Exclusive! Biohazard's Evan Seinfeld Wants To Kill or Be Killed!
By Chris Hawkins, Contributor
Friday, April 4, 2003 @ 11:34 AM
SEINFELD: Yeah, we’re on tour. We’re in Connecticut right now. It started yesterday in Providence. KNAC.COM: How did that first show go?
SEINFELD: Oh, that show was killer. It was a fucking brawl. There was like eight fights. It was eight fights during the opening bands, but no fights during Biohazard. I guess they threw out all the unruly ones by that time. It was crazy. We went on stage and we’re like, “Hey, our country went to war about 45 minutes ago, and there’s nothing anybody in this building has to fight with each other about at all. We should all be thinking about those young men who are over there fighting for our country and not disrespect them.” It was kind of cool. KNAC.COM: Did you get a chance to see any of the war footage before you went on stage?
SEINFELD: Actually, yeah. Me and my girl had a hotel and we watched everything. Chuck D said the “revolution would not be televised,” but you know they’re not showing everything. I get a lot of emails from the troops over there. America’s never going to televise any of the horrifying shit.
SEINFELD: Well, look at the explosions they show. It’s so far away that it looks like fireworks. The sentiment in America is so crazy. I feel very adamant about it personally. The whole thing with Biohazard is we’re a political band and everyone in the band has their own opinion, but the whole thing is that Biohazard is all about everybody thinking for themselves. It’s so crazy to me that all these people in NY especially, where I live in Brooklyn, are protesting the war and this and that. I just don’t get it. The only reason you have the right to protest is because America has remained free and remained powerful. I really believe if American hadn’t taken action, eventually Saddam and South Korea, if they aren’t already aligned, they would have. I do think they would gang up on us, and I do think there’s going to be more terrorist action against America whether or not we bomb them. I live in New York City, and when my kids are out I don’t feel very safe about it.
SEINFELD: Listen, Tom Morello is probably the most politically confused guy I’ve ever heard speak. I think he’s a nice guy, but him and Serj are doing some talk radio thing now and to me they’re both fucking weak. They’re both really confused. Look at System of a Down. Those guys are Armenian refugees. They came to America to escape religious and political persecution in their country and to save their lives. We saved their lives, America, and then he comes here and makes a career dissing America. I spoke to him personally about it, face to face: “Don’t diss America because the only reason you’re alive is because America is here to save your ass.” He’s like, “Yeah, I haven’t really thought about it that way.” Bullshit. Rage Against the Machine, those guys talk so much shit like they want to be Communist and this and that, but they’re total capitalists. They signed with Sony Records. Print all this. I hate everybody. Fuck it. Rage Against the Machine, if they were a band, would never take Biohazard on tour because we’re not part of the part of the whole “pretend we’re against the system, but we kiss everybody’s ass in the music business to be up MTV’s ass and up the radio’s ass.” Fuck all that. That shit isn’t rebellious. That shit’s about as rebellious as the mall. KNAC.COM: Mall Metal is a good term…
SEINFELD: System of a Down is like a Heavy Metal Bar Mitzvah. Our drummer Danny loves them, and we argue about it. I’m very, very musically picky. It’s kind of an ongoing joke, and we both think we know everything about music. Rage Against the Machine, though, all they do is diss corporate everything, and then they sign with Sony Records. KNAC.COM: Of course they aren’t going to refuse all the income they make from the record sales and the merchandise.
SEINFELD: Of course not, their big merchandising deal with Giant Merchandising where they sell millions of t shirts in the malls and exploit the weak minds of the children they sucker into selling their stuff to. Maybe they have their hearts in the right place, but if you really want to fight the system, do it yourself. How can they support Sony with all the evil things Sony’s about?
SEINFELD: Honestly, I must say that I really wasn’t that pumped up. I grew up in Brooklyn. I’ve seen a lot of things firsthand. I’ve seen a lot of people get killed, and a lot of really bad shit that no one should have had to see. I was in New York on September 11th, and after that I don’t think anything will ever shock me. I saw those buildings come down with people I knew in them from my roof. That was surreal. First of all, I’m not a warmonger. In war, nobody ever wins, and in that respect, as an idealist I understand why people are saying stop the war. It’s a shame because people are going to die who don’t need to die. Like our album title says, Kill or Be Killed, and in the end, I’m worried about myself and my brothers in my band and my family and my son and my friends and my girl first. I’m worried about my country before I’m worried about anyone else’s country. You know what, if you don’t like it here, Tom and Serj, then you can pack your shit and leave. Period. That’s your house, bro. Love it or leave it. Respect it. I’ve got no respect for those guys. Rage Against the Machine goes on stage and burns the flag to get attention. “Well, it’s our right as Americans.” Yeah, so you know what, it’s my right to punch you in the face. KNAC.COM: Freedom of expression…
SEINFELD: Exactly. I’m just so pissed off. MTV is just totally whack anyway. MTV doesn’t even acknowledge entire sections of music like Heavy Metal, like Hardcore. They only stick to formulated, tin-screen, payola Rock. It now costs about a million dollars to break a band. You’ve got to spend about 350-400 thousand dollars to get out to Rock radio and get your band played on the radio. It costs that much money. Everybody in the business knows this. It’s payola. You’ve got to hire McGathy Promotions and one or two other companies who professionally…because legally the record company can’t pay directly to the radio stations so they hire this company to pay the money for them, the third party. The labels all suck. I love music, man. I love the fans. I love Biohazard’s new album. KNAC.COM: With the Internet, though, don’t you think it’s getting a little easier to promote?
SEINFELD: I think everything’s getting better with the Internet. I can’t wait until everybody can do whatever they want. KNAC.COM: So are you pro-mp3 or con?
SEINFELD: It never bothered me any at all because I think the sooner we can cut the record companies out of the picture, the better. In Europe, Biohazard’s a huge band because they don’t have “pay radio.” Every band you hear on the radio, somebody paid to get them on the radio.
SEINFELD: Well, our last album entitled Uncivilization was uncannily released on September 11th. We woke up that morning and we were supposed to do two in-stores where we were going to perform live. It was a record store in New York City, and one in New Jersey. We woke up to our lives being changed forever. Everybody I know was affected. A lot of people I knew, girls I grew up with we were dead. Guys that I knew were firemen were dead. One of my best friends in the whole world got it. He was on the last subway car that didn’t cave in. I have now, a dozen other friends, who were all construction guys that just made it out. They were on the excavation team, pulling bodies out. Three guys I know have lost more than three-fourths of their lung capacity working at Ground Zero. Our government is giving them a check for 50 grand and saying, “I’m sorry.” They don’t even care because they’re Americans. They’re like, “I was just helping my country.” I respect all those guys. The new album is totally fueled by it. Biohazard has always been a band that’s done a lot of social commentary and a lot of reacting to our surroundings. Brooklyn’s a very violent place. We lived it, and looked at everything around us and the way it affected us on a personal level. People want to talk about socialism, but how does that apply to my life? In theory, it’s right, but does communism really work? Well, the whole world would be communist. It’s nice to be an idealist. It’s great to talk about utopian society, but it doesn’t exist. We’ve always tried to maintain a positive outlook in a negative world, but for a minute there we lost it. The album became, the songs turned into pain, rage, hatred, anger, feelings of wanting revenge… KNAC.COM: It’s a really pissed off album…
SEINFELD: It’s so pissed and it’s so pure. In Europe, it entered the Billboard charts. It wasn’t real high, like top 100 somewhere. In America, our album came out yesterday, but because we’re not part of the system…I mean, we didn’t pay 80 thousand dollars to play on the second stage of Ozzfest.
SEINFELD: That was an experiment. That was before they were asking bands to pay. Fuck that. We were even thinking about it for a while. I wouldn’t do that. I wouldn’t pay to play. I’m a person of principle. I think of compromising my principles sometimes, but I’m glad I never do. Every band you’re going to see on the Ozzfest on the second stage paid 75 thousand dollars at least. That’s a fact. Let Sharon Osbourne come to my house and scream at me for blowing the lid off her operation. Those same bands are going to get played on the radio because Clear Channel and SFX are one company now. If they hype these bands on the radio, and they play them at concerts in front of you, they collect money from the record company and they get kickbacks from the record company. That’s why every year there are fewer bands who sell a lot of records. When I was a kid, there was a hundred bands making a gold record. Now it seems like there’s 5 or 6 bands that make double platinum. They create super-groups now, Linkin Park’s, you know. KNAC.COM: Did you do anything differently in the recording of Kill or Be Killed?
SEINFELD: We recorded the album in our own studio in Brooklyn called Rat Piss. It’s right under the Brooklyn Bridge. We produced and engineered the whole album ourselves. Danny and Billy did all the engineering. We did it as a team. We wrote it and recorded the album in twelve days… KNAC.COM: You guys hammered it out pretty quick…
SEINFELD: It’s not brain surgery. I guess if you’re a pop group and you’re really trying to make something for other people. You’re a marketing person. You’re the guy who has to try and figure out what everybody else wants. We play what we want to play and say what we want to say. KNAC.COM: The sound of the album, the guitars and everything, has a gritty, harsh sound…
SEINFELD: I think it sounds brutal, and it does sound gritty and harsh. For us, it wasn’t really a technical thing, we just set up in a room like how we play live. It was like, “Does this sound good?” Let’s just record it. There weren’t a million over-dubs. The main tracks were all live.
SEINFELD: All the vocals were done in one take. It was about emotion and energy. It wasn’t about perfection. Honestly, we don’t have a place in the commercial music scene. We’re on top of the underground. Let’s just say we’re in the underground. The underground is alive and well and thriving. There seems to be a lot more longevity there. Maybe some guys with some band would rather have two giant albums. What happens to the guy who sells a couple million records, and his next record he only sells half a million? He gets dropped. Don’t get me wrong. We’ve sold millions of records over the years, but it’s spread out and it’s including Europe, South America, and Japan and Australia. Our biggest records in America were in the mid ‘90s. They sold like a quarter million copies a piece in America without any radio play. Nowadays, it just doesn’t happen anymore. People have never heard of that. KNAC.COM: There’s absolutely no hint of your past Hip Hop influence on the new album. Was that a conscious decision?
SEINFELD: It was very unconscious. It just happened that we all got that out of our system in a way. In a way, a lot of groups are blowing up on the Rap Metal thing that we helped pioneer. A lot of groups took it and sold out. Every time I hear Limp Bizkit I cringe. It almost sounds like they took Biohazard and made a joke out of it. I love Hip Hop and I love Hardcore, and I think as a band we felt like it was the time to just be pure Hardcore. I have another group that I’m doing called Triple Sicks, it’s a blast that’s a Hip Hop group. It’s straight up Hardcore Hip Hop. All the sounds come from Metal. It’s very interesting. It’s very different. KNAC.COM: Is there anybody we’d recognize that you’re collaborating with?
SEINFELD: Just some real talented cats, man. You don’t know them now, but hopefully you will soon.
SEINFELD: I want people to get in touch with their primal emotions, if nothing else. Whatever you’re pissed about, go scream and yell. Put your hands up and fight. Just think about everything that ever went wrong in your life and how to make it right. Fight furiously. This album is about making a stand for whatever you believe in, not necessarily physically. It can be emotionally, mentally. My fiancé is in a lawsuit right now. It’s a fight. Everyday, she’s got to fight. That can be very taxing on you, but you have to fight for what you believe in. Fight for yourself, for people that love you, and for people you love. I don’t see a lot of values out there that really hit home to me. KNAC.COM: It doesn’t seem like there’s any sense of conviction across the board with people.
SEINFELD: There were a lot of genres of music that came out because people were really passionate. A lot of people thought, “Hey, I can do that, and I can make some money.” Doing something for the love of doing it and doing something because you want to succeed at it are totally different. Most people don’t see the difference or don’t care. Ignorance is bliss. A lot of people are like, “Hey I like that song.” Do you think they’ll be around in five years? KNAC.COM: Do you think that’s because of a change in society or the economy, or it’s because people are just really dumb?
SEINFELD: I think it’s a combination. I don’t think people are dumb. I think if people are given a real choice, I think people’s choices are all different. You can watch MTV all day, and you’ll only see 15 or 20 artists. They just rotate them. They’re just force-feeding you. How does somebody make a choice? How does somebody find out about a group like Hatebreed? They won’t. How will they find out about Biohazard. They absolutely won’t. The average 12-year-old kid walks into Hot Topic in the mall, and there’s a board of t-shirts to pick from. That’s where those kids get to pick their identity from…
SEINFELD: “Am I more Blink 182 or am I more Limp Bizkit?” It’s like a very limited Chinese menu. Then there are the real few, disenfranchised, a little more out of step, more questioning young people who need something deeper, harder, and stronger. They want something that’s more real and more tangible. It’s the same way with art and fashion. People aren’t content with shopping at the mall because they don’t want to look like everybody else. People have to go and venture to find custom made shit. Music and style is that whole art imitates life thing. Biohazard fans have Biohazard tattoos. Biohazard fans have all their albums. Even if they’re 16 years old, they have our album that came out in 1990. They went back to get it because they care about what we have to say. When I was in 8th grade, I was buying Black Sabbath records. Soon after, I was getting turned onto Motorhead. Nobody I knew even knew who Motorhead was. I was into early Metallica, and I was into the Cro-Mags, Bad Brains, and Minor Threat. Those were the rebellious bands of my time. I loved Judas Priest and Iron Maiden when I was a kid. It was so anti-everything. With the Internet and everybody having cable and satellite TV, you get to pick from all sorts of stuff. There’s no more imagination. When I was a kid, there was no MTV. There was nothing like that. You had to go to the record store and wander around. I would go to this record store who specialized in Metal, Punk, and Hardcore, and they would recommend stuff to me. I remember going to a record store to meet Mercyful Fate when I was 13. They pulled up in this shitty four door Oldsmobile with a big panther on the side. I even thought the car was cool. Years later, we played in Europe and they opened for us. It was just bizarre.
SEINFELD: Yeah, I mean when I was a kid, the real turn-on was KISS. I was like 7 years old. I had five KISS albums. I used to go to the newsstand because there weren’t bands on TV, and you would have to buy a magazine to get one pinup of one group. I would go to the magazine store and I would buy a Spiderman comic and I would pull all the KISS pictures out of four or five magazines, and then pay the 35 cents for my Spiderman comic. I didn’t know what KISS looked like except for those pictures, and they were an over-exposed band for their day. A lot of bands, if they didn’t have pictures on their albums, it was just music. There was side one and side two. You had to use your imagination. It was called Album Rock. The new wave of this Clear Channel radio bullshit completely destroyed Album Rock. Even if you like a good Rock band like Godsmack that makes Album Rock, you’re only going to get to hear the two songs on the radio. My favorite band is AC/DC because they never changed. KNAC.COM: What would you credit to Biohazard’s longevity?
SEINFELD: I’m not really sure. I think it’s sincerity and conviction. We’ve never had a hit song so it can’t be that. We’re persistent. We never give up. A lot of people would have given up a long time ago. We never got involved in this to make money. We were shocked when we figure out we could make a living doing this. We’re just glad we don’t have to punch a clock and wear a suit. I was working on a construction site before I was doing this. My fingers were broken, and my fillings were falling out from running a jackhammer all day.
SEINFELD: Pete Steele is a good friend of mine. He worked for the Parks Department, which is a combination of being a sanitation guy… it’s manual labor. I remember we did a tour, us, Exploited, and Type O Negative back in ’91, and Pete wasn’t sure if he was going to do the band full time or not. I used to roadie for his old band, Carnivore, which is my favorite heavy band of all time. I remember Pete didn’t want to lose his job. He was calling in sick everyday. He’d be like, (in Pete Steele voice) “This is Peter. I’m not coming in today.” It was really funny. He’s one of the most talented guys out there. I love Nine Inch Nails. They put out their best record after they had a huge hit, and nobody talks about it at all. It was very avant-garde. It was artistic, and it was very emotional. There was kind of purposely no real hit on it. That album, “The Fragile” is passionate and sexy, and it hits hard at the same time. KNAC.COM: Tell me about coming out of the Brooklyn scene. There were so many bands like we just mentioned, Type O, Carnivore…how was it back in the day?
SEINFELD: It was kind of weird because we didn’t really know what we were stumbling on to. Our club was L’Amour in Brooklyn. It was Carnivore, Sheer Terror. We were the young guys. We were the new kids. After us came Life of Agony. Actually, Danny our drummer, and Scott our guitar player, are in another project called Among Thieves with Alan from Life of Agony. It’s a small world. To make it even smaller, I used to walk Alan to school because he was two years younger than me and he lived on my block. KNAC.COM: So it was a pretty close-knit scene?
SEINFELD: Yeah, everybody knew everybody. There was a couple of studios. You’d see people in the studios everyday. There’s a studio that’s still there called Fast Lanes. Merauder came out of Brooklyn. There were so many bands. Later on there were bands like Indecision. There’s a band on this tour with us, Most Precious Blood is from Brooklyn. Sworn Enemy is mixture of Brooklyn, Queens, and Detroit guys. E Town Concrete is on our tour. They’re from Jersey.
SEINFELD: It’s perfect. I wonder if the big music machine is going to pluck one of these bands up and catapult them to stardom. Actually, Sworn Enemy got into Ozzfest at a reduced rate, but I know they had to pay. KNAC.COM: So what’s on your agenda after this tour wraps up?
SEINFELD: After this tour, we’re taking a small break. I’m finishing my demos on Triple Sicks. We have some more Biohazard shows we’re playing in Europe, Japan, and Hawaii. When I’m not busy with the band, I’m auditioning for movies and stuff like that. I’m looking to go back and study acting. I worked on Oz for five years and I miss it. KNAC.COM: I was going to ask if you had anything lined up acting-wise?
SEINFELD: Well, it’s hard to line something up. There’s a lot of politics involved. It’s even harder than music. You can’t buy your way into it like music. I’m a very particular looking kind of guy. A lot of Hollywood isn’t ready for me. I got cast into Oz because that was the most hardcore show out there. I imagine there will be some independent films that will come along. I want to keep acting because I love it. KNAC.COM: But you still want to stay busy with music, right?
SEINFELD: Oh yeah. Biohazard could live forever as long as we had a record deal. Even if we didn’t have a record deal, we’d do it ourselves. I think the whole wave of the music business (which is an oxymoron anyway) is changing. I think it’s going another direction. I really think that in 20 years from now, I think every band will have a web site. There will be sponsor sites. These record companies won’t really be record companies anymore. They’ll be in business with the band. I think in 20 years from now, if you like a band, you’re going to go to their site, pay 5 bucks and download their music. It will be encrypted or encoded. No one’s going to have CDs anymore. Everyone’s going to walk around with whatever hard drive you need to carry around.
SEINFELD: We’re playing a lot of old stuff, a lot of Urban Discipline stuff. I think we’re playing five or six songs from Urban Discipline. We’re playing like two or three from State of the World Address. We’re playing maybe two or three songs from the first album. We’re not playing anything from the middle because we’re playing so much new stuff, and the fans will never let us not play our old stuff. We’re playing like five new songs. That’s enough to keep it moving. We’re not playing anything from Unciviliztion. We’re not playing anything from Mata Leao or New World Disorder. I don’t really agree with, but we only have an hour fifteen minutes. We’re playing a lot of songs. We’ll have to try and work at least one song from those albums in. It’s so weird, we’ve got a poll on our web site on www.brutalnewmusic.com for what songs did people want to hear on tour. It was just like there was no one song that people wanted to hear. It was just so scattered. Everyone had a different favorite. The live show is tighter than ever. The beautiful thing about the world today is that the Internet and like KNAC.COM, everybody can log on to it. It doesn’t matter where you live. KNAC.COM: Do you have plans for anything visual on the way?
SEINFELD: Well, we’ve been having this imaginary DVD coming for like 8 years now. Actually, it’s in our record deal now so it has to come out. It’s going to be some live stuff. It’s so crazy because most of the footage we have is from ’93 and ’95. We’re just going to save all that stuff, and I guess we’ll wait for another five years and it will be like 20 years of Biohazard or something.
SEINFELD: It’s funny because most of our fans are young, aggressive kids who like Metal, Punk, whatever. Our label, Sanctuary… most of their bands are older, Rock bands. They call them “heritage acts.” It’s a nice way of saying bands that were once really big and now aren’t big anymore. So far they haven’t broken any band on that label. Every band that’s been on that label either broke up like Megadeth, or they’re just creeping along like Halford, Rollins, and us. It’s funny, too, because you know it’s not our fault that our band’s not exploding in album sales. Our album’s out this week. I don’t think it’s going to do very well at all. I know guys in every big band. The guys in Papa Roach, P.O.D., those guys are all cool. They’re going to debut at number one on the Billboard charts. We’re not even going to be on the charts. Our album is going to sell a couple thousand copies to our real deal fans. That’s it because these labels, if they’re not part of the big money machine, they don’t push it at all. Our album came out yesterday. There’s no Spin article. There’s no Rolling Stone. There’s no radio stations. I’ve been getting a lot of press because I have a publicist who works for Penthouse. On the side, she’s me and my fiancé‘s publicist. My wife-to-be is Tera Patrick, and a lot of people have wanted to talk to us like morning radio and stuff like that because they’re interested in the rock star/porn star marriage, Hollywood couples, blah, blah, blah. I get to talk the band, but I don’t see these people really going out and buying Hardcore records, shaving their heads, and going to shows. I don’t think we’re capturing a whole new audience with stuff like that. A lot of people
SEINFELD: I look in the mirror everyday. I look myself dead in the eye, bro. Everybody in Biohazard can all say that. We never listened to anybody else. We did everything our own way. If there’s one thing I can teach my kid, it’s like “Don’t ever sell your soul.” Biohazard, we’re like the pit bull on the ass of the music business. All those people just wish we would go away. Then there are those assholes at Blabbermouth.net, who are going to take two or three sentences out of this interview because they’re jealous of my life. They have to run a web site while I can be a rock star, ride motorcycles everyday, and live the good life. That web site consistently misquotes me. Every interview I do, they pull things. They’ll pull one of the things I said about Rage Against the Machine here, and they’ll say it’s like an attack. Fucking idiots. It’s yellow journalism. It’s cowardly. The Internet made everybody really tough because anybody can hide behind a screen name. Biohazard, we don’t say anything that we’re not willing to back up. That’s probably the foremost reason we have our fans. We wrote all our songs about what we experienced in our life, growing up in Brooklyn, growing up in the streets, going through our battles with dysfunctional families, with drug abuse, with violence, with being misunderstood. These are things people really relate to. Biohazrd, Kill or Be Killed, we’re just like America, love it or leave it. All or nothing.
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