Latest release: ‘Bout It (UNFD/Warner)
When Loud interviewed Freddie Cricien from Madball recently, he couldn’t find enough good things to say about Deez Nuts, giving them enormous props for carving out their own path in a crowded field. Comments like his are music to the ears of group founder JJ Peters.
“It’s awesome when people that you respect and admire are saying good things about what you do,” he says. “Freddie’s a good guy, we’ve toured together and he’s a guy that I’ve looked up so to hear him say stuff like that, it’s just a great feeling.”
Deez Nuts don’t always receive such plaudits of course. Many critics, including some people who work on this site, have been less than accommodating towards the band’s often crass mix of hardcore and hip hop. But any level of vitriol is nothing new to Peters, whose former band I Killed the Prom Queen once drove nine hours straight to perform at Metal for the Brain only to get bottles of piss thrown at them from unappreciative punters.
“I really don’t give a shit what critics have to say about us,” Peters says. “I’m doing this because it’s something that I like to do. I’ve never really cared if nobody likes it, but of course it’s great when people do!”
Peters’ crew certainly do have their fans, who pushed ‘Bout It into the Top 40 when it was released last month. Originally a one-off solo project for him when Prom Queen first wound up in 2008, Deez Nuts has now become a full-time concern, a complete band line-up with membership that spans two countries. Peters admits that the make-up of Deez Nuts is a two-edged sword for him – he can concentrate on the raps and the concepts while the other guys take care of the music, but rehearsing for tours can be difficult.
“On the first album I did everything myself and it was a pretty time-consuming process, writing all the parts, doing the arrangements… now I can just leave that up to them,” he says, referring to New York based musicians, guitarist Matt ‘Real Bad’ Rogers and drummer Alex Salinger, and former The Red Shore bassist Jon Green, “and I can do the rhymes. It was just such a so much easier process. I was able to write this album in two weeks.”
With half the band in New York, ideas were exchanged via Skype and email; when it came to recording time, Peters and Green headed to the US and then opened the doors of the studio to a bunch of their friends including Jamey Jasta, Mark Heylmun from Suicide Silence and Architects vocalist Sam Carter, who sings on ‘Band of Brothers’, that has come to be considered by many as the album’s stand-out track. It’s a sentiment of the affinity many of these acts feel toward one another, a sense of brotherhood that was severely rocked by the death of Suicide Silence’s Mitch Lucker last year.
“That was a real tragedy, man,” Peters says soberly. “So much talent to be taken so early. It really affected a lot of people. He was such a huge talent, and we all knew him. We were friends, we toured together… it was just a real tragedy.”
Don’t expect too much gloom or downbeat reflection on life’s tragedies on ‘Bout It, however. Like previous Deez Nuts releases, it’s a record brimming with bouncing, upbeat party tunes and anthems of defiance. Now that the fans have given the album the thumbs up, Peters and his cohorts can now focus on bringing the noise to them live.
“It’s always the greatest thing, playing live,” Peters asserts. “ Watching the crowd going off, getting into it. We just can’t wait now to get back out on the road and play some shows. We just want everyone to have a good time with us!”