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A Dirty Dozen with IAN and CURT from DEFY THE TYRANT – July 2020

| 30 July 2020 | Reply


According to a recent press release: “Dynamic Tallahassee, FL based rock band Defy The Tyrant have, in just a few years, developed a polished fusion of Southern and classic rock, blended uniquely with nu-metal. They pride themselves to such diverse influences as Garth Brooks, Slipknot, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Mötley Crüe, Fuel, Sevendust, and Creed. Defy The Tyrant was originally formed by bassist David Norton (aka Slim) to defy the norm and seek fellow musicians to bend the rules and re-structure and combine very diverse influences.” We get guitarist Ian and singer Curt to discuss new music, influences, and much more…

1. Tell us a little about your latest release.  What might a fan or listener not grab the first or second time they listen through?  Are there any hidden nuggets you put in the material or that only diehard fans might find?

Ian: For us one of the coolest things is the background vocals that are done on the record. Most of them are done by Slim and I. However, there are songs where our producer, Brett Hestla, adds his own flair to the vocals. It’s really cool considering he was the singer for Dark New Day, and Virgos Merlot. There’s also some cool stuff done very subtly with the guitars on Bones and Tight Rope. For the music nerds check out the time sequences in, “Tight Rope.”

Curt: Lyrically, there are a lot of hidden meanings and “nuggets” (metaphors; symbolism; aphorisms and play-on-words) within all our songs. A lot of times I will reference other Defy The Tyrant songs within a song. Golden Nugget: Most people would NOT know that our acoustic song “Fighting Gravity Ref. 1” appears on another Tallahassee Local band’s (Fighting Giants) album. That song can only be found on their album. With that being said, go check out their album to hear this NUGGET!

2. What got you into music, and can you tell us about the moment you realized you wanted to be a musician?

Ian: I can’t speak to the other guys, but I got into music in high school when I found an old Gibson marauder in my aunts’ closet. I started noodling and it was Love at first Sound.

Curt: Growing up, I was inspired by my father. He played a lot of Elvis and old country on the guitar. When I stumbled onto Garth Brooks is the moment that I realized that I wanted to be a musician.

3. Building on that, is there a specific song, album, performer, or live show that guided your musical taste?

Ian: Oh I have those seminal moments. Song, plowed by sponge. Album Dragula by Rob Zombie. Performer, Mark Tremonti. Live show, Zeta Fest and Halloweenie roast down in Miami.

Curt: Building on that, I ventured into other genres. I started listening to Fuel, Tool and Stone Temple Pilots etc. Building more onto that, I delved into heavier music like KSE and 36 Crazyfists.

4. Who would be your main five musical influences?

Ian: Mark Tremonti, Zakk Wylde, Dan Donegan, All of Iron Maiden, and all of GnR.

Curt: Garth Brooks, J. Loren (HURT), Richard Burke (Fighting Giants), Big Dave, and Brock (36CF).

5. If you could call in any one collaborator to do a song with, who would it be, and why?

Ian: Prince. He wrote some of the most iconic music ever. I don’t think there’s much more you need to say about that.

Curt: Jinjer. She’s a very versatile vocalist.

6. How would you describe your music to someone who’d never listened to you before? What is the one comparison a reviewer or fan has made that made you cringe or you disagreed with?

Ian: I like to describe our music as anthemic alternative metal. We use elements of thrash, metal, rock ‘n’ roll, NuMetal, Djent, Country, and Hip Hop. As for a cringe he reviewer or fan. Nothing a reviewer can say bothers us and we don’t really pay attention to them. Fans, they always just tell us how appreciative they are. I think we lucked out with how unique, Curts vocals are. Mix that with my sloppy rock guitar and Stu’s crisp lead guitar and there is some magic.

Curt: Thanks for the compliment Ian! This has always been one of the toughest questions for me to answer. So many different influences within the band that creates this conundrum.

7. When your band is hanging out together, who cooks, who gets the drinks in, and who is first to crack out the acoustic guitars for a singalong?

Ian: I’m always the one to bust out the acoustic first. With Curt right behind me. Both of us are also responsible for most of the drinking. What is cooking?

8. When was the last time you were starstruck and who was it?

Ian: Playing in the local scene and being around the Florida scene for as long as I have been, heroes tend to have their halos ripped off by reality. I’ve met some amazing musicians that were great humans. But I remember the first time I was starstruck was also the last time because of how shitty I was treated. I’m not gonna call out anyone. I will say 10 Years, Faster Pussycat, Sevendust, Alter Bridge, and HED PE were all really cool bands that stand out above the rest as being just cool people.

9. What is the best part of being a musician? If you could no longer be a musician for whatever reason, what would be your dream job?

Ian: The best part a Is playing live in connecting with people. Whether it’s one person at a party or a crowd of 1000. It’s all the same connection. If I couldn’t be a musician, I think my dream job would be music producer.

Curt: Reading and trying to correct Ian’s grammar on Facebook posts and Interview questions. I’m not fixing it this time!!!! LMMFAO 😉

10. What is one question you have always wanted an interviewer to ask – and what is the answer? Conversely, what question are you tired of answering?

Ian: For me, I’ve always wanted somebody to ask about the tall being musician takes on a personal life. Being a touring, or professional musician can be somewhat of a selfish profession. And I wish more people talked about it before I decided to do this. I love what I do, but it’s not all glitz and glam he on a personal life. Being a touring, or professional musician can be somewhat of a selfish profession. And I wish more people talked about it before I decided to do this. I love what I do, but it’s not all glitz and glam. There are lines of Groupies, there isn’t a team of people putting together a custom stage and lighting show. There is just the band in the road except for a couple hours at night where we could connect and be greater than what we are. And I think it Has to be in on thing to other people, for us to do everything we do, jeopardize everything we jeopardize, and stay away from most things we love just for a couple hours every other night. There is no drug that comes close to those two hours. I also never get tired of being asked questions, I talk too much.

11. Looking back over your career, is there a single moment or situation you feel was a misstep or you would like to have a “do over,” even if it didn’t change your current situation?

Ian: Of course. Being in a band does not give a person a whole lot of money. So, when money is spent in one way and it doesn’t work out, that something we as musicians always want to of changed. But we’re not allowed to talk about those right now.

12. If you could magically go back in time and be a part of the recording sessions for any one record in history, which would you choose – and what does that record mean to you?

Ian: The first real rock album I ever got into was, My Own Prison by Creed. Believe me, I know what the rock and metal world think of creed, but without them I don’t know if I’d be playing music. So that album will always hold some special place in my musical heart. I would love to be able to have been a part of those record.





Category: Interviews

About the Author ()

ToddStar - that's me... just a rocking accountant who had dreams of being a rock star. I get to do the next best thing to rocking the globe - I get to take pictures of the lucky ones that do. I love to shoot all genres of music and different types of performers. If it is related to music, I love to photograph it. I get to shoot and hang with not only some of my friends and idols, but some of the coolest people around today.

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