Walsall's The Adjusted bleeding for their art - unsigned column
So many bands claim to put blood, sweat and tears into their work, but few can claim they literally do so as much as Walsall's The Adjusted.
Frontman Adam Juste, aged 24, from the town, is a portrait painter. So he is using one of his creative fortes in a bid to give the other a shot in the arm and a chance of flourishing.
But it is not just paint he puts down on canvas. He wants to show people how serious he is about making a success of the band's music, so mixes in some of his own blood into his paint to add a unique touch to his work.
"I do what I can to keep going," he said. "Music and art are the same, it's just creating things I enjoy. I chose selling paintings in blood because I thought I could do it well.
"People can buy my work via a Patreon page we’ve set up at www.patreon.com/theadjusted"
And a statement on the Patreon page adds more to the reasons for working this way.
"I am a 72-year-old teenager from the Cotswolds in New York," Juste adds on the web page. "I am making music, creating art and changing form constantly to maintain my anonymity.
"I've always experienced the world and, particularly, people differently, and am striving to capture how I feel it in my art. I'm giving people the chance to buy my Synesthesia-inspired artworks.
"I'm doing this in order to create my increasingly ambitious music video ideas for the songs I have written."
There's three levels of support fans can offer on the American-based website - therefore the currency is in dollars and will need to be adjusted for exchange rates. For $2 a month, supporters can get a digital download of any songs recorded that month. They'll also get access to exclusive art films and their name will appear on any future record published.
For $7.62 a month, backers will get all the above, plus a digital art download and a pair of signed socks - seriously.
And for $25 a month, people can get all the benefits of the previous two packages, and Juste adds: "I'll send you a different signed print of any artwork created that month."
Juste is joined by two pals in The Adjusted. Simon Kotik, a 25-year-old scaffolder from Norton Canes, and Donald Kiddick, also 25 and a roofer from Pheasey, make up the trio.
"We decided to start releasing stuff, as the charts are full of such awful c***," Juste continues. "It's all tone-deaf idiots with nothing original to say rapping on pro tools and getting charted.
"We’re here to save the music industry from itself."
The Adjusted, on top of the blood-spattered paintings, are as DIY as they come. They self-fund their own recordings in garages and other spaces that are available. And Juste acknowledges the difficulties they can face in getting their material out there.
"It's easier than ever to record stuff, but because of that, it's harder than ever to get anywhere," he muses.
There's also a political mind inside Juste alongside all the creative talent. Recently, for the single Idiocracy, he took to the streets of Walsall dressed as US President Donald Trump interacting with scenery and the public in a very tongue-in-cheek take on what the business mogul might make of the Black Country town.
But that did bring its own problems.
"Being political has made it difficult as Google and Facebook have blacklisted the video," he says, adding: "But people can still see it on YouTube at the moment.
"I write about what I feel, and right now it feels like the political world is failing us and falling apart. I think it’s the duty of any artist to document and challenge these things."
It's a standpoint this writer agrees with and has called for recently, for more political or other types of protest bands to be given the airtime they deserve and for differing messages to be heard.
"On the whole it was a fun experience, people wanted photos with the Donald, people followed to see what ridiculous things I’d do next. Climbing monuments to deliver speeches and other activities.
"I only nearly got stabbed a few times by a gang of likely lads on bikes."
They're concentrating on fundraising and recording currently, so there's no real opportunities to catch The Adjusted live. But they say you can follow their social media channels to find out when shows are penned in or new releases become available to hear.
"Right now, we’re concentrating on recording more material, but the people of Walsall should expect to be harassed by an idiot in a mask again soon," Juste adds.
"We’ve just bought a new mixing desk, and once we work out how to use it, there’ll be no stopping us making more material.
"Watch this space…and watch out around Walsall!"
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