Exclusive: Aaron Nichols (Defeatist) Interview

I caught up with Defeatist’s guitarist/vocalist, Aaron Nichols. Defeatist is one of the best grind bands I have come across in the last few years and they have one of the best sounds of the new age of grindcore. Read on to learn how Defeatist came to be, what Aaron thinks of Topon Das and what Defeatist’s plans are for the new year.

Tell me a little about how Defeatist began.
Josh and Joel called me in 2005 to see if I wanted to play in a grindcore band with them for a side project from Anodyne. The crust band I was playing with for a bit had just broken up so the timing worked out well. We all knew each other from playing shows together in our previous bands and hanging out at shows when I moved to New York a couple years previous. I had given them some  primitive grindcore demos I did with Erik from Kalibas that I guess they liked. At some point Anodyne ended and this became our main gig.

Who or what are some of your personal influences?
My personal influences? Rush, Voivod, Sulaco/Lethargy, David Cronenberg, WS Burroughs, JG Ballard, PK Dick, Moebius. Influences for the band would be Napalm, Terrorizer, Sayyadina, Repulsion, Celtic Frost, HHIG, Cadaver and Gauze among others.

Your newest album, which is also your debut LP, came out this year. Tell me a little about the album.
More shitty music from shitty people? Recorded by our friend Colin Marston at his studio in Queens, solid dude. Probably the smoothest session any of us have had. I wish I could say there was some big concept behind the record but all of our stuff is the based on the same general theme of malaise, failure and eating shit on a daily basis.

You’ve played in other bands besides Defeatist. What are the differences between those bands and Defeatist?
Tough to say, we’ve all been playing music for 20+ years each so we’ve been at it for a while. I’m only speaking for myself but I would say we’re all on the same wavelength regarding our work ethic in regards to how often we practice and making sure we can execute the material to the best of our ability at shows. Sadly this has not been the case for every band I’ve been in.

What do you think of Grindcore today as compared to early Napalm Death or Brutal Truth?
It doesn’t feel like it’s that different, especially since both of those bands are still active. I’m old enough that I’ve seen them back in the old days, I feel like there were more people coming out to shows back then but I’m probably just reminiscing. It does seem that the sound in the U.S. has come back around to the original style from those days. European and Japanese bands always knew what was up.

Topon Das (Fuck The Facts) is a fan of Defeatist. What do you think of his band?
Putting me on the spot eh? We’ve known Topon and those guys for a while now through playing shows together over the years and having mutual Canadian friends. Good people and killer musicians and I’m stoked they seem to be getting their due now. I think the last NY show they played was sold out.

Any plans to tour or anything else in 2011?
We have a new record almost finished now with plans to record early Spring. We would like to tour more but finances usually prohibit us from getting any farther than the East Coast.