The fallout of fame

By James Keller

Their debut album, The Fallout, currently holds the number three position in the United States. They’re in mid-tour with the band two spots above them. Their first single, “Wasting My Time,” is getting aired on virtually every radio station in North America-oh, and they did it all in just over two short years.

The atypical part of the equation, if the whole thing doesn’t already sound a bit contrived by now, is that Default-a name now part of Western rock-and-roll vocabulary-is Canadian. One hundred per cent born and bred.

"We’ve got a lot of great bands coming out of Vancouver," says humble bassist Dave Benedict. "We just play honest rock ‘n’ roll and you can’t help but notice it."

In every way possible, the music community, both the fans and
the industry, are doing more than noticing the rock quartet from British Columbia-they’re taking notes.

"We just got thrown into the deep end without our water wings on," analogizes Benedict. "It’s kind of weird. People say, ‘what does it feel like?’ But I’m just the same retard I was a year ago."

However inappropriate, that’s not a slight against Benedict or the rest of the band. As more than just a week-long chart topper, Default offers a mix of both down and dirty hard rock and the more polished, melodic sounds for which they’re recognized-the self-imposed label of retard notwithstanding.

"I love getting in front of that crowd, getting freaked out and watching the audience get freaked out," says Benedict, who, with Nickleback, rocked a sold-out Stampede Corral on Thu., Jan. 24. "It’s the best part of my job. It’s better than any drug you can take; it’s better than anything."

Although getting freaked out can mean many things, in this case it’s about as simple as it sounds.

"I make a skeptic of myself," he says, pointing out that his hair is braided into pig tails. "I twirl them around my head, pour water on myself, freak out-I lose my mind up there."

For Benedict, "up there" is about as wild as it gets. The screaming, hollering and bouncing around end when the lights come up and the band breaks down.

"I’m a totally different person when I get off the stage," he explains in a tone definitely devoid of any inexplicable screaming or shouting. "I think we’re all maturing."

While the latter statement also carries many different meanings, Default is content to simply play music and stay on tour.

That, at least, is how they started out just over two short years ago. And by default, they won’t be dropping off the radar any time soon.


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