Comprised of a veteran team of hardcore lifers, the members of Sheffield-based Rough Justice embody the notion of passion project. Maintaining their rank as advocates of the sound and culture while putting on their city, the band has earned a unique kind of longevity. While the band's output might be less frequent, their catalog is uncompromising. A potent meld of hardcore confrontation and metallic instrumentation - Rough Justice places a premium on being heavy both in style and substance.
Some three years since their last release in Hell Is Other People, the momentum of Rough Justice has been hindered by time and circumstance and yet the band remains as relevant as ever - with those in the know waiting with bated breath for the band's next move. While the rise of Malevolence has become a priority,(Josh Baines plays an integral part of both outfits), Rough Justice continues to be a crucial creative outlet that allows the band champion their hardcore roots - remaining the regional heroes that thrive as underground heroes with more than a decade of tenure to show for it.
Ahead of the band's confirmed appearance at Pulse of the Maggots in Birmingham, vocalist James Tippett explains how being sincere in their music is an important part of their enduring shelf life. He also explains how the diversity of home has helped mold their identity and reveals that something new is Rough Justice is in the works.
Sheffield is important in terms of the landscape of heavy music. How important is home for you as a band and how has that helped shape your identity?
Tippett - We’re very lucky to have grown up with such a great alternative music scene with such incredible people around us. I feel like a lot of Sheffield bands have always been hard to label in terms of genre, and Malevolence are a perfect example of that. But bands like Arctic Monkeys and While She Sleeps were also doing something different when they first started out. We’d like to think that we also bring something different to the table. I think our sound is very Sheffield in the sense that it doesn’t really sound like anyone else. Sheffield bands also famously have great lyrics and we take a lot of pride in that aspect of songwriting too.
The modern era of hardcore and metal are much more inclusive then they have ever been. What about a band like Rough Justice works on both a hardcore show and on a metal show?
Tippett - I fully agree and always love it when you see a few bands touring together that you might not have expected. We all love hardcore, metal and alternative music in general so tend to draw influence from it all. This has worked in our favour because we’ve been able to play with a cool mix of bands over the years.
The band has been active for a decade but it seems as though your 2019 release ‘Hell Is Other People’ was a turning point for the band. Do you feel like that particular release was the most indicative of what Rough Justice was always intended to be?
Tippett - I’m not sure to be completely honest. There was about a five year gap between 'Hell Is Other People' and the previous release so it felt like it was us reintroducing ourselves in a way.
Rough Justice is a source of fun for us all and, sorry to be cliche, a bit of an outlet too, so putting deadlines on things would take the fun out of it a bit. We all agree that doing things naturally and in our own time will produce something more organic and exciting. I guess in that sense the release is indicative of what we’re supposed to be! The three songs on the EP are all quite personal lyrically and express a lot of feelings that were pent up over time and I feel like that’s something we’re taking into the next release.
Pulse of the Maggots is about diversity and discovery. What kind of value do you put on being included on this showcase?
Tippett - We massively appreciate being part of a line up like this. Like we said earlier, we love a mixed bill and can’t wait to play! Playing live is just one of the best things you can do as a band in our opinion, so we’re very excited to be back in Birmingham after such a long time.
For fans just discovering your band - what can they expect from your live show come August 10th?
Tippett - Energy and honesty. We’re not a fan of gimmicks so what you see is what you get - just five lads from Sheffield having a great time playing some riffs! We’re currently recording for a new release so expect a new song, or two.
Rough Justice takes the stage at Pulse of the Maggots Birmingham on August 10th.