INTERVIEW | Defeat the Giant
So stoked to help premiere both brand new songs, as well as a full interview, by Taiwanese melodic hardcore band, Defeat the Giant! The band has just dropped their brand new 2021 promo featuring two songs ‘Spun’ and ‘From 5 to 7’. The interview was conducted with their vocalist Winston over the past few days.
Read, listen, enjoy, share the FUCK out of Asian hardcore bands so the world knows what we’re about here.
Dudes – what’s been going on!? We see if you’ve sort of trimmed the fat on the band! Down to one guitarist now?
Oh, Mike just left the band in order to focus on his career. He’s now a film photographer and he’s doing super well. Shout out to Mike here. He’s a really cool guy that always gives his everything to anything he loves. We love you!
We’re actually looking for a friend to play guitar since we still need someone to fill out on leads and rhythm guitar. We haven’t been able to find anyone yet, unfortunately. So for the time being we’ll just find friends who can just support us at shows at least.
So far from the teaser, it seems the band is headed in a more youth crew/straight-ahead hardcore direction since the last time we’ve heard from you guys. Any thoughts on the new music and what was your mindset going into recording this stuff?
Yup, you know we’re all into Have Heart and the past few years we’ve been spending more time digging into this world of hardcore. We’re all deeply influenced by 80’s and 90’s youth crew/straight edge hardcore and going into these 2 songs we didn’t really have any grand plan about musical direction, the songs just turned out the way they did. It has an old-school feel for sure but still has our DNA in it. Don’t know if it fully comes across as we think it does. It’s interesting that I said “old school hardcore music”, actually every member in the band prefers a different era of hardcore. Some prefer 90’s youth crew, while others prefer the 80’s more punk sound, and some may prefer the 80’s NYHC style. So these two songs are kind of like a conversation with ourselves figuring out our own understanding of hardcore. And yes, we still tried to add some cool melodic riffs into our music as all of our friends are still calling us a melodic hardcore band or whatever. But this time, it sounds different. At least, we think so haha…
What’s the current state of hardcore in Taiwan? How many bands are active and what are they up to?
It’s hard to say now because of the outbreak of COVID earlier this year here in Taiwan after having it so under control last year. They only just started loosening up the restrictions these past two months after having a lockdown for like half a year. So everything is starting from zero all over again. I think there are still only around 5-10 hardcore bands here in Taiwan, but all of the bands are amazing, like Hateful Rezpect, Deadpan, Spit and From Ashes. There’s also a newer band called Toxic Bald that I haven’t really had a chance to see their shows, but they sound so tight. Hope we can have a chance to play with them soon.
Also, there’s something to be announced soon. Hopefully, everything is still under control.
Tell us about the cover art for this release. Who was the artist and what’s the story behind it?
Billy is one of my best friends ever and he definitely did an amazing job on this. We’ve known each other for more than ten years and to me, this is probably the coolest work he’s done. No one would believe this artwork is done by him because he never did anything like this before and it’s totally a different thing from his more realistic black and white style that he’s known for. And the coolest part is that we’re both trying something we never did before.
I didn’t give Billy any direction nor did I ask for any specifics about the final piece of art that Billy created. I just told him what these songs are about and what I’m trying to express and he returned with this based on his reaction to the songs and what I told him. The final result fully captures everything we’re trying to express with these songs.
Alright, here’s the REALLY deep and dirty question I want to know. You better be ready for this. Yo for real, what’s up with your hair? Seriously.
Okay, good question. I have no idea either. I just wanted a change especially after finishing serving in the army because we had to shave our heads. So I just let it grow and then it turned out like this. I like it honestly, kind of 90’s British rock style hahaha. What do you think?
Imagine this COVID shit magically all disappeared, what would your dream tour be?
EVERYWHERE as long as we can play. We definitely want to tour again as soon as possible. Just can’t wait to hang out with friends and meet new people around the world. I can’t really name a list of cities that we want to play or a few bands that we want to tour with because there are just too many. If I have to say a dream tour, it would be touring the US. It would be like dream come true if we had a chance to play the same venues we’ve seen in all those documentaries, experience the things we’ve only heard about in interviews.