Straight from the streets of Brooklyn comes the challenge of a lifetime, dare you listen to the e lyrics from any Biohazzard song – written about their life, surroundings, drugs, racism, crime and violence; and say ‘yeah, that’s Brooklyn’, without thinking that it is also London, Liverpool, Glasgow, or life in a few more cities on both sides of the Atlantic.
Biohazzard Are not subtle. They are powerful and mean. Their lives were virtually saved from a life of crime, depravation, squalor and probably an early death; by channelling their resources into the band. Total commitment.
A lifeline. Guitarist and sometimes on vocals, Billy Graziadei and drummer Danny Schuler spoke to Peter Daley after the band’s Newcastle Riverside gig. It turned out, to be more than just an interview, more of an education, the Urban Disciples were preaching…
The style of music that Biohazzard play is nothing new. It was a conscious decision to play a more familiar style then something new and fresh?
Billy: “Nothing we do is contrived. We don’t sit down and say “listen, let’s play a little hardcore with a kind of metal that’s distorted guitar sound and add a little hip-hop. We didn’t do anything like that. We are just playing our shit and that’s it. It’s Biohazzard. We let people call it what they want. We don’t classify. We just call it Biohazzard.”
So, it’s basically New York street music?
Danny: “We’re definitely a product of our environment. Living and growing up in New York, especially in Brooklyn. We’re expected to do a lot of hardcore music, but also a lot of street rap and hip-hop. We’re not music bigots. Everything that sounds good to us, we enjoy. Be it hardcore, classic or whatever the f**k kind of music, we just put why we have heard in our lives – put it all together and that’s the Biohazzard.”
It also saved you from drug abuse and crime.
Billy: “We all had heavy drug problems and regular social problems, and we are still having problems here and there. But the band definitely gave more of a direction in life. It cleaned us up in certain aspects. So it has had an effect on us.”
You expressed yourselves through your music
Dave: “Definitely. The band is our outlet for whatever is bothering us. Bobby our guitarist always says ‘aggravation is inspiration’ and that is definitely true for us. We take everything we go n through and channel it into our music and live show and the live show is very therapeutic.”
You are sort of preaching ‘this is what happened to us, this is what happened to one of our mates…
Billy: “Because that’s where we live. I mean if we were living in Liverpool, we would write about things happening there, we can’t write about things that happened to someone else in another city.”
Danny: “The shit is f**ked up everywhere. It’s not just New York. There are problems in Liverpool. The last time we were in Bradford people were telling me the problems they had there. In London, Paris even.”
Billy: “Even Newcastle!”
One of your songs ‘Chamber Spins Three’ is about the police turning their backs on the drugs problem, and in fact, being paid off, is that an experience?
Danny: “It’s just funny. People on the street will know exactly where the drug dealers are. Like, id I used drugs, I would know exactly where to get whatever I was looking for. In places where we live everyone knows who the drug dealers are and where they are and what they sell. It seems that everyone knows except the cops. The cops have gotta know – you know what I am saying? But these things go on everywhere. Corrupt Police Corrupt Government. Corrupt f**kin everything. It all comes down to money, making money and that shit. It just makes us sick that people will sell their souls to make a quick dollar or pound.”