Interview with ‘The AvD’ from The Defiled, By Jane Playdon

The Defiled are a quintet of middle-finger Industrial metallers from London, who are as much about spectacle as they are about music.
Their live shows are theatrically chaotic, and, after eight years of hard work and touring around the UK, they will be touring the States for the first time, after signing to Nuclear Blast Entertainment in March.

Their latest album Daggers will be released while they are on tour, and is a development of the sound they’ve established with previous album Grave Times, with maybe a surprise or two.

We caught up with The AvD (Alex Avdis: keyboards, programming and backing vocals) on the day before he was due to fly to LA, to talk about over-eager fans, Daggers, and dishonesty. That last topic happens to be what the entire album is about.

Hey, thanks for joining us today.
You’ve got a UK tour coming up in September…can we expect your live shows to get even more complex and elaborate as a result of being signed, and having more money to play with?
That’s the goal…to take our live show as far as possible. But being signed to a label doesn’t mean you have loads of money anymore. We didn’t ask for a huge advance or anything, we just want to make our own way.
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What’s the strangest thing that’s happened to you while on tour?
Last tour, this girl had an epileptic fit! She’s all right. We sent her some t-shirts…it’s the least we could do. It was kinda scary because we didn’t know what happened and there were paramedics in there and stuff.

Another thing that happened is this kid had a heart attack at one of our shows, and he was taken to the hospital and…he showed up hours later while we were drinking, and he said he’d ripped out all his tubing and stuff because he wanted to come and drink with us!

The last time I threw my keyboard into the crowd, I thought I was being nice, but I knocked someone out! So I met her in the infirmary and gave her my keyboard and signed it.

Please talk a bit about Daggers and how the sound’s progressed from Grave Times (2011)?
I think Daggers is the album we tried to write when we wrote Grave Times. We produced everything ourselves on Grave Times, and this time we got to work with Jason Suecof [producer who has worked with Trivium]. It’s more polished because it wasn’t recorded in my house! Lyrically it’s personal…about what was going on at the time in our lives. As artists, we are more proud of this than anything we’ve done and it represents a sense of us as human beings.

Anything experimental in there?
I guess there’s one track that is kind of Industrial to begin with. I guess that’s different. We have an electro-acoustic track in there. It’s a Metal album, with a few breathers.
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In June you gave people who had pledged money towards the album the chance to hear it in full. That must have been an interesting experience, watching the responses?
It was weird, because the whole band were getting so drunk, shouting over the music, and I was saying: “these people are here to listen to it man!” I was trying to get the rest of the band to keep quiet and I didn’t really pay much attention to peoples’ reactions. They said they liked it, but what else are they going to say? “I hate it I’m out of here!” No one’s honest really. I have a couple of friends that I send things to while I’m working, and I know they’ll say “that’s shit dude”, and they are the people I trust. They make me work twice as hard though.
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Apart from ‘The Unspoken’ and ‘Sleeper’, will you be doing any more videos from the album?
We’ve already filmed our next single, ‘As I Drown’. We haven’t put it out yet. We’ve been playing it live for the past year and I reworked it, remixed it, and we’re going to put that out before the album.

What’s been the highlight of your career so far?
Probably winning the [Metal Hammer] Golden Gods [award for Best New Band]. It’s voted in by readers, so the magazine has no say in who wins. That made us feel like “Oh, there’s actually people out there that took the time to vote for us”. Also Download [2012] because Machine Head were playing at the same time! It was packed which was really good.

Many thanks for your time!
Thank you!

Photography by Michelle Murphy