INTERVIEW: Martyr Defiled @ The Underground, Stoke-on-Trent (17/09/2010)

Date: September 17th, 2010
Venue: The Underground, Stoke-on-Trent
Interviewer: Zach Redrup

Download: None available
Stream: None available

Website: None available
MySpace: www.myspace.com/martyrdefiled

With their debut album ‘Collusion’ being released in just over a week’s time, DEAD PRESS! decided we should catch up with Nottingham death metal force Martyr Defiled on their UK September tour with Postmortem Promises at their Stoke date. After returning from a small food and beer run from the local Tesco store and searching about for a suitable place to conduct the interview, we finally settled on using the band’s tour van. Vocalist Matthew Jones, guitarist Lee Cook, bassist Joe Blackburn and later Alex Micklewright all shared with us their thoughts on the new album, the story behind its title, why they love playing Ghostfest and what they hope to do next year…

Sadly due to unforeseen circumstances the audio recording held a few technical faults, resulting in a sometimes distorted playback. The entire interview below has been deciphered and transcribed as best as possible, though unlike usual we aren’t able to upload the file for you to stream. Instead though we’ve decided to embed their recent music video for the track ‘An Act Of Sedition’, so listen to that whilst you read away…

YOU CAN LISTEN TO THE TRACK/WATCH THE VIDEO HERE:

A full review of their show that evening at The Underground in Stoke-on-Trent can be read here!
You can read the interview transcript in full below:

Zach: How’s the tour been going so far?
Matt: Really good man. The turnout has been great, the kids are loving it. And yeah, it’s been proper fun. It’s been nice to get back into touring after like about a 6 month break.

Zach: You’ve got a new album coming out in just over a week called ‘Collusion’, what’s the story behind the title?
Matt: Well, the word ‘collusion’ itself is like when two companies make some agreement or contract behind people’s backs which leaves them in a bad position. Like, if Microsoft and Apple were to create a collusion together that would leave so many workers with something like a smaller wage and other stuff like that. There’s also a small involvement of the plot in the film V For Vendetta if you’ve seen that.

Zach: How would you compare it to your previous EP ‘Ecophagy’?
Lee: Well we’ve had a few member changes since then, but I’d say that ‘Collusion’ is a definite step up from ‘Ecophagy’. It’s heavier, and it’s got more groove bits which makes it a little more accessible too as opposed to just more or less straight death metal like before.
Matt: I’d definitely say that musically that the album is a big improvement for us.

Zach: How was your time writing and recording the album, and how long did it take?
Matt: It was a bit of a nightmare, just before we began recording it our old guitarist Ali left so we had to replace him. But I suppose aside from that it was alright. Before we went in the studio all we really had were little bits and ideas here and there, so when we got into the studio is when we turned all of them into solids.
Lee: Yeah, a lot of the actual solid writing actually took place whilst we were in the studio. I think it made us a lot more focused to get good stuff out.

Zach: Have you been playing any of the new material on the tour, and if you have how’ve the crowds been taking to it?
Matt: We’ve actually been playing most of the album in our sets, with like 2 or 3 songs from ‘Ecophagy’ too. But yeah, people seem to be taking to the new stuff just as well as the old stuff.
Lee: I mean people don’t really know any of the new material as the album isn’t released yet, but they seem to be enjoying it.
Joe: Yeah, it’s normal for people to be taken back a bit by the new material that they don’t know, but it’s going down well and they love the old stuff so I’m happy.

Zach: You released a music video for the track ‘An Act Of Sedition’, how was the shoot for that?
Lee: Hard and tiring.
Matt: Yeah, we recorded in the attic above where I work which is up a few flights of stairs. It was a fucking pain going up and down them with the amps and gear.
Lee: It was pretty hot up there too. But it was the director’s second ever music video, and I think he did an awesome job at it. I’d definitely recommend him to anyone else who’s after a video.
Matt: The thing is he was very good at getting what he wanted out of us for the video artistically. We did a lot of takes, and if it wasn’t what he wanted then he’d make us do more and more takes until he was happy with it. Though it’s tiring it’s definitely better to get a video you’re happy and proud with then a director who’s just like “yeah, that’ll do”.
Alex: I think I had to play the song like 54 times in the end, and the others didn’t even have to play it half as many times. We were filming for hours though.
Matt: Yeah, I think we were there from 11:00AM ’til like 9:00PM, and even then I had to stay around a few hours longer to get the shots of just me on my own, most of them didn’t even get used in the end.
Lee: It was definitely a lot better shooting that than the ‘Plaguebearer’ video. We try not to talk about that one.

Zach: Do you know if there are going to be anymore videos taken from the album yet?
Matt: At the moment it’s a little too early to tell. I’d like to do another one, but at the moment we’re really not sure.

Zach: You played Ghostfest earlier this year, how did you find that compared to the other years you’ve played there?
Lee: It was actually some of our first ever Ghostfest, Matt‘s the only original member left in the band now and the only who’s managed to play at all three of them with the band. Last year I think was Alex‘s first show with us.
Alex: Yeah, I had to learn all of the material in like 7 days.
Matt: The relaunch of it in 2008 was our first show at the festival, and then 2009 was our second. The 2009 one was good but I’d definitely say that this year’s show was the best one yet. The thing I like most about Ghostfest is the sense of community and family there. We arrived there a little late this year so we didn’t manage to get any space for our merch, but some of the other bands kindly moved theirs over a little to make room for us.
Lee: Everyone is there for the right reasons. The bands want to party and so do the fans, and we know a lot of the bands there so we can chill out with them. For the weekend I think it’s about £25 and it’s great to see people spending that money to party for the right reasons.

Zach: What else is planned for Martyr Defiled for the rest of 2010 and 2011?
Matt: We’re gonna finish up this tour, release the album and hopefully from there just constant gigging wherever we possibly can.
Lee: We’re hoping to get out to play some shows in Europe and the US if we can.
Matt: Yeah, we’d like to go overseas as soon as possible to play some shows there. We’re gonna be writing some material for the new album pretty soon too.
Joe: I think if we just let stuff flow out naturally that comes out on tour then we’ll have plenty of material fairly soon. We can also see what works best live and go from there as to what kind of stuff we’ll write for the next record.
Matt: So yeah, we’ll be basically touring as much as we possibly can wherever we possibly can and writing stuff for the new record. It’s obviously too early to tell at the moment, but hopefully we’ll be in the studio for this time next year for the next album.

Written by Zach Redrup