Interview: Justice For The Damned
Justice For The Damned have completely grasped the concept of patience being a virtue, even if their rabid fan base has not. The Sydney five-piece have spend the past few years consciously and methodically planning their path, cutting their teeth alongside contemporaries such as Northlane and Polaris, often sharing the stage together at the legendary Blacktown Masonic Hall. From there stepping things up this year, touring with upcoming acts such as Graves and Void Of Vision, playing a sold out Invasion Fest in Melbourne, and playing at Unify Festival 2017, along side heavyweights such as Thy Art Is Murder, Every Time I Die, & Violent Soho. The genre in which this young band play is defined by short, brutal riffs with no filler and definitely no frills, and that is definitely what we get with their new album, Dragged Through The Dirt. We caught up with guitarist, Nick Adams, to discuss their growing success as a band and lots more.
Thanks a lot for taking the time out to chat today, how's everything going for you and the rest of the band at the moment? Busy times I assume?
Yeah pretty good, we're pretty busy right now. A lot of the stress that built up from releasing the album has been lifted now that it's out which is good.
The new album 'Dragged Through The Dirt' is absolutely awesome by the way. Very heavy, very brutal. How much time and effort went into the making of the record?
Butt-loads man, a lot of those songs have been in the works for years just on and off, and other ones just sort of came together just weeks before we went in to record it. A lot of thinking, and just consistently revisiting and writing songs, we definitely put a lot of work in with each song on their own to make sure they sounded the best that they could. A lot of effort went into it.
Was it important not to rush it and just take your time so that you could make sure it was perfect before it was released?
Yeah, exactly. We definitely made sure we weren't skipping over anything important that's for sure. Each song is important and we took our time to make sure that we nailed it.
You guys are popping up on a lot of tours lately which is great to see. Are you guys stoked to be able to get your name out there with so many gigs lined up?
Oh definitely dude, every tour that pops up we get super excited about it. It's just awesome and we're grateful for every opportunity.
How's it been working with Greyscale Records so far? They've brought in some really talented bands including yourselves. Are you excited to be on that roster?
Oh yeah, totally. We're really happy with how it's turned out for us. When Ash Hull first approached us about signing with them he was just about to start the label up and the idea of just growing and developing together sounded really appealing to us, so that was definitely a big draw card and we're really just happy to be able to work with people that we know and trust.
How did the signing come about? Did Greyscale approach you or did you put your name forward?
So we've known Ash for a while now, we're good friends and he's put us on a few shows in the past. He hit us up that he'd be starting up this new label and asked if we'd be keen to get involved and the short answer was yes definitely.
Is there a particular show that's approaching that you're particularly excited about playing?
I think the hometown show in Sydney is going to be up there, that's a headline show for us and it's pretty important. I think we're all really going to be anxious and excited for that one. Personally I'm very excited for any and every show over in the UK. that's going to be awesome.
Was the recording process a fun and exciting time for you guys this time?
I think it was a fairly smooth and easy process but not a process that didn't involve a lot of hard work. It was a very relaxed recording process and we were very comfortable with them and it was all very friendly. It was a lot more informal than a lot of recording that we've previously done which was cool, that made the entire process a whole lot easier to get all the tracking done and to make the production sound as huge as it does.
Do you guys all have different music influences and styles? Or is it mostly all very similar?
Oh for sure, we've all got really varied taste in music. Everyone in the band loves heavy music from all different sides of the spectrum. But there's also a lot of RnB and electronic stuff that gets played a lot. Our bass player probably has the most interesting taste, he's into a lot of out there country music like Slim Dusty and stuff like that. It's really funny when he gets to control what we play in the van when we go away on tour.
Who's your ultimate dream band/s that you'd love to share the stage with one day?
Oh man, you know it's kind of funny, I think Thy Art would have been up there if we weren't already heading out on tour with them soon. A couple of months ago that would have been an absolute dream show for us. Other than that, I think if there was ever a chance to get to share the stage with Nails, I think we'd all be really excited and keen to give that a go. Maybe Code Orange, that would be awesome, it would be really cool to play with them. We all really, really love playing with Hellions, if we could ever organise a tour with them that would be pretty sweet because we love that band.
Do you think it's hard right now trying to stand out with so many young and talented bands trying to make it in the heavy music scene?
Yeah definitely, I think it is really hard. There's obviously a lot of really talented bands out there that are doing really cool stuff. I mean, to stand out it's not that easy, but some things that I would say and how I personally feel our strengths are would be that we really make sure that we have a really energetic and enthusiastic live show. We put our whole heart into every performance and go for it really hard, not that other bands don't do the same but one thing that we really strive for is to impress audiences and hopefully stand out.
You mentioned the European tour with Thy Art Is Murder coming up, so when you found out about that what was the reaction like and could you believe it when you first heard about it?
Oh man, it was pretty phenomenal. You know it was kind of interesting, we were just talking with Ash the night before the news broke and he was like "I've been talking with one of the guys from Thy Art" and he said that they really liked us and what we were doing and that they'd love to take us overseas if they could. The next morning I woke up to this email from Avocado Bookings that just said "Hey, did you guys want to come and to this tour?" and I was just like "Oh my god!" our bass player was calling up everyone and asking us if we'd seen it yet. We were losing our minds. So yeah, we were pretty effing stoked to land that one.
You guys just got announced for Invasion Fest again, so that's something else to look forward to isn't it?
Yeah actually, that's going to be really cool. This will be our trifecta, we'll be completing our third consecutive Invasion Fest. We're really keen to make this one count. Our drummers first ever show with us was actually our first Invasion Fest, so it was always going to have a bit of a soft spot in our hearts. We're really excited for this one so we can just have a blast and make it a phenomenal show for everyone involved and have as much fun as we can.
Congratulations are also in order for your #37 ranking on the ARIA Album Charts, that's an amazing achievement. Were you guys stoked on landing that position?
There was a bit of disbelief from some of us, like that's just not even heard of really or at least it wasn't until recent when bands like us could actually make the ARIA Charts with the style of music that we play. It's amazing for bands like us to be able to jump in there and leave our mark on the mainstream side of things. But we're so excited that we were able to get that far with us being a bit of an underground band and also to play heavy music and get recognised is great for us. We were pretty shocked and stoked, I mean we would have been happy with #50 or anything higher, but to get #37 is just amazing.
Very good. Any words for those readers that may want to head out and see Justice For The Damned on your upcoming tour?
Get excited because we're really going to be putting a lot of effort into these shows and we really hope that people decide to come out and enjoy the vibes. We're going to try and smash it and you won't regret rocking up to one of our shows at all, trust me. Also, special thanks to the fans that have supported us along the way, old and new, we really appreciate it.
Dragged Through The Dirt is out now via Greyscale Records. You can purchase it HERE or on iTunes, it's also available to stream on Spotify.
Written by Steve Jenkins
Check out their music video for the track 'Dragged Through The Dirt' below:
w/ Hindsight, Staunch, and Honest Crooks
FRIDAY SEPTEMBER 1 - YMCA HQ, Perth AA*
SATURDAY SEPTEMBER 2 - Amplifier Bar, Perth 18+*
FRIDAY SEPTEMBER 15 - Crowbar, Brisbane 18+
SATURDAY SEPTEMBER 16 - Hamilton Station Hotel, Newcastle 18+
SUNDAY SEPTEMBER 17 Red Rattler, Sydney Lic AA
MONDAY SEPTEMBER 18 - RAD Bar, Wollongong Lic AA
FRIDAY SEPTEMBER 22 - Enigma Bar, Adelaide Lic AA
SUNDAY SEPTEMBER 24 - Phoenix Youth Centre, Melbourne AA
* Justice For The Damned only