In November 2016 I flew to Sydney a few mates from the band Rebirth. “HARDCORE 2016”, one of the biggest shows in Sydney and probably the area around happened there. My expectations were not that high, because the line up was‘nt the best and a fence in front of the stage killed every feeling of an Punk or Hardcore Show Anyway, we had a good day and met a couple of cool dudes. Pretty much in the middle of the lineup, a band called Nerve Damage entered the stage. Never heard of them before, so let‘s see what happens. Vocalist jumped over the fucking fence and stood on the floor in front of us. As soon as they started to play I was completly into it. Fast, energic and full of hate! Perfect! The 86 Mentality cover “Blood Red Violence” was my personel highlight of this day. I had a good conversation with the vocalist afterwards too. This band from Queensland is definitely worth checking. Shaun/Shallen/Shall (whatever it is people call him) talks about his band Nerve Damage : Intro-short verse-outro, thats it!
Yo, when and how did Nerve Damage come together, what are you doing next to all the band stuff and who came up with the idea to start a band like this?
I guess this band kinda came together after the demise of another band we were all playing in (OCD, there’s a video on youtube of our one and only show if you have 10 minutes free). Our singer jetted off overseas so we re-shuffled the line up, I started singing, and we stripped back the style a little. The idea was to do a band that wasn’t flat out, or tinged with power violence structure/speeds as all the bands we were doing prior ended up being just that. I think we are now up to 9 members. We are all spread out from Brisbane to Sydney, and all busy with real life. We try to have a six piece for every show but sometimes only 4 of us can make it happen. Shows are generally few and far between at the moment, and a good excuse for us all to hang out.
At the beginning of last year, you released a 2-Song Demo called “introduce reality” and in May another split-tape with Manhunt. Why is it called “Close The Gap” ? Why you chose this band to do a split-release?
2 songs and a negative approach cover ha. Alix and Jackson who were doing manhunt approached me in regards to doing a split for National Close the Gap day,(a day to raise awareness about the gap between Indigenous and non Indigenous Australians health and life expectancy). (I also urge everyone to familiarise themselves with Oxfam’s close the gap campaign and do anything they can to contribute/spread the word). Being part Indigenous myself I jumped at the idea. Owen who wasn’t in the band at the time and Jackson from Manhunt wrote/recorded the song with me playing bass and we picked a cover on the spot for the release. All done in a quick few hours in a rehearsal space in Brisbane.
In November 2016, ND released their latest EP “Never Healed”. Is it a self-release or are you guys working together with a label? What can we expect in the year 2017, maybe another EP or a LP?
I guess it was a self release of sorts, we recorded 9 songs and two covers back at the end of 2015 and were never really financial/or an actual full time band to press the songs. So after sitting on them for a year, I figured we just get half of them up online, make another tape release with them. I’m planning on doing the same with the remainder of those songs in the coming months. After that, we’ve discussed the idea of doing a 7” by the end of the year with new material. I’m not opposed to working with a label, but we don’t really hustle and don’t expect anyone to part with their money to put our songs out!Describe the sound of the band in few words!
Intro – short verse – outro.
You are from Queensland, how is the local scene in your town?
I guess right now, the crust punk side of things is doing really great. There’s a good crew of punks, continually putting on shows/starting bands/helping each other out. Shows here on the Gold Coast died out long ago; I feel the last stopped with the demise of our Shed practice space. RIP Sams Shed! I guess all things come in waves, but hardcore in QLD has been in a slight slump for a little while now. Brisbane seems to have the last of the shows these days, but venues are hard to come by. And getting a crowd to a hardcore show without a big venue/touring band/some young band with a manager and great march is proving to be difficult. I can be that old jaded guy, but I know that it will change. Between the 10 kids who pass through hardcore as a trend, there is 2/3 who stick it out, start bands and give it all they have.
Never healed… well, just like the chorus, “I never healed right”. I most definitely got up and got on with it, healed whatever wounds were created; but I guess life changes all of us. Give me dirt… bury me, I am part of the human disease.
If you had the chance to change something in your current scene, what would you do?
I guess I’d just want to encourage more people to start bands and have their voices heard. I’ve been lucky enough to see a lot of the world by playing in shitty bands or helping out with friends bands. It’s a good little thing we have going on. And the opportunities are there if you aren’t searching for fame/money.
You were part of the “HARDCORE 2016” line up in Sydney last November. How was your weekend?
What a weekend! We were really excited to play Hardcore, we’ve all attended a few in our days, and I think maybe only one of our old bands had played once. It was just a good excuse to get together, eat funky pies, jump off some things into the water and see some of the best current bands going in Australia.
You played a 86 Mentality cover (Blood Red Violence) and on your demo is Negative Approach cover too, why did you choose these bands?
Add to that.. In Cold Blood, Circle Jerks, Void, Infest, Warzone… These are all bands that get me psyched and wanting to let loose. I just hope other people get the same feelings.
Any last words? Is there anything else you’d like to add to this interview?
Thanks to anyone who has shown any interest in Nerve Damage. Watched us play, bought a tape, thrown a drink at me. Whatever it is. As I get older and feel like I should be getting “over it”, but hardcore seems to mean more and more to me. I really hope everyone starts a band, lets loose and doesn’t give a fuck about what anyone has to say about them going for it. If you’ve got a voice and something to say; yell it in their faces and make yourself heard.
Based in Melbourne, Australia.