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News & Announcements

Sunday, June 19, 2016 - 12:17am
Sunday, April 10, 2016 - 9:00pm

Shows / Events

Rock for Autism

Thursday, October 20, 2016 - 9:00pm

Adam and the Plants, The Defending Champions and 1 more band TBA!

Doors at 7:30pm, Quality Living at 8, Adam & the Plants at 9, DefChamp at 10.

October 20, 2016 @ Old Canal Inn, 2 E Passaic Ave, Nutley, NJ 07110.

Age Restrictions: 
Venue address: 
2 E Passaic ave
Nutley, NJ 07110
United States

Halloween Show at TIERNEYS TAVERN w/ THE PORCHISTAS! (Champs 80's set part deux!!!)

Saturday, October 29, 2016 - 9:30pm

Saturday October 29th, TIERNEYS TAVERN HALLOWEEN BASH!  We're pumped to be back at Tierneys for Halloween this year and we're even more pumped to let you all know we'll be playing our 80's set part Deux!  Our 80's set 2 years back got such a great reaction we decided to give it another go.  Bring your dancin shoes because this is going to be a good one, The Porchistas will be kicking off the night and we'll be closing down the house.  All the show details are on the facebook event, click the link below!  Also there is a Heroe's and Villans theme so if you want to win the costume contest keep that in mind but feel free to wear whatever the hell you want!  We will be rocking the best 80s costumes we can find....See you there!


Age Restrictions: 

DC Annual Ringside Pub Thanksgiving weekend show!

Saturday, November 26, 2016 - 9:30pm

We're back for our annual Thanksgiving weekend show at the Ringside!  We'll be playing Sat. Nov. 26th from 10pm-last call!  $5 cover.  See you there!

About Us


Defending Champions

"Everything they do is done to perfection, with no overplaying and an utterly crisp, solid feel that gives dancers the reliable bedrock that they crave" - LiveUnsigned.com

"this band screams originality." - SweetTunez.com

"The Defending Champions are what is needed in popular music today. The band brings intriguing depth and stylish breadth to each and every one of its songs. Their latest album called “Of The Legend Convention” is a perfect example of the coolness that is The Defending Champions." - Jersey Rock Review

"The bottom line is that The Defending Champions will make your body move and you will want to hear more of them. So go and check out The Defending Champions latest album “Of The Legend Convention” available now." – Jersey Rock Review

"The band blend reggae, ska, and rock together for a delicious, danceable sound that is undeniably groovy, funky, and jammy." – Star Beat Music


champs at the bitter end It’s hard to pinpoint just when the seven musical titans that now form The Defending Champions became a band. If you’ve ever listened to their music, you might think that they are telepathic septuplets, born to play each note you are hearing, chosen to lead a legendary convention of life-loving citizens. In truth, they are a bunch of friends who have been connected through the years by an overwhelming desire to write solid music and entertain the hell out of people. Sometime in the year 2007, Matt Ryan and Dean Nevolis, after having been in the same band together since puberty, dissembled their childhood group and joined forces with longtime band-mate, saxophonist Matthew Schoenebaum. Together with drummer Shawn Fichtner, bassist Eric Swiontkowski, trumpeter Jovan Alvarez, and percussionist Dave DeRiso, they form The Defending Champions.

Composing with their ears bent to the righteous stylings of soul, ska and gypsy music, and held fast by rock’n’roll, the band is allowed enormous room to impact all those ready to dance and be captivated. They’ve been enjoyed throughout the Tri-State area: performing at such venues as Musikfest in Bethlehem, PA, Yogi Berra Stadium, Maxwell’s, Kenny’s Castaways, Knitting Factory, Bitter End, Stanhope House and Rockwood Music Hall. Announced by Jersey Rock Review as “…what is needed in popular music today,” and, in their own words, writing music “intended for the mobilization of the human,” The Defending Champions are what you’ve wanted to hear but didn’t know was sonically possible: better music for the best life.


Frank Movie Trailer

Frank Movie Trailer

We are pumped and proud to announce that our song "Raise my glass" has been featured in the movie trailer for a new movie called "Frank".

Acclaimed Irish director Lenny Abrahamson follows up his award-winning films Adam & Paul, Garage and What Richard Did with an offbeat comedy about a young wannabe musician, Jon (Domhnall Gleeson), who finds himself out of his depth when he joins an avant-garde pop band led by the mysterious and enigmatic Frank (Michael Fassbender), a musical genius who hides himself inside a large fake head, and his terrifying bandmate Clara (Maggie Gyllenhaal).