Anybody who has witnessed the destruction that is Jesus Piece live will attest to the fact that they leave a behemoth-sized crater in the venue. If there’s one thing that the Philly five-piece know how to do – it’s level the place.
This year, JP will release their long-awaited debut full length Only Self through Southern Lord ‘’It was a big step for us, and we scrapped a lot of stuff because we didn’t want to compromise on quality.’’ We have been treated already to the chug-laden lead single ‘Curse of the Serpent’ from the record, a straight to the point monster of a track that sets out the mission statement of the record – to crush all in its path ‘’Curse of the Serpent is reflective of the record in the sense of its heaviness, but we also wanted to step out of our comfort zone too, the record is very diverse.’’
” but we also wanted to step out of our comfort zone too, the record is very diverse.’’
Whilst Jesus Piece’s blend of metalcore, hardcore and death metal has mass crossover appeal, it is the hardcore punk community that gave them their initial platform ‘’ I think we all just liked really aggressive shit. But hardcore came with a message and a sense of community so that resonated with us the most.’’ That said, Jesus Piece emphasise that hardcore is a spirit – not a sound ‘’Although you gotta show love and respect to the pioneers, hardcore is not about how it sounds, it’s about mindset and how you handle yourself. We as a band have a lot of love for those who push the boundaries.’’
We discuss the culture of abstinence and morals around hardcore, particularly in regard to the ever growing Vegan Straight Edge movement ‘’All of us respect the ideals and a couple of us identify with the Vegan Straight Edge. Being vegan is beneficial to the world, animals, and yourself. Straight edge is just a personal choice. No lifestyle should be pushed on anyone, but everyone should have access to education.’’ To be certain, Jesus Piece have always been vocal about social issues. We discuss representation of people of colour in hardcore ‘’As far as representing minorities in hardcore, I think there will always need more work done. Nothing in this world will be perfect. On the other hand, there’s a lot of improvement and effort. People who were always on the back burner are now stepping up more than ever and letting everyone know what’s good.
“As far as representing minorities in hardcore, I think there will always need more work done…”
The final topic we cover is mental health. Hardcore is a therapy for so many who need an outlet, and Jesus Piece fully embrace this notion. ‘’Being able to play instruments and let feelings out in a healthy outlet like music is truly a blessing. It’s amazing that sounds can uplift you or just make you wanna dance. My advice to anyone struggling with depression is to take things day by day, moment by moment. The future does not exist and the past is the past. It’s okay to have emotions and to feel things. Everyone is human just like you, and no one is superior in the sense that they don’t have insecurities or hurt. Try and accept who you are and where you are in life, take a deep breath and work from there. Things take time and effort.
Jesus Piece release Only Self August 24th through Southern Lord. The band will also play Outbreak Festival this weekend in Leeds.