Ballarat hardcore band Nicolas Cage Fighter has capped off one of its strongest years ever by being shortlisted for Best Heavy Act in the Music Victoria Awards.
Two years after reforming, Nicolas Cage Fighter has had a banner year, releasing its latest EP, Cast You Out, which led to getting signed by Metal Blade Records, connecting with booking agents in Europe and North America and appearing on the cover of Spotify playlists.
The band is now working on its first album under its new label, which is due to be released early next year.
While the music industry is on standby, Nicolas Cage Fighter has been busy working in the background to get the ball rolling and capitalise on its newfound success.
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Guitarist Justin Ellis said the band had a big 2021 lined up, but had that stopped by this year's repeated lockdowns.
"We were meant to be on tour at the moment, we had two tours lined up actually, but everything has been cancelled," he said.
"We'll come back next year when everyone's had their second jabs and all that sort of stuff, so we're all vaccinated and ready to get back into it.
"We just thought we would put everything on hold for now, finish this record off and then come back next year with the new record and a heap of shows that are getting organised at the moment."
Nicolas Cage Fighter is one of five remaining finalists for the award after 10 were announced in September ahead of the awards in December.
Ellis said the band did not expect to receive the nomination, but hoped it would shed more light on Ballarat's heavy music scene.
"Just to be noticed with these big events, especially coming from a regional town, it's hopefully going to put us back on the map a little bit," he said.
"I feel like the Ballarat music scene has sort of died off a little bit in terms of heavy stuff in the last few years, so I'm hoping this will sort of spark it again. It's huge, we weren't expecting it but hopefully we can bring home the gold."
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