After what feels like no less than a decade of delays, the inaugural Full Tilt festival will make its debut in Brisbane on Saturday, April 23rd.
In the meantime, Australian Guitar is catching up with some of the legendary shredders set to tear it up at the show. In this edition, we chat to Nicholas Adams and Kieran Molloy of Justice For The Damned.
What can the legion of moshlords out there expect to see when you take the stage at Full Tilt?
Kieran: It's been a looong wait for us to start touring on the songs from Pain is Power. Some of those songs like Final Cataclysm and "The house you built" just hit in a new way when we've been playing them live, so I'm going to be soaking that in. Nick has a pretty nasty little solo in "Sever what makes me like them" for the guitar heads.
Nick: They can certainly expect that there will be massive riffs at every turn.
You’re obviously sharing the Full Tilt lineup with some fucking killer acts. Who’s set are you personally most keen to see, and why?
Kieran: I haven't gotten out to see Northlane play since Alien came out so it will be cool to watch them a couple of times! Always keen to see Thy Art and Psycroptic play, and our mates Falcifer are playing an early set in Adelaide that will be a must not miss for the moshers.
Nick: For me this one is Northlane’s set. I really enjoyed their most recent album and haven’t seen them live since its release so I’m excited for that.
What does your live rig look like at the moment?
Kieran: Lately I've been rotating between the Jackson HT6QM Juggernaut and the Demmelition Fury, and there will likely be something new from Jackson making an appearance that I'm very excited about. My pedalboard is a tiny little Pedaltrain Nano board with a micro pog, zuul and an ns-2, shimverb, a delay and a HM-2 variant through a 6505 and an EVH 4x12. As far as must haves, I've got to say the Zuul! That thing stands head and shoulders above every other noise suppressor that I've tried and I wouldn't leave home without it.
Nick: Jackson USA soloist into my pedals, then into an EVH 5150iii 6L6 and usually my EVH cab. I’ve got an X series Rhoads which plays nice and looks super cool that I’ve just christened in its first live show which I think will be making more of an appearance. Pedal board must-have is an HM2 or HM2 variant.
What would you say is the cornerstone of your live sound?
Kieran: The HM2 is definitely the main thing, but there's lots of little things that we've cultivated into our live sets over time. It's really more about the songs and the big picture than any gimmick or a particular piece of gear.
Nick: The aforementioned HM2. Inspired by bands like Nails, Harms Way & Black Breath, we adopted that sound some years ago.
What makes your festival set a unique experience when compared to a standard venue set?
Kieran: Gotta force yourself to stay on task! It's too easy to want to go watch every band on a good lineup like Full Tilt but it's not always sustainable for multiple days. You've got to keep some fuel in the tank. The margins for success are a bit tighter but all the extra preparation makes the feeling when you kick off that much better.
Nick: I think maybe the difference in a JFTD set for a fest is that we experience more internal stress. A festival time slot is a very fleeting window of time that you have to deliver the goods and so the anticipation and nerves can really build. That being said, I believe that the extra emotional tension leads to a set that is more explosive/powerful.
What are your festival essentials, and why should everybody have them?
Kieran: Plenty of water, and everything else will tend to work itself out. Take a little break from the pit once in a while so you don't gas out early.
Nick: 100% water to remain hydrated. If it’s an outdoor/multiple day fest I’d also favour some items for general hygiene maintenance to feel fresh!
What’s your favourite festival memory of all time?
Kieran: It's got to be my first festival, Soundwave 2008. Coming through the gate at Bassendean Oval in Perth just as Break Even started playing, into Carpathian, Divine Heresy, Haste the Day, Shadows Fall, Incubus and topping off the day of with Killswitch Engage right at the peak of the Howard Jones years. Worst sunburn of my life so far.
Nick: A unique one that’s always stuck might be our Unify set in January 2017. It was our first large fest and we were presented with some challenges in the way of heavy rain. The band before us unfortunately had their set interrupted by constant stage power failures due to the rain and that in turn pushed into our own set time. We were told we could play for about 15 minutes so we very quickly consolidated the set and adapted despite it being already a nerve wracking first festival performance. Fortunately it went super well and I’m proud of the good attitude we displayed in the jftd camp that day!