Recently The Edge had the opportunity to have a quick chat with The Defiled’s party-loving, instrument-abusing keyboard player The AvD before their upcoming tour of the UK begins in February. He had plenty to say about the band’s reputation for wild offstage antics and why Germany is the best country to tour in if you’re hungry, as well as a host of other things.
Are you excited to get out on the road in the UK again?
Yeah, we can’t wait actually. We’ve been all over the world winning crowds over in the past year or so, and it’ll be really nice to get back on our home turf, playing to crowds of people that have been following us for years and know what we’re about.
Do you have a favourite country to play in?
Different countries have good and bad points though. England is always amazing because the crowds go absolutely mental, but Germany is probably the best when it comes to the backstage stuff. They really take care of you out there, it’s like going home and being looked after by your mother for a bit! You get unlimited food, unlimited beer, all sorts of stuff. In England they just give you a crate of beer and some crisps! America is the worst one though, you even have to ask for water out there. I remember we played one show in the Arizona desert, in jackets of course, because we’re idiots! We came off stage close to fainting and we then had to clear it with the production manager before we could get a drink of water.
How do you cope with writing and recording with [vocalist]Stitch D living in L.A. and you living in England?
Well, we have a very intense online relationship, there’s lots of emailing ideas back and forth! We used to do it the same way when he lived over here too, exchanging ideas over email and then all getting together to record. Vince [bassist]lives in Pennsylvania, so we’re definitely an international band!
You famously had quite a lot of problems with record companies before you signed to Nuclear Blast, are any of the lyrics in [new album]Daggers based on that experience and how angry you were about it?
Yes, definitely, there’s one song on Daggers which is aimed at a particular record executive, it’s called ‘As I Drown’. We were going to make the whole album about the music industry and our experiences in it, but then all kinds of things happened in our lives. There were family deaths, breakups, all that kind of thing and for us it’s important to be honest about what’s going on with us at the time lyrically. If you’re not, the listener can always tell. There’s even one song on the album about us betraying each other within the band. It all just came out when we were making that record, it’s very honest. The slower track ‘5 Minutes’ is probably the most personal song for me, that one’s about one of my family member dying. That one is incredibly real and honest for me, as I wrote it the day my family member died, and I still had tears in my eyes. I see it as almost like a last present from them.
What sort of music do you like listening to?
I’ll listen to pretty much anything, to be honest. Someone once said there are really only two genres of music, good music and bad music. I listen to the good shit! I’m quite a moody person, and what I like to listen to reflects how I’m feeling at any given point. My friends keep telling me I listen to depressing music, but I don’t see it as depressing, just telling it how it is!
All of us in the band are quite moody people really, and some of our songs are quite depressing too, although we try and put that across in a positive way, if that’s possible. That’s The Defiled for you though, we’re depressing in a positive way! [laughs]
You guy are known for being quite a hard-partying band. What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever done on tour?
Well, I think the worst was probably one night where I thought I got out of bed and went to the toilet for a piss, but I then got woken up by a sound guy screaming at me ‘you’ve pissed in my suitcase!’ I’d apparently gotten up, sleepwalked over to the suitcase, very politely lifted the lid, and pissed straight on his clothes! I couldn’t believe I’d done it and I was very apologetic. I even took him out for lunch the next day. I hope he forgave me, and if he ever reads this, I’m sorry Gary!
Have you ever had any really crazy experiences with your fans while on tour?
Most of the people who are into what we do are pretty crazy, I wouldn’t expect anything less! We’re mad, and crazy attracts crazy! There was one guy in Glasgow who got taken to the hospital while we were performing, and then, later on when we were partying he just showed up at the club with all the hospital tubes still attached and announced ‘fuck it! I’m here to drink with you guys!’ He was a total badass, that guy!
You’re touring the UK; have you got anything else lined up for the rest of year?
We’re recording some covers at the moment to release later on in the year, and those are all acoustic. After that, we’re just going to continue touring the world playing metal. We have Soundwave festival coming up in Australia, and we’re either going to play festivals in Europe or the States this summer, we haven’t decided which yet. Either way, it’s going to be a busy year!
You can buy tickets for The ‘No Place Like Home’ February tour here.