RGM INTRODUCING – WE INTERVIEW SHEFFIELD ARTIST DEFS
So you’re a one-man-band from Sheffield?
Yes, but not like one of those street performers with a bass drum on my back and a set of panpipes. I just do music that sounds like a band.
Introduce us to you and your musical history?
DEFS is a new project I started in February – it’s got elements of post-punk, pop-punk, indie-punk, dance-punk… All your main ‘-punk’ prefixes.
What’s one question you’re sick of being asked when interviewed?
What are your salary expectations?
Do you sign up to any conspiracy theories?
I’m not a paid-up member of any. Although, I recently read about the theory that Andrew WK doesn’t exist and has been portrayed by various actors over the years. Fair play to him (them) if it’s true.
Did you buy anything you don’t need in the pandemic?
Yes, I went temporarily insane and bought one of those oil can guitars. It sounds alright, but it’s awkward to play – and it’s not really designed for drop-D power chords/metal riffs. The first time I played it I split my finger open & bled all over it, so can’t take it back now.
What useless party trick do you have?
I can ‘pop out’ my collarbone. More of a medical condition than a party trick tbh.
What was the most fun you have had on stage?
I managed to wangle being side of the stage for the last few songs of a Flaming Lips festival set once. Jack Black was there operating a confetti canon for some reason.
What was the worst experience on stage?
I once did a solo gig at a rock bar in Wakefield. Opened with a cover of Syd Barrett’s Effervescing Elephant (misjudged). As I approached the microphone I stood on my guitar lead, pulling it out, and sang the majority of – what is essentially a children’s song – completely a cappella to an audience of confused blokes in leather jackets.
What makes you stand out as an artist?
Right now, what’s pissing you off the most?
All sorts. The cost of living crisis, the fact my printer won’t print on paper thicker than 180gsm, the only decent sandwich shop near me moving to different premises that add 10 minutes onto the journey time, the systematic dismantling of anything and everything good by the Tory government, wasps…
I hear you have a new single out, what can you tell us about it?
I do have a new single out. Thanks for asking. It’s called No Worries If Not and it’s available to stream or download everywhere (pay what you want on Bandcamp).
Talk me through the thought process of the single.
‘No worries if not is one of those phrases you can find yourself saying all the time if you’re not careful. I think it must be a British thing – being overly polite and worrying that a request might be asking too much, or that you might be seen as being demanding. Or even just trying to appear very chill / nonplussed about something that actually means a lot to you. I thought if I wrote a song about it, it might force me to think twice about using the phrase in the future. Seems to have worked so far.
What is your recording process like?
I record all the instruments at my home “studio”. I record as I write, so constantly building / shaping the demo until it evolves into a finished song. I then go into a studio to record the vocals and spend about three days editing, tuning and processing to attempt to vastly improve the actual sounds that come out of my mouth. Then I send the track over to a guy in Canada who remotely records some extra scream-singing to add a bit of harshness to the mix. I’ve never met him but he’s on all of the DEFS tracks.
What are your plans for the year ahead?
I’m currently in rehearsals with a live band, so hoping to be able to get out & do some shows later this year.