Saturday, 13 September 2014

Interview with Nikk Banos from Defy You Stars
Hi everyone!
For quite a while now I've been listening to a band called Defy You Stars.  I first heard them last year and I thought they were really good, they were like Mayday Parade meets Sleeping With Sirens!  Since then I've loved listening to their music on YouTube.

The band initially started as a solo project for singer and guitarist Nikk Banos. 
After various lineup changes Nikk's friend Nikko Evans joined the band as the bass player and Patrick Milburn is now the drummer for Defy You Stars.

Since I love them so much I decided that I had to share this love with you guys (of course!) by getting you all an online interview with the bands frontman Nikk Banos.

1.  When was Defy You Stars formed?

"It was originally a solo project I started in like 2009 and in 2012 I met Patrick.  That's when things really started to take form"

2. How did you all come together as a band?

"I met Patrick in a previous band and Nikko and I have been close friends for a long time, like 8 years now.  We've been through a few line-up changes but it feels natural the way things are proceeding now"
3. How did you decide on the name Defy You Stars?
"I'm a big fan of literature. At the time, Romeo & Juliet struck a chord with me.  That's the simplified version of it" 
4. How long have you all been playing your instruments for?  Can any of you play any other instruments?
"I've played guitar for about 4 years,  I also play drums, bass, piano and, a few others.  I've sang for however long, I haven't been counting.  I think Patrick started playing drums when he was about 10 or 11.  Nikko was originally a drummer and actually only recently started playing bass"

5. Who are your main musical influences?
"Mine vary as time passes.  I go through various phases musically and emotionally.  I guess at the moment I take a lot of influence from The 1975, All Time Low, the second album from Sleeping With Sirens, Emarosa, Queen, Ed Sheeran, Pierce The Veil, and My Chemical Romance. 
Patrick loves You Me At Six, Blink 182, Mariana's Trench, and we both fan over 5 Seconds Of Summer, lol.
 Nikk listens to what I listen to basically.  Right now I think he has a thing for Letlive, The 1975, Pierce The Veil, and some other ones"
6. What have been some of your main inspirations when writing music?
"It really depends on my day but generally painting a picture: other music/artists, books and literature, people I meet and talk to, my own experiences.  I'm gonna get more into that after the record is down so people know what I'm talking about haha"
7. You guys are currently in the studio recording your upcoming album, how's that going for you?
"We actually hit the studio late September, we're gonna be picking off where we left off a few months ago.  Since we've started the line-up has changed 4 times, so we keep having to go back and retrack parts. 
This last time through should be a keeper though. 
I'm glad it has actually taken this long because we've dropped a lot of songs and written new ones we like more and we've evolved so much in the time we've had so far. 
I've worked with some different writers and we're definitely gonna try to make the best album we can with what we have"
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8. You played the Vans Warped Tour in Denver this year, how was that for you guys?
"It was a total blast, the crowd was mental and we hope to do it more in the future.  I've been going to warped for 6 years so I definitely had a moment.  We all agree it was a milestone, but we plan on topping that soon!"
9. What's the best experience you've had since starting the band?
"We've just had certain shows where the crowd was epic.  We give the crowd as much energy as they give us and it goes back and forth.  There are small moments here and there when you make eye contact with someone crying or something and you know they get it. 
People tell us we've saved their lives and they drive hours to see us and we could not be more grateful. 
The fans surprise us endlessly with love and compassion and spunk"
10. Nikk, you've performed on stage with All Time Low and You Me At Six, what was that like for you?
"It was brilliant, haha.  I'm so used to answering these questions.  It put a fire in my gut which has since then made me unusually and relentlessly motivated. 
The band has met so many people since those experiences and it was wild to share the stage with bands that have changed my life"
11. How would you explain your music to someone who has never listened to you guys before?
"I couldn't explain it if I tried.  We're a bunch of guys that listen to a huge range of music, so we write with influence from all styles. If you like rock, indie, pop, pop punk, post hardcore, alternative, acoustic, or anything that is self expression, then I think you'll fit right in. 
We don't scream a lot cause we aren't angry all the time but we have screams here and there because life can piss us off sometimes.  Give us 10 minutes of your time, hopefully we don't disappoint!"

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12. If you guys could collaborate with any musicians who would it be and why?
"Tyler Carter, Matty Healy, Alex Gaskarth, Dan Korneff (producer), Kellin Quinn, Freddie Mercury, Vic Fuentes.  All simply because we admire their work and they are cool dudes"
13. What 5 bands would you love to tour with?
"It's nearly impossible to pick just five! 
If I had to probably All Time Low, Sleeping With Sirens, Pierce The Veil, The 1975 and 5 Seconds Of Summer"
14. Fall Out Boy or My Chemical Romance?
"I say My Chemical Romance.  Patrick would say Fall Out Boy.  I don't know what Nikko would say. I've seen them both live and both blow my mind"
15. What was the inspiration behind your most recent single 'Eventually'?
"I had a friend who struggled with self harm, and I also at one time in my formative years did as well.  I guess it was a mixture of that and just a period in my life in which I got really motivational right after being depressed and I was crossed with a lot of people and just wanted to create hope where I had struggled to find any, for myself and for others. 
It was kind of the story of my life and when I wrote the chorus I gave myself chills"
16. Do you guys have any plans for shows in other countries?
"We really want to go but there are no plans as of yet.  We are currently just fixating on this record and making sure there are people in other countries that want to see us"
17. What can we be expecting from you guys in the near future?
"An album with new and old songs and a tour (or two or three). That's all I'm capable of revealing as of now"

An upcoming album, performing at the Vans Warped Tour and hopefully a tour in the near future.
 Defy You Stars are definitely a band to listen too, they're incredible!

What I personally love about them is that although they have a typical punk rock sound, they're unique in the fact that they're not too heavy.  They remind me of Pierce The Veil but with less scream, particularly since Nikk has a very unique voice, like Pierce The Veil's lead singer Vic Fuentes. 
A particular Defy You Stars favourite of mine is the acoustic version of their song Rest.
I also have a lot of love for their song Stars, which features Rikki Luke Carter.

Defy you Stars are like a younger Sleeping With Sirens and I really hope that I'm lucky enough to see them live one day as I'm pretty sure that it would be an incredible experience.

I want to say a massive thank you to all the guys in Defy You Stars for allowing me the opportunity to interview them for my blog.
I honestly can't wait to hear their upcoming album as well as watch them progress in the music industry, they deserve to go far. 

Where to find Defy You Stars:


I hope you all enjoyed the interview, be sure to follow the guys and what they're up too as they have a lot of exciting things happening soon.