Formed in Massachusetts in 2004 and solidified in 2008 from a diverse background of musicians, Defeater is a forward-thinking hardcore band with more to them than just mosh parts. The band recently released their debut full-length Travels on Topshelf Records and now, to celebrate their new home, Bridge Nine Records will be re-releasing Travels on CD internationally as well as the vinyl edition in conjunction with Topshelf Records on February 24th, 2009.
The relationship with Defeater and Bridge Nine as well as their former label, Topshelf was an easy one to arrange. B9 owner Chris Wrenn explained, "Topshelf is owned and operated by [Bridge Nine employee] Seth Decoteau. When he first gave us promo copies of this record, it clearly stood out as something great. Most bands need time to grow and develop, but Defeater is already proving that they're far ahead of anyone around them. And Seth works his ass off- once it became clear that not only were Defeater ready to take that next step forward but Topshelf wanted to help push this record further-it made sense." The band, too, was excited about the opportunity. Guitarist/vocalist Jay Maas said, "I believe very strongly in taking the passions in my life seriously; this is a road I have been on since I was 14 years old and I'm not done seeing where it leads. We are super stoked and we know how lucky we are to be working with such great people at Bridge Nine. We couldn't be more excited."
Defeater has a wide array of influences and at first listen, you'll hear tracks reminiscent of Botch and Deadguy mixed with traditional hardcore. Ethically influenced by bands like Fugazi and musically by Minor Threat and Modern Life Is War – Defeater is no copycat band. Jay said, "We have been careful to know where we are going before we start driving there. It's important to us to flesh out mood and place instead of just blindly sitting down with my guitar hashing out riffs." He continues to say, "…I wanted to make a record that you could get into even if for some reason you don't care about the meaning behind the lyrics, but at the same time I wanted to make sure the listener to at least knows that there is more going on lyrically
than a bunch of non-interconnected thoughts and emotions."
With each band member being active in their local scene, perhaps one of Defeater's biggest contributions is what they are doing for the planet. Drummer Andy Reitz co-runs GREENVANS, which is a company that rents out vans that run on waste vegetable oil to other bands. Meanwhile, Defeater also tours in a converted veggie van and printed their last record on 100% recyclable materials. Jay said, "For the first time in recorded history we are seeing the actions of humans actually affecting the planet in a very global way. It's nice to see people starting to take the environment more seriously but we are still a long way from where we need to be. We printed our record on 100% recycled materials, it costs more but it's worth it. We have converted our van to run on waste vegetable oil and it works amazingly well"
Be on the lookout for more news on Defeater and their plans for world domination in the coming year. Meanwhile, Bridge Nine Records will re-release Travels on February 24th, 2009 – and note that there will be a small sticker over the packaging boasting the Bridge Nine logo in an effort not to waste useable materials that were already printed for Travels.