Deez Nuts have been tearing up the world from top to bottom. Whether on main stage festivals or sweaty clubs, the band has been spreading their own brand of hardcore inspired by hip-hop and alcohol for seven years. The group has recently been put on Soundwave Festival 2014. Killyourstereo.com spoke with lead singer JJ Peters about the tour and their recent album as well as the local music scene.
So JJ, how have your holidays been?
My holidays have been great, I spent half of it in Germany, spent Christmas over there and then came back to see friends and family over the New Years so it’s been good.
Oh very nice. We’re you in Germany for business or pleasure?
Business and pleasure really. Finished up a month long tour with Obey the Brave and Stray From The Path then did Eastern Europe with Madball and Your Demise. I spent Christmas in Germany as I just had a little girl over there.
Oh wow, congratulations! How were the tours?
The tours were amazing. Mainland Europe and UK was incredible, really exceeded all expectations. Easter Europe was really great too. Got to play places we’ve never been like Serbia and Bosnia and some pretty remote locations. The shows were huge and the kids went crazy! So it was pretty successful all round.
Very good to hear all that. We’ll now jump a bit closer to home. Soundwave. The line-up is beyond huge, so you have to be excited for this one?
I’m feeling very good about it. We’ve been waiting for this offer for a few years now and to finally get it, we’re very excited. And as per usual the line-up is fucking huge with a million amazing bands playing. Keen to play with with some friends and see some bands I’ve never seen before. It’s all very exciting.
The amount of Australian bands on this years bill really surprised me to be honest. It’s not a lot but the fact that we’re seeing more and more slowly get on. I mean AJ never really goes for Australian bands, which is understandable but what’s you’re take on it?
I think it’s great. I mean, yeah it nice to get a big international lineup but since it’s an Australian festival you’d like to see as many Australian bands as possible. It’s always good to go and support the home grown talent and on top of the fact a lot of those Australian bands have a lot offer, even more-so then a lot of the international acts some would say and so it’s good to see them play alongside these other huge bands.
Yeah, I agree. It’s really great to see seeing as there’s only ever really been one or two or I think we had three last year.
Yeah exactly, it’s really great.
And even though we get to see them like twelve times a year it’s great to see locals on a huge stage level like you guys might be playing the same stage as August Burns Red?
Something of that scale is really hard to come by and it also gives these bands the opportunity to make connections. They get to meet these big bands and see them and the big bands get to see them and make a connection. And that gives them opportunities to tour, it’s a very cool thing.
Exactly, it opens so many doors for them and you guys too don’t forget. Speaking of the scale of things, has Deez Nuts ever played something like this?
In Australia nowhere near. But when we tour Europe where we are musically stronger we do festivals every summer season like we once played a headlining stage from anywhere [between] 20,000 to 85,000 people.
(laughs) So over here it’ll be very comfortable.
I don’t know we’ll pull that many, maybe but…wow. (laughs) As I said, the line-up is fucking huge so who are you most excited to be playing with? Using the term "playing" loosely.
On a selfish note I’ll enjoy seeing my friends not only because I get to play and see them, but I also get to hang out with them. I’m really excited seeing bands I’ve never seen before. Bands like Alkaline Trio I’m excited for, a band we’d never get put on a bill with (laughs).
That’s another thing entirely too with the range of bands on the line-up. You have bands like Alkaline and then pop punk bands like The Story So Far-
Just quickly, we’re all really excited for The Story So Far. Some really great guys in that band and they can throw it hard (laughs).
Well they came from the hardcore scene according to tumblr so (laughs).
(laughs) Go on mate, sorry.
What’s your opinion on it all? When Green Day was announced as headliner there was an absolute shit storm. Metal-elitists lost their shit saying "What the fuck is this? Green Day are a pop punk bands, this is a metal fest’". What do you think of things like that?
I just see it as a music festival. I see it as a good thing because you don’t want a festival where all the bands sound like we do because then it’s boring for the punters and it’s boring for us too if we have to see the same shit day after day. I’d rather be on a tour with a pop punk band and a stoner rock band and a metal band you know? I want to see diversity any where I go and anything I’m involved with. I think diversity is good everywhere. Calling it a metal festival is very closed minded and obviously Green Day is an amazing band and their a huge band so it makes sense for them to headline. It might not be my first choice but diversity is really good.
If only all punters were like that. I think that’s pretty good for Soundwave questions. I just got some queries on the album ”Bout it’. How did you receive it personally?
I’m really stoked on it and I know everyone always says this when they put out a new album, and they say it’s the best they’ve ever done obviously from a promotion perspective, but I can honestly tell you that ‘This One’s For You’ I wasn’t particularly happy with. I thought it was a lesser album than the one prior. So when I say that [‘Bout it] is our best work, I mean it. In the past everything was written and tracked solely by me. There was a lot of pressure on me and I didn’t have anyone else to bounce ideas off. Everyone in the band this time had a part in it as we have a solid line-up now. And I think that got a much cleaner and better produced album than anything we’ve dine in the past.
The lone wolf has joined the pack.
(laughs) They all do eventually.
Not only did you have more people working on it from the band but you had a tonne of guest vocals on there. It was a like a party with you and your friends.
That’s always been it right from the get go for me. From the start, that’s what this was all about to me. It was solely a project I could do with friends whether it be designing merch or artwork or mixing and producing. Guest spots especially. And they have to be friends. I would never get someone who wasn’t a close mate of mine to track on a record. If there was a part we couldn’t quite work out it’d be like "Freddie Madball" would kill it and obviously on the acoustic part for ‘Band of Brothers’ I can’t sing for shit so we had to get our mate Sam [from Architects] to sing because he sings like a fucking angel! And we’d write a part, work out who’s gonna kill it, we’d text messaged that person, they’d jump in the studio and send us their part.
What does the success you’ve achieved and all the things you’ve accomplished feel like when you’ve done it in seven years and some bands won’t get that after 15 years?
It feels amazing. The first demo was just something I did for a laugh that something my mates and I could chuck on and have a laugh too over some drinks. Anything that came after that was a blessing and it snowballed so we take it in our stride and we’ve already achieved tent items more than we’ve ever dreamed and you just gotta enjoy it while it’s happening because people might be sick of it tomorrow.
Words of wisdom. So a bit of a bigger question to end with, have you heard of a band called Woe, Is Me?
I’ve heard of them but I’ve never listened to them.
Well they’re now defunct and their ex-singer recently wrote on his blog about the American local music scene and how it seems to be pretty much dying in the arse. So many bands just want to skip playing in youth centres and all that experience and go to being a huge headliner with a Top 40 record all by week two of being a band. And I couldn’t help but think that is so relevant for here as well with so many metalcore and hardcore bands wanting to be the next Parkway or Amity Affliction without actually having to try. What’s your opinion on this whole idea?
Well to be honest, i’d be lying if I said I was in touch with [it all] because we spend the better part of the year overseas with all our tours and what not. But from what I know of it when I see local bands, I think the general idea of supporting your local scene is [still] there but there is definitely that feeling with bands that want to be on festivals or big supports straight away rather than actually doing the grassroots way like I did with Prom Queen playing to fifty people. Then you play to hundred and then you play in Melbourne and that’s just ridiculous. But I think bands will be around for a year, release an EP and if they don’t get the Parkway support they just give it up. And that’s not the way to go about it. You gotta be in it because you love plying music and anything that comes after is a bonus. You need to focus on that and not the fanfare or world wide success, you should hone in on the love of music.
I think a lot of bands can take a lot from that statement actually.
Well thank you JJ, your time has been much appreciated. Have fun at Soundwave, we wish you all the best.
You can catch Deez Nuts on all legs of the Soundwave Festival later this February and Early March.