Defend Moscow interview
We undertake many a fishing tip to the pond of pop here at TMF Towers. By baiting our rods with some 80’s classics we've been fortunate to reel in international pop lovelies Defend Moscow and serve them with a side order of chips. So with a pot of tartare sauce and our J. R. Hartley book we set off for a chat with their lead male vocalist Jon Beck.
Hi Jon, thanks for chatting to us at The Music Fix. Would you kindly introduce yourself and tell us a little bit about the group?
Hello from Defend Moscow! It's very nice to meet you. We're an electro-pop band from London via Paris via Bergen via Leicester! We reckon that by having members from three different European countries, it gives us three separate chances to win Eurovision - now how good would that be!
You could dominate the podium! With such a geographically wide split in the band, how did you all meet?
The short answer is, a bit randomly! Dave and I have been friends for many years and have always been in bands together. We met Sofie at a party in Norway a few years back, we got Adam through an advertisement on the LIPA website and we met Rick when he was assisting on one of our early mixes - he was the final piece of the puzzle!
You’ve got a funky pop sound going on there so who are your influences? Is there a band that you all love?
I guess our main songwriting influences are the Pet Shop Boys, New Order, Fleetwood Mac and Human League but there are a few more random influences chucked in there too. Like M83, Sigur Ros, RATM and also really mainstream pop stuff like Girls Aloud and Take That.
As a band we're all into pop - Rick loves Michael Jackson, Adam is a big Dave Mathews Band fan, Sofie worships Britney, Dave and I are massive Take That fans. We all love The Saturdays though and are very much looking forward to hearing their new album, the last one was a bit of an overlooked classic.
The singles have been great so far. Is there an album in the pipeline?
Absolutely - we've got about 30 songs demo'd up and ready to go, so we're chomping at the bit to get in the studio and finish it all off. But before we can do that we need to work out who we want to do it with.
Right now we're in the process of talking to labels and doing that side of things, which is annoying but it has to be done unfortunately. As soon as that's all decided though, we're locking ourselves away in a studio behind the Iron Curtain and not coming out until we've recorded something really special.
Is there a dream producer you would like to work with?
Trevor Horn, without a doubt - he's created some of the best pop music of all time. Some of his work with the Pet Shop Boys and Frankie Goes to Hollywood in the 80's is just incredible. Our current plan is to work with him on our second record and just blow a fortune on recording something completely overblown and amazing! Quite an ambitious plan I know, but you've got to have a bit of belief!
Your second single is called ‘Die Tonight’. That’s a bit depressing for pop music isn’t it? Was there ever a point when it was called ‘Party At Mine Tonight – Bring a Bottle’?
Now why didn't we think of that lyric? That's much better! It is slightly depressing though you're right, but that was kind of the point of it. We wanted to create something that was upbeat and dancey to listen to but with a dark lyrical undercurrent to it. We like the idea of songs looking nice and shiny on top but being seedy and dark underneath - nothing is ever as perfect as it first seems.
Where does the name Defend Moscow come from?
We actually got it from an old Soviet poster of a soldier holding his rifle in the air with those words (in Russian) underneath. We drew a lot of influence for some of our early songs from communist Russia and so it made sense to use something that was related to that as the name for the band.
Are you aware of any Russian Bands? We interviewed the amazing Tesla Boy in August who pointed us in the direction of some interesting bands.
I must admit I'm not aware of too many! Aside from Tatu. Oh, and trance producers PPK actually - they're pretty good. Just checking out Tesla Boy as we speak though, they sound ace!
Staying on the Russian theme, who is your favourite character in Animal Farm?
My favourite character was always Boxer because his was the saddest story of the lot. He gets sucked in to the promises made by Napoleon, helps spread the word of the regime, works himself into the ground trying to keep the farm ticking over and progressing and then gets sold off to the glue factory once he's no longer needed.
Now the crucial question, who in the band can throw an artichoke the furthest?
Definitely me, I threw a kettle over a pub once.
Thanks for your time Jon, good luck in the future. What are your plans from here on?
Our first task is to decide on our plan for the album, then it's time to get it recorded before getting back out there to take over the world!
If you want to hear more from Defend Moscow or challenge them to an artichoke throwing contest you can find out more here: http://www.myspace.com/defendmoscow