Canadian post-grunge rockers Default have announced their plan to reunite on tour this fall, joining Stone Temple Pilots and Seether on a tour across Canada, as well as mixing in a string of their own headlining dates. The band, fronted by Dallas Smith, also plans to release an album of re-recorded material from its first two albums, The Fallout and Elocation, in the coming weeks.
In 2001, the then little-know band from Vancouver, B.C. released its debut single, “Wasting My Time.” The song would go on to become a crossover hit, topping the rock charts and peaking at No. 13 on the Billboard Hot 100.
“We couldn’t swim and we got chucked in the middle of a lake,” frontman Dallas Smith said of Default’s initial success. “It was a matter of just keeping up and rolling with it and trying to do the best you can with the opportunity in the limited experience that we had.”
If debut album The Fallout put Default on the map, 2003 follow-up Elocation grew its reach and spawned hits with “(Taking My) Life Away” and “Throw It All Away.”
Default, which includes guitarist Jeremy Hora, bassist Dave Benedict and drummer Danny Craig, also had to overcome some legal hurdles that stymied the promotion efforts of their follow-up albums, One Thing Remains and Comes & Goes.
“It was a nightmare; an absolute nightmare,” Dallas Smith said of the battle to get Default’s music released. “Our label sucked, and we found out our business manager had been, in the typical cliche story, robbing us blind.”
Those constant battles, which Smith said had little to do with music, contributed to the band taking a hiatus. That break allowed Smith the time to venture into a solo country project, Jumped Right In, in 2012. As a solo artist, Smith went on to become the most successful male Canadian country artist ever. He plans to release his fourth solo solo album early next year.
Smith said he relished the unique opportunities from touring the world with Default, and looks back most fondly at the chance to tour overseas to play for the military in the Middle East and South Korea.
“For me, that’s what I remember 15 years ago; doing that kind of stuff—not the individual shows so much,” Smith said. “It’s those experiences and who you get to meet along the way, and what really strange places music can take you that you would never otherwise go to.”
The opportunity to tour with Stone Temple Pilots is a lifelong dream realized for Dallas Smith, who grew up as a fan of the band.
“Core was one of the reasons why I fell in love with music; it was one of those first sounds that [I] identified as my own and not my parents’ music,” heh said.
In his early years as he was first getting started as a frontman, it was an STP song—”Plush”— that landed Smith his job as the singer for Default.
“I was about 20 years old and nobody had heard me sing before, and I realized I had to get over this fear,” Smith said of his first time stepping into the vocal booth with the band on a Friday night rehearsal. “I got in there, had a few drinks for some liquid courage and “Plush” was the song that I kinda broke the ice with. We had a record deal about a year and a half later.
“To come back together for one final tour with Stone Temple Pilots is a really cool full circle moment.”
Stone Temple Pilots will also tour in a state of rebirth. Founding members Dean DeLeo, Robert DeLeo and Eric Kretz enlisted former Dry Cell frontman Jeff Gutt to handle vocals following the untimely deaths of Scott Weiland and Linkin Park’s Chester Bennington, who had been filling in following Weiland’s passing.
Default is also taking the opportunity to re-record and rerelease some of its older material with improved production. After listening back to their first record, the band members realized the songs could benefit from a heavier sound. “We were so green,” he said. Default will release the six-track Re-Cut Friday.
Smith said he’s excited to finally put the business aspect aside and get back on stage with his friends.
“It’s nice to hit a reset here,” he said. “There’s no pressure, there’s none of the BS; it’s all been dealt with. We can just get out there and play the songs that we enjoyed playing back in the day, and just forget about that middle part.”
Follow writer Mike DeWald at Twitter.com/mike_dewald.