New Music / Record of the Week

Wing Defence take us through their new EP ‘Friends’

We take you inside our favourite new albums with the artists who made them. This week's feature record is Adelaide duo Wing Defence's debut EP 'Friends'.

When you think of the seven players on a netball court, Wing Defence isn’t usually the first position that comes to mind – unless you’re thinking of who to bench.

But Adelaide powerhouse pop-punk duo Skye Walter and Paige Court, AKA Wing Defence (the band) are making us rethink how we feel about the big WD, and with their debut EP ‘Friends’ they have forced their way into our hearts with ease.

“Wing Defence is actually meant to be the least needed position – the position that goes first if you have to leave someone off the court,” Walter says. “It’s also the least valued and people don’t notice them as much. They really are the unseen guy that’s always there if you need – right on the edge of that circle when you’re in strife. All the netballers know what I mean.”

Across its six tracks, ‘Friends’ takes a deep dive into the connection between Walter, Court and their band as songwriters, storytellers, musicians, and the relationships that exist outside of that. They also show off their knack for crafting gritty guitar lines, huge choruses, and bright, attitude-filled hooks for days.

After exploding onto the scene with their debut single ‘Stuck’ back in 2018, Wing Defence have quickly made themselves known – gaining national attention on the stages of Bigsound, Groovin The Moo, and Laneway, as well as alongside acts including Polish Club and The VANNS. In 2019, they even scored themselves an SA Music Award.

With their catchy, heartfelt pop-punk anthems, Wing Defence really are here if you need.

Wing Defence friends ep

The Story

From the beginning

Wing Defence: “I (Skye) started making music (as in writing songs) when I was around 6 years old. My first song was called Billy and it was acapella. I didn’t pick up the guitar until I was around 16.”

What you’ll hear

Wing Defence: “We’d say WD is a ’90s vibe with a blend of Michelle Branch meets Killing Heidi meets No Doubt meets Spiderbait.”

Inside the creative process

Wing Defence: “This record is really a journey of our friendship. Paige, Benny (WD guitarist and producer) and I (Skye) spent a lot of time D&M’ing in the studio and wrote a couple of the tunes on our EP together.

“The songs Paige and I wrote separately, we would bring into the studio and dissect their meaning together for hours sometimes. We were there for each other in some pretty hard times so we wanted to call the EP Friends to reflect that.

“When we do write together we have a lot of fun – a lot of silly dancing, laughing, and taking the piss out of each other. The songs are real, raw, and truthful, but we come from a light-hearted place when we create our music. I really love that about WD. Never had so much fun writing but then felt so understood, it almost feels healing when we play and write together.”

Tell us the story

Wing Defence: “‘Stuck’ was our first tune, but ‘Hindsight’ has probably been our most popular and I think it’s where we really started to find our sound.”

Down memory lane

Wing Defence: “There are SO many [great memories]. We just laugh and have a lot of fun but we’ve also cried and stood by each other. Touring with Polish Club would have to be a highlight. Probably the best moment was on the last night of the tour, at the Gaso in Sydney, and all the bands were on stage (Heaps Good Friends, Polish Club, and WD) and we were all going nuts. Paige and I were like GoGo dancers on the blocks above the crowd and everyone else was playing each others’ instruments singing Mariah Carey ‘All I Want For Christmas’. It was the best”

Overcoming struggle town

Wing Defence: “We just talk, be there for each other, and make sure everyone is looked after, feels safe, and heard. We mean it when we say ‘here if ya need.'”

Kicking goals

Wing Defence: “Some of our biggest achievements are playing Laneway, Groovin the Moo, and signing to Dock 7 Records in Germany.”

For the love of music

Wing Defence: “What we love most about making music is being with our mates and having a good time. At the end of the day, if that’s gone, it’s not worth it anymore. Thank god we love each other.”

Audience takeaway 

Wing Defence: “Something to connect to, to relate to and help in their journey.”

Back to live

Wing Defence: “Oh we are just gonna go nuts on stage, there will be lots of hair everywhere.”

Say it in a sentence

Wing Defence: “Life oh life oh life oh life Doo doo doo doo… I know that’s not a sentence, but that’s what I sing when life throws you curveballs.”

Essential Listening

Wing Defence – Stuck

“There’s a record amount of swearing for us, says fuck 10 times.”

Wing Defence – Bob

“This is a song Paige and Benny wrote for Skiz when they found out she was pregnant, and affectionately named him Bob. Billy (his actual name) was born in January and we released the song to celebrate.”

Wing Defence – Hindsight

“Probably our biggest release to date. We won a SA Music Award off the back of this song and sold out our first hometown show in Adelaide after releasing this. That was an epic show.”

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