What started off as a 1-man army hell-bent on fusing the greatest elements from both hip hop and hardcore has now become a globe-trotting force that has since proven itself unstoppable. Deez Nuts have recently added another absolute weapon of an album to their arsenal – fourth album Bout It – and we caught up with the man behind the cause, J.J. Peters, to get his version of events.
Deez Nuts first took form on the 2007 6-tracker EP Rep Your Hood. Fast forward to 2013 and the band are now up to album number 4, with enough road hours under their belt to intimidate even the most veteran rockers. But did Peters ever expect his DIY ghettocore experiment to take off like this?
“Nah, not at all. I had no intention other than to put some stuff up, see what people thought and show it to my mates – just a bit of fun. It was just another creative outlet. I never expected anything this big would happen. Everything started snowballing after the EP started touring nationally. Now we can go to any country in the world pretty much and pull a big crowd and they love it. Anything can happen after this point because I never planned on it getting here!”
Now with a fan base that spans most of the planet, who all expect a certain level of awesomeness from Peters, we got chatting about the new album and how the final results on Bout It resonated with the frontman.
“I guess, for me, it’s just a Deez Nuts album, but I feel it shows a lot of progression – a lot tighter, a more aggressive take on what we’ve done in the past – because it was recorded with a full band for the first time rather than just me doing it all on my own. Now we’ve got a full-time line-up it means we get the most of these guys and their skills involved with the writing process.”
Those who have been following the band for some time will be familiar with the very simple credit list on releases, detailing just one name for all instruments. No doubt sharing the responsibility was a change of pace for J.J. but by all accounts it seems to have been a good move.
“Nah, it’s good, man. It’s a much healthier writing process. I did enjoy doing it all on my own with the earlier albums, being able to do everything my way and stuff. I guess that came from being in a band with so many people who are…not pushy…but everyone was always throwing their ideas around, so for me to be able to step back and do something different, and do it on my own, was great. But then, a few albums later, it was really refreshing to do things in a more traditional way and, like I said, use their knowledge and their skills.“
Handling the vocals himself, Peters is now joined by Matt ‘Realbad’ Rogers on guitar, Jon Green on bass and Alex Salinger on the sticks. But as much as it might be a dream line-up, it was far less by design than you may think.
“It just kinda happened without me intentionally doing anything. Fuck, I couldn’t tell you how many people have played in the band – probably 30 or so over the last few years – but over the last couple of years people started sticking around and once we had the 4 it just clicked live, and clicked again when we were writing, and it just made sense. It started to feel like a full line-up, you know?”
Now that he’s getting the full band experience from Deez Nuts, it puts Peters in the rare position of having experienced life in 2 internationally praised bands; though, as he explains, there can be no comparison between the two other than his involvement.
“It’s not necessarily that I prefer either position. It’s more a thing of I achieved everything I wanted to with Prom Queen because I was in that band for over a decade. It’s more because it’s newer and it’s fresher for me. Building this from the ground up is more exciting for me.”
Kicking off the year with a brand-new album and a run of tour dates suggests that Deez Nuts have a lot of shit to get done in 2013 and, judging by his answer to whether or not Deez Nuts will be slowing down any time soon, anyone who thinks it will be any different for J.J. Peters in 2014, 2015 and probably 2016 are sorely mistaken.
“Nah, man, I don’t think so. I’d like to think this album is a good thing for the band. We’re always given touring opportunities and we’re starting to make more of an impression in South-East Asia and always touring Australia once or twice a year, so I can’t really see us slowing down.”
‘Bout It’ is available now – keep an eye out for tour dates in the near future.