Cover Story – January 2019 – Defiant… Defying the Normal

Defiant… Defying the Normal

By: Rachel Rocks

Defiant is a high octane, hard rock band from south central PA. They are fairly new to the music scene with only a year under their belts, but they are hitting the scene just like their music: hard, heavy, and full of energy! I sat down with them after practice one night and they were still extremely excited and pleased with their recent show opening for Otep at the Chameleon. As fans of hard rock bands throughout the years they’ve all been to plenty of shows at The Chameleon, and they were excited a year ago when they got the opportunity to play in the Lizard Lounge, but now, back in December, they were on the Main Stage at Chameleon! Ryan said, “there was just something about playing with the “chameleon” lights behind you, and seeing it in pictures..” It’s pretty cool for a bunch of guys that just love doing what they do.

So who are Defiant and where did they come from? Ryan Casey on guitar, and Paul Barlowski on bass, started jamming together a while ago, and they originally were playing covers, but after 2 or 3 rehearsals they knew they weren’t Poison. They wanted to be playing original, hard rock music. The next trick was finding the right line up. When Albert Halterman came in for his audition as soon as he sang the first song, they knew he was the one voice they wanted and needed. They played a few shows, but before too long they needed a new drummer. They saw Paul Cochran play with other bands in the local scene, so one day at a show they talked with him about joining Defiant, and after just one practice they had their drummer and they were ready to rock.

Defiant doesn’t look like your typical new rock band to the scene, no offense to the guys, but for

the music they are playing, they are a little older to be starting this endeavor, some people look at them like they are crazy, trying to be a bunch of hoodlums playing metal music, but when you see them perform, you quickly realize, yeah sure they might be older, but that just means they are more mature and better at what they do. They’ve been around the scene, they understand the financial sacrifice, nothing is going to stop them, they don’t care what people say, they are just doing what they want to do and loving it. They have a very honest brand of music, some people might find it a tad bit obscene, but it’s just their thoughts and feelings on what’s happening in the world around them. With a name like Defiant, I think it’s safe to assume they are daring and resist authority, so they like to push the envelope every chance they get, especially with their music.

They almost have a new EP complete, but since they just got their new drummer a month ago they are revamping things a bit and letting Paul C. add his own flare to the tracks. Al writes all of the lyrics to their songs, but all of them write the music and work through it together to make it complete. Two of their songs “He’s Watching” and “Feet First” are on their Reverbnation page for demos and for you to be able to get a sneak peek. They are constantly writing new music, and as most original bands, I’m sure they’ll have all of the songs for their 2nd EP ready to go by the time they get done with the first one. They won’t ever stop writing, recording, and bringing their fans new music.

They have been very lucky and have already played a few cool shows and opened up for some amazing bands such as: Soil, Tantric, Puddle of Mudd, Illusions of Grandeur, Otep, Bullet and others. For most of these shows they’ve had to sell tickets to play, and they are extremely grateful for all of their fans who have bought and continue to buy tickets for their shows from them. One trick they taught me is if you see a National Act coming to town and they have some openers, instead of clicking on the Ticketmaster link and paying the fees, do a little research, find out who the openers are and reach out to them for tickets instead. Selling tickets is crucial to the local opening bands no matter where you are going to see a show. Ticket sales are what get them on the stage, and keep them in the eye of the booking agents, club owners, etc., it also helps pay their gas to get to and from their shows. Sometimes bands really want the opportunity to open for a band, so chances are you might even get a really good deal on your tickets. Do our local musicians a favor and keep this in mind for the next big show you’ll be going to. Defiant is currently selling tickets for their show Friday, February 15th, at The Chameleon where they are opening for Kix! If you still need a ticket you can email Ryan at, and he would be more than happy to meet up with you and sell you some tickets.

When you look at Defiant’s schedule you notice quickly that they like working with other bands. They know from their experience and maturity, that all bands need to work together for anyone to make it in this industry. They are extremely grateful to all of the bands in the area that have included them in their shows, and have come out to support them. On January 5th they are playing in a show at Johnny Joe’s that some people are referring to as a Revolution. There are four bands on the bill: Mutiny at Midnight, Defiant, Bullet, and Goat Skull Rebellion. It’s sure to be a crazy show!

Friday, January 25th they are playing at HMAC with Bleed the Dream, and after their Kix show on the 15th of February at The Chameleon, they are back at HMAC, upstairs in the Capital Room as part of the Millennium Music Conference. 717 Entertainment has a great line up of bands for the MMC this year. Make sure and check out the full line up.

Starting a band is not easy and definitely takes an army, and luckily for Defiant, they have a very strong army of people supporting them. They wanted to thank their wives and significant others for all of the help shooting videos, pictures, designing merch, running the merch, and helping with PR everywhere and anyway possible, and for just being awesome and super supportive. They also wanted to again thank all of the bands for welcoming them into their tight knit community, and all of the promoters, and club owners for giving them so many amazing opportunities already, and hopefully many more shows in the future.

An extra shout out to Frank and Brandon at The Chameleon and Nick from 717 Entertainment. They wouldn’t be where they are today without all of the support they receive from their family, friends, and fans.

If you want to go see a band that is crazy, yet super fun, get out to see Defiant. You can check out their full schedule in this issue or you can also like them on Facebook at If you would like to get them booked at your venue or add them to your show, email Ryan at