Interview by Brady Deeprose
Before their show supporting Ghost and Gojira on the 2013 Jagermeister Tour, Brady caught up with The AVD (Keyboards, Programming) and Aaron Curse (Guitar) to chat about the band, touring and sausage rolls.
Hey guys. Cheers for taking the time to chat to me. Firstly, ‘The AVD’: How did this name come about?
The AVD: I used to hang around with a lot of graffiti artists and their tags were always the first three letters of their surname. As mine is Avdis, The AVD just kinda stuck.
Brady: Great, now we’re on an even footing: How is the Jagermiester tour going for The Defiled?
Aaron Curse: Very well, we’re enjoyed all the shows and we’re getting some pretty good responses.
AVD: The kids have been awesome! I mean, up in Scotland they were going nuts to our intro track…
Aaron: Yeah, we got a circle pit before we even got to the stage.
How has it been touring with bands the likes of Ghost and Gojira?
AVD: It feels…good! On the inside. I feel like our band is kind of the bridge that brings the other bands together, I think that’s why we’re on the bill. You have Ghost which are heavily image based and then Gojira who are heavily…heavy: We’re somewhere in the middle. It feels natural, even though everyone keeps asking us what it’s like being so different.
What can fans expect from your performance across the tour?
Aaron: …the usual shit. (Laughs) Yeah, just the usual chaos.
AVD: We’re going to be playing a couple of new tracks from the upcoming album, and one we’ve actually been playing for so long, it feels like an old track. And ‘Sleeper’. (The band’s latest single)
How is the album you mentioned coming along?
AVD: We finished recording with Jason Suecof about, erm, a year ago. (Laughs) It’s coming out this summer and we’re really proud of it and I hope you guys enjoy it too.
With Stich D (the band’s frontman) moving from London to LA, how is the band going to survive?
AVD: We write over the internet anyway so that won’t really change much. We use a program, I’m not going to endorse it, but it’s kinda like Skype but as a studio. I’m actually moving to Figi with Curse (Aaron).
Wow! So why the big moves? How did that decision come about?
Aaron: Well, Stitch has always wanted to go to LA and now seemed like a good time. The way it’s going to work from now on is that we’ll meet up wherever we’re starting a tour for two or three weeks to rehearse.
AVD: Our bassist lives in Pennsylvania (USA).
Crikey! So The Defiled are an international group of jet-setters?
AVD: Yeah, we travel a lot man. It’s not like I feel home is London, we just came back from Europe, sleeping in a different bed every night.
So there are no ‘family men’?
AVD: No! We’re all… drifters! (Laughs)
Jagermeister seems to be synonymous with The Defiled, is there any reason for this?
AVD: They were the first ever, company I suppose, that believed in us. It’s a bit crap to talk about money when you talk about music ‘caus it kinda cheapens in but if you’re alive and you don’t live at home with your Mummy and Daddy and they don’t pay your bills, then you’ll understand where we’re coming from. To run anything, a band, you need money and Jager were the first business to come in and believe in us. They used to print our t-shirts for free and we could sell them and make some money. Basically, we wouldn’t be here without them. We owe them so much…we owe them everything to be honest. We’re not sitting here ‘endorsing a product’, we really appreciate what they’ve done for…well, music. Anyone who’s even heard of The Defiled: it’s because of Jagermeister.
What are the plans from here?
Aaron: Tour, tour, tour. Get the album out. We really want to go to some countries we’ve never played before. We’ve played a little in the States, but we want to tour out there properly as well as places like Australia and Japan…we’re looking to spread out basically.
The news broke recently that The Defiled have signed to Nuclear Blast Records. Can you tell me more?
Aaron: (Laughs) What I can do is tell you a story. The day we announced our signing to Nuclear Blast, I was doing some freelance work for a friend, and I was really hungry. I was looking around on the floor for some money, as I only had 30p on me, for another 60p to buy a sausage roll. I found it and bought one just as the news broke and so I had loads of family and friends messaging me saying ‘Well done on the big record deal!’ whilst I’m scrabbling around looking for money on the floor. As a kid, I kinda dreamed about getting a record deal but I never saw those two things…
AVD: Didn’t see sausage roll money on the floor as being a part of it! We actually had a few questions the other day: ‘So, now you’ve made it in the big time, how do you stay grounded…’ and we were stood in a fucking toilet… it’s pretty easy to be honest! It’s a job, just like any other… well, it’s a really fucking cool job! It’s the only thing we can do. It worked out for us, it doesn’t for everyone, and we’re really thankful for that. Going back to the record deal, we went with Nuclear Blast because after talking to loads of other labels, it was all really business related and, of course you have to have that side to it, but they were the only company that understood the band and were talking to us on a completely different level like, ‘Do this because that’s what the fans want’ and we thought ‘Damn, these are some cool dudes!’ Mark Palmer, I don’t know if you know him, used to run Roadrunner and we’d wanted to sign with them for years and after he moved to Nuclear Blast, it seemed like a great opportunity. It’s a dream come true for us really.
Going back to the music, who influences you guys?
Aaron: It’s different for all of us to be honest… as a kid you aspire to be like your favourite bands: for me it was Guns N’ Roses and Nine Inch Nails. As far as what influences the song-writing…
AVD: I’d say everyday life man. It’s a regurgitation of what you’ve been listening to your whole life. You sit in the studio and it just comes out in spurts… of ridiculousness or genius…
So it would be fair to say you spurted out your last album?
AVD: Squitted it out! No, we do what we do, it doesn’t happen by mistake. We know what we’re doing and we know what we want to sound like.
What’s the best gig you guys have ever played?
AVD: There was Manchester?
Aaron: No, I’d say selling out the Underworld (Camden)… there’s been a lot of good gigs man, it’s really hard to pick one!
AVD: My first ever good gig, there have been lots since, was supporting the Murderdolls in Manchester. There were like three or four circle pits going as we walked out…we couldn’t believe it! Walking out on the Jager stage at Sonisphere too, that was a shocker. We still set up our own shit and we didn’t really look out. When we came back on I had a moment like ‘Oh..’
Aaron: Sometimes you still feel a bit weird, like ‘People actually come to see us?!’ The days of empty gigs seem to be over.
What would be the top gig you’ve ever attended?
Aaron: There’s been a few, but probably my first ever gig: Guns N’ Roses, Nine Inch Nails, Skid Row.
AVD: For me? Jeez… I have to say… 1993, I was in the snakepit for Metallica. That was pretty cool…
I literally wasn’t even born…
AVD: (Raucous laughter)
Aaron: I like to see stuff with a big stage show: Bands like Rammstein are great for that.
AVD: I’d also say Slipknot: One of the best bands I’ve ever seen.
Aaron: I do tend to get bored of bands that don’t have a ‘thing’ going on, even if I do like the music.
What’s your favourite track to play live?
AVD: Easy, ‘Blood Sells’.
Aaron: I’m actually really enjoying playing ‘Sleeper’, the new one, live and ‘As I Drown’…the newer stuff because we haven’t been playing it for years!
What track are you most proud of writing/recording?
AVD: There’s one on the new album called ‘5 Minutes’ and that’s quite personal to me.
Aaron: I don’t actually write, but I do have favourites to listen to…’In Your Name’ and ‘Land Of Fools’.
Have you got anything else you want the readers to know?
AVD: Yeah, we’d like to thank all of you that pledged towards our new album recording and flights and visas… we would not have a new album or a record deal or even a career if it wasn’t for you guys, so thank you for donating… we’re beggars now!
Thanks again for taking the time out to talk to me.
The Defiled’s new album Daggers is expected summer 2013.