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A Dirty Dozen with TAJ from FUSED BY DEFIANCE – March 2021

| 30 March 2021 | Reply


According to a recent press release: “LA Based, 5 piece band FUSED BY DEFIANCE has released the official music video for their single, “Cancel Culture.” Originally premiered on GHOST CULT MAGAZINE, “Cancel Culture” was directed and edited by Ron Underwood. Fused By Defiance, also known as FxD, is a five piece band from Los Angeles, California, formed in 2012. They incorporate sounds of Rock, Metal, Rap and Funk, coupled with socially conscious lyrics, to create songs that will move both your body and your mind. Add in their naturally energetic performance and the live shows become an event to remember, or as one fan put it, “Poetry In Motion.” We get vocalist Taj to discuss new music, influences, and 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?

Upon listening to it initially our latest release is a discussion on the pros and cons of cancel culture. Once listening further you will see the shift of how we predict people will respond to cancel culture as it starts to abuse its power most notably going from a sarcastic banter of “Better watch what I say, or they’ll take me down” to a boastful indifference of “Ima say what I want…” In our video diehard fans will find the resurgence of “little teddy” tucked in his tiny hidey hole on the drum set J.

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

Originally, I got into music because the bands I like weren’t writing songs I liked anymore so I said Fuck it I’ll do it myself – which by the way is also my life’s motto.

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

Any female leading and trailblazing in the male dominant rock world. But in the rock world, mostly Hayley Williams because not only is she an amazing singer, and performer, she also stands up for the rights of marginalized people and has been doing it since before it was cool.

4. Who would be your main five musical influences?

Beyoncé, Lauryn Hill, Paramore, Evanescence, and Bring Me The Horizon.

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

Hayley Williams, I mean do I even need to say why?

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?

I would describe it as new nü-metal, blending in elements of all our influences in a way that just works. On comparisons the boys always get is to Rage Against The Machine, we’ve gotten Body Count; one comparison I always get as a vocalist is to the one black female rock artist that the person knows LOL.

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?

Cooks – no one; eating is for the weak. Drinks – all of us but Jon has his own beer company called Cheves Ese Guey so usually we can taste first-hand their new products, its good shit. Ted however can drink us all under the table. Guitars- idk about acoustic but Kevin is the first to set up his electric every time.

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

Probably when Lacey Sturm asked to video chat me after randomly seeing our band on IG.

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?

I think being able to communicate in a way most people can’t is the best part and really being able to stay connected to your inner kid. If I wasn’t a musician my dream job would be a trust-fund baby.

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?

I’ve always wanted an interviewer to ask me which BLM fundraiser they can ask their fans to donate to in order to push for fundamental rights for all. I’m tired of being asked who my influences are not because I don’t like talking about it, but because it’s the question that is 100% on every interview.

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?

Nope, I wouldn’t be where I am now without the lessons, I’ve learned from the mistakes I have made.

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?

I’d just choose to go back to the first time our band recorded together. I love these guys!

BONUS QUESTION – Due to the current world situation with COVID-19 / quarantine / shelter in place, what have you discovered you miss the most from your life before the pandemic struck?





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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