I want to start off talking a little bit about the new album UNCIVILIZATION.
Let's start with the title; and you could tell me what the title means
To me it signifies how everyone kinda sees how times are right now.
For every step in the name of progress we move forward, it ends up being
two steps backwards. September the 11th was a wake up call I think, and
to smack everybody upside the head and make them realize that ignorance
is no longer bliss. You cannot live in this world being ignorant;
everyone knows what's going on, everyone has had their faults and
security shaken to the point of disbelief. UNCIVILIZATION came out on
Sept.11, a timely release for a record full of prophesies and full of
subject matter that deals with where we are right now.
So obviously that hit home more for you being from New York?
Relating to the album cover title cover art; when I first saw the
cover art, the first thing that popped into my mind was "this looks
like a picture of a Hitler youth party from WW2 or something". What
did you have in mind for the cover art or was it related to that at all?
art on the cover exemplifies exactly what the title is. Having respect
for the future, and if you poison the youth; the youth being the leaders
of tomorrow, you poison the future. And if you treat it with respect and
if you put the proper value into education, you're investing in the
future. And that photo kinda hits that right in the head.
Was it and new photo that was taken or was it an actual historical
photo that was edited to put the Biohazard logo on?
You don't have ruin our artistic creativity by analyzing the whole
thing....but you are right. [Hahahaha ok.] One of the now many
horrific times in our history is the Holocaust. Hitler used the youth to
spread the hatred. And we have a lot of that in America with parents
instilling a lot of hatred in them. Hatred and racism is now being added
to the list of terrorism. But that was just one example; the slaughter
of the Indians, a whole race of people. I remember writing about dating
a German woman once and asking her "how could you people just
blindly turn your cheek and disregard what happened here?". And to
that she said "well, you did it when your people came to those
lands you conquered and destroyed a whole race of people".
"What are you talking about?" I said. "The Indians"
she said. When you're a kid you're taught that we bought land, we traded
land, but what we did was slaughter and swindle.
So what types of topics or personal experiences influenced some of
the songs from the new album?
All of our songs come from direct influence. We draw inspiration from
our lives. Waking up Sept.11, right there became enough influence and
inspiration for another two records. Everyday life is constantly
So you're not the type of band that writes about things that don't
affect you personally and you won't write a fiction story or any kind of
thing for your lyrics?
No. It's just easier for us to express something that we've
experienced, you know what I mean? And I think that's why you get the heartfelt
sincerity from Biohazard.
Another thing about the new album that a lot of people are asking
about; is the number of guest appearances. It's a pretty impressive line
up of people that have contributed in some way. Was this planned from
the beginning, did you ask these people specifically? How did it all
It did just happen. It wasn't planned. We usually have the chance to
tour with bands that we've looked up to and some bands that we've grown
to be good friends with. And it turned out that bands happened to be in
New York while we were recording and they just came down to the studio
and we did some stuff together and it worked out. In the end we went
back and said "holy shit there's a bunch of friends on this
record". It was just like a natural thing for us.
Cool. One of the standout appearances that took me a little bit by
surprise was Peter Steel from Type O Negative on "Cross the
Line" I believe. Can you tell me how that one in particular came
about? And how you found working with him?
How did that surprise you?
Ummmm well I can understand the Pantera and Sepultura, not that
I'm not a fan of Type O Negative, but musically it just seemed a lot
different from the other guys that made an appearance.
Like I said before; it's friends. I was a roadie for Pete when he was
a kid and with Type O Negative, we've been friends with all those guys
for years. I think we took them out on their first tour with us and Type
O Negative. Pete's friend in the song "Cross the Line", he
gelled with, and the subject matter in the song related to him. He
wanted to do something and we were totally into it. We went in the
studio and fucked around and came up with what we came up with.
So what songs on the new album seem to be going over the best live
and do they happen to be your personal favourites from the new album?
All the songs are my favourites. We cut songs and they don't make it
to the record but we all like them. But all the new stuff that we're
playing live have gone over good. We just recently added a song
called "Getaway" to the set and that's gone over pretty
well every night.
Cool. How do find playing up here in Canada?
Besides cold? We like it.
Much of a different type of audience or scene that you get from
playing down around home and kind of thing?
There's been a lot of bad luck on our side as far as touring
around through Canada over the years. We haven't spent a lot of time
here and it's changing now. We were here a month and a half ago in the
eastern part. Now we're back again; we came through with Clutch. We went
to Alberta, Manitoba, Vancouver, on this tour with Clutch and Candiria,
which were some great shows. And now we're back here in Toronto with
Clutch and Candiria. And we were just here not too long ago. So it's
good to be playing here but what I'm finding is it seems fresher. I mean
a lot of people have heard about us but never had the chance to see us.
Because maybe 5 years ago when we were here they were too young to go
see us maybe or something. It's good to be here with a fresh crowd.
Your new album credits also mention the additional lead guitar but
Tristan. How did that come about and how much in terms
of lead guitar does he contribute on the album?
We did this record ourselves, we produced it ourselves. Andreas (Sepultura)
plays some guitar stuff, Igor (Sep.) did some percussion stuff, it was
the same kind of situation with Tristan. He wasn't in the band at the time, he just came
down and jammed and did some stuff. And what we did when he did stuff we
would just record record record and at the end when we came down to mix
everything it was like "what do we have to play with?". So it
wasn't really like he did this and he did that. It was just like
Is that the same Tristan who played in the band Red Dawn?
I don't know. I don't know about that.
I seen your video for the song "Sell-out", and the first thing
I noticed when I watched the video; and this brings us back to how the
interview started. And that was in the video you see the skyline of New
York City and the World Trade Center. The first thing I thought was
"I wonder if they considered editing their video", because it
happens to show that?
We never considered it but we had certain 'channels'
asking us to edit the video. We told them to go fuck themselves.
It's bad enough people are gone but we are not going to erase the
memory. That video was shot on August 27th, 2 weeks before. For us, we
were appalled that someone would even have the balls to ask us to
re-edit it. It's funny when people step up to us and say "we need
you to edit your video or we won't play it". And we're like
"fine, fuck you, we're not going to edit it so don't play our
video". And of course they played it anyway.
to the new album. This is your first on Sanctuary Records, well at least
here in North America. So far are you happy with how the label had been
treating and promoting the band?
The Canadian label is great (laughs because the label rep is with
him hehe)! But you're right actually....I can't really answer that.
They are actually picking up dinner, so if I answer
well we eat well. If I answer shitty we eat McDonalds. It's great. We've
been through the major labels game and we got our ass reamed; it sucks.
it's business first; profit margin, and all those things way before the
band. And half the time they just usually get involved with people that
we like to call 'yes men'. "ya ya you guys are greeat"
"we loooove the record". And they can't even hold a beat to
your song when they listen to it. And being back on a small independent
label is like a breath of fresh air. I think that we would have had a
better time if we would have stayed with our first label Roadrunner. It
stayed on the independent side of the industry rather than make the leap
for major labels. Sometimes I think major labels are slowly and surely
being dismembered; I think that they are going to fall apart. And as for
the independent labels, business is business you want to make money, but
it's not your main motivation. And when you have a limited budget you
become more creative with your money and you make the dollar stretch a
lot more. When you have an unlimited budget like the major labels have,
you don't give a fuck. You get a limo to go two blocks and you have all
these overpaid/under worked people that get incredibly large fucking
salaries and then their only there for a year and when things aren't
happening for the label they get fired and go work with somebody else.
ONLY after getting a couple million dollars for severance pay. And then
the whole radio game.... I think that's part of their demise. When you
don't have to spend as much money and you make more profit, because you
have less overhead, who's winning?
Wasn't this record written and recorded before you were signed
to the label?
Yeah, for the first time we did this record without
any influence. There was no bullshit around us. No producer, no
engineer, no label, no manager, just the four of us and our studio at
downtown Brooklyn underneath the Bridge. It was just us and the rats.
And did you send out very many "demos" to labels or did they come
looking for you kinda thing?
Ummm...I don't remember, we were on tour..... We ended up
signing different deals for Europe and American Territory. We hooked
up through word of mouth and I think the band had enough reputation.
People heard new stuff because we sent out demos.
So in comparison of how Biohazard does in Europe as opposed to here in
North America, can you compare in contrast how you do? Is the USA your
I don't know. Depends how you look at it. Right now
the record is doing better in Europe than the states, but we've toured a
more in Europe over the years and have had a lot of problems doing
excessive touring in the states. So as we tour the states we do better.
So I think the market in the states is probably biggest per capita, you
know the show in Europe are much more packed.
Seems like metal or hard music in general has never went out of
A lot of the masses are dictated to by radio and MTV. Whereas
people in Europe seem to be less concerned with what's played on the radio or what's
being played on TV.
In terms of what's happening with heavy music these days; is there
any particular bands; new or old, that you are listening to or have
And are you still listening to the bands that made you want to pick
up a guitar and start playing?
Yeah of course. There's a really good new band
coming out called Damn 13 and they're awesome.
Are they from New York?
They are from Canada.
In my opinion you're one of the
bands who started and fused together a new type of music which a lot of bands are doing now.
That is the mixing of metal, hardcore and hip hop. Back when
you guys did it, when I first heard it, it was something fresh and new.
Now we have a zillion bands doing a weak imitation of something that you
started and they are the ones getting all the props and the
glory....does this bother you?
Not so much the glory, I think more just the popularity. I think you can
imitate but you can't duplicate. When you have your own style you do
what you do and it's yours. You can't call it that you know what I mean?
We are just Biohazard and it's our style and we do what we do. I've
always listened to all kinds of music from all different styles of
music like hip hop and metal and punk rock, and it comes out naturally.
It's not forced, it's not contrived. We don't sit there and analyze what's happening on the radio or
MTV and decide to mix this or that type of
music or this kind of music could be the new thing. A lot of the bands
out there are a huge but it's formula music for me and it's weak. Often
imitated....never duplicated! I think when people see Biohazard or hear us and then come
and see us, think "oh yeah fucking Biohazard!". My older
brother came home once a few years ago from a Biohazard show with a
bloody nose and a bloody Biohazard T-shirt and said "It was the
fucking sickest show I ever went to in my life", and that's in a
good way. And when they hear us it's undeniable 'that's cool', this is
what the fuckers are imitating. You know we do what we do and we don't
have any apologies and we take no hostages.
My favorite Biohazard album to this day is the first album that I
really got off on is Urban Discipline. The song
"Punishment" being one of my favorites and it also has a line
from the movie "The Punisher". When that song was written was it written with the idea of the movie in
mind or was it something that was added on after kinda like "hey
cool, we can use this" kinda thing?
Yeah it was added on after.
So what happens to be your favorite Biohazard album besides your new
one? Which every artist likes to say is their favorite. :-)
It is definitely a cop out and some kind of
marketing plan. It always is and if you don't strive try to express yourself
more fluently than before or top what you did in the past, then you're
dead. Our next record which we're working on now, tops UNCIVILIZATION. So you
have to strive for that you know?
So you've already started working on a new album you mean?
Yeah but I don't look at it as "working" on an album.
We're constantly writing, even before Sept.11, which is enough inspiration forever right
Besides the new album, is there any other particular album you look to
and say " I'm more into this album than say a
certain other album" maybe? or is it all kinda equal?
I think that musically it's all equal. Certain
records give you a certain vibe because of the time during our career
you know what I mean? It's a reflection of the music. So I'm not going
to give you a certain record for that one.
No, you leave that up to the listeners.
Yeah it is. That's the beauty of art you know.
So what are the future plans for Biohazard after the tour? I guess
you're going back to Europe for the rest of the tour again?
We stay in the states in January, go back to Europe
in February and take a couple of months off for personal stuff, and then
we'll be out all spring and summer. Hopefully back up to Canada.
And then a new album again I guess?
Yeah, oh yeah. A whole lot of material waiting to be
Is there any other happenings or things going on with the band that
you would like me to let people know about?
Come and see us! Go pick up the record and you won't
be let down. If you can't afford it, steal it! haha!!!
Well man that's all the questions I had lined up for you.
Thanks for your time.
And thanks a lot for your time, for the album, and good luck with
the rest of your tour.
Thanks a lot! We'll see ya on the rerun. Peace.
Official Biohazard site: www.biohazard.com
Thanks to Ronnie and Joel for the transcription!!