On this occasion we have travelled throught the net to Croatia to get to know a little more about the black/death band DEFIANT, which is currently promoting its fourth long play: Insurrection icon.
Subterráneo Webzine: Welcome to Subterráneo Webzine. Who is answering the questions and what is on your soundtrack today?
DEFIANT: Hello! Tomislav here (vocals and lyrics), I’m the guy in the band who is the biggest talker so you are stuck with me. Today I’m listening AVA INFERI from Portugal, a band formed by Blasphemer from MAYHEM and Carmen on vocals who does backing live vocals for MOONSPELL. A very cool and underrated gothic metal band.
Subterráneo Webzine: We have just ended summer, which always comes bearing tons of festivals. Have you played on any of them in 2018? Do festivals from your country contact you to be included on their line ups?
DEFIANT: By the beginning of the summer we did a tour promoting our new album Insurrection Icon, but we did a festival in Romania and another festival called Dark Circle in our home country. It was a blast.
DEFIANT: This month we are doing gigs in Italy and Austria, a concert in Bosnia and Hercegovina is also in talks for December. Also we have two promo videos in plan and preparation, one with «Chaos and solemn in plagues«. We are gonna probably freeze our nuts off filming that video.
Subterráneo Webzine: Insurrection icon has had a great response around media, but what about you? Are you happy with the result? The album was published in May, with a few months of perspective is there anything from the album that you would change? What’s your favorite part of it?
That being said, we are quite pleased with the album, it captured the essence of the band at that time. Icon was very much a training ground for the team work between Kris (guitarist and main songwriter) and I. We are already knee deep in working on our new record.
Subterráneo Webzine: The most notable thing for us is the sound and that dark halo that involves it. Did Hellsound studio get to capture your essence right?
DEFIANT: Honza Kapak (the producer) is the man for the job. He perfectly understood what we wanted, on the other hand he listens to many bands we like as well so the communication was very smooth.
Subterráneo Webzine: Speaking about that; with Morbid spiritual illness you changed your sound and style, coming from a melodic death metal very similar to IN FLAMES/DARK TRANQUILITY to diving into a kind of death/black typical from Eastern Europe. Why changing? Did it have something to do with you evolving as musicians/music lovers or did you want to target another scene/market?
DEFIANT: I don’t know about the targeting the audience. I think it was simply that the band was evolving during the years, as well as the lineup changes that were happening over time.
Subterráneo Webzine: Did your audience accept the change? Are you happy about making that decision?
DEFIANT: I was a fan of DEFIANT before joining the band so I can say that I was happy that the band went into a more extreme sound. I remember calling them «late bloomers» when I did a review for Morbid spiritual illness.
Subterráneo Webzine: After thirteen years being a band and, correct me if I am wrong, more than three hundred concerts, do you already have a consolidated carrier in your country’s scene?
DEFIANT: I think that more than ahundred gigs would be a more of a possible number. Consolidated carrier in our home country is a bit too strong word, is not that easy to play in our home country for some reason. It’s easier for us to organize a mini tour in Europe than to play Zagreb for example, our capital city.
But we are having some plans for the next year about that so fingers crossed.
Subterráneo Webzine: Your latest album was released by the Spanish label Art Gates Records. Were you looking to internationalize the band a little more with this signing? How has working together with AGR been so far?
DEFIANT: I think that DEFIANT is more internationally known than in our local scene. We simply wanted to sign to a bigger label to help us in promoting the band and the new album; so far, so good.
Subterráneo Webzine: How is your scene beyond the amount of bands that it breeds? Is there support among the bands? How about the crowd?
DEFIANT: When we played in the Dark Circle Festival in Rijeka, Croatia, the crowd was fucking amazing. One of the best shows we ever had definitely. About the support among the bands… I don’t think that there’s enough support among the bands and outside as well. For such a small country like Croatia I think that is totally unnecessary. I could be wrong, I hope I am, time will tell.
Subterráneo Webzine: Do you have any references from the Croatian scene? Is there any band from your country that you would recommend? And do you know any Spanish bands?
DEFIANT: A doom metal band OLD NIGHT and pagan metal band VOLOH first come to mind, they are awesome bands and good friends. I also sing in a thrash band called CHEMICAL EXPOSURE so the guys would probably kick me in the nuts if I don’t mention them.
You would probably send the Spanish inquisitors on me (and rightfully so) but I unfortunately don’t follow any Spanish metal band. I listen to a lot of Latin American bands like KRISIUN, SELBTS… But do recommend.
Subterráneo Webzine: And speaking about musical taste… Here’s kind of an umconfortable question: If you had to choose an absolute favorite album (any genre would do), which one would that be?
DEFIANT: At this time: ABIGOR – Fractal possession.
Subterráneo Webzine: Given the cultural and musical circumstances, to be in a band means to have to combine it with a (better) paid job. Many aspects to juggle with to have a music career, so it doesn´t come as a surprise when bands have lineup changes. You have had a couple of them, is DEFIANT finally entrenched members-wise?
DEFIANT: In Croatia being in any kind of culture can be a monetary suicide, being in a metal band let’s say your savings are already in the negative zone. That being said I really think that we are at the moment well balanced between jobs and other obligations.
Subterráneo Webzine: The most recent change was the vocalist’s, an element that is usually related to the band identity, so I think Tomislav Debelic’s choice was wise, as they both share a similar range and tone. For him it was arriving and straight to recording Insurrection icon, right? Did you guys know each other before? Is he fitting well?
DEFIANT: I joined the band a year and half before we entered the studio to record Insurrection icon so we had enough time to see if I fit in the band well or not.
So far so good, I definitely plan to break the tradition that every DEFIANT album has a different vocalist. Not on my watch.
DEFIANT: That’s «Gospel of Nineveah» a song that you are speaking of from Morbid Spiritual Illness, and pretty much the only song that’s directly referencing such themes.
On Insurrection icon I think the theme and concept of the album is very much direct; it is about thinking for yourself. In these times of such bullshit information and sheep-like behavior by the mass media self-thought is sometimes rebellion enough.
Subterráneo Webzine: What will the future hold for DEFIANT? With this last question we end the torture until next time. Lines are all yours to add whatever you like. Thanks for your answers.
DEFIANT: Like the old W.A.S.P. song says «The torture never stops«!
We would like to send a big regard to your readers and to you for your time and space on your magazine, good madam madam.
Insurrection icon is available on Bandcamp as well as other links and the label’s, which can be found here:
And we will see you somewhere on the road. Stay Heavy.