For months now, Sydney crew Justice For The Damned have been keeping us busy with a string of singles, while they add the final touches on their debut album. On Friday, August 11, they’ll once and for all be presenting to us their Dragged Through The Dirt, in all it’s brutal glory.
Encased within the bone-chattering wall of heavy metal, Dragged Through The Dirt contains a personal and emotional narrative – a mushy centre as it were – or as vocalist Nick Adams explained upon announce, “A raw expression of total despair.”
We spoke with Nick to dissect things even further.
The Neversphere: ‘Anticipated debut album’ is something I read a lot in press releases. But being involved in the local scene, I can confirm the anticipation this time. It must be a buzz for you guys to finally be getting this out…
Nick: Oh man, it’s so exciting. It’s been push back a bit so we’re all just ravenous for people to hear it. With artwork and some other stuff being finalised, it got pushed back a couple of months from what we originally hoped. By the end of it we were counting down the days. One of the guys lived with me and we’d come home and say to each other ‘Four days now, man…just four days.’ We’ve been dying…bursting at the seams to get it out. The fact that it’s finally popping, and people are going to start hearing it; it’s just exciting.
The Neversphere: What caused the delay? Was it a creative thing or a boring industry thing?
Nick: Honestly, nothing too boring, nothing too creative. We recorded the album just under a year ago so all the mixing, mastering and audio was done, very well I should add, about several months after. The biggest delay for us was the vinyl release. That takes a long time, those things. Thankfully everything else was smooth, we’ve had a good team behind us to help.
The Neversphere: What’s it like listening to your creative output a year after you actually created it? People can change so much in that space of time.
Nick: Definitely. One song was written two years ago. I’ve gone through different stages of listening to it since the months we’ve recorded it. There was a stage, to be quite honest, where I fully hated it and just thought it was going to flop. At some point, I sat there and thought ‘Maybe we should have pushed for this different sound’ or ‘Maybe we should have this added song that we had sitting here…’ Maybe it helps to have it in the view of the public, with people listening to it and commenting on what they’ve heard already, now I listen to it and I think it’s great; it’s a great representation of where we were at at the time.
The Neversphere: You released a quote where you revealed a lot of the songs on the album were written at your lowest points. How does it feel knowing you’re about to expose these low points to the masses upon release day?
Nick: On the small scale, when it came to showing the guys for the first time I found it was really nerve wracking. You almost get embarrassed. I’ve always thought if that’s how you feel then you’re on the right track, you’re onto something real. But, when it comes to releasing it to the world, I am nervous…But more that nervous, it’s exciting at the moment.
One thing I feel at least, that does attract people to our band is they’re able to resonate in some way with what we put down. They can come to shows and let it out too. It feels like I’m sharing more than I am exposing, and I think it’s going to be good to share. If people take something from it, that’s really the goal. I really hope there’s something for everyone whatever it may be. Although it’s written with specific stories in mind, we really hope that doesn’t stop people from taking whatever it is they want from the lyrics.
The Neversphere: You recently dropped It Will Always Be My Fault. That thing is about as subtle as track smashing through the front of your house but it’s also super eclectic. I get the vibe you all listen to different types of heavy music and probably argue, well “debate” about it all the time…
Nick: That is totally accurate. Everyone has some pretty varying taste in heavy stuff. We all have a different favourite song but when it comes down to it, we all know what the vision is. To an extent, we all appreciate the more grinder and heavier side of heavy music. We also love stuff that’s not that. The vision for us will be to get what we love out of that, and present it in our own way.
A lot of that anger for me as a songwriter, when I work on riffs, that’s when I let out the more ferocious feelings. When it comes to lyrics, it’s much more vulnerable. Different thought processes, different emotional processes. At the end of the day, it wasn’t so much to be angry, but to say this is how I’m feeling. I don’t understand it and I want to sing about it. A lot of the lyrics are written at the precise moment something is going down. If we’re not writing what’s in our heart, how can we expect people to feel it in their own, you know?
The Neversphere: You have some shows coming up in Australia supporting Ocean Grove, then a batch in the US with Thy Art Is Murder. I don’t want to freak you out but there’s not a small venue on this list…
Nick: I think the smallest one is 400+. It’s a buzz. The day we found out about those dates it was extraordinary. Our bass player just started calling everyone up. He was all teary. It was overwhelming to think about! There’s always a stage when you get offered something big, there’s this gap before people know about it, and it feels like it’s not going to happen. I can speak for a lot of the guys when I say it doesn’t feel real until you see that flyer out there.
Me and our drummer Chas, we were sitting together and started discussing the realities of what we’re expecting to see over there. We got so wild and so buzzed. Like, fuck…
…We just want it to happen tomorrow.
Justice For The Damned Australian Tour Dates
Supporting Ocean Grove
Tickets available now
Friday, August 4
Wooly Mammoth, Brisbane
Saturday, August 5
Oxford Art Factory, Sydney
Friday, August 11
Fowler Live, Adelaide
Saturday, August 12 – SOLD OUT
Corner Hotel, Melbourne