“Question.Reject.Defy.” With a bold CD title, comes a bold sound. With a bold sound comes a bold personality. The Rise of Defiance is just who we’re referring to. With their debut album out (produced by Tim Lau who worked with bands from Roadrunner & Metal Blade records) and a heavy touring schedule, these five guys made some time to give us their two cents.
When was the band formed?
Ryan: Late 2008.
How long did you wait before you started playing outside of your local area?
Ryan: About 6 months.
How often do you tour?
Ryan: We try to tour as much as possible. At the very least every 3 months.
Do you have a particular “attack” plan for each city you play?
Ryan: Not usually, because most of the time we don’t know enough about the city or the venue to have a specific plan. We just show up and try to do our best.
Do you have your own van or do you make different arrangements for each tour?
Ryan: We have our own van.
When it comes to playing shows in a new city, what kind of preparation do you do to make sure people show up to see you?
Ryan: We mainly use the internet to promote our out of town shows. The first thing we do is post a bulletin on Myspace to see if we have fans in that particular area. Then we get in touch with the other bands that are booked for the show and try to reach out to their fans.
How do you pick the places you play?
Ryan: Generally we don’t pick the venues. We usually get invited by the venue or by one of the bands playing the show. We also get a lot of shows through our booking agent.
What kind of sleeping arrangements do you have while on the road?
Ryan: Hotels, if we are lucky. But often we have to drive through the night to stay on schedule and only use hotels to sleep in the afternoon before a show.
Do you have any crazy stories from the road?
Ryan: Well, last September we were booked to play an indie festival in Kentucky. We booked that whole tour around it. It was supposed to be at a place called Expo 5 which is a great venue, but a week before the show it was moved to an old sausage factory converted into an expo center. It was going to be an all-day festival going from 10am to midnight and we were given the 7pm slot. Several days into the tour we reached Kentucky around 1pm on the day of the show (3 hours after the show was supposed to start) and found out that they haven’t even set up the stage yet. When they finally set it up, it was next to a dumpster and way too small to even fit our drum set, much less the rest of the band. Most of the bands scheduled to play didn’t show up and, of course, there was no audience! We ended up not playing there and our booking agent scrambled to find another show for that day. We found a cool local venue called Bulldog’s and it ended up being one of the best shows of that the tour.
What’s the best part about being on the road?
Ryan: Traveling to different cities is one of the best things about being a musician. Meeting new people is another. And it is always a nice surprise when you go to places that you’ve never been to and find people that already know your music.
What are your 2010 plans?
Ryan: This year we are planning to write new music for our second album. We are also making plans to get an RV, which will allow us to travel more comfortably, more frequently and to stay on the road much longer. We are getting ready to expand our touring outside the southeastern region.
What do you like better: playing shows at home or away?
Ryan: It all depends on the show. If the crowd is into it, is going to be a good show. We’ve had many great shows both in Orlando and on the road!
Any advice for the bands wanting to expand their fan base outside of their local area?
Ryan: Start small. Relatively close is a good idea, maybe 2 or 3 hours away. Don’t expect to make money in the beginning. And most important – don’t panic if things go wrong.