Thai seven-piece alt-metal outfit Defying Decay have just completed a UK and European tour with slasher-core outfit Ice Nine Kills. We spoke to vocalist and founding member Jay Poom Euarchukiati the evening after the band destroyed Glasgow with their high-energy show. Check-in with Jay, below…
You are an hour away from showtime in Bristol, it’s pretty rare to get to speak to a vocalist so close to showtime, especially since you put on such an energetic show last night; so I guess the question is: how are you feeling after last night’s show…are you still recovering from it?
A bit, I guess! Last night was great fun and I enjoyed playing the show. The stage was big! [laughs] which is great because we have seven people in the band! So we had some fun and got to run around a bit!
The entire band exudes energy on stage, how long does it take for you personally to come down after a show? Do you need some time on your own?
Usually, I need a bit of time, yes. Just some time to chill a little bit. I don’t know about the other guys, but I personally need about twenty to thirty minutes…unless we need to rush off somewhere different. For instance, yesterday we weren’t able to get our bus in and park it outside the venue, so we had to rent a smaller van and load it up. We didn’t have a place to chill as we are the opening band and don’t get the green room every day, so, yesterday I just went off somewhere to get something to eat before coming back to the venue to hang out.
Defying Decay joined the tour in mid-May in Germany, how crucial was it for the band that you resumed overseas touring?
It’s very special, and exciting for us because I like the crowds in the UK and Europe. I kind of grew up here because I went to University in London, and I feel like out of all the countries we play in – like America, etc – the people in the UK are part of the show. It’s an exchange of energy. They make themselves part of the performance that we are giving. Obviously, as a band, we would like to come to the UK more often, but I feel that we are not that big yet to do our own shows. So we just have to wait for opportunities like this tour. Maybe soon enough we could start a small headline tour of the UK and Europe…that would be cool.
Logistically how difficult is it for a seven-piece band from Thailand to tour the UK and Europe?
It is very difficult, yes. And that is one of the biggest challenges of being in this band. For this tour I couldn’t take anyone out of the band and streamline it, I love them! That’s how we play. We can’t scale down; we have seven people in the band, then we have a minimum of three crew usually, and a tour manager, and a photographer. So a minimum of twelve people.
We are very spoilt in the UK with the amount of bands that tour, when was the last time that someone from overseas toured in Thailand?
I’m actually also a promoter in Thailand, so the last show that I put on was Dream Theater just before we left for this tour. In Thailand, there is really only one city to play and that is Bangkok, you might get lucky and have someone play another few cities, but the scene is quite small.
You’ve released two new tracks; ‘System of Sinners’ and ‘21 Stitches’, and if you look at the comments on the videos on YouTube there are a lot of people discovering Defying Decay for the first time on this tour. A lot of times the opening band on a multi-band line-up can be ignored by the audience as it is usually very early, so it must be pleasing that not only are people giving the band some attention, but they are also enjoying what they are witnessing.
Yes, that is one thing that gives me the energy to keep doing this. All the nightmare logistics of getting everyone over here are worth it because of the response from the crowd.
Can you give us any insights into the chances of the new album landing this year?
It is finished, yes, and we are putting it out this year. The recording is done, the artwork is done, and everything is ready to go, but to be truthful, I just don’t know when we will release it. We are an independent band and it is quite hard doing everything and self-managing. Our tour manager is one of my best friends that I work with and partner with in Thailand, and sometimes I feel that it is quite difficult to do this on our own. We are going to keep releasing singles for sure, maybe every six weeks or so just to keep things going, and then hopefully we can drop the album toward the end of the year. We are touring Asia later this year, and then a tour with Skindred in Europe at the end of the year. So before all that, I hope to have the album out.
You never think that the Fight Club-influenced video for ’21 Stitches’ was produced by an independent band. That one is pretty spectacular.
I would say, keep an eye out for our next single. We are going to release it sooner than you think. The video for that one I am really happy with. Many of the videos are directed by a good friend of mine in Thailand who directs movies. We have a good vibe going on!
2021’s ‘The Law 112: Secrecy & Renegades’ was quite a controversial track back home in Thailand because Article 112 of Thailand’s criminal code “Lèse-majesté” roughly translates as “a crime against The Crown”, and if anyone defames, insults, or threatens Thailand’s Royal Family then they could be punished with imprisonment of up to fifteen years. But you don’t actually mention the King of Thailand or the Royal Family by name; it must be quite fun sitting back and letting people try to decipher your lyrics.
The new album is not really a concept album, but there is a loose concept around it. I try and talk about what is going on around the world. But back when I wrote ‘The Law 112: Secrecy & Renegades’, it was before that topic blew up in Thailand and there were a lot of protests about Article 112…you know, you can’t say anything bad about the crown…and people were just protesting about that. The song’s title was actually inspired by Muse as they have an album titled ‘The 2nd Law’ and I thought that was cool. So, yes, the song was kind of about the crown but I didn’t mention that clearly enough! But it did blow up a little bit!
What will be your favourite memory of this tour once it ends?
There have been a few crazy, memorable shows, but actually, last night in Glasgow would be one of my most memorable moments, to be honest. Before the show we had to park our bus in Hamilton [approx fourteen miles out of Glasgow] and it was going to cost us a fortune to get a taxi and get all of us and our gear to the venue and back again, so I thought “Screw this, a few of us have international driving licences so let’s go to Europcar and hire a van!”. So we went and hired a van and didn’t realise that it was a stick, and manual, rather than an automatic which we are used to! And after it, I was like “Thank God nobody died!” [laughs] Using a clutch was fun! But we got there safely, and the van was fine afterward.
For more information on Defying Decay, follow the band on social media.
Interview – Dave
Glasgow live review, here
All live images – Dave Jamieson