For Fans Of: While She Sleeps / Bury Tomorrow / As Everything Unfolds
With lead singles like ‘False Gods’ and ‘In The Black’ out there as strong showings for what Defences are capable of, it’s not suprising to find the rest of their second album similarly strong. Covering everything from insecurity and heartbreak to larger social issues, In The Balance is melodic metalcore at its best, with plenty of hooks and phenomenal vocal performances from both Cherry Duesbury and William Alex Young. Now with the Hertfordshire-based band a few days away from releasing that album, we caught up with guitarist Calum Wilmot about recording In The Balance and more.
Words: Renette van der Merwe
Let’s pretend you’re setting up a dating profile here – tell us about the band.
We’re a metalcore/alt metal band from Hertfordshire/London. If you love low tuned guitars, massive riffs and poppy choruses then you’re at home here. In the last few years we’ve really focused on working on adding more scope and dynamics to our sound until we reached the style we’ve established on our new album, In The Balance. We’ve typically talked about themes of seizing the day and overcoming adversity, however with this record we opted for candour; an almost brutally honest insight into the last 2 years of our lives. With this album, we’ve set about cataloguing the highs and lows of this period in the hope that they’ll be applicable to the lives of others.
“…delivering clean and brutal vocals to get that on-point metalcore sound. The choruses are always epic sing-along moments for this band, and I hope the future holds great things for them.”
Sophie K – Kerrang! Radio
Do you remember your first music-related goosebumps moment? Can you share it with us?
We’ve been fortunate to have had many! One of the first big ones I can remember is the release show of our first album. Getting to see all the new faces in the crowd singing our songs back to us was such a huge rush, it filled us with enthusiasm to carry that forward into the EP that followed. On that note, I personally had another goosebumps moment when we first put together our single What You Know, the mix of styles on that track and the energy behind was completely new for us and gave me so much excitement about what we could achieve as a band.
If you could pick one artist as an honorary band member, who would it be?
Oooh good question! I think Jordan Fish from Bring Me The Horizon would be absolutely incredible to work with, his addition to that band seemed to transform their sound. In every interview I’ve seen with him his approach to music and songwriting in general just appears so experimental without ever losing sight of the hook, it feels from the outside as if he’s been instrumental in the progression of their sound. Music IQ like that would be a great thing to have in Defences!
What’s the coolest thing a fan’s ever done for you?
Our fans are amazing, and it does genuinely blow our minds how many of them come to shows, stream our songs and buy our merch etc. We’ve also been lucky enough to have lots of fans use our songs for their own projects which is always extremely rewarding. For example we’ve had a wrestler use one of our songs as their walk-on music which was unbelievably cool. However, I think the most viscerally cool thing has to be the times where a fan has taken their time to do some art for us. We have a fan from Leeds who has done a piece for us both times we’ve played there which has always been a high point of those tours , so I think that probably stands out as the coolest thing someone’s done for us!
You’re about to release your album, In The Balance. Who did you work with and what was it like in the studio?
We worked with Daniel Kerr at Avenue Studios on In The Balance. We spent a month or so in the studio in August 2020 tracking the record and then did mix revisions mostly remotely over the next couple of months. It was an unbelievably relaxed work flow, he has 2 little Dachshunds who are constantly running around demanding attention from everyone so the atmosphere was always fun! The process itself was fairly standard, we’d had more time than initially planned to work on the songs due to the Covid-19 Pandemic, so we mainly focused on nailing each individual element sonically as opposed to workshopping the songs in the studio. Overall, I think it’d be fair to say it was a very relaxed and enjoyable time with an extremely talented producer.
Settle an argument for us (and the rest of the world)… is a hotdog a sandwich?
Now we’re getting to the serious stuff. Hot dogs I think are more of an event than a regular sandwich, I put them in the same category as burgers. Technically, they have similar components to sandwiches but they’re elevated. Something more.
Rising to the challenge, Defences have put together an electrifying collection of songs that best encapsulates the artists and music that inspire them as a band.
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