Dallas Smith (Vocals)
Jeremy Hora (Guitar)
Danny Craig (Drums)
Dave Benedict (Bass)
A band that will definitely stand out among the newcomers in the Class of 2001, Default is something rare – a straight-ahead, riff-driven, Rock band. As singer Dallas Smith says, “We’re just four guys who like to Rock”. It’s as simple as that.
Default formed in the summer of 1999 when guitarist Jeremy Hora and drummer Danny Craig decided it was time to start a serious band after kicking around the Vancouver music scene for four years. After auditioning several vocalists without success, they were surprised to be approached by their longtime friend Dallas Smith. Dallas had gone to high school with Jeremy and his sister had played in Danny’s first band five years earlier. His musical resume was short, too short. Dallas’ previous band experience amounted to seeing some of Jeremy and Danny’s gigs with their old band and singing along to the radio in his car (when no one was looking). According to Danny, “He just swallowed his pride and said Guys, give me a chance. We had no idea.” “We didn’t know he could sing”, says Jeremy, “And then it was like, Whoa … where have you been the last four years?” It was a perfect fit. Dallas’s powerful pitch perfect performance, even in the beginning, swept through a magnitude of emotions. Teamed up with the intricate rhythmical experimentalism of the rest of the band, it was a deadly and glorious combination of melody and feeling.
They started working with engineer Joey Moi who brought that first demo featuring Dallas to Chad Kroeger, the guitarist and vocalist of Nickelback. Jeremy and Danny’s old band had opened up a couple of shows for Nickelback so Chad was skeptical until he heard the new music with Dallas on vocals, which impressed him. The group spent the fall of 1999 in the studio with Kroeger at the helm and played around Vancouver as The Fallout giving Dallas his first taste of singing in front of an audience (while not driving).
The next stop for the band was Vancouver radio station CFOX. In January 2000, Chad entered them in the station’s homegrown talent competition. Nickelback had been a winner the previous year. Over 300 groups and artists were in the running for the four spots on the Vancouver Seeds 2000 disc but it was clear The Fallout was a contender after the first listen. The fusion of Dallas’ muscular impassioned vocals and the hook laden, driving guitar rock of the band’s songs made the decision a no brainer. Just as the Seeds cd was going to the manufacturer, The Fallout became Default.
CFOX playlisted the song “Deny” and aired the track over 500 times. The response from the audience was immediate. Two runs of the Seeds disc quickly sold out at local retail, Default’s independent release of THE FALLOUT sold over 2000 copies shortly afterwards, and labels from across Canada and the United States started putting offers on the table. TVT Records won out.
Shortly after signing the deal, Dave Benedict joined the group as its new bass player in the summer of 2000. A veteran of a number of Vancouver club bands, Dave’s talent was just what Default was looking for to take them to the next level.
Looking to record a few new songs Default and their management went looking for a producer. By that time, Chad Kroeger was busy crisscrossing the continent with Nickelback. Band and management enthusiastically agreed on Rick Parasher (Pearl Jam’s TEN, Alice In Chains SAP e.p.). In the spring of 2001, Default traveled down the I-5 and spent just over two and a half weeks at Rick’s London Bridge Studios in Seattle. Even an earthquake that flattened buildings in the city’s downtown core didn’t deter the sessions.
It’s now clear what Dallas, Jeremy, Dave, and Danny have in mind – “To get off our butts and hit the road!” With THE FALLOUT, their major label debut now finished, the members of Default are ready to show audiences all over North America they are ready to Rock and that the success they have already experienced at home is only the beginning.