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  • Writer's pictureSammie Starr

UNCVRD: Defocus

Dynamic and powerful four-piece metalcore band Defocus from Aalen/Stuttgart crafts their second ambiently diverse and powerful album, There Is A Place For Me On Earth.

When Defocus formed as a band in 2019, their desire to create some of the most captivating soundscapes in the metalcore industry drove them to create their debut full-length album, In The Eye of Death We Are All The Same. Raw and contemplative, In The Eye Of Death We Are All The Same established the tone that would be capitalized on in their latest sophomore album, There Is A Place For Me On Earth. Bravely ambient, instrumentally diversified, and with a cathodic edge, Defocus has polished their sound not only for this album, but for the rest of their careers. 

This album means everything to me. As each song transports so many emotions that I was actually carrying around in my head alone, it feels like this album helps me by taking some of the weight and shifting it to a different position. -Simon

An album that explores the inner sanctums of mental health and whether there is a place where we truly fit in to be ourselves, Defocus takes listeners on a ruminative, self-contained journey about this difficult topic, yet this only scratches the surface of There Is A Place For Me On Earth bares in its meaning. 

When you guys started in 2019, you guys came together out of a shared passion for powerful soundscapes, something that was dramatically showcased on your debut album, In The Eye Of Death We Are All The Same. While this detailed some of the most raw and intense tracks that would define who you are today, I feel a lot of these things are amplified on your latest record There Is A Place For Me On Earth. In what ways have the last few years forged and refined your sound instrumentally? Because there is a noticeable energy difference between the two efforts. A lot more of a heavy intricate edge and great use of atmospheric and cathodic respite.

Jeff - I think playing shows helped us the most. The thing that we really missed while writing the first album was real feedback and real reactions to our songs, that we only get when we play live. Doing everything online and reading comments can only go so far, but feeling the energy in a room really helps us know what emotions we want to create when people listen to our music. Of course, we also wanted to challenge ourselves musically! Usually, we start writing songs by playing a guitar riff and then building a song around that, but this time we wanted to be a lot more diverse, so the starting point was mostly just random samples that we found online and built something around that.

Lyrically, The Eye Of Death We Are All the Same explores a variety of dark subjects. While writing during the pandemic helped shape that record, I believe we're also talking about shutting down as individuals, and how everything changes psychologically. Everything feels as if it is coming to an end, we feel alone, and it is difficult to break free from that vibe. With your new release, we're continuing to explore those topics, reflecting on how vulnerable our mental health is. Can we discuss more about the ideas explored in There Is A Place For Me On Earth? How did this vary from your previous experience?

Simon - The lyrics of our new album are really meant to deal with mental health. I felt the urge to process things that were lingering inside my mind for too long and never got any attention from my consciousness. Everything revolves around the album title and the question of whether there is a place where I really do fit in. Each song is a certain perspective about that topic yet just a part of the whole picture. I do think that writing lyrics so personally and confronting myself with topics that really are inconvenient made the whole process way more emotional and also tough but at the same time it helped me go through it and I'm very grateful for experiencing all of this including myself.

What was it like working with Vojta Pacesny? I know he’s worked with great artists like Aviana and Abbie Falls. Shout out to Aviana by the way, haha. How did that impact your experience writing this album? 

Jeff - Hell yes and shout out to Abbie Falls as well! It was super chill actually, we did everything online and met up every 2 or 3 days to talk about the album's progress and the songs. He really helped us push our ideas to the next level by paying attention to a lot of small details, especially in terms of production and effects, but also keeping the heavy sound of Defocus. For example: sometimes we write super long demos with way too many unnecessary riffs which no one would ever listen to probably, but he makes sure that we keep the good riffs and helps us make them shine.

Now that There Is A Place For Me On Earth is out, what does this album mean to you personally following such a heavy and instrumentally layered debut album? 

Simon - This album means everything to me. As each song transports so many emotions that I was actually carrying around in my head alone, it feels like this album helps me by taking some of the weight and shifting it to a different position.

What do you want fans to take away from the latest progression of your sound? I like to think that your music motivates others to see beyond the cacophony of our mental prisons. Yes, we may reflect on the bad times, and there is beauty in the consternation. We get power from our battles, and once we do, the shackles are removed, and we are stronger as a result.

Simon - That sums it up quite well. There are no borders besides the ones you set yourself within your own mind. Detecting those and working on how to conquer the fears beneath them is the most challenging but also the most productive thing you can do for yourself. It's about evolving. See this album as inspiration for your personal journey and dare to work on what makes you more content with yourself. -Simon

What is next for you guys?

Simon - Playing lots of shows and performing our new songs. We can't wait to hit the stages with our new album and we hope to meet lots of new people out there!

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