As a preface, These dudes are among the most committed and driven individuals we've ever come across. We're stoked to be working with them and even more so to call them friends.

Formed in Massachusetts in 2004 and solidified in 2008 from a diverse background of musicians, Defeater is a forward-thinking hardcore band with more to them than just mosh parts. The band released their debut full-length, Travels, on Topshelf Records. Bridge Nine Records re-released Travels on CD internationally as well as the vinyl edition in conjunction with Topshelf on February 24, 2009.

The relationship with Defeater and Bridge Nine as well as their former label, Topshelf, was an easy one to arrange. B9 owner Chris Wrenn explained, “Topshelf is owned and operated by [Bridge Nine employee] Seth Decoteau. When he first gave us promo copies of this record, it clearly stood out as something great. Most bands need time to grow and develop, but Defeater is already proving that they’re far ahead of anyone around them. And Seth works his ass off—once it became clear that not only were Defeater ready to take that next step forward but Topshelf wanted to help push this record further, it made sense.” The band, too, was excited about the opportunity. Guitarist/vocalist Jay Maas said, “I believe very strongly in taking the passions in my life seriously; this is a road I have been on since I was 14 years old and I’m not done seeing where it leads. We are super stoked and we know how lucky we are to be working with such great people at Bridge Nine. We couldn’t be more excited.”

Defeater has a wide array of influences and at first listen, you’ll hear tracks reminiscent of Botch and Deadguy mixed with traditional hardcore. Ethically influenced by bands like Fugazi and musically by Minor Threat and Modern Life Is War—Defeater is no copycat band. Jay said, “We have been careful to know where we are going before we start driving there. It’s important to us to flesh out mood and pace instead of just blindly sitting down with my guitar hashing out riffs.” He continues to say, “... I wanted to make a record that you could get into even if for some reason you don’t care about the meaning behind the lyrics, but at the same time I wanted to make sure the listener at least knows that there is more going on lyrically than a bunch of non-interconnected thoughts and emotions.”

With each band member being active in their local scene, perhaps one of Defeater’s biggest contributions is what they are doing for the planet. Drummer Andy Reitz co-runs GREENVANS, which is a company that rents out vans that run on waste vegetable oil to other bands. Meanwhile, Defeater also tours in a converted veggie van and printed their last record on 100% recyclable materials. Jay said, “For the first time in recorded history we are seeing the actions of humans actually affecting the planet in a very global way. It’s nice to see people starting to take the environment more seriously, but we are still a long way from where we need to be. We printed our record on 100% recycled materials. It costs more, but it’s worth it. We have converted our van to run on waste vegetable oil and it works amazingly well.”


Derek Archambault
Jason Mass
Mike Poulin
Jake Woodruff
Joe Longobardi




“...[A] new artistic peak for hardcore.”
-Punknews (4 out of 5)

“Bottom Line: Defeater is the perfect definition of modern hardcore. The band’s older work under the Sluts moniker was enjoyable, but Travels has upped the ante on all fronts. This is essential listening material for fans of Modern Life Is War, Verse, and Bridge Nine’s current catalog.”

“It’s an extremely diverse (though cohesive) blend of influences, from its more aggressive and discordant textures and almost straightforward hardcore power chords to its ringing post-hardcore dissonance and energetic bursts of those subtly technical little arpeggiated riffs...It’s an impressive debut that sort of takes this lofty, artistic style of hardcore a little farther than most, which is quite promising.”

“Sometimes you know when a hardcore record is going to be a bit special before you even put it in the player. This is one of those times....Think a mix of the best parts of Shai Hulud, Boy Sets Fire, Give up the Ghost and Botch and you won’t be far wrong...head and shoulders above most hardcore cliche nonsense. ”
-Die Shell Suit (9 out of 10)

“No introduction, just a cavalcade of insanity.”
-Way Too Loud

“...[W]ith Travels I see Defeater not only fitting in with their contemporaries like Have Heart and Verse, I also see them as a band that other bands will try to emulate in the next few energetic mammoth powerhouse that you can feel that the band just puts everything they have into every lyric, every riff, every snare hit...They have a formula of emotive hard hitting hardcore that crashes you like waves during a typhoon...Defeater tell a compelling story that wraps up the listener into a collision of sounds, hard hitting rhythms, and stabs at chaos.”
-Scene Point Blank

“...[A]brasive, abrupt, angry hardcore. It blasts out of the starting gates and never stops. It’s an unrelenting attack of ferocious vocals alongside intricate and heavy guitars. It’s technical while not following a certain trend of rampant breakdowns and chugging guitars.”
-The Punk Site

“...[A]mbitious, viciously swift hardcore...the musicianship is seasoned beyond the middle of the bell curve.”

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