For dreamers, the grey skies and rich history of London, England, brings to life the food of fairytales: Medieval castles, busty maidens, and victorious knights galore. For realists, the thought elicits historically accurate images of ancient battles over territory and crowned royalty. However, for idealists, (aka, rock fans) the thought of England conjures up a grip of unforgettable photos (once plastered on our walls) of countless legendary, rock-n-roll imports that originally hailed from across the pond.
Now it appears that England has done it once again, with the special delivery of the London based, Industrial Metal band, The Defiled.
The Defiled consists of:
Stitch D – Vocals & Guitar
The AvD – Programming/Keys & B. Vocals
Vincent Hyde – Bass
Needles – Drums
Screamer Magazine was able to catch up with vocalist Stitch D, who was kind enough to take a moment from his busy tour to answer a few questions for us.
From an early age, Stitch D admits that he immediately gravitated towards rock n’ roll music. In fact, he explained: “When I was five, I used to run around the house with a little, children’s acoustic guitar. I liked to pretend to be Keith Richards. However, it wasn’t until the age of eight that I got my first proper guitar, so it started from there, really,” he exclaimed.
Yet it appears that rock n’ roll music has always been part of his life, since according to SD, his father was reportedly a massive rock fan as well. In fact, thanks to his dad’s musical influence, SD grew up listening to classic rock legends such as The Rolling Stones, Tom Petty, The Cult, and Dire Straits. For a short time, it seemed that rock music remained in the background in his life, and things went along much as expected for a boy of his age. Time went on, and he boasts that he was honestly “quite good at school till about the age of 12.” But all that was forever changed the moment he discovered grunge and punk rock music. After that, he essentially had a one track mind, and admits that all he wanted to do from then on was to play his guitar. But unfortunately, that meant that “everything else just fell by the wayside.”
As with any musician, there were specific musical influences that really set his wheels in motion. For Stitch D, that music was grunge and the band was Nirvana. SD explains: “The minute I saw the video Smells Like Teen Spirit on TV, I knew that’s what I wanted to be. I used to play a lot of sports as a kid to quite a high level, but that song literally changed my life.” In fact, the legendary grunge band had such an impact on him that he even claims Nirvana “changed everything for me. I had never heard anything like it.” So it only made sense that he also said the one artist he would love to jam with one day, is none other than, (you guessed it) Dave Grohl. So if you’re reading this Dave, you know what to do…
Though many groups may have a specific band name in mind from the gate, that was not so, for The Defiled. Stitch D admitted “we actually had about 20 names before we finally came up with The Defiled, loads of really stupid ones even.” Obviously though, the guys thought The Defiled was a keeper, and according to Stitch D, it really represents who the band are as people.
Although the collaboration of such talented musicians will oftentimes result in an intense power struggle, The Defiled seems to have the right kind of chemistry to really make it work. For instance, when asked to describe the songwriting process, Stitch D had this to say: “Basically, I start off doing the ‘bare bones’ of the songs, writing the guitar, bass, drums and rough vocal lines; then I send a demo to the AvD to work on electronics.” Thereafter, he said that the whole band gets together and just plays it. In fact, SD describes the entire creative process as rather painless.
Speaking of songs, he also admitted that he’s actually grown quite partial to one of their newest song selections. Currently, he says, “my favorite song also happens to be the first song we are gonna release off our new EP called Running in Circles. We’ve been playing it live on this In This Moment tour, and it’s fun to play.” Though he believes it’s slightly in a more rock direction than their previous material, he’s admittedly rather proud of it, so be sure to check it out as soon as you get a chance.
Now that the boy who once pretended to be Keith Richards has achieved his own stardom, like many rock musicians he’s realized that times have indeed, changed. Many original rock bands are being forced into the mainstream, being given the option by the powers that be to either sink or swim. But The Defiled hasn’t let that pressure sway their sense of self in the least. Stitch D explained: “I think the biggest challenge is creating something that really reflects what you wanna do, rather than jumping on genre bandwagons. It’s best to just create something that you’re proud of— even if that makes you sell a million records or just 100.” Yet the dream of rock stardom, with all its luxurious fame and fortune, is becoming more and more of just that, a dream. For example, Stitch D lamented: “…I’m saying that it’s becoming increasingly hard to make any money in this industry nowadays. Bands that you would think are big and must live a fantastic life off their music really don’t.”
Fortunately, the disillusionment that often goes along with fame hasn’t slowed down The Defiled’s roll, one bit; and if anything, it almost seems to propel them even further, and that much faster. In true artist fashion, The Defiled just keeps evolving and widening their fan base, not only by touring, but now they also reach a global audience, with a little help from the World Wide Web. Stitch D believes: “The internet really helped us get to where we are now, I think it’s great for new bands and discovering new music, but maybe Lars Ulrich was right with the whole Napster thing.” Boy, was he ever, Stitch D, boy was he ever…
There’s always the unknown elements that serve to create an air of mystery between one’s adoring fans, and the band that they love. What might seem to be meaningless trivia to some may likely be considered a treasured knowledge or revered secret to another. So what did Screamer discover about Stitch D that fans would be surprised to learn about him? Well, SD boldly admitted: “I don’t eat ANY vegetables…like ZERO. I’ll probably die at the age of 35…” But another thing fans may not realize, is that with all his dark, intensity and depth, Stitch D seems to really have a great (if a bit sinister) sense of humor. Case in point, when asked where he sees himself in ten years, his reply was simply this: “Dead, if I carry on not eating vegetables.” Classic!
In addition, it doesn’t really matter the size of the venue that they play in, you can be sure that the The Defiled will rock it, just the same. However, when asked whether or not they have any preference where they play, Stitch D had this to say: “Oh, the bigger venue the better, stage space makes such a difference to us. I love little packed headline shows, but I definitely enjoy seeing a sea of people in front of us!”
Incidentally, that “sea of people” (aka, their fan base) that Stitch D referred to is growing by the day; especially when receiving such impressive distinctions as being voted the “Best New Band” by Metal Hammer Golden Gods Awards, in 2012.
On a more somber note, the band has recently taken the plunge into some of their deepest, heartfelt emotions with a haunting ballad entitled Five Minutes, which is dedicated in memoriam to loved ones lost.
Their musical depth and versatility keeps giving them that little, extra edge over the masses still swimming along, (and getting washed away) in the mainstream. If anything, The Defiled is going deep, directly against the tide; navigating their own journey with their final destination, largely unknown.
But one thing is for certain, The Defiled will be one that stays the course boldly, rockin’ upon music’s uncharted waters, across the pond and beyond.