Interview: Thai-metallers DEFYING DECAY discuss process and dynamics behind new album METAMORPHOSIS.
DEFYING DECAY: the dynamic nature of identity construction
SICK AND SOUND presents an interview our editor-in-chief Alex had with Thai breakout band DEFYING DECAY hailing from Bangkok who have been knocking around for a decade now in the alternative metal and metalcore soundscapes with a vast array of influences.
We are catching up with the band of “Jay” Poom Euarchukiati, Howard Fang , Kongpop “Jump” Thongrat, Theon Adam and Mark Mironov after the release of their brand new album in studio METAMORPHOSIS, a milestone along the band’s journey out last June 14th, 2019.
Vocalist JAY EUARCHUKIATI took some time out of his day to sit down and talk with us about what Defying Decay have been up to and discussing in detail the creative process behind the dynamic nature of their new record. We explored their sound and influences, lyrical inspirations, a few tracks and future plans.
For our track by track review (Italian review) for Metamorphosis please check out: www.sickandsound.it/defying-decay-contrasti-e-dinamiche-in-evoluzione-nel-nuovo-metamorphosis.
- Hello DEFYING DECAY and welcome at SICK AND SOUND. Let’s discuss your influences in terms of bands and genres and the incredible dynamics to be found in your unique signature sound.
I like a lot of nu-metal and emo music since I grew up listening to them and this is my root in music. This album, I really wanted to base everything on the music that I grew up listening to because I honestly think that the music back then was better than nowadays in my opinion, and nu-metal was fun. It’s a fun genre to listen to, like Linkin Park they were fun, catchy and addicting to listen to and Deftones are really mysterious and Nine Inch Nails are so cool and exciting to listen to, because when you listen to them, you really get to think into it, it’s not just something you listen to just for fun. But growing up out of that genre, I got into emo because it was also just big at that time, and after emo, I got into 80’s metal like Van Halen stuff, because I was playing a guitar at that time and I wanted something hard to play and some solos. But then I got out of that, and I got into more electronic music, and the reason for that is because I get bored now when bands just play on stage with guitar, drum, and bass like a power trio. When I look at Enter Shikari and Prodigy, their lights are all cool like one of those EDM electronic shows where the lights are cooler and they have more instruments and more machines which looks more interesting, because let’s be honest, everyone knows what a guitar is and they play a guitar, it could be 7 strings Gibson, or whatever, but synths, they are all different. Every synths does different things and there’s a character it adds and you can build your own modular synth and that is your own unique instrument. And that is what really drove me to really do this album too, it may not be as heavy, with the synth stuff, because I wrote songs when I just got into synths to be fair, but as I taught myself how to play it, it allowed me to become more experimental with how I wanted to take my sound. I believe that’s what helped me to get my dynamic sound that sounds like a unique signature sound to you.
- Describe your sound in a few adjectives.
Groovy, loud, experimental, alien, dark, sad, weird.
- What is the creative process behind the dynamic nature of Metamorphosis, so what was the songwriting process when you guys sat down and wrote the record?
This album was kind of different because we were everywhere around the world and written it through college so we were basically bouncing around ideas on laptops to each other on Guitarpro and midi and when we reached a certain point where it’s good, I would record the demo since I do all the Protools and engineering in the band. Then I’ll do vocals on them and then I’ll send them to everyone in the band and once we feel like we have a song then that’s a demo. Once we feel good about them we will turn it to our producers and see if its good and see what we need to change.
- Let’s discuss the main idea of sonic evolution and personal change as “metamorphosis” concealed in the record.
The first album was just kids having fun, we would find a cool riff and match them around to see what worked and that would become an actual song. This time, there was more thought going into it, making it more listenable and accessible to an extent, even though to be honest, I don’t think it is that accessible yet but we’re getting there. So that’s the change in style and approach of music. Before, I always thought songs had to be complicated for it to be good, but in this album, I wanted to make it more catchy and memorable, and shorter and it is exactly that, but I still feel like I haven’t achieved the full extent I wanted to. Don’t get me wrong, I am happy with the record but the fact that we wrote most of these three years ago and we’re having it out now, I feel like I’ve transcended a bit further away from it.
- What other specific lyrical themes were discussed across the tracks and what message do you wish to spread with Metamorphosis or music in general, if any?
Depends on the song, for example ‘Ghost’ is about a girl who grew distant from me, so it’s quite personal but some songs I don’t really care about the lyrics, because I don’t have a specific message in them as I wrote them. I had a vibe I wanted to give out when I wrote it but there wasn’t much specific intended messages in there. So I would listen to a song and brainstorm then write ideas of what I sense in this song, like its mood and tone, for example ‘Yellow Fever’ lyrics don’t really have any meaning to me to be honest but the song feels dark, cold, and trapped, as if I’m trapped in somewhere, trying to get out, that’s why the lyrics are saying the kind of things it is. Even though at the end of the day, some sort of message is formed and it’s all part of a cinematic dialogue, what I would imagine it would be in a movie and the lines people would be talking is what I try to base my lyrics on. So I would write up a dialogue and make it work. So really, in a way some songs, I get carried away with the music and at the end of the day lyrics just make sense to me.
- Let’s briefly talk about JUDAS KISS song, which amongst the bangers of the album, it seems to be also the most electronic influenced, CRIMSON BUTTERFLY which is highly melodic and emotional, and one of my favourites: EXISTENCE OF EXTINCTION.
‘Judas Kiss’ was a first song to be written on this album, actually, it was based off a synth riff on the intro, it sounded like a Nintendo synth sound and I thought it sounded electronic, and since I wanted to do something different on this record with my experiment with sound, I pursued writing with synth. Before, I would normally write songs with guitar, bass, drum and jam as a band, but now I wanted to take it further. And I think I achieved that, but not to the extent I really wanted to, but it’s still getting somewhere. Overall, I think it is a pretty good song, I wanted a heavy song with a catchy riff to it, and this is really Tool – Stinkfist inspired. ‘Crimson Butterfly’ was actually written after when the album was finished, and I wanted to write a weird, psychedelic song because that day Radiohead released their single ‘Daydreaming’ and it’s a pretty cool song, and I wanted to write a song like that so I got Jump, our guitarist who plays piano to write something trippy on a piano and I guess it’s emotional because it’s the only song on the record that was recorded live. It was just three people in the room jamming and two people in a recording room recording it in one take. To be frank, I was tripping and I felt so weird and emotional so that’s how the song came to be like that. We got carried away with the vibe and that’s what we’ve got recorded. It was everything in one take. We recorded the instruments first, piano and guitar and then vocals were dubbed on later, I was so high, I had to do it on one take. Lyrics weren’t even written, they were what I was just muttering live of what I was feeling, it’s a super organic song. I like the riff of ‘Existence of Extinction’ and it was inspired by a video game ‘Dying Light’ on PS4, it had a similar vibe riff and melody, which sounds exciting to me so I tried to imitate it and played it on guitar and add new things on top of it. It sounds catchy and kinda nu-metal and I thought people would like it, it’s a fun song to play live with rap bits, and it’s groovy. Glad you like it!
- What were the most challenging aspects you had to cope with while working on the record?
Learning my own songs was kind of challenging because of the different writing process we had on this album. On the first record, we came together in a studio as a band and we would jam and come up with a song, so we would’ve been able to play it right away as a band to an extent and we would record on Protools and edit it and make a demo that way. It was all organic, quick, playing at that moment kind of thing. This time, it was all done on computer, MIDI, Guitarpro and done more professionally so after we finished the demo, I would’ve had to learn how to actually play the guitar parts, and really practice to have it ingrained it as my muscle memory.
- What are some of the most memorable things you have experienced at a show so far as musicians and fans of music?
As a fan, seeing Linkin Park playing in 2011 in Bangkok was very memorable, especially because our band even formed from that event, where I met the initial band members. Also, it was my first proper rock concert with that kind of scale in Thailand and I was really impressed. I also saw Enter Shikari again when I was writing album, and it really inspired me to write something different, something electronic and what not, seeing that they went around playing different instruments and multi-multi-tasking on the stage. And also not to mention, seeing Deftone was also deeply memorable for me. But as a musician, definitely playing in Chengdu, China for our first time playing abroad and also playing there without ever promoting anything, since you may know, Facebook and other social media that we’re used to are all blocked there, so no one probably had any idea of us and we played at this live house, which had the capacity of 400 people, we headlined it, and honestly we were expecting around 20-30 people to come but a hundred something showed up and they were all crazy and we felt like a rock star, and felt pretty bad ass and it is by far a best moment of my life. Second best show was in Russia, because the crowd was super crazy when we played with Oceans Ate Alaska in Moscow, which was a first time for us to play there as well. And it’s always a dream for me to play in somewhere in Europe, a non-Asian country, where it’s cold and snowing because I grew up in London, and the fact that I played somewhere categorized as Europe was a big thing for me. The energy and the vibe really is very different from what you are used to in Asian countries. I saw the video again and it wasn’t the same, what I saw on the video and what I felt that time, in the video, the lighting looked shit, but in my memory, it was really dark and I felt like I was tripping on really hardcore drugs, and I wasn’t, and it was the best shit ever.
- What else do you have in store in 2019? Let’s share your upcoming projects, shows or any other sneak peek on news you can disclose.
We have an album out now called ‘Metamorphosis’ and it is available only on some regions at the moment but it will be available worldwide on 28th of June, please check it out. We want to tour UK and some countries in Europe really soon, and just get there, that is my dream, so we hope to get something like that happen soon. In terms of projects, mainly we are working on some new songs already, and to be frank, you might hear new music sooner than you anticipate. We hope to possibly get a second record out by next year, that is better than this one, for sure. Also, we have a tour in US with Betraying the Martyrs coming next week.
Thank you for your time Jay. We are longing for more music to be dropped by Defying Decay and keep on supporting you into Europe and US!
Defying Decay – Metamorphosis tracklisting:
1. The Repentance
2. Existence of Extinction
4. Dying Program
5. Judas Kiss
6. Crimson Butterfly
8. Yellow Fever
9. Let It Rain
11. Swan Song
For all articles and reviews available for DEFYING DECAY band on SICK AND SOUND, please check out:
For all interviews available on SICK AND SOUND please check out:
For all reviews and articles available on SICK AND SOUND for new albums, please check out:
For all reviews and articles available on SICK AND SOUND for concerts, please check out: