Exclusive Interview: Simon Müller & Jeffrey Uhlmann of DEFOCUS Discuss Bringing ‘There Is a Place For Me On Earth’ to Life!


Since their formation in 2019, DEFOCUS, a four-piece metalcore dynamo from Aalen/Stuttgart, has been on a relentless ascent through the ranks of the heavy music scene. The brainchild of Jeffrey Uhlmann, Jonas Mahler, Simon Müller, and Marcel “Bambam” Heberling, DEFOCUS has quickly made a name for itself with its powerful soundscapes and energetic performances. Following the release of their debut album ‘In The Eye Of Death We Are All The Same‘ in July 2021, featuring hit singles like “Disease,” DEFOCUS stormed notable stages at festivals including the Euroblast Festival, Summer Breeze Open Air, and Fajt Fest, captivating audiences across the heart of Europe. Their journey continued with a significant milestone, embarking on their first European tour in early 2023 alongside heavyweights ABBIE FALLS and NECROTTED, further showcasing their insatiable appetite for the stage. In the wake of this whirlwind of performances, the band dropped two electrifying singles, “Biased” and “let the bond be my grave,” at the outset of 2023, setting the stage for their much-anticipated next chapter.

This next chapter has come to fruition with the release of their latest album, ‘There Is a Place For Me On Earth,’ unveiled this past Friday, March 1st, via Arising Empire. The album signifies a pivotal moment in DEFOCUS‘s journey, highlighting their evolution both musically and personally. With Vocalist Simon Müller and guitarist Jeffrey Uhlmann at the helm, the band delves into themes of belonging, resilience, and the human condition, presenting a refined sound that promises to leave an indelible mark on the metal landscape. Their commitment to exploring complex emotional landscapes, combined with their refined musicality, positions ‘There Is a Place For Me On Earth‘ as a beacon of innovation in the genre, inviting listeners to explore the depths of their own experiences through the band’s compelling narratives and soundscapes.

Join us as we explore ‘There Is a Place For Me On Earth‘ in-depth with Simon Müller, the dynamic vocalist of DEFOCUS, and Jeffrey Uhlmann, the architect behind the band’s intense guitar riffs, as they divulge their thoughts and journey in bringing their latest album to life!

INFRARED MAG: First and foremost, thank you for taking the time to answer our questions.

JEFFREY UHLMANN: Thank you so much for giving us the opportunity to talk about our new release!

INFRARED MAG: Your new album ‘There Is a Place For Me On Earth‘ is set to release on March 1st. Can you give us a glimpse of what listeners can expect from this upcoming album?

JEFFREY UHLMANN: We’ve been experimenting a lot with our music and people can expect a lot of new and experimental influences combined with the heaviness that comes with the known DEFOCUS sound. There will be something for everyone, from an emotional ballad to straight up hip hop or EDM.

INFRARED MAG:There Is a Place For Me On Earth‘ is an intriguing album title. Could you shed some light on the meaning behind it and how it relates to the themes explored in your music?

SIMON MÜLLER: The most important thing to us is to share the message that there is a place for each of us on this planet. I had very hard times believing in this, as I often feel like I don’t really fit into this construct of society, and I do believe that there are lots of people out there thinking the exact same way.

INFRARED MAG: Your music is known for its intensity and innovative sound. How do you approach the creative process to push the boundaries of metalcore with each release?

SIMON MÜLLER: This time, we tried to combine all the different influences from each one of us. Whereas Jeff listens a lot to hip-hop or Jonas loves electronic music, I listen to a lot of grunge and old school nu-metal, and I think we accidentally pushed the boundaries a lot to basically any direction possible which was so much fun.

INFRARED MAG:flatlines” is one of the singles from your new album. Can you share the inspiration behind this song and what it represents in the context of the album?

SIMON MÜLLER: “flatlines” is meant to be a beast. Regarding the song itself, but also the lyrics and message being transported. The whole frustration is displayed at the person which barely recognizes the own body as a valuable part of itself and therefore the wish of changing this becomes more and more important.

INFRARED MAG: Your music video for “Flatlines” is visually striking. How important is the visual aspect in conveying the message and atmosphere of your music?

JEFFREY UHLMANN: Music videos are super useful for transporting the message of the song in a different way. For example, the new video for ‘don’t let it hurt me’ is a whole different experience than the song itself. People can get sucked into the story a lot better which is why we try to make as many videos as possible for our songs.

INFRARED MAG: The band’s previous singles, including “Biased,” “Let the Bond Be My Grave,” and “Crooked Mind,” have been well-received. How do these songs fit into the overall narrative of the album?

SIMON MÜLLER: The narrative of the album critically reviews the state of mind while not fitting into this world and its society. Whereas “biased” tries to express the way a person is always under the influence of certain opinions, “let the bond be my grave” and “crooked mind” show the desperation coming up with all of this. The overall topic is processed in different ways regarding different aspects of the own mind when going through the different songs.

INFRARED MAG: The mental chaos of the lyrics in “Crooked Mind” is mentioned. How do you translate complex emotional themes into your music, and what message do you hope listeners take away from it?

SIMON MÜLLER: In the first place, this album is a way of dealing with my own mental struggles and problems. In the second place, all of this can truly be implemented into the life of so many people that are struggling with their own lives and there is a common message for everyone out there – there is a place for everyone on this earth. Portraying emotional topics just felt so right to do in times where nothing feels safe, and everything is changing, and the album title should spend hope for everything listening.

INFRARED MAG: Your debut album, ‘In The Eye Of Death We Are All The Same,’ received acclaim. How has the band evolved since then, and what can fans expect that’s new in this upcoming release?

JEFFREY UHLMANN: I guess we evolved a lot. Personally, and musically and I think you can hear that in our sound. Even though we tried keeping the energetic and heavy DEFOCUS sound, we also implemented a lot of different influences into songwriting.

INFRARED MAG: Can you tell us about the role of producer Vojta Pacesny in shaping the sound and direction of this album?

JEFFREY UHLMANN: Vojta helped us a lot with keeping up the creativity during the process. Thinking back, there probably would have been less experiments on the album, just by the fact that he encouraged us to keep on working out those ideas. Together with Vojta we felt like we could enhance our sound and songwriting and break boundaries that shouldn’t even exist.

INFRARED MAG: You’ve shared the stage with bands like Jinjer, Chelsea Grin, and Necrotted. How have these live experiences influenced your music and performance style?

SIMON MÜLLER: Playing shows together with big artists always helps develop your own performance and procedures by adapting to useful experiences to learn from. Besides that, it also encourages you with what you’re doing, and it feels like you can only learn from this.

INFRARED MAG: Being featured on official Spotify playlists like “The Core” and “All New Metal” is a significant achievement. How has streaming and online platforms contributed to your band’s growth and reach?

SIMON MÜLLER: Streaming is one of the biggest contributions to the growth of artists nowadays. Even though, those numbers always seem kind of hard to interpret as they don’t represent actual humans standing in front of you at a show, they still show a picture of how people react to your music and therefore looking at those seemingly unrealistic numbers of streams on songs like “crooked mind” I think that we definitely benefit from this. I also want to mention that our label Arising Empire is doing a great job with the distribution as well.

INFRARED MAG: The upcoming album is eagerly awaited by your fans. What emotions or experiences do you hope your music evokes in your audience?

SIMON MÜLLER: In the first place we want people to have fun with our record. But if there’s only one person that feels what we feel according to the album title and the message behind it then we achieved so much more than just releasing an album.

INFRARED MAG: What’s the band’s vision for the future, both in terms of musical exploration and live performances?

JEFFREY UHLMANN: We can’t wait to hit the stages with our new album. To be honest we are already working on new stuff already, but the main focus right now is promoting and performing the new songs.

INFRARED MAG: As a band with a rapidly growing fanbase, what advice would you give to emerging artists who aspire to make their mark in the metalcore genre?

SIMON MÜLLER: To be honest, the most important thing is to make THEIR mark and not the one from others. A lot of new bands try to copy things that work out for bands that are already established, which doesn’t necessarily work for them as well.

JEFFREY UHLMANN: I personally think that you should just have fun. Everyone starts at some point and for me it was important to not overthink stuff like this. Just start and do whatever you can and learn from your mistakes.

INFRARED MAG: Finally, what message would you like to convey to your fans as you prepare to release ‘There Is a Place For Me On Earth‘ and continue your musical journey as DEFOCUS?

SIMON MÜLLER: For each of you who struggles in life: There really is a place for you on this earth and no matter what, you will find it one day! Just be patient enough and allow yourself to explore your inner feelings to find this place in yourself.

As DEFOCUS continues to carve out their niche in the heavy music scene, ‘There Is a Place For Me On Earth‘ stands as a testament to their growth, ambition, and unyielding passion for their craft. Vocalist Simon Müller and guitarist Jeffrey Uhlmann’s insights into the creation of this album, their artistic evolution, and the message they wish to convey, reflect a band that is not only in tune with the times but also deeply connected to their audience. Through their latest work, DEFOCUS not only cements their place in the metalcore realm but also challenges the genre’s boundaries, offering a fresh perspective and a compelling narrative that resonates with listeners worldwide. As they look to the future, DEFOCUS‘s trajectory is one marked by relentless innovation, emotional depth, and a commitment to making music that moves, challenges, and inspires.

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