First of all, congratulations on the release of your new album ‘Old Scars, New Wounds’, I have been listening to it the past few days and the new material really got me hooked. The album gets better and better with every spin! How have the reactions been so far from the press worldwide?
Thank you, I’m glad you like it. So far from what we have seen and heard, the response has been fantastic for this new record. Of course, I’m sure some people will like it more than others and that’s ok. We are very proud of ‘Old Scars, New Wounds’ and cannot wait for everybody to hear it once it is released September 29TH.
You released your debut album ‘Birth And The Burial’ in August 2015 through Metal Blade Records and then toured with Hatebreed and Devildriver through the US and Canada last year and also did a headlining tour. What else happened since the release of you debut album and is there anything you are extremely proud of that you have achieved with Act Of Defiance since your departure from Megadeth?
Of course we are! We worked extremely hard to get this band together and all the other things involved with creating a new band, and the result of that hard work is both ‘Birth And The Burial’ and ‘Old Scars, New Wounds’. I think both of these records are very strong metal releases and overall the response has been quite positive, so we must be doing something right.
Your new album ‘Old Scars, New Wounds’ just has been released when this interview will be published. What can we as fans, expect from the new album?
People can expect this record to be 100% pure heavy metal just like our first record. We are not making any drastic changes musically at all, these are just a new batch of heavy metal songs that we are proud of and hope that those who like what we do will like as well. We are not trying to re-invent the musical wheel here, we just want to write the best Metal songs we can. That’s really all we can do at the end of the day.
Since all of you guys live so spread out in the country, how do you go about writing music? Do you also get together to jam and get ideas together? The press release also said you were sending demos back and forth, using available technologies. What writing mode do you prefer yourselves?
For us with the use of modern technology, its actually quite easy to send new musical ideas back and forth, so nowadays you don’t really have to be in the same rehearsal space jamming things out like I did back in the day. We formulate songs from these musical ideas and once they are completed to our liking we then record them-Its really that simple for us.
The press release mentions that there was room for everyone to bring something to the table this time around. Can you tell us something more about the writing process and who got to bring in what?
With ‘Old Scars, New Wounds’ all four of us wrote music, which was great. On our 1st record, only Chris and myself wrote the music because we didn’t even have a band at the time, so we were writing music while searching for band members, management, a record label, booking agent and all the other things Chris and I had to do. This new record was a bit easier to make for us, as we had a bit more time and all four guys creating new music.
I read in another interview that you guys listen to Scandinavian black metal and Cannibal Corpse. Your music sounds much more modern especially with the vocals of Henry Derek, was this a conscious choice? And what kind of audience are you trying to reach?
We are not trying to sound like any other band at all, but yes I love all kinds of metal music and music in general. If you listen to our records, you will hear many different styles of heavy metal, so really we are just trying to reach out to people who like heavy metal music. I think Act Of Defiance’s music sounds quite unique and not like any other band out there, which I am happy about.
‘Old Scars, New Wounds’ was recorded in four different studios. Can you tell us something about the recording process and why you chose to all record in a different studio?
For me, I actually recorded where I live here in Atlanta, Ga. For the first time in my musical career. I have recorded in many different parts of the world over the years, but it was great to be able to record here and then be able to go home at night to relax. Chris and Henry recorded their parts in L.A. while Matt recorded his bass tracks at his studio just outside of Boston, MA. The process is quite easy actually – I record drums first then Chris records guitar, Matt records bass and then Henry records vocals and we fine tune everything to make sure it’s the way we want it, and then we have the record mixed and mastered.
Dave Otero mixed and mastered the new album. He has been doing a lot of work for bands like Allegaeon, Cattle Decapitation, Cephalic Carnage and Them amongst others. Why did you choose to work with Otero?
Answer: Chris ‘Zeuss’ Harris was originally not going to be available to mix/master this new record, so we started to look around for other possible people to do so-Chris recommended Dave Otero from listening to the latest Cattle Decapitation record, so we all did and thought it sounded great!!!! We then contacted Otero to see if he would be interested in mixing/mastering our new record and he agreed. We think Dave did a fantastic job on this new record!!!!!
What can you tell about the lyrical concept of the songs on ‘Old Scars, New Wounds’?
All the songs on ‘Old Scars, New Wounds’ are mostly based on fictional stories or things we have record about, etc, etc, for us, we don’t always want to reveal exactly what a certain song lyrics mean, as we want the listener to read them and come up with their own thoughts and ideas to what the lyrics are about-it’s more fun that way.
Is there a deeper meaning behind the album title ‘Old Scars, New Wounds’?
The truth is NO. We had to come up with a name for this record and Henry mentioned ‘Old Scars, New Wounds’ as a possible title-we all thought it was a cool name so we went with it. There is really no secret meaning to the title at all, it was just a cool metal name for the record so we decided to use it.
You have recorded two videos for the songs ‘Overexposure’ and for ‘M.I.A’. What can you tell about those videos and the ideas behind them?
Both videos were shot in L.A. over the course of a weekend in July/2017. The ‘M.I.A.’ video has a bit more storyline to it visually that ties into the lyrics, which turned out very well. ‘Overexposure’ was a pure performance video, which also turned out great. The main difference between the two videos was that ‘M.I.A.’ was shot in a boiling hot warehouse in downtown L.A. whereas ‘Overexposure’ was shot in a nice air conditioned place in L.A. so the difference was about 40 degrees cooler for the 2nd video.
If I am not mistaken, you have not played or toured in Europe yet. How come you have not crossed the big pond yet?
Believe me, we want to tour Europe very badly for this new record and this is a priority for us. We hope to be in Europe in 2018 for sure. We are very aware that Europe is an important marker for us, so we want to play there as much as we can for the future!
What are your touring plans, when do we get to see Act of Defiance in The Netherlands? Are you going to do a headlining tour?
We are talking about this now with our booking agent and manager for 2018, so we hope to see you guys in the very near future! I have been to the Netherlands many times over my career and I love it, so I cannot wait for Act Of Defiance to finally play over there!
What else can we expect from you guys in the near future?
We want to tour as much as we can for ‘Old Scars, New Wounds’ and expose as many fans of metal to our music, and that means of course performing live everywhere we can. That is our main goal for this record.