BIOHAZARD guitarist/vocalist Billy Graziadei was interviewed on the May 12, 2011 edition of “The Big Rock Show” with host Tina Peek. You can now listen to the entire chat using the audio player below. A couple of excerpts follow.
On BIOHAZARD‘s long-awaited tenth studio album, which marks the first time the four original members — Evan Seinfeld (vocals, bass), Billy Graziadei (guitar, vocals), Danny Schuler (drums) and Bobby Hambel (guitar) — have recorded together since 1994’s breakthrough CD “State Of The World Address”:
“I think the reason we ended up kicking out a record of this stature is probably because we went on tour and played live first. There was no other reason — it wasn’t business, it wasn’t money; there’s not much money in this genre of music, especially with our career. It was more so to get a chance to rewrite history.
“People kind of wrote BIOHAZARD off. And one thing for me, personally, was I always wished that we could have gotten back together with Bobby and we never did. So that was important for us. And that brought us back into that live element of the band. It’s like we never stopped; we got on stage together and it was like we were 19 again. And we rocked it; it was awesome. That live energy made it so we were able to go back and be on the right foot going into the studio to make a record.”
“I think that we had some records that defined us in the past, and this record is gonna be the record that will rewrite history for BIOHAZARD in a lot of ways. It’s the meat and potatoes of BIOHAZARD, but there’s a growth… we stepped up in the songwriting… kind of what we have experienced over the years into BIOHAZARD without changing the sound of BIOHAZARD. It was difficult to continue to be satisfied as a musician and as an artist but yet remain true to what we have inside, and that transcribes in the writing. You still hear the passion, the angst and the energy that I felt and I hear when I listen to ‘Urban Discipline’ and some of our early records. But it’s just a step forward in a good way.”
On the songwriting process for the new CD:
“What we did is we went into the studio and we were in the studio for a couple of weeks and we kicked out 12 songs, and we were like, ‘Cool. Fucking awesome. This is gonna be easy. We know BIOHAZARD; we could do this with our eyes closed. And then we stepped back and we listened to everything, and we were like… I said to Danny, ‘It’s cool, and there’s really cool moments and I love a lot of the stuff, but if we take our time and we are brutally honest with each other and we go in and throw out anything that’s crap, anything that’s not 100 percent that we all four of us feel 100 percent about, we’re gonna make a record that’s gonna be a timely record; people are gonna appreciate that as the heart and soul of BIOHAZARD.’
“It was easy for us to go in and just kick out a bunch of cool, groovy riffs, but we threw those songs out, kept a couple of things here and there. It took a lot longer, but we made a record that is gonna be timely in our career, not a record that is just gonna be, ‘Oh, cool, it’s an excuse to tour.’ I think that in the past, sometimes we kind of settled on that for many reasons. But this record was more important to us than anything that’s going on in our lives — we all put our lives on hold and really took our time in being brutally honest with each other and made a great record.”
“It doesn’t really matter where the song starts from — it could be three of us sitting in a room, it could be two of us, one of us coming in with a demo, or someone could just have a riff — but wherever the song is born from, lyrically or musically, we all put it through what we call the “meatgrinder.’ We all put in our ideas — ‘What about this? What about that?’ — and we jam on the song and sometimes rip it apart, and sometimes it doesn’t need much work. But it’s the individual input that makes it BIOHAZARD. Pretty much any of us could write a solo record, but it’s the input of the other guys that makes what I write BIOHAZARD and vice versa for those guys.”
On collaborating with producer Toby Wright, who has previously worked with KORN, SLAYER, MÖTLEY CRÜE, KISS, FEAR FACTORY, IN FLAMES, STONE SOUR and OZZY OSBOURNE, among others:
“Toby was great; he’s a great dude, and I’m looking forward to working with him again. He brought something to the table that no other producer has brought before. He stayed with us through thick and thin; no producer we’ve ever worked with has stayed with us for a year. And Toby, he was focused. He didn’t write anything, he didn’t do anything other than just say, ‘No, do it again.’ He helped us kind of organize everything and even though I’m a producer outside of BIOHAZARD and I have a studio here in L.A., it’s different when you produce your own band; you can’t do that. You have to have an objective person — an outsider and someone everyone respects that isn’t really tied to what you’re doing emotionally. So having Toby around, he was there every during the writing [process] and rehearsals, and it was great. It was the first time in our career that we had that much attention [from a producer]. But it was weird — it was kind of like having somebody there for support but without interjecting any ideas that would cloud up who you are. When we got into the studio, he stepped up on a different tip as far as a producer goes, and I learned a lot from him as a producer and as a musician; he really helped me individually — from singing and playing guitar to the way he recorded us. He’s a [good] communicator of ideas; [he would say] ‘I want it to sound like this,’ and he helped attain that. So it was great. We had a couple of disasters [that happened during the recording process], but that’s life.”
BIOHAZARD‘s new album is tentatively due late summer via Nuclear Blast Records.
Billy Graziadei interviewed on “The Big Rock Show” (audio):