Niclas Müller-Hansen of Sweden’s Metalshrine blog recently conducted an interview with guitarist/vocalist Billy Graziadei of the seminal New York City hardcore/metal band BIOHAZARD. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
Metalshrine: Well, the obvious question first. Why did [bassist/vocalist Evan Seinfeld] leave?
Billy: It dropped like a bombshell. It kind of came up from left field. We finished tracking the [new BIOHAZARD] record in late February and really didn’t have much contact with him that much. Everything was through management and I was working on the mix with [producer] Toby [Wright] and some additional overdubs and different ideas and some piano and keyboard stuff. Then a couple of weeks ago he calls up and says, “I can’t do it anymore!” He’s got a bunch of personal stuff and it’s mostly secret. But it’s personal between… it’s what’s going on in his life, but he made a decision and we weren’t happy about it, but we made our decision to continue and keep going. It would be great if he was here and I know he’s proud of the record and as happy as it came out as we are. We were all there and made it together and focused equally on it, but rather to let it die out, we said, “You know what? Fuck it! We’re all psyched and happy and even though things are different it doesn’t mean much has changed!” The heart and soul of the band is still intact and we’re gonna continue.
Metalshrine: How’s Scott [Roberts, who played on the band’s 2005 “Means To An End” album] working out?
Billy: He’s great! He was the guy [that joined BIOHAZARD] after Bobby [Hambel left]. It took us a long time to find him, but we knew him and he filled in for us at the last minute, but he stepped up and did it. It was a tough obstacle to overcome but we did it. We played Download [festival in England], which was cool and the next day we played the Metal Hammer boat and that was a phenomenal show! All the kids were like, “Wow!” and even the editors of the magazine were like… and they’ve been doing this for ten years and in the past three of four years with ANTHRAX and HELLYEAH and they were like, “Nobody’s rocked the boat like you guys did!” It was cool! What happens in the future when I go home, we’ll sort that out, but right now I’m just here to talk about the record.
Metalshrine: As I understand it, Scott is not gonna be a permanent member and you’re gonna find someone else.
Billy: We don’t know what we’re gonna do right now. Yes, the answer was that Scott was just temporary, but who knows? He did a great job and the feedback from everybody was like, “Wow!” He looks a little like [Evan] and he sounds a little like him, but we’re not looking at this as a replacement, it’s more like a change. Something different, you know, but it’s still BIOHAZARD. There’s opportunity to bring something new to the table and we’ll see. Right now it’s just playing and doing a lot of press. I haven’t had one second to have a crap by myself, let alone anything else. (laughs)
Metalshrine: What’s the title of the album?
Billy: We had a title. We had a few titles but we settled on a title and was like, “OK, that’s it!” and I was ready to tell everybody and at the last minute, at Download or Metal Hammer, something came up and we were like, “Oh, that’s pretty cool!” so we decided to hold off instead of spit out a title and have it changed next week. Within a week you’ll have the title and the artwork!
Metalshrine: Is that a hard thing coming up with? Do you always go through bunch of titles and then change it?
Billy: No! I remember “State Of The World Address” spit right out, “Urban Discipline” spit right out, “Mata Leao”, we went back and forth with different ideas and then I came up with an idea and I liked the fact that it was a different language and the whole idea was not telling anybody what it was about. Let it mean what you want it to mean, which was stupid because people are like, “Just tell me! Please tell me what it means?” “Kill Or Be Killed” was supposed to be called “Never Forgive, Never Forget” and it was all about what happened on September 11th in New York, our home. We were all there and those lyrics all came out the first two months after September 11th, but we realized it’s a marketing machine behind our records and the record label is gonna blow that up and capitalize on that horrible thing that was world changing for everyone. We changed it. We didn’t want to cash in on that horrific event, so we changed that title at the last minute. Horrific artwork and I hated it. That record was a different era for us. That was a hit record and by that I mean, we aimed, we wanted it to sound ill and aggressive like the subject matter that we were dealing with and we did. We didn’t want it to sound nice and pretty. It sounded like we were in a garage and recorded it.
Read the entire interview from Metalshrine.
2011 Download festival performance: