DEFENDER is one of the most popular Dutch heavy metal bands from the 80's, especially in some metal 'collector circles'. DEFENDER started in '84, when Bart left HAMMERHAWK and formed DEFENDER. He joined with Remco, and later on Simon and Harm. Already in the beginning of '85, they recorded their first demo in the Oktopus studio. This demo was named "Tales Of The Unexpected". Soon after the recordings, a second guitar player joined Defender, namely Jozzy. The band started gigging and in '85 and '86 they played a lot of gigs through Holland with other bands like MARTYR, ALLIED FORCES and HAMMERHAWK, but also foreign bands like CYCLONE and AGENT STEEL.
DEFENDER then signed their first, well-earned, contract with Metalloid and recorded some songs in the Silvox studio. Too bad, Metalloid went bankrupt at that time (after release MARTYR's "Darkness At Time's Edge").
But the band went on, and Jozzy was replaced by guitarist Stef. Later that year also Bart left the band, which caused a short break for DEFENDER. In late '86 they found a new guitarplayer named Henk. So actually DEFENDER had a complete renewed guitarsection. They started to write new songs, much like they wanted it to be; up-tempo songs with a great feel for melody.
The band recorded "City Ad Mortis" and paid everything themselves, while CBS took care of the actual release of the MLP. This MLP is certainly a highlight from the Dutch 80's scene. Legendary! DEFENDER then made it's live come-back too, at a radio show together with HAMMERHAWK and JEWEL.
In those years the band was pretty popular, not only because of the great MLP, but also because of their good live reputation. The band wanted to get even more professional, and demanded that Harm would improve his bass skills. But according to the other guys, he failed so he had to leave the band and was replaced by Arwin. In this line-up the band entered the Silvox studio's again and recorded a new promotion single named "Journey To The Unexpected".
In the late 80's, the band did a lot of gigs with JEWEL and even a tour with TOXIC, which started in 1990. But the band still didn't have a record deal. In the 90's the metal scene in Holland (but also in the rest of the world) started to change. The popularity of heavy metal decreased very fast, while death metal and grunge became very popular. The band obviously decided to call it a quit. However, this was not the last sign of the life of DEFENDER. In 2001 the band released "Remaining Tales", which contains all works of the band + some live songs. It's really made for the fans, and not to earn a quick buck. The band even recorded a new song some years ago (actually a song from back in the early years, but which was never recorded). And, we've got even very recent and good news around the Defender camp: Rusty Cage records has re-released "City AD Mortis" on CD, including bonustracks. Even better news is that the band also started recording a new album, as stated on their website! Of course, the question that arises in our metal hearts is; will we ever see the guys on stage again??
(text conducted by Julian Klaassen)
Simon Menting - vocals
Stef Köhler - guitars
Henk Verheul - guitars
Bart van Rixel - guitars (ex-HAMMERHAWK)
Jozzy Baltus - guitars
Arwin Vergers - bass (ex-JEWEL)
Harm Noort - bass (ex-QUESTIONMARK)
Remco Bouwens - drums
*Tales of the unexpected (Demo 1985)
*City AD Mortis (MLP 1987)
*Journey to the Unexpected (CD Single 1989)
*Remaining Tales (CD re-release of all works 2001)
*City AD Mortis (CD re-release of City AD Mortis + Bonustracks on Rusty Cage Records 2006)