Interview: Ben Mirfin (Bassist) of JUSTICE FOR THE DAMNED
Words/Interview by Ash Wallace
The apocalypse is upon us and so is new Justice For The Damned. Sydney’s hardcore 5-piece have a highly anticipated new album 'Pain Is Power' set for release on June 12 via Greyscale Records. The release date was pushed back due to issues regarding COVID-19 but it’s as heavy and angry as ever. We caught up with bassist Ben Mirfin to chat all about it.
Hey Ben thanks for having a chat with us, obviously because of the whole pandemic going on, it’s more important than ever to be supporting bands and artists right now, how are you and the band coping right now?
It’s pretty rough to be honest with you, even just for the simple fact that we can’t get together and have a practice or anything. But I mean we’re all in really good spirits about it with the album coming out and stuff like that so we’re all trying to be as positive as possible!
We do have some positives, like you said your new album “Pain Is Power” is set for release very shortly, following the 2017 release “Dragged Through The Dirt”, and it’s already garnered so much hype and anticipation, what are you hoping the listeners get out of it once they’re able to actually listen to it?
Hopefully they can relate a lot to the lyrics, we spent a lot of time with the lyrics for this one. When we got to the studio we had a bunch of lyrics that we already had and then we got told to start again. So, we all sat down in a room together and really tried to work the lyrics out as best as we would. We went through all different topics that people could relate to, so yeah, the lyrics are a big part of it.
What was your vision or mindset for the album when you went in to create and record it?
We wanted to write something as heavy and angry as possible. Because we’ve all got things going on in our lives and we want to have our outlet to let it out. We went in there with the mindset to make the heaviest, angriest music we could really.
I got to listen to it and I’ve been playing it a few times around the house, getting me through these crazy times and making housework a bit more fun!
Yeah, I’ve been out in the garden lately pumping it!
I’ve recently become a plant mum myself as a result of this isolation… (laughs) Did you run into any other bumps or hurdles while recording the album?
Yeah like I said, when we first got there we had pretty much everything written and showed Will (Putney) the lyrics that we had and they didn’t seem to be very happy with them so we decided to step away from the ‘feel sorry for me’ thing from the last album and tried to get something a bit more, I wouldn’t say political, but relevant. That was a big stick in the guts, we were all in a bit of shock at that point.
As much as it must be a great feeling to create and produce an album but I must imagine that it’s also super draining.
Yeah, definitely the longest month of our lives for sure, locked away in a dungeon pretty much just writing all day. We’d have to force ourselves outside and get some sun.
And now we’re forced inside! Your latest single ‘The House You Built Is Burning’ has been out for a bit now, could you tell us a little about the track?
That was actually an idea that came from my experiences growing up, growing up with a father who was an alcoholic and it was pretty rough. If you read the lyrics it becomes pretty self-explanatory, and I’m sure a lot a lot of people have been through the same thing. So, it’s just being in that situation where you’re the only person that cares about this person and you’re just trying to work out whether or not you should be there.
After this crazy virus pandemic is all over what are you hoping to achieve with the band moving forward?
Because we’ve been locked away for so long, we just want to get out as far and as much as we can. We have a tour booked in September with the Kublai (Khan) boys over in Europe which hopefully goes ahead. But yeah, just get out as far and as frequent as possible.
And before we let you go what’s been the biggest changes you made to this new album versus the previous release?
I feel like this one was a done lot more as a unit, we all had a lot of input in this album, whereas in the past its sort of been that Nick usually writes all the music and lyrics so for us to all come together and have our own say was something very different and rewarding for all of us.
Pain Is Power will be available June 12th via Greyscale Records. Pre-order HERE.