Band of the Day: Defences

Defences released their debut album a couple of weeks back and kindly answered our BotD questions which we read over while enjoying the music. You can check out a track from With Might and Main down below, after the the lovely word stuff. Acquaint yourself with the people and music of Defences…

Simple things first – where are you guys from?

Despite being a self-titled “Hertfordshire band”, we’re actually pretty spread out in all the edges of the county! Cherry is from Letchworth, Kyle is from St. Albans, Ian is from Borehamwood, Alex is from Alexandra Palace and Calum is from Kew in London!

How did you meet?

Calum, Kyle and Cherry all met online through various advertising websites, while Ian and Alex are friends of Kyle’s from a music university called the ICMP.

How long have you been playing as a band?

That’s a difficult one to answer, it’d be fair to say we’ve had a few different iterations of Defences! The oldest songs that we play live now were released in 2014, so that’d be the best answer I guess. Our current lineup has been playing together since the beginning of this year and we’re heading out on a couple of tours over the next few months to really get used to each other onstage.

Before you get sick of being asked… where does the band name come from?

“Defences” was actually the name under which we originally released our latest single “Let You In”. We adopted the name after the EP version as we felt it was more representative of us and the themes that we explore in our lyrics.

What are your influences?

We’re all fairly varied in terms of what we listen to and we all get inspiration from everywhere! We’ve always looked at bands such as Story of the Year and Underoath for structural and instrumental inspiration. We do listen to stuff outside the metal genre as well for inspiration, with Melanie Martinez being a pretty popular one on road trips at the moment when we’re looking for interesting instrumentation and arrangement. Music can be so subjective, there’s always something to be inspired by.

Describe your music. What makes you unique?

Our music is quite varied and touches on a few different genres. At heart, we’re probably stadium rock with some post harcore influences but there are album tracks that are old school metalcore and others that are more electronic. We like to think that our changeability and incorporation of different styles in our sound is what makes us unique, but ultimately that’s down to the listener!

Do you have any particular lyrical themes?

Our lyrics are primarily influenced by real life events and interactions, and tend to almost always have a theme of positivity, whether it’s obvious and intentional or subtle. There are a wide array of themes explored in our lyrics, but the two that probably crop up the most are the themes of overcoming adversity in whatever form it presents itself and not letting life pass you by. We feel very strongly about these ideas and others, and apply them to different situations in our songs that we think demonstrate their relevance. We do however like to leave a certain amount of ambiguity so that the listener can take the overall message of whichever song they’re listening to and apply it to another situation.

What’s your live show like? How many shows have you played?

Our live show is very energetic and often a bit heavier than you would expect listening to our singles. We walk a fine line between injecting enough aggression into our performance that people feel like they can jump around and have a good time while at the same time preserving our sound and giving the audience the same songs that they’ve heard prior to the show!

What’s the wildest thing you’ve seen or done at a live show?

We once had a guy dressed as Elvis at a show, right at the very front, dancing like he was in a club. He was really into it, albeit obviously quite intoxicated. It was surreal.

What kit do you use / guitars do you play / etc.?

Guitars are fairly simple, we go predominately for Ibanez but also occasionally use PRS and Fender from time to time to change it up, with Ian using a Line 6 Helix for his tone and Calum using a Fractal Ax8 and a Line 6 G55 Relay. Kyle uses Mapex drums, Mapex falcon hardware, a Gibraltar rack, Sabian HHX/Vault cymbals and Vic Firth sticks and Alex uses a Fender Jazz Mexican Deluxe 5 string going into a TC Electronic BG250.

What are your plans for the rest of 2017?

The most important thing is our debut album With Might and Main coming out on the 26th of May! Aside from that, we’ve got a couple of UK tours, one in May with High Rise and Callous Caligula and one in June with City of Ashes and Never Found with a one off London date in between them, and we’re waiting to finalise a few things for after June. Hopefully we’ll fit in some writing somewhere as well!

If you were second on a three-band bill, which band would you love to be supporting and which band would you choose to open for you? A chance to plug someone you’ve toured with, or a mate’s band we’ve not heard of before!

Supporting Bring Me The Horizon would be incredible simply because they’re such a huge inspiration for the alternative scene, almost iconically at this point. Their live show is also amazing, something we would be over the moon to be a part of. As for an opening band we’d love to have The Raven Age on the bill, not only are they unreal in terms of musicianship but they’re also good friends of ours and whenever we play a show together we have the best of times.

Courtesy of previous Band of the Day artist Ruben Altman: What phase of the creation process do you find most difficult and how do you cope with that?

None of the creation process is easy for us simply because there’s no set way to approach anything, we’re constantly doing things and making errors while doing so, then learning how to do it better for next time! We probably struggle the most with making music videos as filmography doesn’t come naturally to any of us and the planning that has to go into the logistics of pulling everything off is tremendous. We usually get around it by locking ourselves in a room and not leaving until we’ve organised every part of it!

Defences: facebook | twitter | instagram | soundcloud | bandcamp | youtube | bigcartel

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