Published on August 23rd, 2019 | by Darren Paltrowitz0
Defying Decay’s Jay Poom Euarchukiati On Touring The U.S., “Metamorphosis” & What’s Next
Defying Decay is a band made up of musical misfits, an eclectic mix of cultures and classical training, a hybrid born of many influences crafted by a shared passion for music. The Bangkok, Thailand-based act has altogether persevered to realize its vision while forging a unique path of its own.
Born in the East and now knocking on the doors to the rest of the world, Defying Decay is following in the footsteps of bands like Crossfaith and Coldrain. This enigmatic act has subsequently emerged onto the international rock and metal scenes, most recently releasing the full-length album Metamorphosis in June and embarking of a tour of the United States in support of it.
I had the pleasure of doing Q&A with frontman/multi-instrumentalist Jay Poom Euarchukiati from the group — which also includes guitarist Howard Fang, guitarist/pianist Kongpop “Jump” Thongrat, bassist/programmer Theon Adam and drummer Mark Mironov — on behalf of The Hype Magazine and highlights are below. More on Defying Decay is online at www.facebook.com/defyingdecay.
Word is that your latest American tour had some problems. Can you tell me more about that?
‘Jay’ Poom Euarchukiati: We had quite a bit of problems with the U.S. tour, mainly because it was our first time touring in the U.S. and being abroad that long so getting documents ready for the visas was quite difficult and some of our team didn’t even make it through so it became an issue. Also, we weren’t quite familiar with expenses for logistics of touring, which made us realize we would need a more thorough research done next time. Not only that, our friends in Betraying The Martyrs had an accident after the L.A. show which was really terrible, but we are glad that no one got hurt, honestly.
However, after the accident, understandably, some of the venues started canceling on us and Entheos, the next headlining band in line pulled out, which made us consider pulling out as well. But due to us being in Portland, Oregon at that time, it was impossible to just stop since we had to get back to New York. So we decided to continue on with the tour, and we are glad we did.
Jay Poom Euarchukiati: We will definitely plan things out differently and better next time because we have the experience of going there and being there and now we know what to expect and we know what people like. We will probably change our setlist up a bit because we know people there tend to enjoy heavier stuff. We’ll definitely bring more specific kind of merch that people like, because in Thailand or Asia in general people buy a lot of tour t-shirts, but in the States I think people don’t really buy that as much.
Defying Decay is based in Thailand. Who was the first Thai band that showed you that you could make it internationally?
Jay Poom Euarchukiati: Actually, no one. In Thailand, music industry does things differently. It’s not like Japan where they have One OK Rock or Crossfaith being big internationally. There is actually no artist from Thailand that made it big internationally yet and I am honored to be the first band from Thailand that have toured the U.S. for this long.
There was a big band from Thailand, like Bodyslam, of course, and they did play in the States before, but their music is in Thai and they play for very specific audience, Thai, who are their entire audience demographic. We want to be the first band from Thailand to do things differently, and make it internationally. That is our dream and our goal. And with this U.S. tour, we are just beginning.
Metamorphosis is your latest album. Do you have a favorite song on the album?
Jay Poom Euarchukiati: My favorite is “Ghost” because that song has a lot of meaning for me, and it’s a special song because I feel like it’s a gift from the divine entity sent to me even though I am not a believer. I just feel that way because it was a song that just came out of the blue which was catchy and pop but at the same time I maintained the heavy parts.
Also, my another favorite is the song “Dying Program.” The song is really experimental and I had quite a lot of arrangement versions of that song but we ended up with this version. There are verses but there is no chorus and it’s just overall a weird song but I like that. I really enjoy playing it live because its always a cool experience and the reaction from the people is usually good. It is also a top 5 song on our Spotify account which surprises me because it’s a 7-minute song and usually that’s too long to capture people’s attention.
The video for “Judas Kiss” was directed by Stuart Birchall. How did you and Stuart first meet?
Jay Poom Euarchukiati: I was studying in London and I was looking for a music video director to work with and I searched up some directors who are based in the UK. But honestly I was looking at Coldrain and Bullet For My Valentine music videos and it said they were directed by Stuart Birchall, so I searched him up and found out he was with an agent at that time. So I contacted the agent, which was a bit of a process, because it took me about a month for me to actually meet him and contact him, because at the beginning when we came it the agent asked us what our budget was and we didn’t have much of a budget and they didn’t really care about us in the beginning.
But then Stuart was really interested because he said he wanted to work with an international band because he was working with Coldrain which was really fun for him so he was very interested in doing something like that. So when we finally met, we just clicked and a lot of the ideas we have are quite similar and we agreed that when we make music video, it should be more cinematic and abstract and not just have the band playing in a warehouse which is getting boring and old. First time I actually met him was when he came down to the studio back in May 2016, when we were recording Metamorphosis. He came to say hi and we planned a photoshoot because we got along and he just offered a photoshoot right then and there.
Jay Poom Euarchukiati: Yes, there are! There are music videos coming from Metamorphosis for the song “Dominion” and possibly “Dying Program.” Hope you guys look forward to them. “Dominion” is my personal favorite even though it contradicts what I said before, as it contains scenes of the band performing but it was fun.
Are you already working on a follow-up to Metamorphosis? What do the next few months looking like for Defying Decay?
Jay Poom Euarchukiati: Yes, we are writing a lot of songs currently and we probably have enough material for the next album but we are trying to refine the songs more. In this album, we felt like the sound is everywhere and there is no core genre to stick to. That’s the thing that the reviewers have been saying and even our friends who are not in the band having saying so, so we are trying to refine it, compact it, condense it more and make it better.
During the tour, we had a good idea of how Defying Decay should sound like and we are working on that. We are also working to book more tours. We hope to come back to the States really soon, like early 2020 or if not, sometime in next year. We are also planning to tour Europe since we never did a full tour there and hopefully this year, towards the end we will do that.
Is there a career accomplishment for Defying Decay which you are most proud of?
Jay Poom Euarchukiati: It was when we played Russia the first time. In Russia, when we played there, it was the first time playing in outside of Asia and we played in a country where it was cold and snowing which was very exciting for us. But what made it special for me was the crowd in Russia are really f**king crazy, like I mean, they are completely mental and it was the best moment in my life.
There was 500 to 600 people there and they were all going crazy. It was the first time that made me feel like this is how it feels to be a successful band, or how it’s like to play in front of the people who are truly into the music you play and that energy could be that high. I never experienced anything like that before.
When not busy with Defying Decay, how do you like to spend your free time?
Jay Poom Euarchukiati: I love music so much, so in my free time I am either writing music for Defying Decay or I look into a lot of gear, especially synths at the moment. I try to look for new instruments to learn and play it and use it in our live set somehow because I really like playing songs differently live. I don’t really like playing songs exactly like it is on the album and then cover everything with backing tracks.
Aside from music stuff, I also like to explore different restaurants and bars specifically for artisan cocktails which is also my passion. I have my own bar in Rayong, where I also use my band logo for the bar. I love drinking mixologist’s cocktails. Other than that, I play games and hangout with friends.
Jay Poom Euarchukiati: It was 2 weeks ago, I saw Two Door Cinema Club in Bangkok, Thailand. I never was quite into the band but I know a few songs so I went. One thing I’d like to mention about going to concerts is, I don’t really like to go to metal concerts anymore as I play in a metal band and I already know what that is like already, but I do enjoy going to a lot of indie or rock concerts. I quite like the genre Indie because I feel like they always have interesting parts going on, like synths and weird percussions rather than just guitar, bass, drum and vocals.
Finally, Jay, any last words for the kids?
Jay Poom Euarchukiati: I’d like to say thank you for those who came out to watch us or checked us out when we toured the U.S. — you guys were really awesome people! Thank you so much for enjoying our album, we are very glad and fortunate that we were able to share our music with you all and we appreciate all your support. Thank you!Tweet