Please introduce your band. When was the band formed?
Piotr: Defying was formed in 2008 by Tomasz Semeniuk and Rafał Warniełło. Since the end of 2016, after , we act as a trio: Tomasz, Paweł, and me. Currently we are looking for a replacement on second guitar.
Can you tell us about your main influences?
Piotr: It is hard to pick the or even a few main influences. At the beginning of the band these were undoubtedly Opeth, Katatonia, and Riverside. Along with the next recordings we became influenced by other metal genres. In our music there is also a place for doom metal, post, or sludge. We enjoy to draw inspiration from various metal genres and not stick to one.
How would you define your sound?
Piotr: Just as I said before, we enjoy to draw inspiration from various genres and these are not only metal but also rock music. That is why it is hard to clearly define what we really play. You will find a lot of elements in our music, but these are doom and post metal that stand out the most. We’ll see what it is like in the future. The label someone will ascribe to us is not really that important.
What does the name Defying represent?
Piotr: It’s opposing set patterns and rigid forms. If you decide to perform one particular genre, you’ll lock yourself in a cage and after some time each subsequent recordings will be similar. We focus on diversity. I really like bands that seek diversity, that record different albums under the same name. We can see then that the musicians are seeking new sounds, new inspiration sources, that they want to develop. Even though sometimes the result of such seeking is an awful album, it is still better than the copy/ paste pattern on every album.
Your latest album ‘’The Splinter of Light We Misread’’ was released back in May, 2016. Is there a concept behind this album you’d like to discuss?
Piotr: ’’The Splinter of Light We Misread’’ is an EP and that’s how it should be perceived. It’s an experiment, a kind of ‘sexcapade’, by means of which we wanted to check out some solutions we never introduced before. We introduced new instruments, changed production, and wanted to see the result. When it comes to lyrics, I had no concept on my mind before, but as it turned out later, it formed itself in the process of writing. First, we had the Joy Division cover. In the meantime, I read the band’s biography written by Peter Hook. I thought I could touch upon the typical human relationships and try to capture some of this “dirt” ( things weren’t working out between Ian and his wife). These were the topics I didn’t touch upon before and they opposed the topics from our first album (ancient astronauts, the rise of the human race). I was inspired by the work of Polish post-war poets, especially Rafal Wojaczek and Andrzej Bursa’s poems. The poems, especially Wojaczek’s, are suffused with the disturbed, to put it mildly, relationships. On the one hand, the ‘I love you’ phrase frequently occurs there, but on the other hand the aura of dirt and physiology hovers above it.
In this album you’ve worked with many artists like Rafał Wawszkiewicz from Merkabah. How did these collaborations come to be?
Piotr: There was a transformer which rumbled unbearably next to our old rehearsal room. We had an idea to record it, modify it with the use of different effects, and make a drone out of it. And to make it even more psychic, we added the saxophone to it. None of us play the instrument and so I immediately thought of Rafał Wawszkiewicz form Merkabah. I enjoy the way he combines the saxophone and metal music. I wrote to him and he immediately agreed to cooperate. He recorded our parts, which we cut a little and slightly modified. Some parts we recorded, we later put backwards on the album.
You also did a cover on Joy Division’s New Dawn Fades. Why did you choose this song? Is this your favorite Joy Division song?
Piotr: While preparing to the concerts promoting the first album, we agreed that it would be a good idea to have a cover that would end each show. Our compliments to the classics that inspire us. The main assumptions were that it must be something from the past and from outside of the metal music itself. The choice was the “New Dawn Fades”. It is hard to say whether it is our favourite Joy Division song because there are a few of them. Certainly this number had a huge musical space we wanted to use. We were so pleased with our version, we decided to record it at the earliest opportunity. And here it is.
What inspires you the most?
Piotr: I’m mostly inspired by the sound and musical freedom. It’s not so much about playing an instrument but making the sound. Apart from playing a particular instrument, you can still knock at the sticks or bang on the iron. As I mentioned before, there is the clipped transformer combined with the saxophone in the “Till Shadow Is White”. It is freedom that is the most inspiring. What else can you refer to when you want to write down what’s in your head. It is discovering new solutions and surprising oneself.
What was your favorite album of 2016?
Piotr: In 2016 lots of fantastic albums were released; adding the ones I haven’t heard yet. So I can’t say my opinion to be 100% reliable but my choice is our Polish band Furia and their album “Księżyc Milczy Luty”.
Any live shows planned for this year?
Piotr: At this point it’s hard to say how many shows we’re going to have this year. Currently we are looking for a new guitarist and we don’t know how long it will take.
What does the future hold for Defying?
Piotr: Though there are three of us now, we’re still playing. We focus on the new material which we’re gradually preparing. We’ve got an idea for a second album and we’ll gradually work it out during the rehearsals. Thank you for the interview. Greetings from Poland.