not to pay attention to a band called Defend Moscow and quoting the Pet
Shop Boys, A-Ha, Fleetwood Mac, The Cure, Eurythmics, Tears for Fears,
Rage Against the Machine, Michael Jackson, The Smiths, and Sigur Ros as
And listening to their two brilliant singles "Manifesto" and "Die
Tonight", released on the KIDS Label, we understand why Defend Moscow
have been tipped as one of the bands to watch recently.
This multinational five-piece composed of Jon Beck (vocals), Sofie
Storaas (vocals), Dave Fawbert (guitar, synths, programming), Rick
Elmos (bass) and Adam Pickering (drums) has an amazing fresh sound and
definitely looks like no other.
Interview with Jon Beck singer of Defend
S: When and how was Defend
Myself and Dave had been writing for the project for a couple of years
in between working but we were properly born last Summer when we first
got together and started playing. I’ve known Dave for years,
met Sofie at a concert she was singing at in Norway, Adam we got
through a good old-fashioned advert and Rick was assisting mix one of
our early tracks. Think it’s safe to say we’ve come
together quite randomly!
S: Where is the name of the
band coming from?
Well we’re quite interested in and have written quite a few
about Soviet Russia so we wanted to go with something to do with that.
We got the name from a famous Soviet poster from the 40’s
has a soldier holding his rifle in the air with the words
Moscow!” underneath. We thought it looked pretty cool so we
S: How and when did all begin
We’ve all done lots of different things in music throughout
years. Myself and Dave have been in a couple of bands before with each
other, Sofie was in a band called ‘Micropops’ in
Adam was in a band called ‘Mongo Lounge’ who for
reason worked out of Sweden?! Rick has been working as a studio
engineer for the last year or so but before that he was tour managing
bands in France. So I guess we’ve all been involved in music
one shape or another for a while now. It means absolutely everything to
all of us (cliché but true!)
are the positive and negative sides of being a musician in UK?
Being a musician in the UK isn’t much different to being a
musician anywhere else I imagine. It’s absolutely brilliant
it’s also incredibly hard to make ends meet at times and make
sustainable living from it. The UK music scene is amazing though,
there’s just so much going on. Not just in London but all
the country there are various scenes popping up all the time and
there’s always something to get into. Having said that,
an amazing place to be as a band, there’s a thousand venues
club nights to play every single night of the week and people in the
capital just can’t seem to get enough of live music
S: Do you feel anxious before a
It depends on the show really. When we played with Sam Sparro in front
of 2,000 people I was nervous as anything beforehand, but the more
intimate gigs I don’t really get much in the way of stage
Maybe a few butterflies just before we go on but that’s about
S: What musicians or artists had
an influence in your life and in your work?
Too many to list really, I take my influences from a really broad
spectrum of music. In my early years I was massively into bands like
Idlewild, Foo Fighters and Feeder then I spent a long time getting into
loads of dance music; d&b, trance etc before coming back to my
lifelong love of great pop music in recent years. If I was going to
name names though, bands like Pet Shop Boys, The Smiths, A-Ha, Human
League and U2 (very uncool to admit this I know) have all had a
profound effect on me over the years.
S: Do you remember what was the
first CD you bought?
I think it was The Bluetones – Slight Return but I really
S: Do you think the emotion is
different between a song in English and in another language?
No I wouldn’t have said so, and I think the success of bands
Sigur Ros in the UK have proved that you don’t really have to
know what someone is saying to get what they mean or what the song is
trying to say.
S: How could you define the
music of Defend Moscow?
It’s electro-pop with an edge and some massive choruses
thrown in there for good measure.
S: Do you agree with Victor Hugo
who said :"Melancholy is the pleasure of being sad"?
It depends on what day you catch me on! But I can totally see what
he’s saying though, sometimes when you’re really
you just want to listen to bands that allow you to wallow in that
depression for a bit and oddly it makes you feel a bit better. It can
be kind of reassuring to know that someone else is as miserable as you
are at that point in time.
S: When you write a song you
follow your heart, your brain or your hand?
A mixture of all three ideally but generally we try and write something
with a big hook in it so it’s usually a case of following a
of brain in order to get the song right and then a bit of heart to know
where to take it sonically and emotionally.
S: What is your favourite song
of Defend Moscow and why?
At the moment I am absolutely loving a new track that we’ve
called “Back to the Start”. It’s like a
roller disco track dragged into 2009 via a brief stop-off in the
80’s – I love it! It’s a great one to
play live too
as I get to do a bit falsetto singing!
S: As musicians, what are your
feelings about Internet? Is it "Something Good" ?
The internet is an amazing tool for promoting your music and getting it
heard by a lot of people reasonably easily, especially if
good. But I do sometimes feel like it’s taken a bit of the
out of life sometimes though – like you can follow your
band or artist on twitter and find out what they’re having
breakfast or see pictures of them on their video shoot in real time
these days. I just feel stuff like that has washed away a bit of the
magic and the mystery because instead of musicians/actors etc. being
untouchable stars, they’re now just people talking shite on
twitter feed every single day like a normal person. I don’t
I could ramble on about this subject all day….!
S: What would you do if you
could have "Magic Wands", and if you "Die Tonight"?
If I had magic wands I think I’d buy myself a nice big
air-conditioning unit because it’s absolutely boiling hot at
place at the moment and it’s getting on my nerves! If I was
to Die Tonight, I’d get all of my mates round and get
hammered so we’d forget we were going to die and just have an
almighty session instead.
S: Can you describe what is a
typical Defend Moscow's day?
: Well it
depends on what we’re doing really! Usually either writing,
recording, rehearsing or gigging though!
S: What are your hobbies aside
Personally I’m a bit of a sport nut and used to play Sunday
League football until quite recently.
you venturesome persons?
Definitely! You have to be to get into music I think.
S: Where would you like to play
in the future, is there a place in the world you would love to visit?
Brixton Academy is the ultimate for me, I saw so many gigs there
growing up that it would be amazing to somehow find myself on that
stage. As for the rest of the world, I want to go everywhere, leaving
no stone unturned!
there any things, which you are afraid of? Do you have any fears?
Sharks. Absolutely terrified of them!
S: What is the best moment and
best place to listen to your music?
It really depends on what song! But our current single should be
listened to either alone in the dark or on a dancefloor with a drink in
your hand, depending on your mood
our website is related with Manic Street Preachers maybe can you say
some words about them?
Motorcycle Emptiness is an absolute classic – love it.
know it’s a difficult question, but if you would have to keep
just one album from your CD collection what album would it be?
Smiths – The Queen is Dead. I’d literally never get
bored with listening to it.
S: What was the last song you
listened to before the interview? And, if you know, which one will be
Rather embarassingly it was the Defend Moscow remix of Magic Wands
– Warrior because I had to check that it worked properly
sending it off to someone! Next thing on is going to be the new Phoenix
S: Can you tell us the name of
one French song, or singer, or band?
I’ve just mentioned them – Phoenix! One of my
bands ever – I’m still listening to
all these years on without having ever got bored of it. Great band.
S: And say something in French?
S: And say the same in Russian?
S: What are your plans for the
We’ve got loads of work to do around the forthcoming single;
Tonight and then it’s a month of gigging and finishing off a
S: And finally, what’s
the most important thing in life for you?
MANY thanks to Jon and Defend Moscow for the interview!
More informations about Defend Moscow:
- on their Myspace: