Interview with Billy Graziadei from Biohazard
Admittedly, I was first exposed to Biohazard when Beavis and Butthead were rocking out to “Punishment” during one of their old school episodes. No problems, there… That show kicked ass (huh huh.) Since that day, I have always followed the band and checked out their albums. I picked up a limited copy of Urban Discipline and played it relentlessly. Shortly thereafter, I anxiously cracked open the neon orange case when State Of The World Address dropped, and just recently scored a bright orange vinyl promo copy of the album in Ithaca for $10. Score!
So on February 8th, of course I’d have to check the group out when Amp Entertainment, Black Shoe Productions, and Station 58 brought the Boogity-Woogity Brooklyn Boys to town. Before their performance, I was able to sit down with guitar/vocalist Billy Graziadei to ask a few questions about their latest record, their lengthy career in the music industry, the departure of their longtime bassist and front man, Evan Seinfeld, and what’s in store for the future.
G- What’s up, Billy? Thank you for taking the time to speak with Live High Five. There were some health issues while you were on tour in Europe… How is everybody doing?
B– The name of the band is Biohazard, and there is always something crazy going on with us. We did 3 shows in the States before we went to Europe, and a couple of days before those 3 shows, we were in rehearsals. Danny’s wife, our drummer… The baby came late. He’s like “Dude, I don’t think the baby is gonna come before we leave… We’re gonna need to either cancel the tour or find somebody else to fill in for me. So we got Danny from Sworn Enemy… We rehearsed with him just in case. Kept him on reserve… Of course the baby didn’t come, so we took Danny with us. He was awesome… Phenomenal!
So we get to Europe on tour with Suicidal (Tendencies), Terror, Walls of Jericho, and Lionheart. We get there and Scott is rushed to the hospital. Spends the whole day in the hospital, they run all these tests and they couldn’t find out what was wrong with him. He checked himself out at around 9:30 at night, we went onstage at 10, he rocked the show, went back to the hospital, and stayed overnight. We picked him up the next morning and we finished the tour.
Anybody else would have quit, but that dude’s a fuckin’ vegetarian hardcore dude, a hardworkin’ ass motherfucker, and he did it. Now, today’s the first date of the US run, and Bobby’s got Pneumonia. I just got a call yesterday and he could barely breathe, he could barely talk…
G– He’s got Pneumonia right NOW?!
B- Yea, so… He’s gonna make the show. Same thing… Hardcore motherfucker! Anybody else would’ve cancelled the tour, but we’re Biohazard, you know what I mean… Full of viruses but good, positive energy
G- So, Danny just had a baby girl (Congrats, Danny!) What is it like being a family man on the road? You guys have been doing this so long that…
B- You know what… Even without kids I’ve always been a family man. My family has always been important to me, as it has been for all of us. So, it’s always been tough… You feel like you say more ‘Goodbyes’ than you do ‘Hellos’. Obviously the ‘Goodbyes’ are more painful, but we do what we like to do in life, you know? We love being here, we love playin’, and the unfortunate side of it is being away from my family as it always has been.
G- Well they obviously support you in all your pursuits because you’ve been doing it so long, and you’ve been doing it well.
B– Thanks, brother!
G- So this is the first day of your 10-date run… Is this run a warm up for more extensive touring in the near future? What do you have planned for the upcoming year?
B- It’s never a warm up. We’ve been on tour for a month now. We came back from Europe and had 2 days off and this is the first date of the next run. We’re doing this for 2 weeks, then we have 2 days off, and then we go straight to Australia for, like, another 3 weeks, and then we come back and go right back out again.
G- Are you guys playing Soundwave?
G- That’s fucking great!
Billy – Yea it’s gonna be cool!
G- So, Biohazard has recently released their latest record, “Reborn In Defiance”… Tell me a bit about it…? How was the writing process, and how long did it take to get it where you wanted it to be?
B- The record came out in a weird way for us. We got back together in 2008. We toured around, and I didn’t think the band would last for 2 months. But here we are 4 years later. We ended up having a great time together, got along, nothing was broke. We just rolled with it.
During sound checks, we’re jamming and working on new music and we weren’t really conscious of making a record. We were just vibin’ each other out… Different ideas musically and lyrically, and we started trying some things out live and it just became “Reborn In Defiance.”
G- A lot of U.S. fans were pretty pumped to hear that the release was going to be made available as a free digital download here, but it got pulled, like, the day before it was set to drop… Can you tell us a bit about what happened there? Was that just music business bullshit?
At this point, we look at each other with a grin…
Both of us – Yea.. Music Business Bullshit.
B– I’ve been screaming for 20 years… Music is for me and you, not the fucking industry. The industry has always tried to keep Biohazard down and we come back swingin’ and survive.
The record is gonna come out, and for everyone in America that has been behind us and had our backs for all these years, we’re gonna release some extra stuff… Make it worth the wait… because we just had a bunch of bullshit to deal with.
G- Since we’re we are talking about 55 minutes of pure pummel here, how were the new songs received while you were in Europe? What was the response to the new songs?
G- Were kids going nuts?
G- What was the best show of the tour?
B- Berlin was great… Tilberg. Paris was phenomenal! A lot of those shows in Europe were sold out. London (Camden Underworld… Awesome spot!) sold out when we were headlining… It was our last show and it felt like CBGB’S!
G- Have you made any videos for the tracks? Can we expect any on the new episodes of Beavis and Butthead or singles in rotation soon?
B- (Laughs) I hope so! We’re STILL big fans of Beavis and Butthead. We already have something out and it’ll be released real soon, and we’re working on plans for the next video.
G- So let me ask you… How are things between Biohazard and Evan? How are fans reacting to Scott taking over on vocals and bass after playing guitar?
B- Scott was in the band for the last 2 records and toured around the world with us for the last 4-5 years.
Of course, when Evan quit… We finished the record just the 4 of us (original members). He quit and it was a shock and a surprise for us, but that’s life. Life takes twists and turns and you gotta roll with it. And we did, you know? We decided ‘Fuck that… We’re not gonna quit, we’re gonna continue.’
I wish him well and have nothing bad to say about the dude… We share a lot of great memories and I hope he finds what he’s looking for and is happy.”
And the fans love Scott! He’s full of heart and soul, loves being there, loves doing what he does, and like I said… He checked himself out of the hospital for a show. That’s pretty fuckin’ hardcore! Anybody else would’ve quit… They would have cancelled the tour.”
G- Biohazard doesn’t play that shit, folks… You heard it here first! So, Biohazard has been in the music game for a very long time. You’ve seen a lot come and go, bands ripping each other off, and executives stealing money left and right… How’s the game treating Biohazard right now, and what do you think is going on behind the scenes?
B- The Biohazard family and fans, you know, I’d rather refer to them as friends. Without these people supporting us, we wouldn’t be here. There wouldn’t have been no reunion, and the reunion wouldn’t have been successful enough to make us fall in love with what we do again. Playing back together again, for me, reignited that fire inside my heart for Biohazard and what I do. So I love being here and I’m here because I want to be here, not because I have to be here.
And as far as things are going, check us out on Facebook… You can get 3 new songs for free… Download ‘em! We have a song called “Come Alive,” a song called “Vengeance Is Mine” and a song called “Reborn,” and we’ll be playing those tonight!
G- Lastly, as a veteran band with amazing experience and lots of street knowledge, and lots of road dogging, what advice can you give some of the young, up and coming bands out here in Syracuse who want to make it in music, on the road, and as a professional musician?
B- Do it for the love of it… That’s it. Everything else is secondary and not important. If something happens with it, you had a great time and enjoyed it. And if nothing happens, you still had a great time and enjoyed it.
I want to thank Billy, Biohazard and crew, Amp Entertainment, Black Show Productions, and Station 58 for setting this up and putting on a great show in Syracuse. Stay tuned… Many more on the way!