclusive Q&A session to all of you that I’ve conducted with Proven’s vocalist, Marc Halverson.


Rocket: Marc, thanks for taking the moment out of your busy schedule to rock this interview out with me, brother. Let me get the ball rolling with a formal icebreaker… or should I say Rocket’s ‘textbook’ opener? Haha. Are you a native of Oregon?

Marc: I was born in Bellevue, Washington, and shortly there after moved to Westfield, New Jersey, where I lived until I was 4 years old. Then, we moved to Portland, Oregon, where I have lived ever since. Portland is a great city to live in.

Rocket: When did you first start singing?

Marc: I have been into metal for years but I did not start singing until the summer of 2005. Randy (vocals/guitars) and I decided to start writing music, so we went down to Guitar Center, picked up a mic, and that is how Proven came to be.

Rocket: Simple as lighting up a fatty! I love it! Did you ever take any vocal lessons along the way? Or are you self-taught/trained?

Marc: I did not have any prior or formal vocal training before we started Proven. I began taking vocal lessons from Sarah, a local voice teacher here in Portland in the Spring of ’06. She taught me the basics involved with singing, rhythm, breathing, sound, range and how to strengthen and not strain my vocal chords so that I do not lose my voice when we’re playing shows. Also, our manager/consultant Billy Grazaidei, has give me some pointers and made a cd for me to use and practice before I sing. I have a lot to learn and a long ways to go vocally. But, like any muscle in your body, the more you practice and work it out, the stronger and better it gets.

Rocket: Who are a few of your biggest vocal influences?

Marc: First off, I have to thank my brother Brett for introducing me to the world of metal!

Rocket: Stop the interview. Wait! Doug Gibson, turn up the lights here in the studio of abyss! (Rocket stands) Okay, let’s all go ahead right this very moment stand together now… and yell out real loud: “Thanks, Brett… for introducing Marc to the world of heavy metal!!!!”

Marc: Haha. I grew up on old school rap…

Rocket: (Rocket falls to the floor clutching his heart) I think someone just shot me!

Marc: Haha. But…

Rocket: (No longer playing the death feign, Rocket climbs back to his feet) There’s a ‘but’!

Marc: In 1992, my brother sat me down and handed me Pantera’s “Vulgar Display of Power”…

Rocket: Can we please crank the music speakers up in the world of’s abyss just this once.. and dammit, we wanna hear ‘Walk’! (Suddenly the explosive strains of Dimebag’s thunderous monster chunk riff kicks in!) Let’s get them horns up, people and let’s do the mosh!!! Hell yeah!!!

Marc: Haha… and he said to me, “Brother, this is Pantera and it is all you need to know!” He was very right about that and it opened me to an entire undergound of brutal music. Phil Anselmo (Pantera, Down, Superjoint Ritual) is my favorite and greatest metal vocalist, period!

Rocket: Can I just start crying like a little baby right now! I need a bib!

Marc: Also… of course, Billy Graziadei and Evan Seinfeld of Biohazard are the masters of alternating vocals and their sound is just raw and brutal and does not sound like anyone else! One my favorite vocalists is Chris Volz (Flaw, Five Bolt Main). He has an uncanny ability to transition from brutal screams to a calm and peaceful tone that only a few can do. Other vocalists that have impacted me are Burton C. Bell (Fear Factory), Rob Flynn (Machine Head), Max Cavalera (Sepultura, Soulfly), Dave Peters (Throwdown), Jamey Jasta (Hatebreed) and Rey Oropeza (Downset).

Rocket: Dude, now we’re talking some real, honest to God heavy metal! Let’s talk about Proven more in-depth and how the band got started. Take us briefly into those details.

Marc: In 2004, my friend Dan told me to come over to check out one of his good friends play the guitar. He told me that is friend was pretty good. I came over and watched this guy plug in and absolutely tear the house down! I told him, “Pretty good? This guy is phenomenal!” That is how I first met Randy Ross (guitars/vocals). In the summer of 2005, we went up the Sounds of the Undergroud in Seattle, Washington, and made a pact to start writing music when we got back to Portland. After returning home and a few days of heavy drinking and jamming, with had “From Within” and “Ambush” written. In late August of 2005, Sam Boggess (guitars) took one lesson from Randy and after the jam session, Randy brought him into the fold. Shortly, John Gagne (drums) who had played with Randy in a previous band came aboard and we were known as “From Within”. John left the band in December 2005 to move back to the east coast and be closer to his family. At that time, we continued to write songs and decided on a name change for the better, which is how we came to be “Proven”. In February 2006, we flew over to New Jersey to record our debut EP “Proven” at Underground Sound Studios in South Amboy. It was recorded and mixed by Billy Graziadei (Biohazard, Suicide City) and Mike Turner (Vulture). We came out with a solid and heavy hitting EP and returned to Porltand. Josh Dixon (drums) and Keith Fitzgerald (bass) joined the fold in the Spring of ’06 and we have been moving forward ever since.

Read The Complete Interview Here: