Exclusive Interview: Rough Justice talk “Faith In Vain”!

Sheffield Hardcore heroes Rough Justice finally released their long awaited (and highly anticipated) debut album “Faith In Vain” on 12th January and it’s an absolute blast. They have a February tour with Malevolence and Pain of Truth on the horizon but were generous enough to take some time out from their busy rehearsal schedule to talk to us about the new record. So what’s it all about?

It’s been five years since your 2019 EP “Hell Is Other People” so does it feel like a weight off the shoulders to finally have debut album “Faith In Vain” released? Does the album feel like something of a labour of love at this point? “It definitely feels great to have it out, but I wouldn’t say it’s a weight off. We always write music for fun and don’t tend to work to any specific deadlines as we feel that putting pressure on ourselves in that way would make the process less enjoyable. I think calling the record a labour of love is more accurate. This whole project has really inspired us all and we’re already getting ideas together for more material.”

The album as more involved guitar work than your previous record as well as embracing a clean sung chorus on the title track; how did you go about striking a balance between evolving and experimenting while at the same time not pushing things so far as to move away from your Metallic Hardcore core sound? “I don’t think we ever had a conversation about balancing any aspects of our sound. We all have a really good idea of what a Rough Justice song should sound like because we’ve been writing music together for so long. The song Faith In Vain didn’t feel like too much of an experiment for us really – we had some clean vocals in our last release and it’s a bit of a continuation of that, I guess. We’re such huge music fans and all love songs with big choruses and hooks so it all happened very naturally”

We always say that even in the digital age, the first bite is with the eye, so who was behind the artwork of “Faith In Vain“? How did you go about choosing it and what do you feel it says about the project? “Adam Burke (@nighjarillustration) did the artwork and we’re so happy with what he produced. We gave him the album title and a bit about what the title track was about and let him do his thing. The song itself is about Elliot’s Christian upbringing and his resentment towards it as he grew up and I feel like the artwork captures these themes. We especially love the red bloodtrail going across the artwork that seems to represent the ‘crimson stream’ mentioned in the song.”

If we’re the product of our genes and our influences, who are your influences and what are in your Jeans? “This is a tough one to answer. When we first started the band we had a really clear set of influences with bands like Bad Seed, Dead End Path, Foundation and Incendiary really having an impact on us. However, now I don’t really know if we sound like any of those bands and I’d like to think there isn’t much else that does. We’re always really inspired by our peers and what everyone else in the UKHC scene is doing. There’s so many incredible bands from various regional scenes in the UK doing amazing things and that definitely influences and keeps us inspired. You can’t really talk about hardcore in the UK at the moment without mentioning the Glasgow scene – all the GHC bands are amazing and it’s very exciting to see what they’re doing up there. In terms of what’s in our jeans, it’s our legs.”

What are your aspirations? Where do you see yourselves in the next five years? Touring Europe with bands like Deez Nuts, Kublai Khan or Lionheart? Appearing on the cover of Metal Hammer Magazine? Releasing a signature guitar model with someone like Carillion or simply to be full time musicians? “We’d love to play some shows in Europe in 2024. That’s always been a goal for us. I think we’re just going to continue what we’ve always done, hopefully with less time between releases this time! There’s a great scene in Sheffield at the minute with a few good venues like the Lughole and promoters like Busy Bodies doing their part to keep it going. I hope we can play a small part in getting more young people in the area into hardcore so it can keep on growing”

What’s next for Rough Justice? “We’re on tour in February with Malevolence and Pain of Truth from Long Island. It’s going to be sick. There’s also a hometown release show in the works for Faith In Vain, so keep and eye out for that…”

02/02 Stoke, Sugarmill
02/03 Cardiff, Tramshed
02/04 Brighton, Concord
02/05 Wolverhampton, KK’s Steel Mill
02/06 Colchester, Arts Centre
02/08 Norwich, Epic Studios
02/09 Newcastle, Students Union
02/10 Leeds, Beckett University
02/11 Nottingham, Rescue Rooms
02/12 Liverpool, Academy
02/13 Edinburgh, La Belle Angele

Faith In Vain” by Rough Justice was released on 12th January 2024 via MLVLTD

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