This day crept up on me like the snowstorm that occurs on the other side of my window today. On the other side of the window, my friends are about to climb the stage together for one last time. On the other side of the Atlantic, people are travelling today, people are excited, people are worried, people are going to see the last Justice show.
I'm not there. I'm behind the window, on my own in a silent room, trying to look in from thousands of miles away. Trying to feel there, trying to be there, trying to find my place.
I'm not there. I was going to be. Sometimes life has other plans. I left Belgium. I left Justice. I had to go. And I didn't make it back in time. I'm not there, but I will be one day. I won't be there for a show, or a venue, or a band. I will be there for you, my friends.
Justice was the first thing in my life that made sense. It was the first thing that I put together, that I was part of, that I showed to the world. It was the first thing I was proud of. It was the first thing that worked. Because we made it work. It's been more than two years now since I left. It's been a rocky road. I had to start over. I took what I learned and tried to do it again.
Ever since I left, I haven't sat still. Sometimes I think I was trying to fill the void that Justice left in my system. So much to do, so little time. Everything I do now probably doesn't remind anyone of Justice. But in my mind, it's all connected. Everything I know now, I learned back then. Everything started back then. And as Justice dies today, no part of me dies with it. Instead parts of it will go on with me, always.
Reminiscin'... can I cope? YES!
Me, Dunk, Flip at the Justice Mansion, 2003. Me and my mom would housesit a mansion in the summer, so Justice would practice there in one of the little girls' rooms. We wrote most of the demo in there. Photo by Hinkey or Stief.
Dunk, Me, Stief, Flip at the Justice Mansion, 2003. We had prepared all these posters for our first show with magic markers. We then drove to Funtime fest to see Dead Stop, put a poster that said "I piss on Funtime" on the front door, walked in without paying and started moshing to Dead Stop before we even greeted anyone. Lino once said that was when Belgium hardcore started. Photo by Hinkey.
Dunk, Stief, Me, Flip at the Frontline, 2003. This is the first Justice photo ever taken, that I know of. This is our second show. No one gave a shit. Photo by Friday.
Justice near Dendermonde, 2003. The Deal had just played their final show, which was the first time a packed venue of people went nuts for a local band. Having just put out our demo, we caught that wave of energy at this show. The guy moshing in the left bottom corner is Erik Tilburg, who joined the band shortly after. PS: note my Adult Crash shirt. Photo by Sheep.
Justice in London, 2004. Our first tour in England, with Downslide. This show got cancelled, so Jamie got some girl to let us play her house in a bad part of town. We were supposed to play in her basement, but I couldn't stand up straight in it, so we moved the entire bedroom into the basement ourselves, and played in her room. This was the first cool Justice picture taken, so we were all really stoked. Can't remember who took it.
Erik, Stief, Me, Flip in Tilburg, 2004. Outtake of the first EP photoshoot. Photo by Friday or Bianka.
Me, Erik, Flip, Stief, Billy in Montreal, 2004. Our first time out of Europe. Alot of people say Justice was important as we were the first European hardcore band to be fully accepted into the American scene. I guess that's true (Americans weren't into True Blue until after they broke up), but alot of it was by a fluke. Dan said we should fly in, we talked to Mental (who we didn't know) and a few weeks later we were touring North America. We just had the balls to do it. Photo by Dan.
Justice at Ninjafest, London, 2005. Looking at these now, I never realised we played in front of crowds that big. We were just having fun, playing some songs, hanging out. Photo by Tok.
Me, Stief, Erik, Flip in front of Erik's building, 2004. I always said I would keep this a secret until we broke up, so I guess I can let the cat out of the bag now. This is the photo that was on the back of our EP. It was taken as a joke before the real shoot. I remember very specifically saying "we shouldn't take any photos here, it's gonna turn out to be the best one". Ofcourse, I was right. It was the best one, but it didn't have a cool background like all the real photos we took. So I photoshopped a brick wall behind it like a poser and never told anyone until now. Photo by Friday.