FAN TIME: An Interview With Defeater!
Defeater has been on tour in support of their latest release “Empty Days & Sleepless Nights.” which was released on March 8th, 2011. Back on Feb 9th, 2011 we had fans from all over the world submit questions to Defeater. Jay Maas (guitarist) took some time to fill out the questions we picked. Thank you to everyone who submitted questions.
Kevin Vanscoy: What bands got you guys into hardcore/ whats your all time favorite bands?
When I was a kid, maybe 12 years old or so the only thing I cared about was skateboarding. It was the older guys at our local skate park that turned me onto a lot of good bands. I started with Dinosaur Jr, Fugazi, Husker Du, minor threat and then made my way into more skate punk stuff like Pennywise, NoFX, Jawbreaker, and Down By Law. Fugazi and Jawbreaker remain some of my favorite bands to this day.
KJ Maida: Who are your biggest influences with your music?
I honestly don’t have any bands in particular in mind when I’m writing. I’ve been writing music and playing guitar for so long that what usually happens is I pick up a guitar and either something good happens immediately or nothing happens at all. A Wound and Scar was written in 40 minutes because that just happened to be where I laid my fingers down on the neck and started playing. I liked the sound of that first chord so much the suspensions in it last the entire song, instead we modulate the root note of the chord, dynamics and feel.
However if I start playing something and it reminds me of at the drive in there is a pretty serious chance I’m going to hold onto that idea haha.
Jay: Is your work at the studio your full-time job? How did you get into recording and what would you consider to be the most important sound-advices for a modern punk/hc recording?
It is in fact my full-time job, and I absolutely love it. When I was 19 I was in a band called “Pictures of Gabriel” and we went to record our demo with Kurt Ballou from converge. I remember being to interested in that process, I had always had 4 track tape machines and rigged really simple ways to record my bands. A few years later Kurt and I had become pretty good friends and I started buying a little bit of gear. A year and a half later it was my only job, that’s how hooked I got.
I think if you’re starting out recording it’s important to read as much as you can obviously, but you really need to make sure you are trying out these techniques yourself. Nothing teaches you like application. Also try to be smart about your spending if your on a budget, getting started in recording can be a sizable upfront chunk of money, especially when you probably won’t be getting paid much if anything at first.
Eddie Bradin: Are you guys always going to be doing concept albums? Will you ever write songs from a personal perspective as opposed to what you are doing now?
We actually are writing from personal experience in a lot of ways. Obviously I wasn’t born in the 1940’s, nor am I from New Jersey but tucked inside of all the characters are pieces of us. Who’s to say what Defeater will do in the distant future but for now we started something I would really like to finish.
Greg: Is there a definite ending to the narrative in your lyrics?
Ha, spoiler. Can’t get into that sorry!
Joshua: Having one of the members recording many melodic hardcore bands such as Verse, do you think your experience with such musicians has shaped your sound and views on the music?
If nothing else it keeps our finger on the pulse of that corner of music. It’s a really cool reciprocal relationship where writing in this style networks us with like-minded bands and that networking leads to recording their records. We all listen to each others records and I’m sure in a way we are all shaping each other.