Band of the Day: Defences

Getting this one to you late tonight!

Simple things first – where are you guys from?

Officially we’re from Hertfordshire and London – some of us are in South Hertfordshire and some in South London. I used to live in North Hertfordshire but I actually live just outside of Oxford now!

How did you meet?

I met Calum and some previous members after putting up some vocal covers and an ad online, about 6 years ago. When we needed a new drummer we met Kyle after he did a video audition of our song Scared. Kyle knew Ian as they went to college together. Then when we needed a screamer we went to Will who we knew through mutual friends.

How long have you been playing as a band?

Over 5 years now!

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

It was the original name of the song “Let You In”. That song was sort of the cornerstone of what the band was to become, and although we thought Defences was an apt name for it, we decided it represented the band even moreso, so the song became “Let You In” and we became Defences.

What are your influences?

They’re wide and varied. Musically we all come from slightly different backgrounds, which explains why we tend to jump around a bit stylistically from song to song. I’d say a bigger influence on our sound is the way we bounce off each other – certainly with this song and what comes next, we have a sense of collectivity and unity that we’ve never had before. We feel like a singular musical entity now, rather than simply 5 musicians working together.

 Describe your music. What makes you unique?

We don’t write to a script. One reductionist criticism that is often levelled at many alternative bands is that they follow a certain formula in the way they write music, which causes it to stagnate over time. We just write things that we like, which can range from extensive orchestration to bass drops and everywhere in between. If I had to describe our music I’d say it was a modern take on the alternative sphere with something for everyone.

 Do you have any particular lyrical themes?

The lyrics can be influenced by almost anything. Things that have happened in my life, or lives of anyone I know. Things I want to happen, things I’m feeling. Narratives I’m inspired by from books or movies. The theme for the album was very much about overcoming adversity, rising from the ashes, a ‘what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger’ kind of vibe. These new songs are more retrospective. Which has resulted in darker lyrical themes. They’re more about the adversity we wrote about overcoming before, the pain and hardships that we all go through. I think it’s an important thing to acknowledge. I’ve already had people tell me how much it resonates with them and has helped them, which makes me so happy, because that’s the entire point.

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

We’ve played around 100 shows, and we like to keep them interesting. We aim to bring as high production values as we can to every show we play no matter the size of the venue and make sure that people get their money’s worth! Inclusivity and positivity are big values we hold with our live shows – we want people to jump around and have a good time, but not to hurt each other, which seems to be happening a lot nowadays. The final thing I’d say about our show is that we like to show how we’ve progressed. At a Defences show, you’ll definitely see where we’ve come from and where we’re going.

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

We’ve played some smaller venues and seen members of other bands really take advantage of the space. Some memorable moments including a vocalist climbing to the top of a PA, guitarists joining mosh pits whilst playing, and even a drummer moving his entire kit into the middle of the crowd and playing a song there.

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

We use a Mapex Raven, Ibanez guitars, Musicman basses, Axefx, Line 6, Sansamp and Shure.

What, if anything, are you plugging/promoting at the moment?

We’re promoting our new single “Shatter” the response so far has been humbling and it still has a long while before it tails off!

What are your plans for 2019?

We’ve just come back from a UK tour with The Raven Age, which was absolutely incredible! Now we’re back home, we’re focusing on preparing for the next release and writing. There’ll be new music and a few more tours which will be announced in the coming months.

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!

Ooh good question! The tour with The Raven Age was amazing, I think we’d all be happy to support them again. And bring our buddies in As Everything Unfolds along to support!

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