Nicolas Cage Fighter

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Nick Moriarty: Vocals
Justin Ellis: Guitar
Tom Bardwell: Bass
Matt Davenport: Drums

Australia’s Nicolas Cage Fighter are coming out swinging. Combining ruthless hardcore, late 90s metal and death metal influences, the band deftly weave a sound that is as burly as it is brutal, pummeling all those that get in their way. They most recently made a mark with the 2021 EP Cast You Out, demonstrating what they were capable of, and now they return with The Bones That Grew From Pain, upping the ante across the board. “We definitely knew what we wanted to do from the start. When it comes to the music itself we wanted to keep it true to the NCF blueprint, and we wanted to build on ‘Cast You Out’ and take everything up another level,” states the band. “We knew what themes, titles and the sound we wanted on the record, and the result is pretty much an amalgamation of all of our influences in one package. It definitely showcases a bit of everything that we’re capable of, from nasty breakdowns and groovy choruses to face-melting riffs and blastbeats. We’re taking that ‘metallic hardcore’ definition and pushing those boundaries in every direction.

Formed in Ballarat, Victoria in 2011, the band have worked slowly and steadily to build their profile, dropping singles and EPs and sharing stages with the likes of Attila, Thy Art Is Murder, Thick As Blood and Deez Nuts, building a devoted fan base. With their guitarist Justin Ellis and bassist Tom Bardwell hailing from a hardcore background and drummer Matt Davenport having cut his teeth in death metal the blending of styles comes naturally to the band, with the dynamic, wide ranging vocal techniques of frontman Nicholas Moriarty holding the whole thing together. Though they wanted to remain true to the Nicolas Cage Fighter sound they also were not afraid to expand on this and take it in new directions. “The record feels darker than anything we’ve ever done before. We’ve also included more melodic, ambient and experimental parts than we’ve ever implemented on any previous release, and we feel that the record is a natural progression and evolution from the ‘Cast You Out’ EP. It’s heavier, faster, the breakdowns will crush your head in, but there’s also some stuff we haven’t tried before and is at the cutting edge of modern heavy music.

The title of The Bones That Grew From Pain stems from the fact the record is “about varying degrees of pain, suffering and tribulation. Bones are an organic symbol of structure and supposed to install an image of strength and stability. So basically, the record tells narratives of when those two opposites are entwined.” Lyrically, the album is a continuation of the narrative and themes that drove the 2020 Hell In Me single and Cast You Out, now delving into the third chapter in the life of a person jaded and discontented with the world around them and their place in it, this time focusing on all things external. In this, they look at a number of different themes. “Compound And Fracture” is “basically the ‘fuck you’ song, it’s entirely centered around personal accountability and taking control of your own life instead of blaming everyone else and everything around you for your own problems. The world can be a really shitty place but too often we see people around us that whinge and bitch about things that they could easily fix if they got off their ass and just did it.” Then there is “Static Abyss”, which focuses on over-industrialization and the destruction of our planet, with a powerful message woven into it about standing together as a people in order to bring about change. “We like to think that it’s pretty common knowledge that excessive consumption of commercialized crap contributes to our planet being mined, farmed and cut down that much faster, and as much as we hate to sound preachy, this song is aimed at making the listener think about their choices and the kind of life that they will leave behind for their children and the next generations.” The title track is the one that most similarly reflects the themes of Cast You Out, bridging the focus between the internal and the external. “As much as this album is about the problems with the world around us, it only felt right to continue to talk about the self. In a sense, it’s kind of like the disdain for the self exacerbates the negative outlook on the world around us, even when things are moving forward. ‘Why the fuck do I still feel so goddamn miserable?’

Self-producing the record, the band worked with engineer Kye Blomeley from K.B Audio, locally in Ballarat. “This time we spent a lot more time doing preproduction. We all went in knowing exactly how we wanted the songs to come together. Kye always pushes us and helps us to really expand on our ideas. He understands what we are trying to achieve as a band and our end goal. He won’t accept anything that isn’t absolute perfection and this constant drive for high standards really brought the best out of our individual performances.” Covid slowed the process down, what should have taken a month took six months, but given the finished result no one can argue that this was to the record’s detriment. With The Bones That Grew From Pain now primed to be unleashed they are hoping for the opportunity to tour it internationally, bringing their merciless performances to stages around the world and engaging with the new army of fans that are sure to connect with their no-bullshit stance and killer material. “We’re offering innovation not emulation. We feel we are pushing the boundaries and we are trying not to pigeonhole ourselves into one genre whilst also maintaining good song flow and structure. There are so many international bands we’d love to tour with, so hopefully this album will let us do that.”

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