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Love Letter To A Record: FANGZ’ Jameel Majam On Grinspoon’s ‘New Detention’

Written by Jameel Majam on February 16, 2020

Many of us can link a certain album to pivotal moments in our lives. Whether it’s the first record you bought with your own money, the chord you first learnt to play on guitar, the song that soundtracked your first kiss, the album that got you those awkward and painful pubescent years or the one that set off light bulbs in your brain and inspired you to take a big leap of faith into the unknown – music is often the catalyst for change in our lives and can even help shape who we become.

In this series, Music Feeds asks artists to reflect on their relationship with music and share with us stories about the effect music has had on their lives.

Jameel Majam, Fangz: Grinspoon – New Detention (2002)

The year was 2005 and my best friend Marc came up to me in the playground at Barrenjoey High School and uttered the five words that would change my life – “Oi wanna come to Grinners?”

Not knowing who “Grinners” were I said “hell yeah of course dude” and went home to ask my older brother and his girlfriend about them. I was then gifted the Grinspoon record that would turn this nerdy, Indian boy growing up on the Northern Beaches into an angsty teen that wanted nothing more than a moshpit and a place to belong. That record was you New Detention and this is my love letter to you, the CD my dad had to listen to everyday as he drove me to school.

Although I discovered Grinspoon around the Thrills Kills + Sunday Pills era, something about you had me hooked straight away. I think my love for you lies somewhere between the subtlety of things I could identify with, such as the school bell in ‘Anyday Anyhow’, the way my hormonal body wanted to break things during ‘1000 Miles’ and my slightly woe-is-me emo self-felt comforted by ‘No Reason’.

The last six months of 2019 had FANGZ touring quite extensively, as well as trying to write our next release. We covered ‘Lost Control’ for a majority of shows and I can honestly say nothing goes down better when you’re on tour with Gyroscope and playing in Frankston.

It was also really refreshing to listen to you as we drove up and down the Hume and Pacific Highways and realising your diversity means you still hold up, eighteen years later.

Your ability to have heavy verses with guitars that are crunchier than cornflakes, that lead to choruses with pop hooks and melody inspires me. I feel it’s so evident in your often-overlooked gem ‘Gone Tomorrow’. I know many old school Grinners fans (the type that just yell for ‘DC3’ at shows) were more into ‘Killswitch’ and ‘Boltcutter’ than ‘Chemical Heart’ but I will always love that song. It was the first and last real song I learnt to play on drums before deciding it was all too hard and changing to bass. There was a lot of backlash to the ballad, but not from this guy. I always had your back and was right at the front last year at the Horden Pavilion screaming every word back to Phil.

You’ve helped me so much through breakups, getting teased in PE, driving 1000 miles on tour and I even crashed my first car listening to you. I guess what I’m saying is, New Detention, is if it wasn’t for you, I might have become the doctor or lawyer my parents always dreamed of. Instead I’m now an inner-west dwelling musician trying his hardest to write a song as good as any of the ones in your tracklisting.

New Detention, I need you to see that you’re the one for me *bass slide*.

Love,

Jameel

Following on releasing their debut EP For Nothing last year, Sydney-based punk-rock quartet FANGZ have just revealed their vehement new single ‘Falling Out’, produced by Stevie Knight (Yours Truly, Stand Atlantic, The Dead Love), and mixed by James Paul Wisner (Hands Like Houses, Underoath).

It’s an unrelenting punk rock scorcher with snarling ‘tude and a turn-it-up car radio chorus, which the band says is all about “turning a negative into a positive”.

“It follows the story of Josh leaving home in Nova Scotia, Canada, and illegally hitching a train to Toronto to start a better life playing in bands and following his dreams which eventually lead him to Sydney, Australia,” they explain.

To celebrate the release, the FANGZ lads will be performing a double whammy of tour dates in Melbourne and Brisbane (you already missed Sydney, soz).

Listen to ‘Falling Out’ — and catch all the live deets — below!

https://music.youtube.com/playlist?list=OLAK5uy_mFNy_uX5jReMqivBf-WGyJTSoBL3Qgf5s

FANGZ – FALLING OUT TOUR DATES

FRIDAY, 21ST FEBRUARY
THE GASOMETER UPSTAIRS, MELBOURNE

SATURDAY, 29TH FEBRUARY
GREASER BAR, BRISBANE

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