| March 13, 2014
„Expressing fury is good. How they're doing it is wrong” –
interview with M.O.D.
I hope you enjoyed tonight's show, your
first one in Hungary ever. Billy: It was fucking
great. You have to understand that we, an older band, are happy
when the fans show up without even going crazy. When they go
crazy, it's an extra bonus.
Then you've got a lot of extra bonuses
tonight. Billy: Yes, it was a dream show for us. I
always wanted to come to your city, always wanted to play in
Budapest. Everyone told me to play here. I had a day off in
Prague and I heard there was a possibility to play in Budapest
so I said “Absolutely, we'll play the show no matter how much
money we'll get. I don't care, I want to play there.”
And when was the last time you've been
to Europe? Billy: In 1994. I believe we came to
Europe with S.O.D. in 1999 or 2000 but with M.O.D., it's been
since 1994 we haven't been this way.
You've done a 25th Anniversary M.O.D.
tour in the USA last year. Is this European leg also part of the
celebration? Mike: We're coming right now to do a
good warm-up. We're trying to get the name out there again.
We'll be coming back in June to play some festivals. We've got
Hellfest, we've got Dokk'em Open Air and we've got Metalfest
Loreley. Billy: We did the shows at home for fun. And I see how
it goes. I don't have the huge expectations of being a big star.
I don't want that, I want to have fun. But it's going very well.
Some shows are very small, some are very big and we're having
fun. We came over again to Europe in February to let promoters
see us for more festivals. We really wanted to see Europe before
Barack Obama blows it up, he's a piece of shit. Here's the
thing: everyone came over for his own reasons. I came over to
see the world because I honestly believe that these fucking sick
people in my country, America, are going to blow it up. That's
why I want to enjoy it. I want to see the fans and say thank
you. That's my personal belief. They're sick in the head. Mike:
I came over to Europe with M.O.D. for one purpose and that
purpose is just to help this fucking band named M.O.D., bringing
it back into the minds again and raising the spirit of the fans
who have been waiting for twenty years. I want to play
everything. Before I joined the band, I was a big fan of the
music and now that I'm part of it, it's a dream come true. It's
totally awesome to travel the world and get to hang out with
good friends of mine. Billy: He's discovering a style he wasn't
a part of. He plays death metal and M.O.D. is hardcore punk.
M.O.D. was on hiatus twice. Is it a
really active band right now? Billy: As active as can
be since we are in fucking Budapest. That's pretty active. I
usually lay in bed and sleep or smoke weed. Or watch some porn
and jerk off. Scott Sargeant played guitar on Red White And
Screwed that came out in 2007 and we did ninety two shows in
America. But we couldn't get to Europe even on I Scream Records
because all of those... How do you call them?.. Antifas. Well,
I'm not a fascist. I have two Mexicans in my band, I'm part
Jewish, part European Gypsy and Greek and Moroccan. So I'm North
African. But no-one wants to know that about me, they just want
to make magazine sells. So I saw how difficult it was to get
over here and it wasn't working and I said “Fuck it, I don't
want to argue, I want to have fun.” If people want to be
political, I want to be educational.
And you've had a lot of arguments in
the past. Billy: Oh yeah. And you know what.
Expressing fury is good. How they're doing it is wrong.
Terrorism and anti terrorism are still violence. Fascism and
anti fascism are still violence. So it's violence and I don't
like that. The thing about me is this: I'm an entertainer not a
singer. I go on stage to make people laugh and to have fun. Like
Hulk Hogan, the wrestler. Hulk Hogan never goes to the food
store in yellow underwear. They play violence but it's
entertainment. But they don't understand. Al Pacino is not the
Godfather. Tony Soprano is not a real person. And Billy Milano
is an entertainer. When I come home I'm a grandfather and I'm a
very spiritual person: I'm a part of the Krishnamurti Foundation
which is Hinduism and I'm also an Odd Fellow which is a
different sight of Freemasonry. I believe in helping the
community and I do a lot of spiritual stuff for my community as
well as feed the homeless. I help people. When people need help
they know they can call me and they call me. That's what I do.
But no-one wants to hear in a heavy metal magazine that Billy
Milano feeds the homeless and Billy Milano helps people. No-one
wants to hear that because they can't sell that Billy Milano.
You and Scott live in Texas now. Are
the other guys from there as well? Billy: Scott
Sargeant moved from San Francisco to Austin, Texas. I moved
there in 2004. Mike is from San Marcos which is right below
Austin and then the drummer Mike Arellano lives in New Braunfels
which is twenty minutes far towards San Antonio. So we're in the
The Devolution album, originally out on
Music For Nations, has been reissued on Blackout Records in
2004. What was the reason for that? Billy: They
re-released both Devolution and Dictated Aggression. Here's how
I look at it. When I do a record, I never do the record that the
fans want. I do what I want. And I don't want to buy the same
record over and over and over. I don't want to do that and I
won't make that. I had records that I wanted people to hear and
I didn't take money for, I just gave it to them and put it out.
So if people liked it and bought it, good for them. If they
heard it and downloaded it, who cares.
As for S.O.D., I think it's save to say
that it's all over now. Do you think that the Rise Of The
Infidels compilation was an appropriate and worthy way to finish
the story? Billy: Well, all we wanted to do in the
end of the day is say thank you to the fans. Unfortunately, I
was in the band with two guys, Charlie and Scott, that never
said thank you to anybody. Even to me. So I feel Rise Of The
Infidels was something for the fans in a way so that they could
say “O.K., at least someone in the band cared“. But Charlie
Benante and Scott Ian care about for nobody. I'm not going to
slag them, I'm disappointed more in me for believing in them and
them not believing in me.
And concerning Danny Lilker, can you
believe he's going to put Brutal Truth to an end and retire from
being a full-time musician? Mike: From what I've
read, it sounded like he's just going to call it a day on Brutal
Truth but I believe he's still going to continue to do music.
Billy: I don't know. I think Danny needs time off. Like I did.
Is it true that you wrote No Glove No
Love with Brian Wheat from Tesla? Billy: Yeah, I was
on the road supporting Exodus and we went to see Def Leppard and
Tesla. I was talking to Brian Wheat who was an M.O.D. fan and he
got an idea for a song for me. He turned on the drum machine,
brought those crazy beats and went “No glove no love, no glove
no love...” That was the idea that inspired the song and he
absolutely did influence the song. My friends from high school
wrote Ode To Harry and my brother Chris who is not a musician
wrote the lyrics for Ode To Harry. I always try to have
something fun with other people. Let them enjoy it and be part
The latest M.O.D. album is entitled Red
White And Screwed. Was it meant to express your anger and
frustration with politics in the USA? Billy: I
definitely have an opinion on politics. I read three, four or
five hours every day. But I think the reason I'm feeling
disappointed is that I didn't know all this stuff when I was a
young boy. I grew up with the illusion of America and now I see
it's bullshit. I don't believe in it. I don't believe in war. I
don't believe in the system. I believe in community and family,
it's all that matters. I've always been rude as a principle.
I've always been very rough. I'm not going to hold back my
opinion. Not for my friends, not for my family. Do some research
and prove me wrong. Scott played guitar on Red White And
Screwed, by the way. Scott: Actually, when I first started with
M.O.D., I played bass. I was done with my old band at that time
and I was looking to do something so I called Billy up. He was
actually looking for a bass player but I said sure, so when I
first joined I played bass. Then they went through a couple of
guitar players and got to the point where we were going to to
the Red White And Screwed record. I called them up at about four
o'clock in the morning and said “Look, I play guitar. I'm a
guitar player. I can play anything with strings on it but I'm a
guitar player. I want to play the guitar tracks, all right?” So
I played guitar on that record and then we did some touring
until I kind of got burned out. Not just because of my time in
M.O.D. but also Laaz Rockit, Skinlab, all that twenty seven
years of doing records and touring. So I said “I'm going to take
a walk and go to work”. I did that for about four years but now
here I am again, playing bass.
And what's going on with Skinlab?
Scott: I have no idea. I think the other members are
doing other bands now.
Do you have any new songs or new ideas
for the next M.O.D. record? Billy: I've got like
three records written. I have more music than I ever wrote in my
life, it just came out of me. About a year ago, my dog got sick
and we started writing for M.O.D. after that. He was very ill
and so I was watching him and playing guitar every day. I made a
great record, it's very emotional and very angry. I'm an animal
lover and it's very difficult for me to sing about my dog. Mike:
Every day on this tour, Billy sits in a room, he has his guitar,
he plugs up and he strums. He has a bunch of ideas and we've
been working on them.
Billy: I have more music now than any time in my life.
Does that mean that you're going to
bring a new album out soon? Billy: We're working on
it. We'll see.
A compilation of Crab Society demos
came out some years ago. Could you tell us about that band?
Billy: Crab Society were all the ideas we've put together
before S.O.D., sitting around, drinking beer and smoking pot.
It's just crazy stuff but people liked it and I think it's an
important band. We shared it and that's it.
Do you have any hobbies besides the
ones you mentioned before? What else do you do besides
musicianship? Billy: Jerking off... I run a honky
tonk show in an Irish pub is Austin, Texas. I work in a bar, I'm
the security there. But I'm also the sound guy / engineer. I've
done some production, I've produced my friend Matt's demo and
I've produced M.O.D. stuff with Scott. We've all done
productions. So it's more about my life at this point.
Is it true that you also used to manage
bands? Billy: Yeah, back in the day. But it was so
much stress, some musicians are a bunch of fucks, so it's the
last thing I wanted to do.
Given the fact that you have such an
interesting and diverse life, did you ever consider writing an
autobiography? A lot of artists do that nowadays.
Billy: Yeah, I've been asked to write for everybody. Everyone's
asked me to come up with an autobiography but I won't do it, my
memories are mine. If I would do anything it would be about my
value system, not about music. Very little about music. I don't
want to show my memories, they're mine. I don't even know if I
would remember them correctly but that's another thing. I might
be told Gene Simmons stories... But I want to do a cookbook and
I want to do a story about my dog and how my dog affected me
spiritually. That's about it.
- This song is for Onno -
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