DEFYING – If a listener finds that ‘something’, and it makes them listen to the album again, I’d consider that our biggest success

DEFYING is post-metal band from Olsztyn (Poland). And head message of these band? “We are modest guys who simply love playing together. We demanded a lot from ourselves, set the bar high, and when we got the album to where we wanted it, we knew it.” Excellent words! Welcome!

Interview: Piotr Stępiński – Guitars, Vocals

First of all congratulations on the new album! It’s a very impressive record. What can fans expect from the new record? What do you think about evolution of DEFYING?
Thank you so much on behalf of the whole band. It’s nice to hear that you like “Wadera”, we put several years of work and a lot of commitment into this album. First of all, this album offers a dark, oppressive atmosphere and a wide stylistic diversity. I think the variety of the compositions is the greatest evolution of DEFYING.

When you started the band was it easy for you to find your own style? Is it important point for your music face and presentation?
I haven’t been in the band from the beginning, but from what I remember the main idea was to revolve around progressive rock and metal. Later this changed and DEFYING turned towards post/death metal with an addition of various musical subgenres, including those from the beginnings. We have never tried to manufacture our style, because that would be artificial and insincere. Each of us has their own playing style, and the trick is to work towards one goal. Only then can we talk about a collective individuality; at the end of the day, for some listeners it will sound original and fresh, and for others, like a copy of something they have already heard before. We don’t care much about it; we do our own thing. For us (since all our recordings so far have been concept albums) the most important thing is the atmosphere and whether the sounds convey the story we wanted to tell.

Which bands have you found to be inspirational, both when you started and now? Could you tell us about the band’s musical tastes and are they all similar?
DEFYING was founded by drummer Tomasz Semeniuk and former guitarist Rafał Warniełło. Their main inspirations were OPETH and TOOL. After I joined and a few changes in the line-up, our work began to veer into the areas of heavier genres, the result of which is the music on “Wadera”. We used elements typical of death, black and post metal, we added a pinch of ambient and even jazz. All in accordance with our musical tastes. Each of us listens to a lot of different music, not only rock and metal, but also classical music, film music, jazz, country, etc. We are very open musically.

Please, can you introduce your actual CD? With years and experience, is DEFYING stronger than before on some matters? What do you think?
Yes, DEFYING has changed on virtually all levels over the years. We have gained greater awareness of composition, equipment, production, image, etc. We have become a more mature band with greater understanding of both our limitations and development opportunities. “Wadera” is, so far, our best album in every respect. This fact additionally motivates us to set the bar higher and higher.

What is the best way to describe your sound on new album?
The sound is suffocating and dark like an old horror movie film reel. That is exactly the effect we wanted to achieve.

Does “Wadera” have any lyrical concept? Would you like to talk about some of the themes bringing into the album?
“Wadera” is a concept album based on the Polish horror film “Wilczyca” directed by Marek Piestrak, which in turn is based on a short story by Jerzy Gierałtowski titled “Wadera” (Polish word for female wolf). The main plot in both the story and the film is the same – a dying woman practicing black magic swears revenge on her husband from beyond the grave and after his death harasses him as a she-wolf. The story is kept in the spirit of dark romanticism and macabre mystery stories, typical of creators such as Edgar Allan Poe. Our main goal was to transport the listener back to the 19th century, to haunted mansions surrounded by fog and dead trees. Like a typical gothic horror movie.

What do you consider to be one of your band’s most essential song? And why? And, maybe… what is one song on the album that you feel have the greatest effect on the listener?
It’s hard for me to choose one favorite out of all our songs. Each of them I like to play (or listen to) for a different reason. One has an interesting vocal part, in one I play the cello bow, some have an unusual time signature, another has an arrangement of riffs that sends shivers down my spine… I could go on and on. For this reason, I have no idea which of our songs would make the greatest impression on the listener. It’s an individual matter. People are different and react to the same things in different ways.

Are there any others fields unexplored for you that you¡¦d like to embody in the sound of the band?
Of course, otherwise we’d disband and start doing something else. DEFYING consists of people looking for interesting solutions and musical challenges. Raising the bar when creating new music is our goal. This makes it is difficult for me to say what specific areas these would be. It depends on the idea for the album. We don’t stick strictly to any musical genre; we just establish a concept of what the album should be about and compose around it. This is a much more ambitious challenge than sticking strictly to any genre.

Most of the reviews of your album are very good… has the response to your CD gone beyond your expectations?
Yes and no. The response to “Wadera” from all over the world is in fact very positive, some of the reviews were quite a surprise. On the other hand, I’d be lying if I said we were totally caught off guard. We put so much effort into recording this album, we knew we created something that we could be damn proud of. Don’t get me wrong, we are not some assholes with inflated egos. We are modest guys who simply love playing together. We demanded a lot from ourselves, set the bar high, and when we got the album to where we wanted it, we knew it.

What do you ultimately want listeners to take away from hearing “Wadera”?
I don’t look at it that way. As I mentioned earlier, people are unique and perceive the same things differently. “Wadera” is stylistically a very complex album; it also lasts an hour, which is enough for someone to find something for themselves. If a listener finds that ‘something’, and it makes them listen to the album again, I’d consider that our biggest success.

Do you have any plans on other touring? Is there a chance that this tour will involve visiting Czech Republic?
For now, we are planning only singular club gigs in our country and a performance at Summer Dying Loud 2024. As for the performance in the Czech Republic, there is a chance, we will see what the future brings.

Thank you for your time, best regards!
Best regards to you too, thanks for the interview!


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