Including past and present members of 90s hard rockers Danger Danger, The Defiants are current members guitarist Rob Marcello and bassist Bruno Ravel, former singer Paul Laine, plus drummer Van Romaine.
Below, Ravel and Laine set the scene for The Defiants’ third album, Drive.
It’s three years since the band’s second album, Zokusho. How do you decide when it’s time to make a new record?
Paul Laine: That’s a good question. Probably when Bruno and I have built up enough song ideas, then that’s the time to press ‘go’.
Bruno Ravel: The pandemic was a clear sign to restart the machine.
Like its self-titled predecessor from 2016, Zokusho topped many AOR ‘best of’ lists. Does that increase the pressure?
Laine: Yes and no. We don’t want to let anyone down, but we head into each album with the thought that we have to do better than the time before. The love we receive for these albums is wonderful, but all of the pressure comes from within.
It’s interesting to consider that in days gone by, with album number three The Defiants could have had their Pyromania effect with Drive.
Laine: [Laughing] Sure. But as anyone who knows me will tell you, I’m always five minutes late for everything.
In these days of steaming and file theft, what motivates a band that makes music so purposed to exist within a niche?
Ravel: At this point we certainly don’t do it for fame or money, because there is none to be had. We do it because at our core we are artists, and the need to create drives us.
With its lyrics of sun tan and ‘rocking to the radio’, what’s going on here is hardly rocket science.
Ravel: Not at all. It’s a throwback to better days, when life was less complicated. We never set out to reinvent the wheel, just to write and record catchy songs.
Laine: If that song doesn’t transport you back to being nineteen and the infinite possibilities that come with that, I’m not doing my job. I’m not going to give you Rush lyrics.
Post-covid and with so much negativity around the world, are The Defiants on a mission to make people smile again?
Laine: Yeah. For family reasons both of us had such a rough time during lockdown. We’re men of a certain age and it’s our turn to look after our parents now. So yeah, I’m ready to start enjoying life once more.
What, if anything, is going on with Danger Danger right now?
Ravel: Danger Danger are still a band, but our current life circumstances have pulled us in different directions, so getting back on the same page again is definitely no small task. Having said that, if the right opportunity ever presents itself we will reappear… like magic!
Lockdown scuppered any plans to played in the UK in support of Zokusho. What realistic hopes do we have of it happening this time around?
Ravel: There’s always hope, but, once again, it would have to be the right opportunity, and those are very hard to come by. Maybe that’ll change. I sure hope so.
Drive is available now via Frontiers Records.