Just a couple more days until Defeater's new album "Abandoned" hits stores. As good a time as any to catch up with vocalist Derek Archambault, who told us a little bit more about the album's narrative and the band's upcoming touring plans.
- by Michael Traher
PRT: You have had some down time over the past year or so. How does it feel to be back out on the road again?
Derek: It feels great. We have done three tours since coming back and they have all been fantastic. Getting healthy again and going out with Bane on their last tour of Australia was one of the most incredible things we’ve done as a band.
PRT: You have had an overwhelming amount of support as a band. What is it like to have a fan base that is so loyal?
Derek: It is truly unbelievable sometimes. Our fans all over the world have changed our lives forever and it does not go unnoticed. They have brought us up from our first record and we are well aware that we could not exist without them. I am personally thankful for just how supportive and positive they are and how it carried over into getting me healthy again.
PRT: How did you initially come up with the idea to incorporate the storylines that run through your albums?
Derek: Jay and I had the conversation on the first day we really sat down and talked about the possibility of us starting what would be Defeater. Before that conversation, he was just sitting on eleven songs with no band or direction and from there we built the early stages of the storyline and where we could take it from “Travels”. The rest has been built in my head over the years with bits and pieces discussed as a band while on tour, etc.
PRT: As for the writing process, what are some of the areas you draw influences from?
Derek: When writing the music, we rely mostly on the immediate inspiration. We have learned that the more we deliberate on a song or part, the less likely it is to be used or good for that matter.
PRT: The new album “Abandoned” will be out August 28th. What direction is the story taking on the new record?
Derek: This record revolves around the Catholic priest first introduced in “Travels” and shows how the character has a much larger role in the family history and overarching story then anyone would have assumed.
PRT: The previous records were released through Bridge 9, whereas “Abandoned” will come out on Epitaph. What made you move away from Bridge 9 for the new record?
Derek: We didn’t make a conscious effort to move from Bridge 9, it was merely a matter of our contract being up and Epitaph taking an interest in our band. We still work with Bridge 9 whenever possible and I would consider everyone there to be friends of mine and the rest of the band.
PRT: Being a hardcore band from Boston, do you find it made it more difficult at first to write music that isn't what people would consider a more traditional Boston hardcore sound or has that never been an issue?
Derek: That has never been an issue with us. The five of us all come from different backgrounds with hardcore and punk and enjoy different aspects of it. The music that we write is what comes naturally to the members of the band, and certain members add different influence to the basic structures of the songs.
PRT: You are on tours this year that may not necessarily be the tours fans would expect you to be a part of (such as the Four Year Strong tour and the tour with Amity Affliction). What are your opinions on the mixed bills?
Derek: Four Year Strong come from the same backgrounds as us. We all grew up in New England going to punk and hardcore shows since the mid to late 90’s. We pull from the same pool of influences and would credit a lot of the same bands as major influences. The tour with Amity Afliction in Europe and the UK stems from us meeting them on Warped Tour a couple years ago and taking a chance with putting our band in different rooms with different bands on the bill. Our friends in Cruel Hand are also on the tour so there has to be some carry over between fans there.
PRT: And finally whats next for Defeater?
Derek: Just the tours we have lined up and announced at the moment. We will be out on tour in 2016 for the new record I am sure, so keep you’re eyes open.