Introducing: Dead Defined

Ontario, Canada-based singer/songwriter Craig Ewan joins us to talk about his solo project ‘Dead Defined’, and what you should expect from the latest release ‘Ignite’, as well as his own personal musical background, connect with Craig, below.

What is your musical background? How long have you been performing music?

I’m a self-taught singer/songwriter from the very musical country town of Uxbridge, Ontario, Canada. (40 mins NE of Toronto, Ontario) I’ve been involved in music since the age of 16 yrs old and have been in and out of semi-professional bands my whole life until 2018. (I’m 35) In 2018 I decided to start my own solo band project entitled ‘Dead Defined’. Having freedom to experiment with different genres and being able to move at my own pace seemed like the right choice. Music is always evolving and being able to adapt to that I find it’s more freeing than having to work in a typical band structure.

How did you feel performing your first gig? And how was it?!

Wow, that would have been years ago! I can definitely remember parts of it haha. It actually took place at a very famous music venue in my home city of Toronto, Ont. We played the Horseshoe Tavern and it was a great turnout. I remember being extremely nervous as most people would be but had instilled the self-confidence I needed to get on stage and entertain. A few drinks helped the situation as well haha. I still say to this day that nerves prior to hitting the stage are a good thing! It means you care enough to worry about your performance to try and make it that much better.

What should people expect when they check out Dead Defined? How would you describe yourself?

I’m actually very outgoing these days and keep a positive mindset. Whether it be on social media or in person, I try to be very transparent when it comes to expressing who I really am through my music or through any type of posts online. I find it’s much easier to connect with my audience and develop a following when being able to show and share my many interests other than music.

The new music scene is bursting at the seams with fresh talent, in what ways do you feel that a band has to stand out from the others trying to build a name?

I believe in being true to your sound and just being yourself. With social media being such a huge part of the music industry these days it’s critical that your fanbase gets to know you for who you are. I find people want to know more about the music and where it comes from rather than just releasing a professional music video to paint the picture these days. It’s a YouTube type of Vlogging world I find with lots of interaction available to reach your fans. They take the time to listen to your music so why not take the time to thank them and get to know them as well.

What are you working on at the minute that people can check out?

As far as music, I’m always working on new ideas. Whether it be parts or full songs, they’re always in the mix. I do have a lot of former unreleased ideas as well that I’d like to revisit this year and hopefully reintroduce to today’s recording standards.

As far as my latest new release, it’s entitled ‘Ignite’. It was released on March.12th. I’d love for your readers to check that out as it was a bit of a different sound and style than my other previous Hard Rock releases.

What band out there at the minute do you feel that you would be best suited to open for?

Alter Bridge. I’m not sure if I’d be just best suited for it, but it would definitely be a checkmark off my bucket list as well haha. I think it would be a great matchup of bands as their music is very diverse when it comes to their writing and songs. I’ve been a fan for years and look up to them in this industry.

Who do you feel is the next band to break out?

Hmm, that’s a hard one to narrow down. I’m not really sure how to classify when a band ‘breaks-out’ but I know of many indie bands that have been at it for years plugging away at their music, online content, and live shows. A few Canadian hard rock bands that come to mind would be Ashes of Soma, Spiritbox, and Sumo Cyco. You should definitely check out their music and follow them on social media.

What are your first musical memories? And what was the light bulb moment that made you go “I want to do that”?

A strong memory I have is actually quite funny looking back at it. I used to go to summer camp every year up to the age of about 13 or 14. It was actually a religious camp at the time and we would have sermons and worship, but with a live band accompanying. It was literally the first time I had ever heard live music being played as a full band in front of me. The band was a rock band playing religious songs but with a hard rock twist. It blew me away! I was hooked and actually looked forward to every time we got to sing along to the songs and rock out with my friends in our pews lol. If I remember correctly, I asked for my first guitar soon after those summer sessions to start learning how to play my favourite songs of the time.

What was the last gig that you attended as a fan?

If I remember correctly it was over a year ago, now sadly. Covid has put a damper on all live music in Canada still at the moment so no venues have a go-ahead to open anytime soon. If memory serves me right it was at the Budweiser Amphitheatre in Toronto, Ont. I went to see Breaking Benjamin. The American hard rock bands don’t cross the border very often up here so it’s a rare occasion to be able to see bands like that.

The album that you have in your album collection/Spotify playlist that would surprise most people?

I’m not sure music diversity is much of a surprise these days as there’s so much genre swapping with major artists going on. But I have one song that may surprise my fanbase. I actually have been hooked on the new Lil Nas X single Montero. I have it on my favorites playlist. It’s a daily listener for sure haha.

Although 2020 was a year to forget for many reasons, there was some incredible music released; what would be your album of 2020?

For me, it’s from a Swedish rock group called ‘Smash Into Pieces.’ They released their newest record in the summer of 2020 entitled ‘Arcadia.’ I’ve been a fan of them since 2018 and actually got to see them on their first-ever North American tour in Toronto with ‘In Flames’ in 2019. If you’re into modern rock bands like Nickelback and 3 Days Grace you’ll really enjoy them.

How active are you on social media and where can people connect with you?

I’m very active on social media as it’s pretty much the only way we can connect with our fanbase and try to obtain new fans during these Covid times. I like to have fun with it by posting my daily interests and create my own content. It’s not always music-based but at least a few times a week I make sure to update.

Your readers can find me at @craig_ewan on Instagram for daily posts, or my personal Facebook page (Craig Ewan) /DeadDefined – and the band account on Facebook is under DeadDefinedOfficial – Please feel free to visit my website as well as I now have brand new awesome merch that is shipping worldwide!

Thanks for your time and keep rockin’! – Much Love.

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