Interview: We Are Defiance
Brian Calzini took some time to talk with MEB staffer Jacob Testa about the release of their first album, their relationship with past and present A Day To Remember members, and their thoughts on Ke$ha.
Mind Equals Blown: How has 2011 treated the band so far?
Brian Calzini: Honestly, it’s had its ups and downs. We’ve signed to Tragic Hero Records, recorded our debut full length, and been on tour with some amazing bands, but we also had a serious accident a few months ago and flipped our van. I spent two days in the hospital and had to undergo surgery. The fact the year has been so good to us makes the wreck much easier to handle.
What do you feel sets you apart from the other bands on Tragic Hero?
Tragic Hero has a lot of very talented artists on its roster, but I feel what we do is quite different than the rest. I believe we stand out from a lot of the new bands out right now. Accordingly, I feel like there’s a lot of changes happening in the music industry. With the scene being so over-saturated with the same band over and over again doing the same thing I think bands are starting to branch out and be different now. It’s refreshing to start to hear good music again.
For those who might not have heard any of your music yet, what song would you recommend for them to get a taste of what We Are Defiance is all about?
Well we have our new single “It’s Not A Problem Unless You Make It One” that pretty much sums up what our band is. We try to write honest lyrics that are catchy and also blend a bit of metal/hardcore to the mix.
The new album, Trust In Few, is set to come out at the end of the month. Where does the title come from, and what does it mean to the band?
“Trust In Few” is a tattoo I got on my wrist when I was 19. I got it to remind myself there’s a lot of shitty people out there and to never let my guard down. The record lyrically is about being screwed over by so-called friends and relationships gone sour. It’s about standing up for yourself and not letting people walk over you. Trust In Few felt like the perfect title for what we were writing about.
In the same vein as the last question, where does the band’s name come from?
From the movies I Am Legend and Defiance. Both movie posters looked the same to me, so I put the two together and came up with the name but added “we” instead of “I” since this band is a family and we grow and suffer together.
Which bands would you say have had the greatest impact on your songwriting?
I lived with the singer of A Day To Remember, Jeremy McKinnon, for a few years and watched him write For Those Who Have Heart in our living room. It amazed me how naturally and quickly songs came out of him. He is the most talented songwriter I’ve ever met, so watching him write for so long has influenced me on what I do.
Last July, the band released “To The Moon”, and the song was put out as a single for Trust In Few this month. What went into the decision to rerecord the song, and what’s different between the two versions?
We decided to re record the track so it would match the quality of the rest of the record. We recorded that song for iTunes and to give kids something to look forward to on our record. As for things being different we added some new things and took some things out we didn’t like. It’s pretty much the same song, just better quality.
Which bands have been your favorites to tour with so far?
We had a lot of fun on our last tour with For The Fallen Dreams. Those guys were in my town recording their new record with Tom Denney. FTFD would crash at my place sometimes, because Denney’s studio was only a few minutes away. It was fun touring with a band I was close with.
The band recorded the new album with Tom Denney (formerly of A Day To Remember). What was that experience like?
Tom is one of my best friends, so it was awesome spending a month in the studio with someone I trust and get along with really well. Tom has been a big part of our band, helping us out at every turn. Also, like I said, he lives very close to me, so it was nice being home to record.
You’ve been involved with both Paddock Park and Sleeping With Sirens. What’s different between being in We Are Defiance and those bands?
I learned a lot from my days in Paddock Park. I was 16 when I started that band. I found out what it takes to be in a touring band and learned to never be in a band with kids who you don’t consider real friends. With We Are Defiance all the members are my close friends and I would take a bullet for any one of them. It just wasn’t like that with Paddock Park. As for Sleeping With Sirens, I don’t even really consider myself ever a part of that band. I was around before the band became what they are now. Kellin is the only original member left. I recorded some demos with the band when it was originally formed and then left to focus on We Are Defiance. Heavy music is my passion and SWS was going in a different direction.
Marry, Fuck, Kill: Lady Gaga, Katy Perry, and Ke$ha.
Fuck Katy Perry, marry Lady Gaga cause she’s rich as fuck. Kill Ke$ha cause she’s a dirty whore haha.
Aside from the album and upcoming tour with Oh, Sleeper and Like Moths To Flames, what can we expect to see from the band in 2011?
Lots of tours to support our record, a music video will be released soon, and maybe some overseas touring.
Is the anything else you’d like people to know?
We love our fans, without them we would be nothing. Don’t be shy come talk to us at shows. We love meeting and making new friends.