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Default: Wasting No Time

By Alicia Downs, Pure Rock Patroller
Monday, April 1, 2002 @ 11:38 AM

An interview with lead singer

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Canadian rock band Default is not wasting any time picking up speed on the active rock charts. Their debut single, "Wasting My Time" from the album The Fallout was released last September. Since then the single has continued gaining momentum, propelling the album into gold status with little signs of slowing down.

But despite the outlook of a commercially successful album, there is little in the way of Defaultís career that screams they will be a long-term rock force. To begin, the band has already had to shuffle constant criticism for friend Chad Krogerís (Nickelback) role in the band. Chad produced eight of the tracks and also shares writing credit for lyrics or music on six of The Falloutís eleven tracks. Adding to the fire is that the fellow Canadian band Nickelback took Default out on the road with them as the opening act on Nickelbackís headlining U.S. tour that wrapped up last December. Then Default did a three-week tour opening for Nickelback in Canada. While they are presently out on the road with Bush, spring sees Default back at it with Nickelback on MTVís Campus Invasion tour. More and more it seems like Default is how you remind me of Nickelback with an almost symbiotic relationship of overplayed rock singles.

At the same time, they are under constant scrutiny for their blend of cookie cutter rock. The songs share a general theme of relationship disillusionment that melds as easily on the pop stations and rock. Everything about Default screams Nickelback with them taking the same paths, making the same music, and complaining about the same issues.

But despite the entire pessimism regarding Defaultís role in the rock community, they are working a non-stop touring cycle to get their name and their music out there. Besides, can half a million rock fans be wrong? Stranger things have happened.

KNAC.COM: So how is the current tour with Bush going?
DALLAS: Itís going well. Going great actually.

KNAC.COM: Do you like those guys?
DALLAS: Yeah. They keep to themselves pretty much but we talked to them all briefly. We see them every once and a while.

KNAC.COM: Did they pick you all to head out on tour with them?
DALLAS: I have no idea. They have to approve it I am sure.

KNAC.COM: After this tour, it is out with Nickelback on Campus Invasion. Any particular reason why you would choose to go out and tour with those guys AGAIN?
DALLAS: Again? Well, MTV asked us to join the tour, so it wasnít Nickelback asking us. We werenít going to turn it down whether Nickelback was there or not.

KNAC.COM: And then itís the Creed tour? What do you think about that -- good demographic?
DALLAS: Yeah I think so.

KNAC.COM: How does it feel as the opening band to be enjoying more radio play then the headliners?
DALLAS: Like on this tour?

KNAC.COM: Yeah, exactly like this tour.
DALLAS: Well itís a lot different then the Nickelback show for sure. People that came to the Nickelback shows were new rock fans as opposed to Bush, who has a catalog of songs. Their fans are strictly here really to see them. They are not selling that many albums a week I can imagine on the new album so... theyíre die hard fans... I am sure that they are probably selling more of their earlier records then they are the new record.

KNAC.COM: With the increasing popularity, how difficult is it to maintain a private life and not have yourself the topic of discussion on internet message boards?
DALLAS: I donít know. I donít pay attention to the message boards. We had one on our web site before but we took it off because it was getting weird and people were going on their posing as me and posing as Jeremy and such so enough of that and we cut it off. But other then that I havenít heard anything from any other message boards.

KNAC.COM: Your video [ďWasting My TimeĒ] was recently played on TRL. How much pressure is there from your label to project an image that can easily targeted to that demographic of kids so to speak?
DALLAS: I donít know. I just dress the way I dress. I donít fucking have anyone telling me what to wear there so, the videos are different obviously. You go there and they have a stylist and stuff like that. They are going to make you look good, hopefully, so I just listen to them. I am not going to put on -- like in the new video we have they tried to put me in this weird fucking pants that I would never ever wear, so I said no.

KNAC.COM: On the record there seems to be a steady theme of disillusionment with relationships. How much of that is a reflection of your own personal life?
DALLAS: Some of it is true as far as my point of view. Some of it is watching friends go through things. Some things are from Jeremyís relationships there. We keep it pretty general so to stay out of trouble.

KNAC.COM: How do critics opinions of your music as being ďcookie cutterĒ effect your mentality?
DALLAS: It doesnít bother me.

KNAC.COM: Do you think its a fair argument, or do you think it is just that music is evolving into heavier things, so that something that was once rock appears to be more pop-oriented today? It seems like the lines between rock and pop are getting blurred a lot more often nowadays.
DALLAS: Thatís true. It is just the same as saying that the lines between rap and rock are getting blurred today, too.

KNAC.COM: So do you think it is fair when people attack your type of rock as opposed to a....
DALLAS: Well, I donít really care what anybody thinks or what category they want to put us in. They always ask me Ďwhat category would you put your music in?í and itís like, well, I donít write music so I can put it in a certain category. I just write music for what I want to go onstage and play and what I would feel comfortable playing.

KNAC.COM: I know the "Deny" video is already done and in rotation in Canada.
DALLAS: Yeah...

KNAC.COM: Are you hesitant to release the single here in the US? Because "Wasting My Time" just keeps picking up.
DALLAS: Well, we released "Wasting My Time" two months earlier in Canada, then we did in the States, so that song just wonít go away. Itís a really good problem to have. We were supposed to release "Deny" here like a month or two ago but [ďWasting my TimeĒ] has just gotten a whole lot bigger then expected. Itís a good problem to have actually. We will release it and see how it does eventually, and hope it will get a slow build as "Wasting My Time" kind of fades.

KNAC.COM: Are you worried about the overexposure of "Wasting my Time"? It seems like they say the quicker the rise the quicker and heavier the backlash.
DALLAS: Iím not worried about that. Whatever happens, happens. We have a few singles on the record, so it is not like this one is the only one that we have on the record. I think that we are planning on going four singles deep. I mean if it was the only song, and then we disappeared after and went back to the studio... that would be a problem. "Deny" has been a successÖ I mean it has been a success in Canada so far, so I donít really worry about all that.

KNAC.COM: You are constantly touring. Are you getting burned out at all, and how do you combat the fatigue of being on the road?
DALLAS: Thereís times where we are burned out like today but we try -- I mean this bus is great now because we have like a satellite TV and we have our own TVs in our bunks and DVD players, so if you want to watch a movie you can just go there and relax by yourself. Itís homier then it was the last bus.

KNAC.COM: Do you think you Canadian fans are going to feel alienated at all by the constant touring across the States?
DALLAS: There are just so many other places to tour across the US. I mean we like did the Canadian tour in like three weeks. There arenít a lot of places to play, but in the States you can play for a year and not hit the same places twice. A lot of Canadians realize that, and I talk to some of the people at the radio stations back home and they seem to be really proud of what we are doing down here. We got our gold record just the other day -- so they all understand I hope.

KNAC.COM: Some people are saying that the three bands on Campus Invasion are definitely bands to watch. How much pressure does that put you under as a performer?
DALLAS: Weíve had stuff -- like up until we were -- like even from the beginning, like when we were opening up for bands in Vancouver as being called the band to watch. This is just on a bigger scale. Just a lot more people are saying it now but it is the same thing we have had to deal with the whole time.

KNAC.COM: Do you ever worry that you wonít be able to meet up to those expectations?
DALLAS: No but I mean those are other peopleís expectations not mine so what so I care.

KNAC.COM: Do you have any expectations for the band or yourself?
DALLAS: Well, I want to sell a lot of records obviousl,y but I just want us to be able to... to not disappear like you said. To not be the band that gets real big real quick and then disappears. I want to be able to have three, four, five CDs and actually be a band and not just a one hit sort of flash.

KNAC.COM: What do you think your role is in the rock community? I know you guys have been doing a lot of stuff with MTV2 and you recorded something there yesterday. It seems like rock is a little bit more marketable now.
DALLAS: I donít know if we had any part in that. I really donít like looking too deep into that kind of stuff cause it really doesnít matter to me what other people say. I mean what does Nickelback have to do with the new rock resurgence? I mean rock was around way before them and...

KNAC.COM: Well, do you think it is a matter that rock is coming back and labels are willing to spend more time and attention working with the artists...
DALLAS: Absolutely.

KNAC.COM: The thing is that music goes through a lot of trends. There are moments where hip-hop and rap are taking over mainstream and then it swings and it is back to rock. For instance, when Bush came out with "Sixteen Stone," rock was in that resurgence mode and being big again. Their album hit at the right time. For a while, though, it seemed like rock was slowing down, and now it is picking back up again. Do you find that you are getting a lot more support now then perhaps if your album would have come out two or three years ago?
DALLAS: I think so. There was rock out there but it was more of a different rock with that rap rock thing. A lot of that was going on. I think we didnít intentionally pick a good time, but it did come out at a good time. It just worked out well.

KNAC.COM: In the year 2020, if someone were to look in a music encyclopedia and look up Default, what would you like them to read?
DALLAS: Oh boy... (laughs)... I donít know... well hopefully we would be in the encyclopedia. If we are in there, then that is the whole point I guess. I donít know -- that we didnít sell out to do anything, that we were ourselves and not just a bunch of posers up there.

KNAC.COM: Fair enough, well thatís it.
DALLAS: Thatís it?

KNAC.COM: Yep, thanks.

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