Now You Know: Defy The TideSaturday, 21st May 2016
Dead Rhetoric: How do you view the local scene for metal in your part of PA and the Ohio Valley? Do you feel that you get decent support and respect from the fans, other bands, promoters, clubs/ venues, etc.?
Greg Fristick: The scene around the Ohio Valley and Western PA is really one of a kind. We have received an incredible amount of support from our fans, other local acts, venues, and a few promoters who keep kicking shows our way. First and foremost, our fans are AWESOME! We’ve had people drive over two hours to see us play a 45-minute set. It’s really great to know that no matter where you’re playing, there could be a few familiar faces in the crowd. As far as other bands, the local scene around Wheeling, WV and Pittsburgh is outstanding to be a part of. Everyone helps each other out. We all know that we’re in the same boat and we all are doing this because we love it. There’s a great mutual understanding from pretty much everyone.
Dead Rhetoric: What are the band’s short term and long term goals – and how do you balance out the band workload with sustaining jobs/ careers and having a personal life?
Matt: Balancing a normal life with the band is definitely a huge challenge for all of us. We all work, we all have families, and we have to make time to do this thing that we love to do. You find a way to make it work somehow. We’ve all lost sleep or cancelled plans or taken days off work for the sake of the band. It’s a give-and-take, and you often have to make sacrifices one way or another. If there’s a day when someone can’t make it to a practice, we work around it. The rest of us will get together and work on new material or stage presence or just discussing some of the more business-related aspects of things. We all have a lot of focus and drive; the ultimate goal is to do this for a living. In the meantime, we just have to take things one step at a time, keep writing new material, playing shows, and getting our music out there to as many people as possible.
Dead Rhetoric: Can you tell us some of your favorite show memories within Defy the Tide personally – as well as some of your favorite concerts that you took in personally in the metal scene purely from a fan perspective?
Jesse: My favorite would probably be our EP release show for In the Shadows I Shine, which was at Goodfella’s in McMechen, WV with Alpha Grey, Curse the Wicked, and Metal Blade’s Brimstone Coven. We’ve played quite a few shows with all of those bands, and they’re all a bunch of great guys that we’ve gotten to know very well. They all bring it when they play live, and they’re all great bands to go see. The show that night was also a benefit to build a new stage in the venue, so there were a lot of good-spirited metalheads in attendance — definitely a prime example of why this area is so good to the metal scene. The night was particularly special for all of us because we closed our set with Silverblood’s “Feigned Farewell”, which is a sort-of cover song from a project done by Carly and Brimstone Coven’s Andrew D’Cagna, who coincidentally recorded our new EP. It is definitely a show to remember, and probably the most fun I’ve ever had playing live. We also recently opened up for Primal Fear and Luca Turilli’s Rhapsody at the Altar Bar in Pittsburgh. I started listening to Rhapsody a long time ago, and to get to open up for them was just out of this world. I was definitely a fan girl when they hit the stage.
Dead Rhetoric: What are your views on social media and the internet as an up and coming, self-released band – as it can be a double edged sword as far as spreading the word, but people always worry about material being uploaded for free on various torrent/blog sites…?
Greg: Social media can definitely be a double-edged sword in that way, but I think it does far more good than harm in our case. We’re still very much developing and growing our fan base, so any means we can use to get our music out to new people is doing us a favor. If given the choice between selling a song to someone for 99 cents and letting them hear our EP for free, which may make them want to come to a show, I’ll choose the latter every time. Connecting with people is where it’s at. People are far more likely to come out to a show and buy music and merchandise if they have heard you and like what your offering. Social media is a great way to form that initial connection with people and get the word circulating.
Dead Rhetoric: You are already back into writing mode for your next release – will it be a full-length, and if so would you say the material will be an extension of In the Shadows I Shine or do you think Defy the Tide will always be a band striving to throw some new nuances or twists into the established formula?
Luke: We actually just began a “break,” where we don’t have a show scheduled for a month or two and we can work on some new material. We’re always in the process of writing new things and shaking up the formula, but that can sometimes be difficult when we’re rehearsing and playing shows every week. Sometimes, we have to take a little breather and organize all of our ideas. The tentative plan right now is to be back in the studio in October or November of this year. At the rate we’re going, we probably will have enough brand new material for a full-length, but it’s hard to say at this point if we will do that or another EP. So far, the EP route has been far more practical for us considering that we’re still growing as a band and developing our own sound. But I will say that the newer music we have been writing is much more unified with In the Shadows I Shine as opposed to our first EP. Even so, it’s completely different than anything we’ve done before. Whichever way it goes, there are some tasty jams in the future!
Dead Rhetoric: How do you view success at this point? And who would you consider some of the models you look up to as far as their career arc or professionalism through the years?
Carly: I have a lot of vocalists that I look up to — everyone from Lacey Sturm and Amy Lee to Judy Garland and Ella Fitzgerald. I think the biggest similarity between them is just staying true to yourself, always finding a way to express yourself in the music. Career arcs are a funny thing though. There are a lot of lesser known people that I feel, based on their talent, should be legends. And there are a ton of famous people who should be working at gas stations. Luck seems to have a lot to do with it nowadays, but someone doesn’t have to be world-renowned to be admirable to a lot of people. I really try to keep that in mind.
There are a lot of talented, struggling musicians out there, and it’s a shame. But if you connect with one person and change them in some way for the better, that’s a success in my opinion. I try not to see things as black and white, success or failure. There’s a lot of grey area in there. I feel like I’ve accomplished a fair amount and been rather successful with what I’ve done in music so far, but I want more. I don’t plan on slowing down any time soon. If you’re ever satisfied, you might as well just stop. This entire band feels that way, and I’m excited to see how far we can go.
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