Draw Me An Elephant: Martyr Defiled

The other day we caught up with Matt Jones and Dave Trees – vocalist and guitarist from Midlands metallers, Martyr Defiled. We ended up talking about Mario Balotelli, ghosts in cottages and bowl cuts.

**What is your favourite smell? **

Matt: “Freshly made bed sheets.”

Dave: “Cigarettes. It makes me want one, always.”

Do you have any phobias?

Matt: “Nail files. The feel of it just goes through me. I can deal with nails on a chalkboard but not nail files – it’s horrible. My girlfriend is a beauty therapist – worst decision ever ha ha.”

Dave: “Moths. I will run like away from them like a little girl. I can’t stand them no matter how big or small they are. Butterflies as well. The general consensus is that I hate anything that flies that’s either colourful or brown.”

If you were king for the day, what rules would you impose?

Matt: “I’d introduce wage equality between doctors and footballers.”

Dave: “I’d get everyone in England to pamper me for a whole day and give me as much booze as possible. If I’m only king for a fucking day, why not?”

Do you have a secret talent/party trick?

Matt: “Dave’s burps. They’re horrible.”

Dave: “If I’m drinking they’re a lot louder and wetter.”

Have you ever had a supernatural encounter?

Matt: “When I was little there was a ghost in my room – he walked round the room and left. He was a French Cavalier or something. I don’t think I’ve ever told anyone that!

And when we were recording our first album Collusion, it was in the middle of Wales – literally 25 miles from the nearest shop. We stayed in this old cottage near the studio and I was lying in bed and stuff kept falling off the windowsill. We all shit ourselves and put mattresses up against the door, and this cottage is really old and the door was about a foot thick – you had to really lean on it to open it – and it slammed. It slammed so hard is shook all the windows in the house. The guy we were recording with had never heard of anything supernatural or ghostly goings on but that happened.”

What’s your favourite television show?

Matt: “Game Of Thrones right now. Or Hannibal, it’s great. Hannibal is better than Game Of Thrones for me. Mads Mikkelsen plays Hannibal Lecter and he’s brilliant.”

Dave: “I’ll go with Game Of Thrones, although I keep being told to watch Hannibal.”

If you could live as anyone else for a day, who would you be?

Matt: “Mario Balotelli because he’s a fucking lad. I’d love to be a rich footballer with something to prove. Rolling around with £45,000 in my Ferrari and when I get asked why, it’s because I have it. It’s my money and my car. I’d drive round Manchester chucking £20 out the window ‘cause I don’t give a fuck.”

Dave: “I’d be Nightcrawler from X-Men. I’d go on holiday all around the world – it would be ace.”

What is your favourite book?

Matt: “Something from the Discworld trilogy, I really like those books. I’m also working my way through the Ernest Hemingway series; I’ve taken a couple of books on tour with me. Those short stories are great.”

*Dave: *“I don’t really read to be honest. I don’t have a good answer for that. I’m more of a gamer; playing a game is like reading a good book for me. Assassin’s Creed: Black Flag – that’s my favourite book.”

What is your most embarrassing moment?

Matt: “Having really crap hair when I was younger. I went through some horrific hairstyles. I had a bowl cut, I had Chester Bennington twisted spikes, and I had a mop and big fringe that would turn into some bouffant hair while playing live.”

Dave: “I agree with the whole bowl cut thing, I had that look. Although I did redeem myself after high school with a Gareth Gates haircut instead – it was on my driving license for ten years!”

What band epitomises metal?

Matt: “Behemoth. They’re one of the most forward-thinking bands I’ve ever listened to. From the first album through Slaves Shall Serve to The Satanist. Every release they’ve done has bettered itself and it still sounds like Behemoth each time. It’s all encompassing – it’s angry and brutal but it’s got that little touch of delicacy to it. Nergal is a musician; he’s not just a dude who is angry. It’s perfect.”

Dave: “I’ll go with The Black Dahlia Murder. I’ve loved them since Unhallowed was released and they’re combination of everything that I love about metal – but they’ve made it better with every release they’ve done.”

Draw me an elephant.

Martyr Defiled’s latest album No Hope No Morality is out now.

Luke Morton joined Metal Hammer as Online Editor in 2014, having previously worked as News Editor at popular (but now sadly defunct) alternative lifestyle magazine, Front. As well as helming the Metal Hammer website for the four years that followed, Luke also helped relaunch the Metal Hammer podcast in early 2018, producing, scripting and presenting the relaunched show during its early days. He also wrote regular features for the magazine, including a 2018 cover feature for his very favourite band in the world, Slipknot, discussing their turbulent 2008 album, All Hope Is Gone.