The Defiled "just happened naturally, we didn't have any other talents in life so we just had to take our band seriously and make this who were are"
So prior to Motionless In White's show at the Kentish Town Forum on Saturday 21st September, Global Metal Apocalypse sat down with The Defiled's keyboardist The AvD and interrogated him about how the band is feeling about the tour so far, their history and future planning and how he got into metal music and playing it, slightly tired and hungover this interview was going places...
[AvD shouting to Stitch... no reply...]
You're touring with Motionless In White and this is the first time you've toured with the band, how is the tour going so far?
It's amazing, it's our first UK tour since 'Daggers' come out and it's great to be on the road with a band that has the same look and ethos as us and also this is like.. uh, we respect them as a band and the kids coming out care about what we're doing and it's just a really fun tour actually to be honest and there's a really good mutual respect, so yeah it's quite cool.
And of course now that you're signed to Nuclear Blast, you know you released 'Daggers' through Nuclear Blast, how did the label signing come about?
We were speaking to Roadrunner before and Mark Coleman at the UK section and basically Roadrunner UK shut down and the people who worked at Roadrunner UK went to work for Nuclear Blast and we continued talking, we recorded the album ourselves funded by the fans through the PledgeMusic campaign, so then we just put it out and let people buy into it instead of getting the label first and then people take it from the reverse which I advise every band to do because then we start from a mutual respect kind-of grounding with your label and yeah then we spoke to Mark again it was kinda like 'yeah of course you know we've always grown up listening to Roadrunner bands', and we respect his work a lot and we want to work with him so we jumped at the opportunity to be honest.
And you said that your fans ploughed money into the record, so do you think that these sort of opportunities for fans to support the bands that way, they feel more personal with the release than just having a release?
Well, lets say The Defiled wouldn't be around if it wasn't for them so it is personal, we have their names in the album, we know them, we have a very hardcore group of fans that we know them by their first names and we hang out and we're very lucky to have that on a personal level.
Now as you guys are predominantly from North London, how did the band start?
Well we met each other through mutual friends and started a band really, like I think we all have the same build, there has been many different changes like the line-up has changed loads of times, we weren't a real band for ages, but we've known each other for a really, really long time. It just happened naturally, we didn't have any other talents in life so we just had to take our band seriously and make this who were are so yeah man that's how it happened.
Personally how did you get into metal music and what enticed you to play the keyboards?
(laughs), what got me into metal music? I don't know, I think I bought an Obituary album. I used to go with my father, he used to have his hair cut twice a year, once year, once a year and I was allowed two records every time he got his hair cut (laughs) and so he would lead me into the record store and I just picked out two albums I liked the cover of, so I picked up an Obituary album and it was called "Cause Of Death" and I thought it was Satan's picking, I don't know anything about Satan but it scared me in a good way and I think that's what got me into metal, I mean I was 8 and listened to other stuff like rock, but that was the first proper heavy, growling thing I ever heard, I just couldn't believe that was on the record, yeah I loved it.
As for the keyboards, I wouldn't call myself a keyboard player as such, my first instrument was the drums, I used to be the drummer in The Defiled, I went to study music technology and that was like what I wanted to study for some reason (laughs) and I studied music technology and I'm very into production and you know making weird sounds, one of my favorite bands is Nine Inch Nails and that's what they do and are all about, I find it really interesting making textures and moods with just using a cue and atmospheres and, I don't know i just like it and I think that it makes the music more interesting, that's why I looked to do that, just I could sit there for days and my girlfriend would come to the studio to get me out to eat, I would just go days without eating, malnutrition and stuff, I just like sitting there and doing it and I guess that just translates into keyboards on the stage and buttons (laughs), so yeah that's it.
So you put your music as number one in daily life?
Oh yeah yeah definitely, music is my life, and I don't think I'd be, I mean i couldn't even start to think you know what i mean, what else there could be. I remember when I was at school I'd ask kinds 'so what kinds of music are you in to?' and I remember one kid that I remember to this day, he was like 'I don't even really listen to music' and I just couldn't understand what he meant, I just could not understand that so music to me is a fact of life.
Going back to the first gig you did with The Defiled, when you came off stage did you think to yourself 'This is what I want to do in the future, this is my chosen path'?
Yeah I think music was always my personal chosen path, I used to talk about The Defiled after the first gig, yeah I think we were very serious about it after we started gigging and stuff, we believed in ourselves when no one did, so and that's what you can do. We pushed throughout for a long time and we are just I think we're just weird people, we just don't take no for an answer and in the end everyone buckled (laughs), so yeah haha it is my chosen path. Definitely.
[Chris from Glamour of the Kill drops in and says a quick hello]
Are there any thank you's to fans, friends, family, band-members, management, PR you want to thank?
(laughs) yeah hehe, no I'd like to thank everyone that's supported our music and for making our dreams come true! That's all :)
"Daggers" is out now via Nuclear Blast, major stores and through all major online retailers
This time the victim to fall into the GMA interrogation cell is guitarist Bizz, of whom formerly played with the American industrial metal act Genitorturers feat. David Vincent of Morbid Angel. Bizz now plays with the Australian Industrial Metal / Alternative Metal mob Our Last Enemy and it was time for GMA to get the low down behind why Our Last Enemy could be the next big Industrial metal export since the glorious days of The Berzerker (minus the grind). No musicians were harmed in the interrogation process.
By Rhys Stevenson
So Bizz, how long has Our Last Enemy been going and what would you say the band's music style is without the use of genre tagging or cliches?
Our Last Enemy was formed in 2006. Our music is 10% inspiration and 90% perspiration. I'd say it's 50 / 50 but it only takes moments to dream up some killer riffs, but it takes a much longer time to work out the finer details to get the most out of those cool riffs and other musical parts. In other words, inspiration comes easily. It's the arrangements and the finer details that require lots of attention. I think that's where most bands go wrong. They just slap a song together and call it 'good enough'. We don't do that. Sure, it ALWAYS starts with inspiration, but to end up with a final product that you're truly happy with, it takes a lot of work. That said, there is the occasional song that just seems to write itself, and it all comes together quickly. But even with songs like that, we like to dig deep into it and make it the absolute best it can be. I think it's called O.C.D. Haha! But seriously, after all is said and done, an artist must know when the painting is done. And that is one of the reasons we run this band as a true democracy. We vote on what stays and what goes, until the majority feel that the song is complete. From there, the songs just sort of mutate naturally somehow. Just like my answer to your question just did.
And who inspired you to become musicians and who do you idolize?
I don't remember. I've loved music since I was old enough to sing. I don't 'idolize' anyone. I think idolize is a strong word. It sounds like worshiping someone. I bow to no man. Except maybe Alice Cooper haha.
I like a lot of bands from different styles of music. Over the last 13 years, I've been listening to a lot of Japanese metal and Visual Kei. But my influences spread across a many different styles of music, including (but not limited to) Punk, Industrial, Metal, Goth, 80's New Wave, etc. If it's good song writing and it has a cool vibe, I probably like it. But especially if it has a bit of a dark vibe or lots of attitude.
Focusing on New South Wales, how do the metal bands in cope during the times of wild fires?
Well, I think we all just sort of watch the news and hope the fires don't reach our own houses lol. I dunno. I've only been living in Australia for a little over 4 years. I guess I should say that we do benefit concerts or something cool to help the less fortunate. Like maybe give out free Our Last Enemy t-shirts or free dinner dates with teen heart throb and lead singer of Our Last Enemy, Oliver Fogwell.
Seriously though, we haven't actually done any benefits for wildfire victims that I recall, but we'd certainly be happy to do so should the opportunity arise. So there you have it. Our hearts may be black, but at least we aren't heartless. Oh, wait...maybe it's not our hearts that are black. It's our........lungs.
On a whole what would you say the trickiest thing about being an Australian Metal band would be?
Breaking out of Australia. Also, The Wiggles give us metal bands a run for the money in terms of heaviness. Those guys are really brutal with songs like Rock-a-bye Your Bear and Toot Toot Chugga Chugga. It's mindblowing. I mean, how could any of us ever compete with that sort of brutality?
How does mainstream media cover metal in Australia?
Oh, come on. We've got to keep some air of mystery about our country!!! lol
Reverting to Our Last Enemy, what plans does the band have for 2013 and beyond?
I personally don't want to say too much just yet, but it looks like it's going to be a very big year for us, which means it will also be a big year for our fans. Lots of exciting things in the works.
What is the local town / city metal scene like?
Sydney is a great place. There are a lot of good bands and loyal fans.
Finally any thank you's, hello's and any other messages you wish to say?
Thank you for your interest in Our Last Enemy. It's zines like yours who make a big difference to bands and music fiends alike. I'd also like to send a big thanks out to all of our fans, future fans, and to anyone else who has allowed us to pollute their minds by reading this interview.
We hope to see you all in the UK at some point in the not-too-distant future. Until then, remember to question authority and don't forget to do whatever you want.
"It's our channel to create, discuss and hopefully influence people to think for themselves".
Country - SWEDEN
Genre - INDUSTRIAL METAL
Label - UNSIGNED
So Backstabber what does Perception Of Darkness personally mean to you and how did the band form?
It means everything to us. Perception Of Darkness is the way we choose to express ourselves through, it's our channel to create, discuss and hopefully influence people to think for themselves.
But it's also a brotherhood for us, the other guys in the band are some of my absolute best friends and that's also a big part of Perception Of Darkness.
The band was formed by our old singer Karl Johansson who is no longer in the band due to some different reasons.
Would you say Sweden lacks numbers in Industrial Metal vs. Melodic Death Metal?
I think Sweden has a lot good Industrial Metal bands, some good examples are Raubtier, Pain and Deathstars. But here there aren't really a lot of bands on the smaller stages that play Industrial Metal.
The only ones i know of would be Zavod, Mass Murder Agenda and Man.Machine.Industry.
And of course in comparison to the Melodic Death Metal bands we are quite outnumbered.
How would you describe your music without genre tagging or using cliches?
Since we decided to get rid of our singer we no longer have any rights to our old songs since he was our main songwriter. But we are working hard on our new album. I don't want to describe it all to much right now, but let's just say that we are taking it back to the roots of how Industrial Metal should sound.
What makes Perception Of Darkness stand out from the rest of the Swedish metal scene and have you played outside Sweden?
First of all we play in a quite small genre, as i said earlier there aren't a lot of industrial metal bands on our level. I also like to think that we are a really good band to see live. A lot of our friends play very technical metal and they miss out on the live part of being in a band. Perception of Darkness is quite the opposite. We play pretty straight-on metal and leave a lot of room for the live show.
Last year we played 2 European festivals and a boat cruise. Our first gig outside of Sweden was at "Dark Mental Festival" in Copenhagen where we got the honor to open the festival up, the second was as an headline act at "Plana Demo Fest" in Serbia, and the boat cruise went from Stockholm to Riga and featured bands like Frantic Amber, The Resistance, Man.Machine.Industry and Skitarg.
How many releases do you have to date and what is your favourite?
As i said earlier we have had to remove all our material when we decided to get rid of our singer. So we are currently working on our "first" album.
What major metal festivals are there in your area?
There are a few: Copenhell, Metaltown, Sweden Rock Festival amongst others. Last year we were actually involved in starting a new festival in our hometown of Malmö called "Faceplant Metalfest". Unfortunately, just a couple of days before the event it had to be cancelled due to problems with the economy.
Finally do you have any hello's, thank you's to send out?
Not really, would just like to thank all of the fans for being patient with us. Last year was really good for us and it feels terrible that we have to take a big part of this year to rebuild what we had worked so hard for, but we will be back strong than before.