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Interviews : Defamer (Tim & Geeks) – 07/05/2009

By on May 7, 2009

Defamer, a brutal death metal act out of Brisbane, have been making alot of noise both from their instruments, and their impact on the Brisbane scene. After two early demos, the band released their debut full length album ‘Chasm’ in 2008 to great response from within the local scene. recently caught up with Tim and Geeks from the band to discuss the reaction to Chasm, band member’s work within the Brisbane metal scene, and the future of the band…


MO: Good day sir, and thanks for joining us at Let’s kick it off with a self introduction of the band, as you like to put it.
Defamer (Tim):
Defamer is a five piece, chaotic Death Metal project from Brisbane, Australia. We debuted in ’07 as a lowly hometown support act for the first and very long anticipated Vader Australian tour. We have since conjured two demos and ultimately, at the start of 09, expelled our first full-length recording of
disharmony and turmoil; entitled Chasm. I perform vocals and Geeks drums.

MO: With your main fan base clearly being in Brisbane, I guess not too many people outside Queensland will have heard much of the band’s music just yet. How much have you played interstate so far in your existence, and what is to come in the near future?
Defamer (Geeks):
We’ve been lucky enough to have headed to Sydney three times (the first time playing to 2,500 people whilst supporting Children of Bodom), Canberra and we just came home from a two day tour of Perth. It’s not Interstate per se, but we’ve also been up to North Queensland, a trip which is pretty much the same distance as going from Melbourne to Brisbane, to play to Cairns/Townsville.

In the near future we hope to make it to Melbourne/Adelaide for a double header and a bit later in the year make it again back up north. Our loose strategy for this release was just to take shows interstate where we could and spread the name as best as possible, the next release will see a more concentrated tour. We firmly believe that with everyone relying on Myspace to promote themselves these days, constant touring is the only way to get people to sit up and take real notice of the metal we’re creating.

MO: Now despite my saying you’re hardly known outside of Brisbane, it seems you have been supporting some pretty big names. Carcass, Children of Bodom, Gospel of the Horns, Psycroptic and Krisiun. What has it been like to play alongside bands of this calibre, and what lessons have you learnt from them?
Defamer (Tim):
The other members of Defamer seem to be more invigorated by the pressures of playing bigger venues and impressive line-ups. Personally no matter how big or small the gig, due to my relentless head banging all I can see is hair.

Honestly though, I consider these types of gigs quite formative in the ascension of any band. They can either inspire ambition or put things in perspective and bring a band back down to earth. With Defamer it is no exception, we are both proud of and humbled by our previous onstage experiences. More so though, we are eager to take our music and our live show further and deliver it upon more people.

MO: You’ve just played the ‘Day of the Dead’ one day festival in Brisbane, and with many other similar events lined up around the state, the Brisbane scene is now clearly competing with Victoria and NSW in terms of being the most active in Australia. While it is great to have so much activity happening, what I’m interested from my secluded bunker in Victoria, is what’s the quality of material being produced like both in the live scene and on record?
Defamer (Geeks):
I believe we have a lot of quality acts up north, and I wish more bands would spend the time and money getting interstate so that the southerners could see it for themselves! There are a lot of bands coming through the ranks at the moment that are definitely set for a course of national recognition, all they need is a decent recording with some great live shows and they’ll go far.

MO: I also understand that you have played a major role in creating this hive of activity around Brisbane with your work on the Monstrothic events every Friday night at Rosies in Brisbane which from all reports, continue to draw great attendances. Did you expect the project to reap such great rewards so quickly?
Defamer (Geeks):
To be honest we did, but only due to the foundations laid down by great venues over the years. The Brisbane metal community is a small one, but a dedicated one at that and its great to see guys and gals coming out in droves to support local (and interstate) talent every week. With Monstrothic we try and teach young bands to promote themselves as much as possible, with bands that pull big crowds being instantly rewarded with bigger and better shows so that we can keep building a quality community for all to enjoy. We also aim to have one interstate act on the bill every week, so that we’re also subjecting our punters to the quality from other states that they otherwise may have missed on Myspace.

MO: Back to Defamer, and I had the pleasure of reviewing your debut release ‘Chasm’ from earlier in 2009. What I took from the album was a clear influence taken from the old school American death metal bands like Morbid Angel and Obituary, but also a distinct touch of Nile, also out of America. In your mind I wonder, how accurate or inaccurate is my dissection of ‘Chasm’?
Defamer (Tim):
Defamer, due to the preference of its members, has a tendency to reject digital effects and tones favoured by modern death metal bands. Death Metal is a style of music where bands can be more than a little obsessed with writing music that is as fast and technically proficient as possible. We believe that there is also a growing tendency to ‘over-produce’ metal in an attempt to showcase every note or cymbal hit
to the listener. Chasm was recorded live with organic tones and drums to avoid ‘over­production’ and create something more sickening and real.

When writing and recording Chasm I liked to think that we were producing a Neo-old school album so in that respect I think you are spot on. We also draw influence from a lot of the European equivalents of the aforementioned greats such as Entombed, Vader and Bolt Thrower.

MO: What has the reaction towards ‘Chasm’ from other people in the scene been like? And also, has there been any interest from labels/distributors based either in Australia or overseas?
Defamer (Geeks):
Due to my work promoting the club and the label I help out with, promo for the album has been coming a bit slower than anticipated, but now that we’ve secured national distribution through Green it’ll be stepped up in the next month or two to come. The few reviews we’ve received so far have been very positive and the feedback from fans has been great. As for label interest, we haven’t really gone searching yet as we really wanted this first one to be very much “Do It Yourself” so that we got more of a feel for the industry and learned a few tricks here and there. For the next release we may shop around and see if there’s anybody interested out there, but time will tell.

A lot of people make the mistake of assuming we’re released through Obsidian Records (the label I help run) but this is not the case as we felt it would be to much of a conflict of interest and don’t want the other bands on the label to feel I’m working any less for them.

MO: What is next for the band? Is there much new material in the works? And when can we expect to hear about a new Defamer release?
Defamer (Tim):
We are touring and gigging heavily off the back of Chasm but this does not mean that we aren’t in the process of formulating new material. We have recently incorporated a dirge entitled ‘The End Is His’ into our performances, which is post Chasm. There is talk of subsequent releases circulating but for the moment the only certainty is a darker, doomier shift to our music to match our sentiment.

MO: The question we always like to ask a band interviewed by Metal Obsession, and that is what other bands in Brisbane/Australia do you think we should check out and support?
Defamer (Geeks):
There are a few bands up here that all of Australian metal should know about. ‘neath have started to become really well known everywhere already, but fellow prog-metallers Dead Letter Opener are also someone that everyone should check out. On the more brutal side of things, Laceration Mantra (featuring members of Misery, The Dead and Transfear) and Decimation Protocol are blowing peoples socks off every time they play.

Interstate bands at the moment that I can’t get enough of are Rookwood (NSW), Daemon Foetal Harvest (NSW) and Infinitum (ACT) who we recently had the privilege of sharing the stage with in Sydney. The album I can’t stop listening to at the moment is The June Frost by Mournful Congregation (SA)…but if Australian metallers don’t know of that band they probably should stop reading this right now and uppercut themselves for missing out on one of our finest musical acts!

MO: I’ve seen them, very doomy and not quite my thing so i guess i’d better uppercut myself now! To finish up, any last words to the Metal Obsession readers?
Defamer (Tim):
Seriously though if you haven’t heard Mournful Congregation do check it out. Finally and more importantly, I’d just like to say that if you see Geek’s or myself about and you are so inclined, you can buy us a Toohey’s Old anytime. We will certainly reciprocate the favour.

MO: Haha, will do! Thanks alot for your time!
Defamer (Tim):
Thank you Brendan, catch you next time.


Band: Defamer
Date: 07/05/2009
Origin: Brisbane, Australia

Queries: Brendan Amos (Metal Obsession)
Tim (Vocals) & Geeks (Drums)

See also: Defamer – Chasm (Album Review)