With three studio albums under their belts and tour slots with the likes of Bane, La Dispute and Comeback Kid, Defeater are nowhere near ready to kill the momentum. After taking some time off due to vocalist Derek‘s hip replacement surgery, the guys are back for more. We caught up with Guitarist Jay Maas to get the lowdown on being back on the road, playing Download Festival and what to expect from the next album…
Broken Arrow: How are you guys today? How’s Download Festival been for you so far?
Jay: We’re really good! We’ve had a couple days rest from coming off our tour in Australia. I’ve only been at Download a couple of hours but I’ve had some food, a few beers and got to see Counterparts so things are looking up!
Broken Arrow: So you guys have done Australia before right?
Jay: Yeah it was our third tour of Australia so it feels like home. We love that continent and we have an absolute blast when we’re out there!
Broken Arrow: Awesome! So how’s 2015 treating Defeater?
Jay: Great. We took most of 2014 off and some of 2015 because Derek was having a hip replacement. Now he’s all better we’re just hittin’ it hard, touring six months out of the year. We’ve already done a full US tour with Counterparts then Australia. For the next six weeks we’re gonna be touring Europe. We’re gonna be going all over.
Broken Arrow: Yeah, we wanted to talk about Derek’s injury – how was that for you?
Jay: Immediately, we were just really nervous for Derek and wanted to find a solution. We were really blown away by the support of our community raising the money. The medical system in America sucks but we were really fortunate to have an awesome community that helped us get Derek back on his feet again. We had to cancel some tours which is always disappointing but primarily, the most important thing is that everyone in the band is happy and healthy.
Broken Arrow: Absolutely. So you’ve recently got back in the studio again. What can fans expect from the new album?
Jay: Well I’m actually a Producer/Engineer – I’ve done all of our records in my studio in Boston! The new record I would say, while it is still very Defeater – I don’t think we can help but sound like ourselves – it’s darker. It’s probably our darkest record yet but it’s big…really, really big!
Broken Arrow: Any particular reason for going darker?
Jay: I can’t talk too much about it yet but we always write the music around the character whose narrative we’re telling and this character definitely required dark and eery background music.
Broken Arrow: Well we look forward to hearing it! Tell us more about being a Producer…
Jay: I’ve been an engineer for about 12 years or more and i own a studio in Boston. It’s like my total passion. I’m a big nerd so it was like a perfect marriage of technology and music for me – and I get to make a living from it! I’ve had the opportunity to produce the new Bane record, Polar Bear Club, Defeater and more.
Broken Arrow: So if you could produce one band’s record, who would it be?
Jay: I would get Jawbreaker to get back together and do another record. Although, how do you fuck with a classic?
Broken Arrow: Very true. So, before you head off on tour, what items can you not leave the house without?
Jay: Well, I have a plethora of random power converters that I need. A lot of picks, earplugs, Cadbury Creme Eggs – they definitely make you feel better when you’re down – a shit tonne of black T-shirts.
Broken Arrow: What’s your funniest/craziest tour story?
Jay: Oh I definitely can’t tell you that!
Broken Arrow: That bad, huh?
Jay: I’ll just tell you this, being in a band really blows my mind with some of the interesting evenings we’ve had!
Broken Arrow: We can only imagine. Any last words for the fans?
Jay: Stay safe and have an awesome weekend!
Watch the video for ‘Bastards‘ here: