Reborn Through Hate - Billy Graziadei Speaks Out.
It's been a long time since we have heard from New York Hardcore act 'Biohazard', with the band having formed back in 88 in Brooklyn, these guys have come a long with with their ups and downs like any band they have struggled too. With the bands debut album 'Biohazard' originally released on Maze Records, this album later on was re-released and it wasn't until the band 2nd album were things really kicked off with some major success for the band. This was when the band signed to Roadrunner and released 'Urban Discipline' back in 92, this album also saw the band opening up for German thrasher's 'Kreator' around the UK and Europe. With the success of that tour and many festivals the band were soon picked up by Warner Brothers and the bands 3rd album 'State Of The World Address' back in 94. As things grew for the band with the success of album sales things also started to go wrong within the Biohazard camp with Bobby Hambel leaving to join White Devil, the 3 soon found a replacement Rob Echeverria from Helmet. More albums were recorded and in 2004 the band disbanded. It wasn't until now that the band made up there differences and now the original 4 are back with a new album 'Reborn In Defiance' through Nuclear Blast in 2011, only to find that Evan Seinfeld would soon leave the band once again. Now Bobby, Billy and Danny are a 3 piece playing what they do best. I had a chat with guitarist Billy about the reunion, the new album and why the band called it a day in the 1st place. Here is what he had to say.
Ok so Billy you're back together with the original 4 members of Biohazard how did it all come about having the original line-up back together once again?
"Well in 2003 we split up and a record we were working on at that time came out soon after that but the only regret I have is that we never had the chance of getting back together with Bobby. Once we had split with Bobby things just became different and something was missing within the band and the minute we got back together in jammed in 2008 I knew the feelings were back within the band, a good vibe. We did not have any misconceptions were we wanted to go and the only thing we wanted to do was to re-write history and out the original Biohazard back on the stage and for people to remember that in their heads."
Did you not talk to Bobby after he left Biohazard, was there some animosity between him and the band?
"Well not really, things were kind of rough for the both of us for a while but we did pass each other in NY and we did have a chat and beer once in a while but it wasn't a good vibe at all. I was hoping he would get his shit together so we could get the band back on form as the original line-up but it never happened and it took a while but it is great now and it has been for some time."
After the last album Bobby did with the band 'The State Of World Address', the band recorded 'Mata Leao' through Mercury Records, and also 'New World Disorder' also through Mercury records. What happened to you and the label to depart ways?
"I think they just let our last few records die out, I don't know what actually happened I guess the albums didn't either sell as well or the label just decided they didn't want our style of music anymore."
Looking back at your previous albums Billy, what's your favourtie one and why?
"That's a tough questions, I like so many of them, but I defiantly feel the energy of the 1st few records and I take them as the heart and soul of Biohazard and I am also happy with have had the chance to make a new CD together."
Have you ever thought of re-recording or mastering the debut album, it's a great album but lacks with a weak production.
"Well we have talked about re-doing the album, I have my own studio and there could be a possibility we could do that but there is a quality that adds to the energy that is already there. It is not as big sound as some of our later albums but I remember Suicidal Tendencies doing that with their 1st record and as cool as it was but there was something about the original recording that I liked."
Ok let's set the record straight now, who would you describe your music?
"It's very strange because when we play with metal bands we weren't metal enough and when we play with Hardcore band we were too metal so we never really fitted in anywhere? We were like the misfits or outcasts of the underground NY scene. I think Biohazard sound like Biohazard with a bit of everything. I think when we look back at our records I think we have stayed true and we could be ourselves and let the music come out of us naturally."
Listening to the bands 2dn album 'Urban Discipline' seemed to have more of a rhythmic sound with the vocals adding a sort of rap edge compared to that of the debut album which was more metal, do you think that was a good move for the band adding the rap style of vocals?
"I really don't know? We never really thought about it and we grew up with Iron Maiden, Agnostic Front, Run DMC, Bad Brains, Black Sabbath."
So when the band broke up the 1st time around, what was the reason then?
"Well I think we just grow apart and I did everything I wanted to do over the years and I think we all wanted to adventure off into different things & I started different bands and I feel we needed to be apart from each other in order to survive. I had a band called 'Endrah from Brazil', 'Suicide City' & 'Blood for Blood' the last few years. The band 'Endrah...' was more of as technical metal band from Brazil and 'Suicide...' were more Punk, Gothic, The Ramones and FNM and we did a couple of records. The last band 'Blood For Blood' that are still together now on Victory Records."
So what did the rest of the band do after you broke up? I know Even did or still does porn with his wife, what did Danny do?
"Well yes Even still does the porn thing, Danny had a band called 'Blood Clot'."
So how does it feel to be back together with a new record? The title 'Reborn In Defiance', how did the deal with Nuclear Blast come about?
"Well we played a show here in Germany the owner from the label came to see us and we had talked to him earlier in our career about signing to his label and he heard some new songs we had played live. He told us if we could continue to make a record together then we would be interested in signing the band."
What other labels did you approach for the new album?
"Well we had a bunch of labels showing interest in the band but we really wanted to go with Nuclear Blast."
How does the new material differ from the previous stuff you have done?
"Well I think the time away from each other has made the band stronger, it is still Biohazard but in 2011."
So the album 'Reborn In Defiance' is the new title, where was it recorded?
"Well it was recorded in my studio in L.A. 'Firewater Studios' were I now live. (Ed: Why did you move from NY to L.A.?). Well I got married to a girl from Brazil and it was too cold for her in NY so we moved to L.A."
OK Billy, so how long did it take to record the new album, was it a lengthy period?
"Well it took a few months to record with the drums, bass, guitar and vocals."
Does the album feature any special guests at all?
"No just for 4 of us."
What sort of studio equipment did you use for the new album?
"Well we just used the high end of analog equipment."
So what are the song titles for the album? Also who writes the songs within the band, is it a team effort?
"Well I can give you a couple of times for sure, they are: 'Vengeance is Mine', 'Decay', 'Through Suffering Reborn', 'Your Disease', 'Bowls of Redemption'. We all write the songs within the band, there is no one within the band who will just write the lyrics or the music, we all have our own input. There are no rule but if we all like the ideas and riffs then we will work on them to create a song."
Tell me a little bit about the artwork, what's his name?
"His name is Mr Stem from the UK, the artwork had to fit the songs on the album, as well as what we are about. It does capture what we are looking for in a sense that 'Urban...' fitted well with that era at that time. I am happy with the way the album cover has turned out."
So when will do you expect to see the band touring here in the UK and in Europe?
"We will be on tour in September 2011 when the record comes out."
I understand you played 'Download' this year how was it for you? Was you happy to be there again after all those years?
"Yeah it was great, we had a lot of fun and it was great to be back there once again."
Are you planning on doing a promo video or a live DVD very soon?
"Yes we will be doing a new promo video but I can't tell you the song title right now, we are working on some ideas. I think we could be doing a live DVD, we have not done one officially yet so if the record sells well I am sure we will be doing a live DVD".
Well Billy, thanx for your time, best of luck with the new album and future tour, do you have anything to ad before we finish?
"Yes thanks to our fans for waiting so long I hope you like the new record and I hope to see you all on tour very soon."
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