Supergroup The Defiant have released their debut album, If We’re Really Being Honest.
If We’re Really Being Honest holds true to the band’s namesake and stands in defiance against a post-COVID world plagued by cancel culture, government mandates, and social media pressure campaigns.
The album kicks off with “Everybody Loves Me,” which appears to take aim at the Democratic establishment with references to “I’m a red flag in a bright blue streak,” and “A mule’s gonna kick a donkey to the punch.”
“Dead Language,” the band’s first single released in late-August, criticizes anti-social behavior as lead singer Dick Barrett, formerly of the Mighty Mighty BossToneS, sings about the “A/C blasting” while having “everything I need right here at my fingertips” — a reference to smartphones.
“Where Were You?” — The Defiant’s second single off If We’re Really Being Honest — discusses feelings of abandonment by previous friends along with finding success and moving forward in one’s life. The track appears to be a direct reference to the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 and cultural dominance of Black Lives Matter in the wake of George Floyd’s death in Minneapolis that May.
“We Make Drugs” appears to reference the United States’ efforts to produce vaccines for COVID-19 in partnership with pharmaceutical companies during the COVID-19 pandemic. Some critics of COVID-19 vaccines and the subsequent government push for widespread mandates have referred to the move as the “medical-industrial complex.”
“We make drugs / We make bank,” Barrett sings, narrating a revolving door of patients returning to their doctors to address medical issues created by their prescribed medication. “What we’re making / You’ll be taking up to heaven … We make mistakes / We’ll make some more.”
Supergroup @TheDefiantUSA has released their debut album, If We're Really Being Honest.
— Chris Bertman (@manofbert) October 27, 2023
The Defiant references a technocratic dystopia in “No Nothing” which comments on government surveillance achieved by technology. The track also appears to reference the World Economic Forum’s 2017 video suggesting “you will own nothing and you will be happy” by 2030.
“Imagine having nothing and you love that / There’s no nothing at all,” Barrett sings.
The band’s third single, “Where Did Lady Liberty Go?”, comments on demands made during the COVID-19 pandemic “for humanity’s sake” which some have suggested directly violated the American spirit of freedom and individuality. Those who stood in defiance or questioned COVID mandates were “kicked to the curb,” the song states.
The Defiant consists of five former members of previously established bands, including former drummer of The Offspring Pete Parada, former Smash Mouth guitarist Greg Camp, former Street Dogs bassist Johnny Rioux, former member of The Briggs Joey La Rocca on guitar and keys, and lead singer Barrett.
“All I’ve ever really wanted to do is bring people together and share a message of peace, love, and unity,” says Barrett of the super group. “With that in mind, the music created by The Defiant could very well be some of the best I’ve ever had a hand in making, as well as one of the most important and thoughtful musical experiences of my career. I am thrilled to be a part of it.”
Parada, who began his tenure with the Offspring in 2007, was kicked out of the band in 2021 after refusing to receive the COVID-19 vaccine due to the fact he had Guillain-Barré syndrome. Parada further noted his doctor advised against taking the vaccination and suggested the injection could lead to further health risks.
Following his departure from the Offspring, Parada partnered with Timcast owner and CEO Tim Pool for a series of songs released by the podcaster.
In March, Pool released his latest single “Bright Eyes,” featuring Phil Labonte, lead singer of heavy metal band All That Remains.
Pool’s songs were produced, mixed, and mastered by Carter Banks.