A World Defined interview at Macmillan Fest

We tried (and failed) to do the usual Just A Minute game with A World Defined, so settled for some more, uh, standard questions instead…

You guys are splitting up soon-ish – what’s been your highlights of being together?
Anytime when Liam wasn’t a vocalist.
Tour.
I’m gonna say Hit The Deck… I know we were on first, but it was packed out.
I liked being in Rocksound, and Kerrang! and stuff. It’s something to say for years, it never leaves you, it sticks with you for life.
Yeah, it’s a real achievement isn’t it.
The EP. Let’s just say the EP.
Going to new towns in the UK and getting drunk.

What’s been the worst moment?
Liam’s top knot.
Meeting all these.
I could talk for a minute on Liam’s top knot.
You might have to cut a lot of words out…
I put up a status about it, just to test the water, before I got the top knot. I got so much abuse, I’ve never got that much abuse.
It’s basically the reason we’re splitting. We were meant to stay together, and we were going to go and support Metallica, but he wanted a top knot.
I think the truth is though, if you’ve got a top knot, you’re cooler. It’s just the way it is.
I’ve got a free beer because you’ve got that top knot. I have a bet about three weeks ago that you’d be the next person to do it, and he is, so.
You won.
I won, yeah. It does look ridiculous though.
I literally, literally do not give two flying f*cks. We good? Cools. I look rad, you look sh*t. Nah, I’m joking.
It looks alright to be fair.
I think the down points, to be fair, are the points where as a band you start arguing and stuff, it’s not always a down point, it’s part of a journey.
Extreme goods and extreme bads.
I don’t think there’s ever been a really bad thing. Apart from earlier when you left all the equipment and didn’t tell me. I had to walk ten minutes with all the gear. That was pretty bad.
You get over those thing, because we spoke about that.
You put us in front of a camera and we’re so nervous, we never know when to speak. Because we’re just having a chat we’re more relaxed.
We’re queued up with our hands behind our backs, trying to point at each other.

I previously saw you supporting Marmozets. How was that, did you get to have a chat with them?
I had a chat with the bassist.
We supported them before, once in Nottingham and once in Leeds, a few years ago, before they were on the radar really.
I think they were 14.
What they say, when they’re on stage talking about how much they appreciate where they are, they genuinely do. Like, when you speak to them, they’re really like, they really deserve it.
They’re a really well dressed band as well.
They’re really nice guys.
Definitely Topman.
They’re just, they’re nice, they’re very switched on. They actually speak to you and remember you and stuff like that.
I’ve got them on my iPhone as well.
I actually quite like them. They actually are quite good.

Any way you’d like to end the interview?
Cutting the top knot off.
It wouldn’t work on audio.
Just by saying… thanks.
Thank you. Buy our EP. We need more money.
If we sell a hundred more EPs in the next week, I’ll stay.
I genuinely won’t, because I’m going to become a druggie.
You look like one.
Brilliant!

Marmozets and A World Defined at Bodega, Nottingham

A World DefinedI’ve never seen a band quite so in time when in came to headbanging – a rather ridiculous thought, but the first that came to mind when I walked in to see A World Defined opening the night. I hate to say this about a band, but it very much felt like the show was front-man powered – but when Liam (Reeves, vocals) was in the crowd so much, how could it not be? That said, he does an excellent job of engaging the crowd, although at times he felt slightly at a loss as to how to keep attention through guitar changes and retuning (I think asking people their names and occupations might be more suited to a comedy gig). Then again, I’m not entirely sure if that matters as the crowd were having a great time of it. The Void, the third track off their current EP, opened with a recording storming through the speakers – if you know the song, you’ll know the recording I’m referring to – and although I expected it, I would’ve liked to have seen Liam attempt it. Regardless, the song is executed excellently, with emphasis on the breakdown, and the same could be set for the entire set. As was my opinion with the EP, In Absence, this uncaged Derby talent is on track to give the city a band they’re known for.

MarmozetsDespite their previous triumphant releases, it feels like Marmozets have been under the radar for a little while, but with current single Why Do You Hate Me? and a live show like this, that would seem to be set to change. The five piece are probably best known for the frontwoman’s talent with harsh vocals, and this does not disappoint, with a performance which lives up to all the expectations set by the recorded tracks. From the bass that starts the show to the phenomenal closing track, the show is alive. What shocked me from the start of the show was not only Becca’s (MacIntyre, vocals) vocal range, but the ease with which she brings the harsh vocals into the tracks. Through the opening song there was a stark contrast of Becca static position centre stage and the rest of the band unleashing hell around her, but come second track Why Do You Hate Me?, Becca joined in the chaos; by the time it finished, she seemed genuinely taken aback by how much the zeal had transformed to offstage. I can safely say, that of the seventy plus bands I have seen, I have never seen so much fervent, raw and unadulterated passion and energy on stage.

“This song is called Cover Up because I believe you don’t have to get naked to get noticed as a female vocalist”, although neither this introduction nor the song mention Taylor Momsen, did she spring to your mind, too? Despite the rather repetitive chorus, this track is yet another example of their excellence in every aspect of what they do. And when I say every aspect, I mean it; I’ve seen longer established bands have more trouble getting crowds going than even Josh (MacIntyre, drums) had here – you read that correctly. The penultimate song added another kick to the crowd’s enthusiasm and even the non-traditional design of playing drums stood on a stool was taken up. These guys have no way to be controlled.

As fantastic as the response to the penultimate track was, it became overshadowed by the closing song of the night. A member of the band’s crew comes on stage, and within a minute the drum kit is in the audience along with the rest of the band, bar a guitarist who towers above, stood on ten foot speakers. Without that, the show was incredible, but with such a terrific close, it makes it the best live show I’ve ever been to.

A World Defined interview

AWDAfter having a listen to their recent EP, In Absence (which you can read a review of here), we had a little chat with the band themselves.

 

Tell me a little bit about your current release, In Absence. What/who influenced it musically?
When we write songs as a band we really try to not limit ourselves. We want to be as original as possible and write what we feel is right for each song. I think this gives us the advantage of writing songs that work off each other and have a different sound to one-another. We don’t give ourselves boundaries because we don’t want to limit ourselves, we hope this has worked on ‘In Absence’! We all have our personal influences which are probably too varied and too many to mentioned. It’s safe to say we all love artists that think outside the box in all aspects, whether that is writing, recording or production. Thrice are a band well worth mentioning as a big influence for us guys.

How about lyrically – do you find it easier to write about things you’ve experienced and felt, or do the lyrics come naturally?
I think we wouldn’t word our lyric writing much differently to how the questions asks it. We write about what we’ve experienced, felt and the Important things to us whilst trying to avoid cliche, over used subject matters. We have a few different methods when writing lyrics on this EP. The track June was wrote as a concept track wrote to tell a fictional story, It has a specific meaning which is important to us. The song Brothers was wrote in a completely contrasting fashion. The meaning is simply and boldly about sticking together and giving everything together, unlike June the lyrics in Brothers are very evident and make no secret of the songs meaning.

You claim to be perfectionists, so how many – and what sort of – problems did you encounter while making the record? Which song was easiest/hardest/most fun to write?
Well, we try! We’re not saying we write the perfect songs because that wouldn’t be a good statement to make but we do analyse and tweak songs endlessly until we are happy with them. This is a bit frustrating sometimes, it adds time to the writing process but it isn’t something we would ever change as we’re really passionate about wanting the best from every song we write; that said, some songs should be wrote without having too much thought put into them. We would say that June and Gild The Lily were the easiest songs to write. They probably fall into the category of ‘lets not over think’ and we’re really happy with how these songs turned out. We like the vibe to both, June is smooth, flowing song which is what we were aiming for when writing. Gild The Lily is a rawer track, we wanted to keep it simplistic and the production low so that listeners can feel the track (something we think can be lost in over produced music). The most interesting song to write for us could be the title track In Absence as we experimented with some different methods and sounds. Again, really stoked with how it came out!

I felt the start of the intro wouldn’t have been much out of place in a dance track – for a band who are relatively heavy, I was surprised; even more so with how well it worked. What prompted you to include that?
To be honest we got the idea to work the intro the way it did quite late in the process. We had the guitar down and the original ideas we had of producing it into the song didn’t have the right feel. We recorded at Anemic Studios with Kevin Peters and by the way, this guy is awesome. A few members of the band are really into electronic music and so is Kev so we just tried this and straight away knew it fitted. There are other instances throughout the EP where we have used similar but not so obvious parts.

How do you feel your music has progressed and changed since you began as a band?
We have all been in bands for years so naturally the music has changed massively. Since A World Defined has been in full swing however it has been a real natural and comfortable progression. We released a 4 track EP in 2012 named ‘Welcome in This Feeling’ which is a lot rawer but in-between that release and the new EP ‘In Absence’ we released a few single/videos which were part of the progression and definitely helped with our progress. Right now, we are sure this is the best we have ever been at writing songs and we are really happy with what we are doing. The best is definitely still yet to come.

Who did you chose for supports at your EP release show, and how did you choose them?
Our EP release show was in our hometown, Derby so we wanted to make it an awesome night all round and not just a good gig. We are proud of everything we have done in line with this release and wanted to share it with our friends so all the bands on the bill were good friends. We had The Distant North, Elegies who are from Sheffield and we toured with last year and Eva Plays Dead playing the show.

Finally, you’ve got an upcoming article in Rocksound – tell me about how that came about, and which track can we hear on the cover CD?
Yeah we were so excited to hear that we would be in Rocksound! We got played on Kerrang! Radio a few weeks ago and that was awesome but to be given an 8-10 review and placed on the cover CD of Rocksound, a magazine which a lot of us have read for a long time was insane. Certainly one of our proudest moments. We chose June to be put onto the CD as we had already released a video for Brothers and wanted to show everybody a different side to us, we felt that it would fit well within a Rocksound CD.

A World Defined – In Absence review

1551708_10152596046042627_97885808_nFor the first ten or fifteen seconds of the album, I was slightly worried I was under false impressions and was in to review a dupstep/dance album – then the guitar and drums kick in and the smooth intro breaks you full force into the opening track, June. The fluidity of the start of the album sets the bar high for the rest of the album, with a natural flow to the tracks that feels mastered. The second track breaks in with the same flow although the chorus feels a little rough in places, and the band know to how raise and change vocals to prevent the lines from sounding too repetitive.  Featuring an incredibly dramatic breakdown and attention grabbing drumming, this track locks together and doesn’t disappoint.

The Void, third track of the album, sounds dangerously like it might break into some of the clichés repeatedly heard from smaller bands after the first few seconds – fortunately they’re saved from this by controlling the force into the track, going for effect rather than the all-too-common over-enthusiastic give-it-everything attitude. Liam’s (Reeves, vocals) intonation and pitch perfectly matches the control of the record, and, again, there is a natural rise and fall that’s executed excellently. Fourth track, Gild The Lily, has a slower, more acoustic intro and the increased focus on the vocal work highlights the talented song writing – it also makes underlines that any aspect of the band is a work of art in its own right, as the instruments variously compliment the track.

Penultimate track Brothers pulls the pace back up again, and this is where all the energy is really released. The outro slows the pace of the album down again, and although it does seem to slightly drag on, can you blame them – with a record this good, who wouldn’t drag it out? Anyone who reads many posts on here will know how highly I praise Lacey and Josh Kemp, from Nottingham, regarding small bands – well, I think I’ve found a band from Derby who I’d highly recommend.

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Twitter: @AWorldDefined