The Defiled headed out with Romeo Must Die this month, so I decided to catch up with The AvD to find out just what they’re all about for Rushonrock.
rushonrock: What/who was the brains behind the name The Defiled?
The AvD: I remember all of us well, I say all of us, it was a very different line up at the time and I played drums in the band at the time, we where sitting at the back of our practice space which is the one we still use actually! We all got out a piece of paper and scribbled 10 names down and slowly whittled it down to 1 “The Defiled” I think it was on Stitch’s paper. We went through all sorts of names like “cancer pigeons”… that was Curse’s genius moment, we all laughed at him at the time but look at Cancer Bats! Maybe he was on to something…?
rushonrock: How was touring with Murderdolls? Did you get along with those guys well?
The AvD: Oh man… That was amazing! There was no rock-star bullshit with them they came in to our dressing room the first day welcomed us and told us that they hand picked us for it. Joey actually made an effort to be sociable and be really cool with us. That’s really refreshing to see, I mean he would come in our dressing room and be like, “You guys killed it tonight!” We would try act all cool, then he would leave and it would dawn on us that one of our heroes was just in here hanging out bigging us up and we’d start pouring beers on each other in delight!
rushonrock: Any good stories you can divulge in?!
The AvD: Loads… But the most insane is when one kid had a heart attack while we were playing, had to be sent to hospital and then came back to party with us, now that’s dedication.
rushonrock: Like Murderdolls, there’s obviously an element of style with the band. How important is that?
The AvD: We have never been a band that would do anything half assed in any way, sonically or visually. We are here to entertain you, I mean REALLY entertain you. If one of us doesn’t come off stage injured in some kind of way, I feel like we have let the people that have come to see us down. There are so many bands out there that sound so brutal on CD but when you go see them live it’s just… the only word I can come up with is, boring?
rushonrock: What would you say to those critics who judge you on appearance before hearing your music?
The AvD: Do you listen to music with your eyes?
rushonrock: Do you have any particular inspirations that you are loyal to, or is the source of your drive more free-flowing?
The AvD: Stitch and I have such a diverse musical background it’s really hard to narrow it down. I know he was obsessed with Nirvana growing up as much as I was obsessed with Nine Inch Nails. But we don’t go in to the studio thinking of anything in particular, we just fiddle around till we get that certain feeling and then we go with it. Music has to make you feel something and that’s what we go by.
rushonrock: What sets The Defiled apart from other British metalcore acts?
The AvD: We don’t play metal-core. People are calling us Industrial Metal and I like that.
rushonrock: How do you balance the jagged riffs and screams alongside clean vocals and melodic sections? How natural was it this time round on Grave Times?
The AvD: I think Stitch’s voice brings all that together, he is such a good singer that it doesn’t ever feel like a try hard cross over. We would never put a singing bit in just for the sake of it we do what we do the way we do it because it comes naturally.
rushonrock: What did you want to give your fans with this album? And what would you say this album has to offer for potential listeners, who haven’t heard your stuff? How would you pitch it to them?
The AvD: Grave Times is just a continuation of our EP 1888, alot of those songs we had written years ago when we didn’t really know what our sound was. This time around I think we’ve found our true sound and progressed alot further. We have a clearer vision of where we want to be as a band. I wouldn’t try and pitch it to anyone though, I’d say listen to it and if it’s your thing, welcome to the family!
rushonrock: With a song like Blood Sells, thematically there seems to be an undercurrent of greed that overwhelms and dehumanizes us from our inner selves. Would you agree with that?
The AvD: Yes I would, I was watching a documentary about all these really hard working people in India trying to raise a family and just live a normal life and somehow they couldn’t even scrape by, so they would have to start selling their body parts to make extra money, there are body part brokers, middlemen, twisted doctors… it’s crazy! There was this one particular guy that had just sold his kidney and therefore couldn’t work as hard and in the long run just withered away and died, that really struck a chord and I had to let it out.
rushonrock: Do you feel that we as a race have developed in some negative ways to ignore some of the important things in life?
The AvD: That’s an endless question for me, I’m still struggling with the whole life thing, what the fuck???!!!
rushonrock: Final Sleep really ends the album brilliantly. How did you tackle a slower, acoustic song like that? What was your inspiration lyrically?
The AvD: Stitch came over to my house to record a track that we had settled on, was going to be on the album and that we had to deliver to be mixed the next day. I was fucking around with some sounds on my synth at the time and Stitch was just like, “Nice, that sounds cool!” I got this riff I’d been working on. He played it to me and we just spent the whole night writing a new track which turned out to be ‘Final Sleep’. Lyrically I was going through this irrational fear of death looming over me at the time. I really couldn’t come to terms with the eternity that goes along with it, ‘Final Sleep’ actually helped me expel those demons, I know it seems cheesy but I do feel much better about it all after writing that, I feel like I was talking to my self and calming myself down and it worked!
rushonrock: If you had to sum up the new record in a few words, what would you say?
The AvD: It’s a celebration of our mortality and the chaos that surrounds us.
rushonrock: Are there any bands you are impressed by at the minute?
The AvD: Romeo Must Die, Sylosis, Emmure… loads, I don’t know where to end!
rushonrock: What’s next for The Defiled?
The AvD: We are doing our first ever headline tour in May so that’s really exiting. This year I hope we have the chance develop our stage show in to something we have always wanted and take it to the next level. We have always been talking about things we would love to see on stage or do on stage and this year we might be able to make them come true. We have been so busy doing the album, the ReWorks, the videos. Now it’s time to go out there and create havoc!