Defend Moscow make fun electro pop, come from a combination of London and Sweden, and love the Pet Shop Boys. It's easy to see that they're our type of band. If you were a fan of The Modern, it might be easy to think that this 80s revival of bands like The Human League and Duran Duran has been done way too many times before. It's true, Defend Moscow probably aren't the most original band we've ever heard, but while they're making music as fun and sparkly as 'Manifesto' and 'You Just Walked Away' we don't really mind.
We caught up with guitarist Dave for a chat:
Hello Defend Moscow. Who are you and what are you upto?
We are an electro-indie-pop band and we have just played a gig. We are tired and our bass player Rick is passed out on the sofa as he hasn't slept for about 48 hours. Rick and roll, you could say.....
What's the name all about?
I'm interested in Russian history and some of our songs are sort of studies of events and behaviours during the Communist era, I find that ideology, and all its flaws really interesting. Plus we saw a really cool WWII Russian poster with it on and it felt right to us.
Whereabouts in London are you based? What's brilliant and what's totally horrible about it?
Me (Dave, guitar), Sofie (vocals), and Rick (bass) live between Archway and Highgate, Adam (drums) is slightly more upmarket in Muswell Hill, and Jon (vocals) is stranded out in Upminster (where I'm from as well). I don't have a bad word to say about Highgate - it's beautiful, quiet, you're right near the M1 and there's some great boozers. Even Archway has great chicken shops so I can't complain there either. Holloway is a bit dodgy though, always the chance of a random shooting there.
Where are you from originally, what does London do better?
I'm from Upminster, which was a great place to grow up in, and a great place for later in life, but for your 20s it offers basically nothing. London has a better (or indeed, simply has) a great nightlife, access to amazing gigs and clubs, museums, restaurants, interesting people....I could go on.
What London location has been the most significant in the lifetime of Defend Moscow?
I lived in Aldgate before Highgate and that was where our first few songs were written, so I guess that set the template for things - a nice bit of urban sleeze came through writing songs while living there - a la Pet Shop Boys 1st album I guess
What's the band's status at the mo?
We are unsigned, but have just released our first single, 'Manifesto' on an indie label called KIDS, and will be releasing another in June. As soon as we have a deal we can start the tube poster campaigns and completely offputting over the top marketing.
What do you reckon you sound like?
I think we sound like Pet Shop Boys, New Order, Fleetwood Mac with a dash of Rage Against The Machine riffery. I also try to play like Johnny Marr so hopefully a bit of that in there too.
What's your favourite London venue and why?
Brixton Academy is still the no.1 for big gigs.....while not a standard venue I saw Sigur Ros at Somerset House and that was amazing. On the small side of things, you always get great sound and vibe at the Water Rats in Kings Cross, and our best small gig so far has been at Powers in Kilburn (check out the No Fiction night there) which was great fun, on the smallest stage imaginable, I nearly hit Sofie round the head with my guitar several times.
Can you think of a cool London location that would be amazing to do a gig at?
I've always fancied playing in Trafalgar Square. We could all mount a lion during our solos.
What about somewhere a bit more grubby - have you ever busked?
I haven't, not really sure why, it's a great way to get paid to practice! My mate Andy plays trombone and does carols every year - he cleans up, he basically paid off his student loan doing Silent Night 300 times a day over December.
What's your favourite clubnight in town?
I really don't think you can beat Club Popjustice at Trash Palace - amazing new and old pop music, friendly crowd, cheap drinks. For guaranteed fun on a Friday night it's superb.
And finally what's your London secret?
Highgate Woods, without a doubt. Took me about 9 months to find it (I think it's purposely hidden to keep it exclusive to those in the know), but beautiful in the summer, and a cracking little wildlife exhibition hut there too. Frisbee, cricket and learning - what more could one ask for?