For those who don’t know, Eat Defeat are an upcoming Pop Punk band based in Leeds, UK, and they are doing very well for themselves. Their fan base is growing, and they have played some top shows, including the Leeds date of The Fireball ‘Fuelling the Fire’ Tour 2017, support slots for various top bands, and also their own run of headline shows in Japan. The band consists of four members; Andrew Summers, Jimmy Weaver, Steve Hawthorn-Emmett and Rich Coulthard.
Emily had the chance to ask the band some questions, and here is what we learned about the Eat Defeat guys in the process!
1) How long have you been a band for, and how did you all meet?
Summers: So we’ve been a band for 7 years at this point. That’s a bit terrifying. I started the band with a totally different lineup, and we were actually based in Sheffield at first. I moved to Leeds, and people came and went and we didn’t achieve that much. It’s kind of tough to maintain momemtum when you’re having to switch the lineup every few months and go over everything with a new person. Rich came on board via one of those ‘join my band’ internet forum things, same with Steve. Jimmy we poached from a band we played with a lot, Red Mercury. I think for the longest time Eat Defeat was just me and whoever could stand to be around me, but i think nowadays we’re much more of a unit. Recording Time & Tide and seeing the response that got in comparison to our older stuff really cemented it.
2) In terms of your influences and role models, which artists (if any) do you feel are responsible for contributing to your sound as a band?
Summers: We all come from slightly different corners of the punk scene, so i’d tell you pop punk bands like New Found Glory and The Swellers, Rich would say Less Than Jake, Steve would say 90’s skate punk bands like Face To Face and Lagwagon, and Jimmy would veer a bit more gruff with stuff like Hot Water Music and Leatherface. I think we reach a nice middle ground between everything, so it’s poppy and fun but also fast and aggressive.
3) Describe in five words, how was your Japan tour earlier this year?
Summers: life-affirming. exciting. ridiculous. incredible. pokémon.
4) If you could go on tour with any four bands of your choice, who would they be and why?
Summers: Let’s say Taylor Swift headlining, New Found Glory, Less Than Jake and The Swellers. That would be insane.
5) Referring to the banner you guys have and the lyric ‘I think we’ll be okay’, this is a very reassuring thing and I think it’s amazing how you are promoting talking about your mental health to people in order to get better. Has anyone ever thanked you as a band for this theme or commented positively on it?
Summers: We’ve had so many positive responses to it, it’s been amazing and a bit humbling. I feel like, as clichéd or whatever as it is, I usually write better when i’m not exactly feeling 100% and over the past couple of years i’ve really tried to push to be more honest and open in what i’m writing. There’s been a real movement in the punk scene about opening up about mental health issues, and we’re beginning to see that we’re not alone in feeling how we’re feeling. So to feel that you’re not alone, that other people go through it, it’s really reassuring. Specifically bands like Ducking Punches and Kamikaze Girls, every time i’d see them they’d make a point to address how important it is to talk about mental health, no matter how difficult or awkward it made them. I’ve never been someone who’s been comfortable addressing my feelings publically, so to see people i respect and admire overcome any anxieties they might have for a greater good, i mean it was really inspiring. So I wrote the song ‘Not Today, Old Friend’ i guess as a way of cathartically dealing with this. Telling myself it’s alright not to be alright, and when we put the song online we had so many people comment on how they loved the song, how it helped them, and it just further reassured me that it was important to spread this message. So literally the night before we left for Japan, me and my girlfriend cut up a bunch of old tshirts and sewed them onto an airline blanket, and that’s how the banner came about. I think the charm of it being handmade combined with the positivity of the message really makes it a perfect backdrop for our live shows.
6) If you could play any gig venue in the world, which one would it be?
Summers: Oh, jeez, I mean as far as places we haven’t played yet, it’s probably less venues and more festivals. Leeds fest would be a huge one, Groezrock, Punk Rock Holiday. As far as venues we’ve played and love, The Key Club in Leeds is very very special to us (although we’d kill to play The Cockpit in Leeds again) as well as Rulps in Munich. We’ve got too many great memories as a band associated with those two places. We were recently lucky enough to play the O2 Academy in Leeds, so I guess the next logical step is the First Direct Arena…
7) Going back to the first ever show you played, to the most recent one, which show has stood out for you the most? And was it a good experience, or a bad experience?
Summers: I don’t remember our first show too well, I remember we played far higher on the bill than we had any right to though. It was at Santiago’s in Leeds, which we’ve played countless times since and honestly they’ve generally all been terrible. I think we’ve yet to play a good gig there. As far as the best, we’ve been really lucky in that I can list of a bunch of shows that just make me happy thinking about. Our headliner at The Key Club for the Time & Tide release was a huge one, as was opening for The Swellers at the same venue, and opening the Fireball tour recently at the o2 Academy. But I think for me the biggest one that sticks out was our last show in Japan, at the Hatsudai Wall in Tokyo. It just brought everything that had happened the week prior to a head. After playing one of the best sets we’ve ever played to an amazingly energetic crowd I just had this moment before we started our last song where I physically didn’t want to start playing. I knew once I did that we’d have to finish the song, and after the song was over then so was the tour. It was an insane moment where i was equal parts ecstatic and devastated, and it’s one that’ll stick with me. We were so lucky to have been able to do that tour, and i’d never want to take it for granted.
8) When you were younger, did you ever think that a few years down the line, you would be together in a band playing music all around the world?
Summers: I legit never imagined we’d have done half of the things we’ve been able to do. Japan was a dream just to visit, let alone be able to play shows. I’m not sure I imagined we’d still even be in bands at this point in our lives, but we’re just getting started.
9) If you could give one piece of advice to an upcoming band, what would it be?
Summers: I think just be yourselves. And that sounds cheesy and obvious, but the amount of bands that just want to be a carbon copy of another band makes it seem less so. We obviously draw from a bunch of bands as far as influences on our music, but I think you’d struggle to find one particular band we sound like. The accent probably helps, not many so cal pop punk bands sing with a dirty northern english accent…
10) And finally, I wanna know all of your favourite albums?!
Summers: Red by Taylor Swift is probably one of the best albums ever. The production, the song writing, everything. It’s amazing.
Rich: Hello Rockview by Less Than Jake.
Steve: Big Choice by Face to Face
Jimmy: Mush by Leatherface
FFO: ‘Anything fast, loud, melodic and fun’.
If you like the vibe from Eat Defeat, drop them a like on their Facebook Page and take it from there!
Photography – EmPhotographyUK