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“Biohazard has always been straight up and in your face, on every album, we didn’t pull punches or tip toe around certain issues, we say what we mean and mean what we say.”

DarkMedia interviews Billy Graziadei of Biohazard:

Biohazard is an iconic Metal band originally based out of Brooklyn, New York. Pioneers in the music industry, they are acknowledged as one of the earliest bands to fuse hardcore punk and heavy metal with elements of hip-hop.

Stay tuned for the release of their new album in September 2011 on Nuclear Blast, the first album with all four original members in seventeen years. The band worked on the new album with legendary producer Toby Wright (Alice In Chains, Sevendust, Korn, Taproot), and it has all the makings of a monster hit.

Photo by JJ Horvath

DarkMedia had the pleasure of interviewing Billy Graziadei, lead singer and guitar — and founding member of the band.  He’s also the force behind the Los Angeles based Firewater Studios (Formerly known as Underground Sound), using more than twenty years of experience in the music industry, along with over four million record sales, as a foundation for what’s been an incredibly successful venture.  Firewater Studios has represented, among others, Slipknot, Cypress Hill, Onyx, and the Wu-Tang Clan, along with Billy’s own bands — Biohazard and Suicide City.

How do you think growing up in Brooklyn has influenced your sound? Do you think it would be different had you lived somewhere else?

Where we grow up, how we grow up, our experiences, friends and family around us…we’re all effected by our environment! When you listen to music from around the world, you can hear the differences so yeah, I would think if we came out of a different area other than Brooklyn, we wouldn’t be who we are.

You write a lot about drugs, violence and gangs. Given that those issues are not just a concern for Brooklyn or America, but worldwide, what do you hope to say about those issues with your music?

We write about our life experiences, things we’ve been through or are going through. It’s been the best (and cheapest) therapy we could find. When you talk about issues that are personal and deep to you and find out someone else has or is experiencing something similar, you no longer feel so isolated or alone. When someone comes up to me and thanks me for a song that helped them through a part of their life, that’s payday for me. Fame and fortune is only material, when you touch someone’s life, that’s forever!

Your second full length album, “Urban Discipline”, came out at a time where a lot of what you wrote was extremely current and relevant on a worldwide scale. How do you think that influenced its popularity?

Biohazard has always been straight up and in your face, on every album, we didn’t pull punches or tip toe around certain issues, we say what we mean and mean what we say. I think the sincerity behind the band is what grabbed people, we have never tried to “fit in” with what’s popular at the time.

Available for purchase on Amazon.com

How did you come to record the title track for the film “Judgment Night”?

Judgement Night came out of a collaboration I did with Onyx on their song Slam. After working with them on the remix of Slam, they reached back out to us to work together as two bands on an original song which became Judgment Night. Spent some time in the studio with Onyx and the late Jam Master Jay (RIP), which was an honor….finished the tracking in Black Sabbath’s studio in England and then the song came out on the Judgment Night Soundtrack, which rocks!!

What was it like to be a part of Monsters of Rock Fest at Caste Donnington?

It was awesome…we hit the stage, not many people knew Biohazard then and didn’t know what to expect….when the crowd started coming over the barricade and on stage like roaches, security freaked and started attacking our “friends”…we stood up for them, had some back and forth Brooklyn Style beef and they pulled the plug on us. Proud to be the first (and from what I believe) the only band to be ever kicked off of stage at Castel Donnington!

Is there a prominent difference being playing Donnington & Ozzfest?

Donnington was more of a European one off festival where as Ozzfest was a traveling tour festival…big difference, both are great but different in the sense that Ozzfest was like a normal tour, like the same movie in a different movie theater each night. Donnington (or any one off festivals) are usually a cluster fuck, you get in quick, rock the show then split for another gig somewhere. Not much time to hang out, which sucks.

What did you do during the band’s hiatus?

I had started a few other bands….Endrah from Brazil, Suicide City from Brooklyn…continued producing bands in my studio Firewater Studios which used to be called Underground Sound Studios. So I stayed pretty active in the music world.

Your sixth studio album, “Uncivilization”, featured many guest artists. Why did you decide to have so many on one album, and what influenced your choices?

We didn’t decide….we actually never really made plans in our career, we just let things flow naturally. We had made so many friends in other bands during our time touring that the “let’s jam one day” backstage drunken banter finally was possible. Many funny stories from those sessions!

What bands and artists would you like to collaborate with?

MMmmm…a lot for sure….Max from Sepultura, Benji from Skindred, Billy and Maynard from Perfect Circle/Tool….Tom Arraya from Slayer….the list goes on…

Is there a big difference touring with women rock artists such as Kittie, Otep and MSI as opposed to males?

Not at all, maybe more fun in some ways!

You are recording in Los Angeles now. Does the vibe of the city compared to Brooklyn have an effect on your lyrics & music?

You can take the boy outta Brooklyn but you can’t take Brooklyn outta the boy!! Firewater Studios is located here in LA, I love it here but miss the hell out of NY!!! I’m an east coast kid, love the seasons, the real in your face attitude and the whole vibe back east.

photos by ©Markus Werner

It has been years since Biohazard has released a full length album (not including live ones). Given how the music industry has changed over the years, do you think it’s easier or more difficult to put out a successful album?

The music business is fucked, I’m blessed to have a strong foundation with Biohazard to stand on though. We’re proud as hell of the new album due out September 2011 and can’t wait to hit the road again.

We hope that your new studio album, due for release in September, is a big hit. Have you chosen a title and/or your lead-off single?

Yes, we have both but haven’t released the news yet, stay tuned with our Facebook and Twitter for more news and some cool free shit coming soon!

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Biohazard is a Featured Member of DarkMediaCity.  You can also find them at biohazard.com.

Many thanks to our contributing music interviewers, Annie & Kelly.

(All interviews are the exclusive property of DarkMedia, and may not be reproduced or shared without permission, excepting links to the interview.)

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