Defend Moscow
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French version
   DEFEND MOSCOW - Manifesto (2009)

Defend Moscow - Manifesto
 01. Manifesto
02. Bittersweet Destiny
03. Manifesto KGB Remix
04. Manifesto Lenny Picko Remix
05. Manifesto KGB Remix Radio Edit

It's difficult 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 some influences.
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 Moscow :

S: When and how was Defend Moscow born? 

J: 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, we 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? 

J: Well we’re quite interested in and have written quite a few songs 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 that has a soldier holding his rifle in the air with the words “Defend Moscow!” underneath. We thought it looked pretty cool so we went with that!

S: How and when did all begin with music? 

J: We’ve all done lots of different things in music throughout the years. Myself and Dave have been in a couple of bands before with each other, Sofie was in a band called ‘Micropops’ in Norway, Adam was in a band called ‘Mongo Lounge’ who for some 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 in one shape or another for a while now. It means absolutely everything to all of us (cliché but true!)

SWhat are the positive and negative sides of being a musician in UK?

J: Being a musician in the UK isn’t much different to being a musician anywhere else I imagine. It’s absolutely brilliant but it’s also incredibly hard to make ends meet at times and make a sustainable living from it. The UK music scene is amazing though, there’s just so much going on. Not just in London but all over the country there are various scenes popping up all the time and there’s always something to get into. Having said that, London is an amazing place to be as a band, there’s a thousand venues and 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 – it’s great!
S: Do you feel anxious before a show?

J: 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 fright. Maybe a few butterflies just before we go on but that’s about it usually.

S: What musicians or artists had an influence in your life and in your work?

J: 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.

SDo you remember what was the first CD you bought?

J: I think it was The Bluetones – Slight Return but I really can’t remember!

The Bluetones - Slight Return  

S: Do you think the emotion is different between a song in English and in another language?

J: No I wouldn’t have said so, and I think the success of bands like 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?

J: 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"?

J: It depends on what day you catch me on! But I can totally see what he’s saying though, sometimes when you’re really depressed 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?

J: 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 bit 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?

J: At the moment I am absolutely loving a new track that we’ve done called “Back to the Start”. It’s like a 70’s 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" ?

J: The internet is an amazing tool for promoting your music and getting it heard by a lot of people reasonably easily, especially if you’re good. But I do sometimes feel like it’s taken a bit of the magic out of life sometimes though – like you can follow your favourite band or artist on twitter and find out what they’re having for 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 your twitter feed every single day like a normal person. I don’t know, 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"?

J: If I had magic wands I think I’d buy myself a nice big air-conditioning unit because it’s absolutely boiling hot at my place at the moment and it’s getting on my nerves! If I was going to Die Tonight, I’d get all of my mates round and get absolutely 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?

J: Well it depends on what we’re doing really! Usually either writing, recording, rehearsing or gigging though!

S: What are your hobbies aside music?

J: Personally I’m a bit of a sport nut and used to play Sunday League football until quite recently.

S: Are you venturesome persons?

J: 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?

J: 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!

S: Are there any things, which you are afraid of? Do you have any fears?

J: Sharks. Absolutely terrified of them!

S: What is the best moment and best place to listen to your music?

J: 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

S: As our website is related with Manic Street Preachers maybe can you say some words about them?

J: Motorcycle Emptiness is an absolute classic – love it.

S:  I 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?

J: The Smiths – The Queen is Dead. I’d literally never get bored with listening to it.

The Smiths - The Queen is Dead

S: What was the last song you listened to before the interview? And, if you know, which one will be the next?

J: Rather embarassingly it was the Defend Moscow remix of Magic Wands – Warrior because I had to check that it worked properly before sending it off to someone! Next thing on is going to be the new Phoenix album though.

S: Can you tell us the name of one French song, or singer, or band?

J: I’ve just mentioned them – Phoenix! One of my favourite bands ever – I’m still listening to “United” all these years on without having ever got bored of it. Great band.
S: And say something in French?

J: Fesser le jambon!

S: And say the same in Russian?

J: Otctonm Mockby!

S: What are your plans for the nearest future?

J: We’ve got loads of work to do around the forthcoming single; Die Tonight and then it’s a month of gigging and finishing off a few new tracks.

SAnd finally, what’s the most important thing in life for you?

J: Having fun!

MANY thanks to Jon and Defend Moscow for the interview!

More informations about Defend Moscow:

- on their Myspace:




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