In Defence are busy, busy boys. In addition to keeping up a lively recording regimen, the hardcore band just returned from a month tour in Europe, which was directly followed by a month on the road in the states.
They had their welcome home show on Monday at Memory Lanes. Gimme Noise sat with vocalist/daredevil Ben Crew and bassist Tony Hoff to talk out the intricacies of the ongoing war between pizza lovers and taco lovers.
Ben Crew: Yes we did, We were there for five years and three days. We toured every country but England because we hate England.
Why do you hate England?
Tony Hoff: We pulled their ass out of double-ya double-ya eye eye.
So, the war between taco and pizza. Is it being waged as strongly in Europe as it is here?
TH: It is now.
BC: Over there, people know what a pizza is. That's universal. Not as many people know what a taco is. In Europe they've got this thing called a falafel. We've got that here too. That's as close as a taco as it gets over there. So we had to adapt our message to include the falafel so people understood what we were talking about.
Is that a compromise of your message though?
BC: No. The falafel is awesome. It's a soft shell taco with a different filling. So for us it was something we could get behind.
TH: They have the same enemy over there.
BC: The enemy is what's important. Bands like Youth Of Today and Gorilla Biscuits went over and toured Europe and brought their message of straight edge to Europe. It's the same when in In Defence went over there. We weren't talking about straight edge. We were talking about tacos versus pizza. People were resistant to the message. People didn't want to hear it. People spat at us. People threw hings at us. But I tell you what--go back there in four years and there'll be hundreds of taco bands.
Did you say taco bands or taco vans?
So, you guys did a month in Europe, and a month in the states. Any major differences between European crowds and American crowds?
TH: There's more girls in Europe. That are into punk.
BC: There's a language difference. Granted, there's more people in Europe who speak English than there are people in America that speak other languages. But we talk a lot of shit onstage. I'm not sure how much of that translated over there.
Also, European punks in the DIY scene are very organized in Europe. Lots of squats. The DIY scene is definitely a lot more organized. Even though it's still DIY, it's run much more professionally than some of the DYI show spaces and punk houses we play in when we tour the U.S. It's been going on longer. People take it more seriously.
So, you lost a member on this tour (Loopy, guitarist).
BC: Right. Loopy had been playing with us since the start. He's a professional sound engineer, and his sound career has taken off recently. He's been touring with Baroness. He was planning this to be his last big thing before focusing on his professional career as a sound guy. Right before we left for Europe, he got an opportunity to go over to Europe and do sound for Municipal Waste. Those tours overlapped. He decided to come back to the U.S. for a while, work, make some money.
Doing a band like this isn't a money making venture. Sometimes you gotta pick and choose what it is you wanna do with your life. We totally respect his choice to do what he's doing, and I think he respects our choice to do the band. We wish him well. We're gonna keep doing what we gotta do.
What's the immediate future hold for you guys?
TH: Writing songs mostly. We have a few in town shows. Planning our next tour in spring. West coast, possibly Mexico.
BC: We've got some releases coming out in the next couple of months. We have 2 split 7 inches. One is the Taco Versus Pizza 7 inch. It's coming out soon.
If I give you a date, chances are it'll be late. Side taco is us, side pizza is Party By The Slice from Milwaukee. They've got members of Get Rad, and i's their pizza party fun time band. In the '90s when the bloods and crips were huge in California, there was this record called Bangin' On Wax. One side was the crips and the other was the bloods. It'll be like that. Hopefully this will finally end the bloodshed.
Stay tuned to Gimme Noise for more info about In Defence's upcoming releases.