Defeater interview

Defeaterphoto by Cam

Defeater is a band from Massachusetts, USA, that has been killing it lately. They have a full-length release under their belts already (they have only been around for just over two years), titled Travels, which is honestly one of the best hardcore albums that I have ever heard, and they’ve just released an EP titled Lost Ground which is just as good, if not better. Social awareness and environmental activism are very important things to Defeater, which is evident in the projects that the band has been involved in, in their lyrics, and in little things like printing Travels on 100% recycled materials.

Give them a listen. They are well worth your time, I promise you.

Who makes up Defeater and what do they play?

Defeater is Andy, Derek, Jake, Jay, and Mike. Drums, Vocals, Guitar, Guitar, and Bass respectively.

What do you guys do outside of Defeater, or is it a full-time thing?

I (Jay) own Getaway Recording studio just outside of Boston, Mike plays in a band called Make Do and Mend, Derek manages a really cool indie record store in New Hampshire, Andy owns a company called Green Vans which is a eco-friendly band van rental company, and Jake spends most of his time looking really good and playing in a band called Dreamtigers.


What’s the Massachusetts scene like at the moment? It seems to be thriving right now?

What’s kind of funny is that we almost never play in Boston haha. Yet Boston has been and I feel like will remain to be a hot bed for aggressive bands. Some people blame the cold weather, some might say it’s the general vibe up here, but I really have no idea. I like living here a lot. Winters can be a little brutal, but if you just put your head down and mosh through them it will be spring before you know it. Does this answer your question about the scene? No, no it does not.

What is Defeater up to at the moment? You’ve just released your new EP, so are you taking a break? I haven’t seen any tour dates lined up?

Between our very strict practicing regiment of one practice every couple years (not a joke, seriously), and all the coffee breaks (averaging 4 per day, also not a joke) we keep pretty busy hahaha. We are actually just a couple weeks away from recording our next full length! We are seriously beyond excited to do this. I had meant to write it already but between all the practices and coffee it slipped my mind. So instead we are going to write it on the spot, I think most of our best songs happen that way anyway.

Social awareness and environmental activism is obviously very important to Defeater. What are some projects you guys have been involved in? What is ‘Greenvans’? Are you guys vegetarian/vegan?

Derek is a Vegan and we are all environmentally aware. I would check out for all the info. It’s such a cool company and it’s run by my best friends.

Any other messages you guys try to get out there?

Be an honest person? Eat an apple a day? I don’t know really, we aren’t the preachy type at all. There is a lot of substance and meaning in our lyrics but I’m more of the live and let live philosophy, we all have our own brains and we should just worry about taking care of ourselves first without knowingly hurting other people.


What music are you listening to right now?

I am actually mixing the new Dreamtigers stuff and drinking beer. A combination that comes highly recommended. Recently I’ve been playing that new Death Cab EP, Ryan Adams, Russian Circles, Polar Bear Club.

Any upcoming bands that we should watch out for?

Make Do and Mend and Transit if you don’t already know them.

What inspired the narrative approach to writing your lyrics?

We thought it was a creative way to tell a story. Most records are from the “I” point of view and it’s cool to do something different I think.

What is your favourite country that you’ve been to so far, and why?

I really like France, Belgium, and the UK. I don’t know it’s so hard to pick because the shows in Germany are really hard to beat. Basically where ever I can get great coffee / food / beer I’m in.

Lastly, any chance of an upcoming South African tour? Kids here are frothing at the mouth for you guys.

Ha! It’s on our list. I”m sure by the time we can afford it you’ll all be into something newer and cooler anyway. 😉 hahahah <3
Thanks a lot Pete!

DerekDerek. Photo by Cam


Jay Jay in studio. Photo courtesy


Travels is a narrative story; each song reads as a narrative chapter from a novel while creating an embellished piece of fiction set in post WWII America in a broken home. Pieces of this story are borrowed from my life and embellished to create a compelling piece of fiction. While each song represents a different piece of time some, ranging from a moment, and others to years, the songs are in chronological order from birth to death.” – DFTR

Defeater Lost Ground

Lost Ground is a six song, double 7″ EP. It was written in a similar narrative style to Travels; following a man’s journey from enlisting in the military to post-war life (the same man that listeners were introduced to on track 6 of Travels: “Prophet in Plain Clothes”). “Lost Ground looks into the difference between how different races could all go to war fighting and dying for this country yet not all be treated with equal rights as citizens upon their return, and what kind of effects that inequality can have on an honest person,” – Jay Maas.

Check out Defeater at Bridge9 or visit them on myspace

« | »