Defeater is a pretty cool hardcore band with two releases out on Bridge Nine that you should own. If you haven't already picked them up yet, please do yourself a favor. Read on to see what Jay Maas had to tell us and note the sarcasm after what is most definitely a silly question. If he ever acts this way around you, just remember that people like him usually use sarcasm to hide their insecurities.
PRT: You're nearing the end of your European tour... what's it been like so far?
Jay: It has been unbelievable. We are treated so well here and the kids are so responsive. We get to tour with two great bands, who have become amazing friends of ours. The turnouts have been great and all the promoters have been happy. I don't know what else to say--we are grateful for this every single day. We take nothing for granted and are just truly humbled by how well this all went.
PRT: For the people out there who haven't yet heard Defeater, if the band was the lovechild of two other acts, which bands would've had sex and which position were you conceived in?
Jay: Oh my god. One part SNFU and one part the sound track to the movie "Juice" starring 2Pac Shakur. Your mom showed all of us a new position the other night and it's literally indescribable, but rest assured, it's the position that irrelevant punk band and 2Pac (who is still very much alive) had sex in to form my band.
PRT: You guys were originally called Sluts. Did all of you suddenly get girlfriends who didn't approve?
Jay: Oh cool, another well thought out question. There are only two members of this band playing what they used to play in Sluts. It's a different thing entirely. I assume you'll want me to extrapolate on that a bit. Defeater is the meeting of the right five people. We all share a vision for this project and work hard to make honest music that we are proud of. It is what we plan to leave behind in this life. The creative and artistic aspects of it are the most important parts of the band to me.
PRT: You're signed to a hardcore label, you sound like a hardcore band but at the same time it seems like there's something else going on as well. Do you think you will release music in the future that will have your average hardcore kid scratching his head?
Jay: Every Defeater record from this point on comes with free lice. So yes, if you open any future records directly over your head when you first get them, you will more than likely end up scratching your head; unless you have ungodly will power. Then you'll just really want to, and sneak a scratch when no one is looking, you pussy.We really do not care about genres. If they do something for people, that's awesome. I am a lover of music, not hardcore music, punk music or whatever. I plan to continue to not give a shit about anything except making the best music we are capable of, no matter what that means. Bridge 9 is the best label we could ever ask for and I think it is selling them short to call them a "hardcore" label.
PRT: Both 'Lost Ground' and 'Travels' are concept releases with a whole story behind 'em. Now concept albums aren't that frequent in the hardcore scene. Was that something you set out to do from the beginning?
Jay: I like how you typed "'em," it really gives the illusion that we are actually talking.We did in fact set out to do that from the beginning. As I said before, this is what I want to leave behind. My scope for the band is fairly big in an artistic sense. If people keep enjoying it, that will consequently continue to make me a really happy guy. I spend a lot of time talking about the direction of this band with our singer, Derek, in terms of the story and the music, but also about artwork and how to tie everything into one package. Not everyone will take the time to look deep and pick up on everything, but at least it is there if they want to.
PRT: I read that all future releases will tie in with the story you started on 'Travels'. Are there any plans to continue the story through other media as well? Like a book, a comic, a short movie? I could seriously see you guys pull that off.
Jay: We have definitely talked about a lot of things like that. I just want to make sure if we were to do something outside of the "band forum," if you will, that we take a lot of care with it. I'd rather release nothing than do something that sucked.
PRT: 'Travels' first came out on Topshelf Records before you moved on to Bridge 9, the label for which Seth from Topshelf works. What was it like to get signed to Bridge 9? Can you give me a couple of examples of what that changed for you?
Jay: There is the ceremonial drinking of Chris Wrenn's blood of course, but that's what everyone talks about. I really liked the part when we had to write down our social security numbers and sign our names. It was mind blowing stuff.Bridge 9 goes to bat for its bands. There is no better home for Defeater. What has changed is that now, along with Seth, we work with a crew of really talented people who share our vision for producing music worth listening to. They have opened many doors for us and given us an amazing foundation to create from. We are so grateful.
PRT: Your drummer runs an eco-van company for bands on tour and 'Travels' came out on recycled material. How important are things like that for you guys?
Jay: Very. It really doesn't take much to do your part. Lost Ground was on all recycled materials as well. Actually, everything we do will be. There is generally a way to get things accomplished AND waste less, it just takes a little thought and follow through.
PRT: What's up next for you guys after this tour?
Jay: Writing, writing, writing. We will be playing some shows this summer, but not a ton. I need to record our new record this fall and then it will be back on the road for us. Doin' the damn thing.