Dream Awake: Defects Frontman Tony Maue

Defects Frontman Tony Maue: Dream Awake

Metalcore outfit Defects has been making waves since tearing onto the scene with debut single ‘Scapegoat’ back in December 2021.  

The critically acclaimed EP ‘Dream Awake’ followed in September 2022, showcasing the band’s unique blend of hardcore and post-hardcore, with its emphasis on emotional lyrics, soaring choruses, and killer breakdowns.

If, like us, you like your music heavy, your riffs melodic, and your percussion aggressive, you need to check out Defects.

Metalcore band Defects

The quintet - Luke Genders and James Threadwell on guitars, David Silver on bass, Harry Jennings on drums, and Tony Maue out front on vocals – each have impressive musical pedigrees, having cumulatively released multiple albums with their respective non-Defects projects.

Last year, in the wake of their barnstorming performance at Manchester’s Amplified Festival, we got to interview drummer Harry Jennings. Now we’re back, this time to chat with songwriter, lead vocalist and screamer extraordinaire, Tony Maue.

Will we unsheathe an exclusive, or will Tony resist our vigorous probing? Read on to find out.

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It’s great to meet you, Tony. Let’s start at the beginning. Have you always been into music?

TONY MAUE - Absolutely. I kind of started my journey in music before I even knew what It was. I was singing melodies and making stuff up in my head even when I was in primary school. I got my first guitar when I was 12. Got it from Argos.

Argos?! Blimey, they really do sell everything! Do you play any other instruments?

I play bass, drums, and piano, as well as guitar.

Defects frontman Tony Maue

Tell us more about your musical youth. Can you remember your first gig?

Of course! My first gig was in a school band called Point Blank. I was so nervous; I was crapping myself! We did three original songs, which were bad at best. Then we covered ‘The Hell Song’ by Sum 41, which I loved.

I remember coming off stage and seeing all the people saying our band was sick and we were good for our age – I was like 12 or 13 at the time - so that was an amazing feeling.

I started really going for music as a career at 16, when I joined my first proper band. It was a funk band. In my second band I was drummer, which was fun. I was vocalist in my third band. And in 2017 I joined The Raven Age as lead guitarist.

And now I’m here in Defects. It’s been a wild ride.

The Raven Age guitarist Tony Maue

Before we get to Defects, tell us more about The Raven Age.

It was a great 5 years with those guys. It was the first band where I really had to step up my game and push myself as a musician. We got to support some amazing bands: Iron Maiden, Killswitch Engage, Shinedown,Alter Bridge.

One of the most amazing moments of my life waswhen I was in Chile with The Raven Age, supporting Iron Maiden and playing in front of 80,000 people. Incredible!

I’m still in contact with The Raven Age guys now, and still working alongside them, song writing, as the chemistry we had as a collective was always so good and easy. I had a lot of fun co-writing their third album – ‘Blood Omen’ – with them.

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How did Defects come about?

I met Luke and James back in 2019 at a studio in Uxbridge. An old friend had asked me to come down to check their music out, to give my feedback. I loved what I heard, straight off the bat.

The songs were very different to what has become the Defects sound, but one of them – ‘Scapegoat’ - came over from that project to Defects.

Describe Defects' sound for anyone who hasn’t had the aural pleasure yet.

Our sound is a blend of everything we love. It’s the heavy and the melodic, combined with elements of nostalgia. We all come from different backgrounds, but the goal is the same: to make music we all enjoy and can be proud of.

We just want to show the world what we’re made of, and to push ourselves as musicians. This formula for us hits all the right spots and we hope it does the same for everyone else.

Who chose the name?

Me. I’d had the name in mind since 2016. The idea behind it is that we’re all defective, no matter how hard we strive for perfection.

Perfection doesn’t exist, so don’t live your life pretending to be something you cannot be. Accept yourself. Live your life as you are now, defects included, and enjoy every moment in the process.

Can’t argue with that. Your vocals are amazing; you have an incredible voice. How do you cope with all the screaming, without shredding your vocal cords? What’s the secret?

Thank you, that means the world. At first I would blow out my voice after an hour or so of screaming. Over time I started to get a knack for what felt right for me. Then I figured out false vocal cord screaming, without really knowing what it was. It just felt right to me.

Now I can scream for hours on end without hurting my voice. I’m knackered after, mind you. I am always practicing, experimenting, learning how to do different screams.

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Describe Defects' songwriting process for us.

Me and Luke do the bulk of the song writing. Then, everyone will go through our ideas, add their own, put their spin on things. When I write with Luke, it’s a very easy process. It’s always fun. I tend to start with the chorus. It’s the chorus that helps me with the identity of the rest of the song.

Tell us about the personalities in the band. Who’s the diva?

Well, I’m the guy who worries about everything! But it comes from a good place.

James is the party starter and the Bantersaurus Rex of the band. So funny! If you got locked in a room with him, you would laugh your lungs up. That’s guaranteed. 

David is as chilled as it gets, always laughing and bringing a light-hearted atmosphere to the band.

Defects on Black Sabbath Bridge

Luke is our Viking bouncer! He may look like he could knock you out – and probably could, to be fair – but, underneath, he’s the nicest, safest geezer around. 

And Harry brings the banter any day of the week. But don’t challenge him about Branston baked beans being better than Heinz. He will disown you!

Thank God we didn’t mention beans when we interviewed him! Defects tracks always have the best videos. Where do the ideas come from?

Thank you. We love making music videos. It's great coming up with the storyboards together because everyone has their own take on the lyrics and the meaning of the songs.

Filming can be tiring, because sometimes it can take up to 12 hours to shoot. What’s great though is that everyone goes all in. Luke even screwed up his back in the ‘Dream Awake’ video because he wanted it to look like I was really thumping him and he wanted his fall to be convincing. I mean, it definitely does look real.

Defects formed shortly before Covid reached the UK. What effect did it and lockdown have on the band?

It put everything on hold for us. And not just for us, but for every band. All we could do was write songs in lockdown, which we did. But all I really wanted to do was play live again.

Soon after lockdown ended, I played a gig in Southampton with my brothers in Defects. We were supporting In Flames. I remember going backstage after we’d played and just breaking down. It was an unforgettable feeling to know I had a second chance to be a vocalist. To be honest, I never thought I’d get the opportunity again.

We also recorded the ‘Dream Awake’ EP during lockdown. The recording process was done at home, individually, because of Covid. We made it work, but it was tiring. I had to sort of learn to produce so I could record all of my takes at home, then send them to our producer.

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Let’s leave Covid behind. Who are your musical heroes?

Gotta be M. Shadows, Chester Bennington, and Corey Taylor. They were my biggest inspirations growing up. 

Some of my favourite bands are Fear Factory, Avenged Sevenfold, Linkin Park, and Parkway Drive, just to name a few.

Hard to disagree with any of those. What three albums should everyone own.

‘City of Evil’ by Avenged Sevenfold, ‘Iowa’ by Slipknot, and‘Hybrid Theory’ by Linkin Park.

What other interests do you have? How do you relax?

I love gaming. Apex Legends, Rocket League, and Tekken 7 are my go-to games. Me and David, our bass player, are always trying to outdo each other at Tekken, to the point it’s like all-out war!

I’ve also got into fitness. It’s kind of a must, especially with what I’m doing on stage. I also love cooking - not very metal, I know! - but I love going online and searching for recipes to cook at home.

Even metalheads gotta eat. What’s next for Defects?

All I can say as of now is stay tuned. We hate being secretive, but all will become clear soon.

Defects metalcore band

Not even a hint? You tight-lipped tease! What about new releases?

All I’ll say is we have music that is finished and there will be big news soon. It’ll be worth the wait.

Next time we'll bring the thumb screws. You’ve already had a long and successful career in music. Knowing what you know now, what advice do you have for someone just starting out. 

The best advice I can give is never give up. Push yourself and keep learning. There will be times when you hit a wall, but you just need to regroup and push harder.

Trust me. If this is really what you want to do, nothing will stop you or your passion.

Solid advice. Thanks so much for answering our questions. Any final words?

Thank you to all the people who support and believe in us. And thank you TEN OF CLUBS for being so awesome and supportive. I love your style of clothing. Right up my street!

I’m into mostly black clothing, because everything else I wear I look weird in. I’m loving my Wave Tee and my Runes Cap Black. I’m the backwards-cap guy, so it had to be.

Keep a look out for Defects. We’re gonna bring the house down! This is just the beginning.

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► ‘Dream Awake’ by Defects is streaming now on Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon Music, and elsewhere.

📸 Chris Andrews

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