Metal outfit Defects has quickly earned a name for itself as one of the most exciting, must-see metal bands on the scene.
The band is made up of young metalcore veterans: Tony Maue on vocals, Luke Genders and James Threadwell on guitars, David Silver on bass, and Harry Jennings on drums. Collectively, each with other successful bands, they've released multiple albums worldwide, and toured with the likes of Iron Maiden, Bring Me The Horizon, and Bullet For My Valentine.
Now they've come together to forge a fresh brand of urgent, vibrant metalcore that is uniquely Defects.
These are busy times for the band - the debut album is coming soon! - so we were fortunate to get to sit down with drummer Harry Jennings, fresh from performing at Manchester’s Amplified Festival, to chat about the band, drums and Moore, Alan Moore.
Thanks for agreeing to be grilled. Let’s start at the beginning. How did you get into music?
Music has always been part of my life. I spent most of my younger life at gigs and wanting to play drums. I was inspired by watching bands like Funeral for a Friend. They’re my favourite and biggest influence, to this day. I saw them play, back in 2002. I would’ve been about seven years old then.
From that day, that gig, I knew I wanted to play drums. I was fascinated by drums. They were beautiful to me: the shiny metal, the awesome sounds.
I have always been fascinated by drummers like the amazing Joey Jordison of Slipknot, or Omar Abidi from Fightstar. I leaned towards the metalcore and hard rock aspect, with double kicks and breakdowns.
But I also have massive love for the jazz drummer Buddy Rich and what he did for drums. The same goes for Neil Peart from Rush, and John Bonham from Led Zeppelin. Those guys really changed the game.
When did you start performing?
I started performing live and playing gigs at 14. I remember a talent competition at school – probably one of the first shows I’d done – where we played Fall Out Boy and Blink 182 for a crowd of middle-aged moms and dads! Can’t honestly remember if they enjoyed it, but it was a great buzz! The gigs helped me get known on the scene and make contacts. Very important!
Tell us more about those early gigs?
Well, back in 2009, me and a mate started a metalcore band called Cytota. One of our early gigs was a ‘battle of the bands’ night at the Islington Academy in London. That was my first gig in a proper venue, with a crowd of moshers. I’ve never looked back!
In 2015 we changed our singer and rebranded ourselves as Shvpes. We toured Europe a few times, with the likes of Trivium, SikTh, Sleeping with Sirens, Of Mice & Men, and Bullet for My Valentine. All great bands.
What about the US?
Yeah, we got to tour America in 2018. We spent 8 weeks out there, touring US cities and festivals, having an absolute blast. But touring the US is bloody hard work. It’s very expensive, which is a problem if you’re not a huge band. We were lucky to have a label that supported us. They were able to get our songs on the radio out there, which gave us a name and a way in.
We did this one gig in Ohio, where we were playing to something like 1,500 people, and I remember thinking we’d done alright for a band that started in a garage in Birmingham! I’ll never forget that time. It was pretty special.
What happened to Shvpes?
We called it a day during lockdown in July 2020. It was a very dark spot for me, to be honest. It was 11 years of blood, sweat, and tears; then it was all gone. It’s a very odd feeling. When it was announced on social media, I received some requests to join other bands – good bands – but I just wasn’t ready then to commit.
Six months later, I got a call from Tony, the singer in Defects. He sent me some songs, I met the guys for a jam session in London, and I was in. It felt right. That was early 2021. Defects felt like everything I loved about music and drumming. It was what I needed to get back out there and start gigging again.
Tell us about Defects.
We’re a metalcore band. I feel like there can sometimes be stigma around admitting that, but I’m proud of it! But we’re also heavy rock and nu metal. We have a lot of Slipknot vibes in the mix. And we bring the heavy. The riffs are ‘kick your nan in the pit’ kind of riffs, and I love it!
The album's coming soon. Can you tell us about it?
The album, and the singles ‘Scapegoat’ and ‘End of Days’, were recorded during lockdown. It was an odd experience. Everyone was firing ideas around, discussing them on Zoom, then recording takes at home. It was like making a jigsaw puzzle, putting all the pieces together.
Usually, Tony and Luke tend to take the lead with song writing. They’ll bring a part-finished song to the rest of us. Then we start working together on it, each adding our own spice to the mix. Some of the new stuff we’ve been working on is sounding amazing! I cannot wait to get back in the studio.
Your music career started when you were very young. Any advice for someone starting out now?
Just keep at it. Always push. Always ask questions. Never be afraid to come across as too keen. You can’t be too keen. There’s also a lot about the music industry that’s about who you know, so making contacts is essential. You’ve just got to keep moving forward.
You’ve known our Skev for a long time. Any memories you can share?
There are a lot of memories, but not so many are suitable for a family audience! The two years we spent together in college were really great times. We had a lot of fun. Probably can’t say more than that!
He had the idea for Ten of Clubs years ago. He’d tell me and our mate Youssef about the meaning behind the name, and what he planned to do. It’s great to see him developing the brand. I’ve always loved Skev’s creative vibe.
Skev’s like me: he’s very focussed on making things perfect. You can tell that with Ten of Clubs. The quality of the fit, the comfort of the material; it’s all just right. Yeah, I’m proud of what he’s doing. I wear my Ten of Clubs t-shirt – Head Cave Tee – pretty much all the time! It’s what I wear most often when I’m performing. Out there representing!
What do you like doing in your time off from Defects? That’s if you get time off from Defects!
I do, occasionally. I have a passion for sci-fi novels and comic books. I read Watchmen every year, at least twice. Alan Moore is a genius. I have a couple of V for Vendetta tattoos. Yeah, sci-fi and superheroes have been an obsession of mine from a very young age.
What’s next for Defects?
Amplified was incredible, and next we’ve got a really exciting slot at Bloodstock, which we are super excited and nervous about. There’ll be more announcements soon – we’re working on the details now – so stay tuned.
What about new music?
We’re always working on new music, all the time. We have some great new stuff in the works. We’ve got a new single and video coming very, very soon. It's a track we’ve been playing at live shows for the last couple of months - it’s been getting a great reaction - so it was a no-brainer to get it out to everyone ASAP. We’re excited to bring this one to life with a video that reflects the meaning behind the song.
Thanks for making time to talk with us today. Any final words?
Just look out for us: Defects. Check out our socials and follow us. If you see our shows coming up, come and be part of it. We love getting everyone involved and giving it 10. And thanks Ten of Clubs for this interview. Really enjoyed it.