Music Interview: Success by Default

By Nathan Atnikov

It can be heard everywhere. From Lite-FM radio to hard rock stations, from football stadiums to supermarkets. No matter where you go, it will follow you. It’s called “Wasting My Time,” a song released by Vancouver band Default almost four years ago. In 2001, it was one of the biggest singles in North America, and got the second most spins of any song on US radio. Four years later, it’s as present as it was then. If you think you’ve heard it enough, you can only imagine what the band themselves must be going through, as they continue to play it every night on their current tour, in support of mope-rock act Staind.

“We’re really not [sick of it],” Default drummer Danny Craig says. “If you can do anything that becomes a part of history–and that song might do that–that’s a pretty cool thing. As long as people want to hear, we’ll keep playing it.”

However, this does not mean Default is living in the past. After touring for their last album, Elocution, for two years, the band was eager to release their third full-length, this year’s One Thing Remains. Traditionally, a band’s third album is around the time a group finds their true voice and intended sound.

“We set out to accomplish something and we definitely did,” Craig says of the new album. “All efforts possible went into it, and we’re very happy with the outcome. This is definitely a statement album.”

While Default begin to emerge as their own band they still take a fair amount of criticism for their relationship with Albertan counterparts Nickleback, whose frontman, Chad Kroeger, produced Default’s first album, Fallout, and co-wrote their latest single, “Count On Me.” While Craig insists Default is fully independent, he acknowledges Kroeger’s input.

“They [Nickleback] are really good friends of ours and Chad is a good friend–he’s helped us out a lot,” he says. “He produced our first record and really steered us in the right direction. A lot of the roadblocks and the mistakes that they made, we were able to learn from those situations. As far as people who have bad things to say about us or them, we could give two shits really. We managed to sell two million records, and we’re proud of that.”

With singles new and old saturating the radio and a tight relationship with one of the most powerful rock groups in the world, Default is in an enviable position, whether or not they give two shits.