New Years Day went through hell and came out the other end swinging

New Years Day went through hell and came out the other end swinging

Words by Tammy Walters

New Year’s Day is a day for reflection, a day for setting goals and overcoming nasty hangovers and the baggage of the previous year. For the band New Years Day, their 2019 has thus far proved successful.

They’ve won over crowds on festival circuits globally, including their Australian debut at Download Festival. They released their highly anticipated fourth album, Unbreakable, which received critical acclaim as their best album to date. Now, they’ve kicked off their first-ever headline world tour which will bring them Down Under in March 2020.

But, as with the first day of the calendar year, New Years Day had to move past obstacles from the year prior to shape their future.

“Understand what New Years Day has been through,” guitarist Nikki Misery says. “From the moment we wrote Malevolence, the band as a whole – and the band as individual members – were going through probably the darkest moments of our lives.

“I even thought, ‘Is this band even going to last? What the fuck am I even doing with my life?’. Like nobody really got along. It was like that period of the band when everything was so bleak.

“We were just doing it and everybody was getting these awesome tours and going out playing these awesome rock shows, and then something really clicked. We wrote this album and we quickly scrapped it. We left our old manager/producer and found this whole new team that really believed in us and they made us feel like we were still worth something and that we need to continue.”

Unbreakable reflects the current stance of the band. From the title track’s lyrics, “I’m stronger than you know/‘Cause unbreakable pieces don’t shatter/I won’t shatter”, through to the chorus of closer ‘I Survived’: “I survived and it made me so much stronger/Every time I got up and fought back harder’, New Years Day quite literally gave this album everything they had.

“It was almost like a resurrection in the band and you can see that. The way we looked during the Malevolence era, we pretty much looked like this undead Mötley Crüe, and now you see skin colour.

“You see life in us and you see that kind of resurrection, and all of the obstacles and all of the people that tried to stop New Years Day. You see that change and you hear that change and you hear that new life in the band. Especially with everything we’ve been through, this band really is unbreakable.”

Not only have they changed their look and their spirit, the band also honed their sound. Fusing their beloved pop influences – particularly that of fellow Anaheim rock alumni, No Doubt, with their heavy throwdowns and melancholic, gothic stylings – Unbreakable has been branded the heaviest pop album of all time.

“Writing Unbreakable and working with that album, we had so much more time to sit and obsess with these songs and really let each sound marinate. I would just take days and listen to riffs over and over, just to make sure that was what we wanted, because before we didn’t have that much time.

“This time, we just got to work with more people to get these raw feelings flowing out of us, stuff that we didn’t know existed in us. That’s why you have songs like ‘Shut Up’ and these throwbacks like ‘Nocturnal’. You can hear the band’s inventory, you can hear our influence and how it’s laid out with every song. I actually love this album insanely. Usually I can’t listen to our songs, I never put them on, but this album I [play] pretty often.”

New Years Day come to 170 Russell on Friday March 20. Tickets are available via Live Nation.