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Deez NutsJJ Peters vocals | Matt ‘Realbad’ Rogers guitar | Sean Kennedy bass | Alex Salinger drums
Word Is Bond showcases frontman JJ Peters at his most real. It’s a short, sharp shock of pure honesty delivered in inimitable old-school style, and shouts loud and proud that Peters, guitarist Matt ‘RealBad’ Rogers, bassist Sean Kennedy and drummer Alex Salinger are here to stay.
And sure, Deez Nuts still go harder than any other motherfucker in the room but now, with ‘Word Is Bond’ – their fourth album, produced by Andrew Neufeld (Comeback Kid) and Shane Frisby (The Ghost Inside, Bury Your Dead), Peters is confronting exactly what happens when the party stops. And with a little help from his boys Drew York (Stray From The Path, who also guests on ‘Party At The Hill’) and Sam Carter (Architects), he decided to open up like never before.
“I got pigeon-holed,” states Peters plainly. “This band was not meant to be something serious, but it gained momentum as time rolled on and now I can say some shit that I really want to talk about. This album, you know what? I’m going to say what’s on my mind. This is the truest album we’ve ever put out.”
Deez Nuts have been touring the globe relentlessly since 2008 and have never taken more than a few weeks off at a time. That intensity takes its toll, and Peters found himself looking long and hard at not just who he is, but who the world thinks he is. And with this line-up of the band cemented since 2011, he felt comfortable and confident enough to lay it all out there.
“On the last album (2013’s ‘Bout It!’) the party vibe was a strong part of what DN was,” he continues, “and I know that’s what everybody was expecting, but I’m not at that time of my life. I’m growing up. I reached out to Drew and Sam and told them I wasn’t feeling it, and they told me to write from the heart about whatever the fuck is on my mind. And I listened to them rather than being what I thought I was supposed to be. And the band approached it as talented musicians who weren’t held back by having to be the four-chord party band.”
“But writing the first song was really fucking difficult. It was like breaking down a wall. But once I did that, everything came naturally.”
That song is the title track and mission statement for Word Is Bond. And throughout ‘Understand’, which packs more energy into 49 blistering seconds than most bands can muster over an entire career, and the blunt force trauma of ‘Don’t Wanna Talk About It’, the release of tension is palpable. Of the latter song, Peters is clear: you don’t know me and you never will. It’s none of your fucking business.
“I hold my head high, I get the job done and I’m an amicable person,” he explains, “but people try to relate to me on a level and they just don’t know what I’m going through.
“I’m going through real shit, shit I wouldn’t wish on anyone, and so is everyone else in the band. We’re not a bunch of fuckin’ dudes who come from privilege. You can hear this, you can feel this. And that’s because this is a passionate album. And people might sympathise and try to empathise, but they just don’t know.”
And that’s where this gets really interesting, because since their inception Deez Nuts have been a band everyone in the hardcore scene has had an opinion on, positive or negative. They – like Peters himself – were seen as caricatures, but Word Is Bond shows the truth beneath the surface. But don’t get mistaken: this is no self-indulgent opera of dull introspection; instead, this is reality rendered in tones as hard as punk can get.
“This time round, I wrote more songs about drink and drugs in a negative aspect than a positive aspect,” says Peters. “And that’s not because I’m telling people to stop what I told them to do, but it’s because where I am in my life, it’s the other side of it. I’ve done all that,” he says. “I feel that this is the one album that will turn heads that may have not been turned previously. I don’t give a fuck about haters – we traverse the globe as hedonists who have done shit to the fullest and we’ve proved ourselves time and time again – but anyone who hasn’t paid attention in the past will find something to vibe on this album.”
A major motivation for writing an album like this was the band’s desire to be able to recreate it live, hence why there are only three guest spots (from York, producer / Comeback Kid legend Andrew ‘Goose’ Neufeld and Hellions’ Dre Faivre).
“We treated ‘Bout It!’ like a rap album in the sense we wanted to have as many guest spots as possible,” Peters explains, “but when it’s us onstage we have to perform these songs on our own. So it was important for us to be able to go out there around the world and do it. I’m proud of these songs because they sound like just us.”