I’m here with Matt Rogers (guitarist) of Deez Nuts at Groezrock Festival in Belgium.
So, the band’s based in Australia?
Half of. Me and the drummer are from New York city, but it’s based in Australia, Melbourne. Half of us live in NY and half of us live in Melbourne.
How’s that work then?
We’re on tour, 10 months a year.
You yourself, are originally from NY then?
Born and raised, and I still live in NY.
What’s the best and worst part about living there?
The best part is everything and the worst part is nothing. It’s the best city in the world. Live here til I die.
Would you ever live anywhere else?
I would live in Melbourne, but anywhere else nah, fuck that.
How did the band originally form?
JJ our singer started it as a joke and recorded an EP. He did everything. Two albums were all written and recorded just by him and he was doing that and it just started taking off. I was in a band touring with Deez Nuts and I hit it off with JJ and we wrote the new album and that’s it. It’s been a steady line up for the last 4 years. It used to be fill ins all the time, like whoever gets to do it, but now it’s all settled. We recently got a new bass player but he’s gonna stick with us for a while.
Growing up, did you always want to be in a band?
Yeah, always. I dunno, its hard to explain. If you’re in a position, you can’t compare it to anything really. I get paid to see the world, that’s insane! Coming from playing the shittest bars.
When on tour, do you get time to chill out and see places?
Yeah, well the first couple of times, I would always make sure I’d went and seen everything. But I’ve been here like 13 times and every time I come it’s 5-6 weeks. Sometimes it gets so boring sitting at the venue all day and a lot of times you’ll be touring with dudes who have done it that many times as well, but there’s always that new band who hasn’t been here yet, so you’re like excited to show them and that lights a fire under your ass. On this tour we’ve been doing some cool shit, cause i’m just getting tired of sitting around. I’ve been going and checking out city centres and shit, like old churches, shit that looks sick, old ass beer houses. It’s been real cool.
What would you say the best ever show you’ve played has been so far?
We’ve played so many! every show, they just keep getting better and better you know what I mean. Well, our best show we ever played was last summer with Fullforce, we played to like 35,000 people. It was crazy. Nothing’s beat that yet, but I get the same feeling whether I’m playing to 100 kids or 40,000 kids. I don’t give a fuck about who’s watching me, I just give a fuck about what I’m playing.
When did you first start playing guitar then?
I’ve been playing guitar for 14 years now.
Is there anyone you look up to as a musician?
I think Slash (Guns N’ Roses) is the man. I mean, any guitarist that is sick, I’ll be like “Oh, that guitarist is sick” but I don’t have any guitar idols.
Describe your music in 3 words.
Party, friendship and horny.
What do you think about weed being legal in some states in the US?
It’s not legal in NY yet so when I go to California and all my boys out there have their bongs n shit it’s sick. It’s amazing, but whatever, whether it’s illegal or legal I’ll still smoke it. I don’t give a fuck. I don’t think it will ever be legal in NY because they make so much money off the crime side of it. It’ll never happen. I mean maybe it will, but I don’t think it will. That could be ignorance as well, but I wish it was legal everywhere, I do. But even if it’s legal it’s like then they’re gonna tax it and whatever. I don’t really think about that much, like I don’t care.
Looking forward to seeing any bands today here at Groezrock?
Every band today is insane. Like Terror and Madball. Madball are the best hardcore band. H2O, I have a H2O tattoo. Fucking Alkaline Trio is one of my favourite bands of all time. Saves The Day I grew up on. The Lawrence Arms, NOFX, Ignite are all so sick, every band today! Taking Back Sunday even, they don’t have one bad record, they are flawless. Wherever they record their records, their records sound flawless. I’m excited to see a lot of people today.
Your band has been together for a while now. Do you have any lessons you’ve learnt along the way, that you could share with us?
Yeah I learnt a lot of shit. I had my heart broken twice. Fucking lost everything I loved really to do this shit, but with doing that I’ve focused more on the band and the band is getting to a nice successful point where I’m chilling and my personal life is getting really good again. So whether I’d be in a band or not, I’m learning every day. I’m only in my mid 20’s. I’m only 26, like, I don’t know shit yet. But I’ve been touring for 10 years straight and I’ve been happy, I’ve been fucking miserable, like at the end of my rope and now I’m the happiest I could ever be with the band, with my life at home, with everything. So it’s good and I think it’s cause I stuck it through, you know what I mean? Like I coulda quit easily and I wouldn’t fault that, but it takes a certain type of person.
If you weren’t in a band, could you imagine yourself doing anything else?
I’d probably be doing bullshit construction jobs, like working for NY city, being a firefighter or some shit. I’d have a boring ass life, I’d hate it. I’ve already had the taste, I can’t let go of it. Even when it’s hard, you look back at it and those were the funnest times of my life. It’s hard to explain.
Interview by Kaori Manz.
For further information on Deez Nuts, check out…
— LIVE DATES —
10th August, 2014 – The Oobleck, Birmingham (UK)
11th August, 2014 – The Garage, London (UK)
12th August, 2014 – Clwb Ifor Bach, Cardiff (UK)
13th August, 2014 – The Borderline, London (UK)
15th August, 2014 – Hevy Festival, Kent (UK)