Congratulations to Eat Defeat on beating the competition in Leeds. O2 Academy caught up with them ahead of the Fireball Fuelling The Fire Tour to talk about killer wrestling moves and buying £500 worth of Pokémon cards.
First things first; where’d the name come from?
"I mean, it's nothing massively exciting really. Well, it is actually, it's awesome. Eat Defeat is the name of a wrestling move popularised by WWE/TNA multiple-champion, Gail Kim, but recently Mae Young, Invitational competitor Mia Yim, as well as main WWE roster loudmouth gobshite, Enzo Amore has started using it. It's a pretty great looking move; you basically fall over and drag someone's face into your foot. You know, Eat De-feet... it's a pun, innit. We've also had some ridiculous misspellings on line-up sheets at gigs, Eat The Feet being a favourite. Anyway, we liked it as a name. It's a hard-hitting move but it's got a punny name, it's us all over."
Talk us through your songwriting process – do you have any strange rituals like picking song themes out of a hat or from fortune cookies?
"Nothing that wild, though usually most of the song titles are obscure pop culture references. Our process is generally that I'll write and demo stuff before we flesh them out as a full band. The songs are pretty much always about my current frame of mind, so the process can be a bit erratic. Like, for example, it can be difficult writing a song about dealing with things like anxiety and depression when you, you know, are dealing with anxiety and depression. So what'll usually happen, is I'll have a ton of unfinished ideas kicking about and when I have a good day and a tremendous surge of productivity, I'll piece it all together. It's your classic 'three buses at once' scenario, but with pop punk songs."
We know it’s a tough decision, but who’s your favourite band on the bill?
"Aw man, c'mon! Reel Big Fish are honestly the biggest influence for us, as Rich and I likely wouldn't be in bands without them. We both used to play trumpet in ska punk bands (luckily, largely in pre-internet days, so you'll be hard pushed to find the Failure By Design and All Sexy But Ginger back catalogues...). We also own the van Reel Big Fish did their first UK tour in! Although I do think as Eat Defeat, it's gotta be Anti-Flag. They're such an incredible band who manages to be political, whilst writing these ridiculously catchy pop punk songs. I don't know if they'd be offended by the pop punk label, but I mean stuff like Turncoat is so catchy and fun, but instead of singing about breakups, they're talking about white collar and war criminals. I just love that vibe - they can adhere to a lot of pop punk standards musically, but sing about important and relevant issues."
If you were to win Fireball’s Hottest Band 2018, how would you celebrate it?
"I can tell you exactly how. Jimmy and Steve would be straight onto Fireball requesting as many bottles as they'd legally be allowed to provide them with and you wouldn't see them until the Fireball Tour 2018. Rich would take his dogs on a walk up a mountain. I'd likely have a full-blown panic attack, spend £500 on Pokémon cards and drive to Dundee with bare feet. We'd also throw a massive, free party gig in Leeds and get some of our favourite bands involved. It'd be huge for us. I can't really overstate that."
If you could knock back a Fireball shot with any three people (dead or alive), who would it be?
"Danny DeVito is always going to be top of this list. All available evidence suggests he lives his Frank Reynolds character from It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, so there's no-one better to lead a night out. In fact, can I just have fictional characters? Imagine how insane a night out with Frank Reynolds from It's Always Sunny, Rick from Rick and Morty and Archer from Archer would be? I mean I'd be in way over my head and there's a 99.9% chance that I'd die, but it would definitely be the second best night of my life, after opening the Fireball tour - OBVIOUSLY. Sorry, had to do it..."
The Fireball Fuelling The Fire tour hits O2 Academy Leeds on Sunday 15 October, tickets here