“I’ve Seen Ghost Cows”: 13 Questions With JJ Peters From Deez Nuts
While we’re still trying to get our ears round Deez Nuts’ latest album, You Got Me Fucked Up, the Aussie mob have been busy planning their 2020. And the biggest date in the diary so far? They’ve just been announced to play Slam Dunk festival. To celebrate, we got frontman JJ Peters on the phone to ask him 13 of the deepest, and most revealing, questions in our arsenal…
Why should people listen to your new album?
“Because it’s only going to take half an hour of their time. And if they don’t like it they never have to listen to it again, but they may actually find out that they love our new album and it actually increases their happiness and brings something new into their life that they wish they’d always had.”
What happens when we die?
“I would like to think that we reincarnate. I’m not religious at all, and I’m not particularly spiritual, but I think I’m too scared to believe that it all just ends. I take a little bit of solace in thinking that I turn into a butterfly or some shit. Obviously you want to turn into something nice — you don’t want to believe that you get reincarnated as a slug. That would be horrible! Like, you like slug it out for 80 years and do your best, and then you’re just a slug.”
What is the most illegal thing you’ve ever done?
“(Laughs) That’s a shitty question because if I actually tell you then I’m putting myself in a really bad position, but if I don’t tell you then I look like a pussy that has only gotten a parking ticket (laughs). I’ve done a lot of fucked up things in my time, and I’m not gonna put them out in the world, because I’ve got kids that can read this one day, so I’m gonna take the safe route… when we were on tour a couple of years back we pushed a brand new hatchback off of a bridge and into the river. It’s not the worst thing you can do, but it’s definitely not the best thing you can do. And if you want to watch that you can look up our old DVD called Fuck The World, it’s on YouTube. The car was just in the way of my life and I didn’t want it to be (laughs). It was in the way of us getting out of a venue, in the UK actually. We were stuck there, everybody was sick and it was towards the end of the tour. It was us, Amity Affliction, and some other bands, and we just broke into the car, took the hand break off and shoved it into the river. And we never heard of it again, until recently I think they dredged that lake and had to pull the car out with a flotation device. Somehow, none of this ever came back to bite us even though it was clearly in our DVD…”
What is your party trick?
“Drinking a whole bottle of Hennessy without throwing up. Plus we can play a game called Snaps, that me and everyone in Deez Nuts are really good at. If somebody whispers a bad name to me, I can click my fingers and somebody else in the band can guess what it is, and if we get it right the person has to buy us some drinks. And we get it every time! There’s a trick to it, but when you don’t know what that trick is, it’s quite impressive, especially to people who’ve been drinking. I’ve been doing this for many, many years, and it’s really come in handy being a poor travelling artist. This game got me through a lot of cold nights.”
How long have you worn the same underwear consecutively?
“I’m super, super, super hygienic, like, to a fault. I can’t stand that shit! When people are on tour, they say, ‘You’re on tour, it’s fine! Don’t wash! Don’t shave!’ But I can’t stand it. I will shave in a truck stop with a cup of hot water that I got from the coffee shop, I’ll take a shower if I can get it, I’ll floss before I leave my bunk… I don’t think I’ve ever worn a pair of boxers for more than two days, and that would have been excruciating for me. It really would have hurt my feelings. How do I feel being around grubby people? Half of it is awful because it makes me feel physically ill, and half of it is satisfying because I feel really good about myself (laughs).”
What’s your biggest fear?
“Obviously my biggest fear is anything happening to my children, or things of that nature, but as far as personally to me, I’m super claustrophobic. Like, it almost fuckin’ scares me to put that out into the world in case people know my Kryptonite and wanna put a bag over my head. I lose sleep thinking about people putting me in the trunk of a car, even if I’m watching a movie [and there’s a claustrophobic scene] it bothers me, and sometimes I’ll take the stairs if it’s a small elevator, I can’t! I’m claustrophobic as fuck. My dad’s claustrophobic and I think it’s just hereditary.”
What is the most disgusting thing you’ve ever eaten?
“The fact that I’ve been vegetarian my whole life, anything I consider to be super gross is meat or fish, or things I’ve not eaten anyway. It would probably be some kind of mock meat that’s been gross, like fake fish. I bought fake fish fingers for my daughter and I cooked them up and the whole house stunk of fucking fish, and my hands stunk, and it made me feel really ill, like it was the real thing. I had a try of one out of curiosity and it was disgusting, which means it probably was really good if you actually like fish, so that was probably the most disgusting. I threw them out and told her they were bad so she couldn’t have them (laughs). I couldn’t stand it being in my house.”
Have you ever seen a ghost?
“I’ve seen ghost cows! It sounds fucking ridiculous, and it’s my only ghostly experience and I swear by it. I grew up in a pretty country area, and there was a stretch of road between where I lived and the nearest gas station. Me and a friend were driving to get snacks in the middle of the night — we were pretty high, but don’t let that discourage you from believing this story. There was a bunch of cows in the middle of the road, so my friend swerved, we hit the grass on the side and spun out, and we were like, ‘Fuck, we gotta get them off the road before a car hits them and someone fuckin’ dies!’ We jumped out towards where these hundreds of cows were and there was not a single cow in sight… Not in the road, not on the paddocks. Nowhere to be seen. Then we did some research on the area, and it turned out that right there, there’d been a boat crash hundreds of years ago that was a boat bringing in cattle to all the farmers in that area. I saw some fucking ghost cows and I nearly died to avoid killing them, so make what you want of that.”
What do dogs think about?
“Just annoying me and putting hair all over my clothes, I’m pretty sure. I’m a vegan, but I don’t particularly care for animals, they’re not my favourite thing. I just respect their right to live, and I don’t want to eat them. I kind of feel about them like people, like I don’t like most of them, but I still respect their right to live, you know? So I’m not big on dogs because they put hair all over my shit and slobber on me. I think they think about just pissing me off.”
What’s the worst injury you’ve ever suffered?
“The most recent injury I had took me out of being able to play a few festivals a couple of summers back. I drunkenly rolled out of the top bunk about three bunks high at the hostel we were staying at, and I landed awkwardly, like, fell and landed on everybody’s suitcases and broke my fall with my ribs. I couldn’t walk for quite some days and had internal bruising and was out of it. I was stuck in Germany, and no-one in the hospital really spoke English. They couldn’t really tell me what was wrong. They couldn’t tell me how long I was supposed to stay there. They stopped giving me painkillers after the first day because they thought I looked sketchy and was probably giving them what they thought was drug-seeking behaviour. It was drug-seeking behaviour, but that’s because I was in excruciating pain! I wasn’t just trying to get pumped up. And they didn’t have air conditioning in a hospital in the middle of summer. It was disgusting.”
Have you ever stolen something?
“Yeah, when I was younger, I wasn’t a kleptomaniac, but I definitely enjoyed a five finger discount. I was staying at a friend’s place once and I needed a blanket because it was freezing, and everyone was asleep and there were no quilts left in the house, so I went down the street to where I knew there were some holiday houses, where people only stayed in the summer, so I went into one of them and helped myself to a few blankets, and I think a snack, and then went back. It was like, they didn’t need that blanket, and I did so, you know… That’s just how it should be.”
Have you ever been in a fight?
“I’m not big into violence, I would rather talk through a situation. So I’ve been in a few messy scraps, but I wouldn’t consider myself someone who enjoys fighting. I accidentally punched a kid in the face with a mic once. I called somebody out in the crowd for doing something shitty, like throwing a beer at my head. The kid was German, and when I was like, ‘Who the fuck did that? Put your hand up!’ The kid thought I was saying, ‘Who’s having a good time?’ He didn’t understand English, puts his hand up really furiously, like excited… So I’m like, ‘This kid’s really fucking testing my patience…’ so I punch him in the face with a mic, thinking that he’s aggressively owning up to what he did, and then someone’s like, ‘No! He’s excited for the show!’ To this day I still feel awful about that. So I taught myself if someone’s being a dick at a show, I remember that moment and just fucking let it go. Nothing good can come from it, even if you punch someone who deserves it, and feel cool for a few seconds, you still look like a dickhead, so it’s better to just let them look foolish and be the bigger person and not have a guilty conscience.”
What’s the funniest rumour you’ve ever heard about yourself?
“The singer in my old band — I Killed The Prom Queen – and I were both teenagers, and I think we were both chasing after the same young woman, and I believe it was like a big competitive thing to try and win her affections, and he started a rumour that I was a heroin addict to try and besmirch my good name and make me look bad, then take this girl on a date instead of me. And it fucking worked, too! But I just thought that shit was funny, to think about how extreme of a measure that is. It spread like wildfire! People loved to believe it. I quickly fucking stomped the fire out, so it didn’t last too long.”
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