“I had to start again and build a foundation out of nothing”: The trauma and triumph behind Defects’ debut album

On the eve of their debut album and upcoming inaugural appearance at Download Festival, metalcore upstarts Defects lift the lid on the childhood experiences that fed into Modern Error and why they want to be a beacon of hope for fans in similar situations…

“I had to start again and build a foundation out of nothing”: The trauma and triumph behind Defects’ debut album
Isabella Ambrosio

“My songwriting is a therapy,” begins Tony Maue, reflecting on his experiences in the childcare system after being displaced from his family. “When I was going through the trauma of being in care, there was nothing I really had, other than music.”

The Defects frontman is reliving his journey from childhood to now, as the band sit on the cusp of releasing debut album Modern Error.

“Music was the friend that I needed at the time. I had moved areas, I had to start again and build a foundation out of nothing at a young age, and music was the thing I had that was there for me no matter what.”

It was through his favourite bands like Slipknot and Korn that Tony found solace, as well as the raw honesty and grit that informed his own creativity, which is spread all over the forthcoming record. Formed from the rubble of other projects at the tail-end of COVID with guitarists Luke Genders and James Treadwell, bassist David Silver and drummer Harry Jennings, Defects cement together intense riffs, guttural vocals and complex drums that burst with energy, yet bear the weight of profound and emotional lyricism.

“We all came from old bands where we felt a bit held back in terms of really expressing ourselves musically,” explains Harry, “That’s what has been so enlightening about the band and what Defects is about. If we’re not loving it, we ain’t doing it.”

With their newfound space, Tony says that Defects was “about creating something we deem is beautiful, and going with it – no matter what.”

And that shackles-off freedom lies at the very core of Modern Error.

“Before this record, I was very afraid of writing about these topics,” explains Tony. “And this is the first time that I’ve indulged and worn my heart on my sleeve the way that I have. It’s a very personal album.”

“It’s really breathed life back into me personally, and the other guys’ passion for writing songs,” Harry adds.

Touching on both sociopolitical and personal issues, Tony details an album that criticises and brings attention to where our society is heading, while reflecting on the journey he has experienced until this point.

“When you go through this kind of trauma, there’s a line that you cross where you enter the real world and never go back. So, when I see people living in this fake world, it bothers me. When I write music and I write about trauma – it’s genuinely for the message.

“I got through my crap because of bands like Linkin Park and Bullet For My Valentine, and because of that, I’m still here. I was listening to music that I could relate to, and without that, there was no way of getting through things. So, that’s my mission: writing songs, that when our fanbase builds, they can say, ‘Your music helped me through a rough time.’

“I’m taking the torch, and leading the way.”

Modern Error is released on May 24. Catch Defects at Download Festival on June 14 – get your tickets now

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