Taken from: Stain Magazine
Interview by: Matt Wasiolek
Interview with Billy Milano
So here I am wandering China Town looking for someone who knows whatís going on. See, I am suppose to interview Billy Milano of SOD before the show tonight at the Trocadero, but no-one else seems to know about it except me. The girl at the box office, the security at the Troc., not even the people running the tour seem to know anything about the interview or the guest list. The guys supposedly running things are too busy talking on cell phones to God only knows who and are just too busy to check up about the whole thing. I finally spot Billy Milano on the street talking to two guys and giving autographs out, so I walk up to him and tell him I got an appointment for an interview with him for Stain magazine. Billy tells me to meet him back at the tour bus in 20 minutes and we can do the interview. So that's how this whole interview came about.
Matt: So howís the new CD doing?
Billy: Itís doing really good, itís kind of like weíre a whole new band right now.
M: The title of the new CD is Bigger Than The Devil, is this a dig towards all those Black, Death Metal bands, you know, the ones with their painted faces that look like King Diamond?
B: Yeah sort of, you know that whole clique of Death, Black Metal guys that take themselves way too seriously. They should realize that what they and even SOD do is a form of entertainment and just have fun with it. They could be a lot more fun if they wouldnít take all too serious.
M: Is the new CD all new material? Are there any old songs on it from back in the day?
B: Itís all new material on the CD except for ďArenít You HungryĒ which is an old song we redid for this CD just to see if the old stuff and the new stuff connected, and it does just fine. It was one of the songs slated for the second SOD album that never got released back then. Scott Ian and I later used parts of the song in our other bands, me with MOD and Scott with Anthrax.
M: That brings me to my next question, what did you think of Scott Ian using some of the old SOD songs on Anthraxís ďAttack of the Killer Bís'?
B: I didnít like it that much because it did not come off sounding as good as the original stuff.
M: Did you guys write the whole new CD together or did you all just bring your own songs?
B: No! We wrote the whole CD together in about 3 weeks. It was very spontaneous and came about real natural. It felt real fresh, not stale, and the songs came about naturally, nothing was forced. We felt no real pressure just write new songs .
M: The new CD has a slightly different sound than the last one, more of a grind influence can be heard.
B: Well weíve been doing this for over 14 years now, so somethingís bound to influence you over time. Just the daily wisdoms and knuckleheadisms of life over all those years will do that.
M: So did SOD start the word mosh or was it Anthrax, because it just sort of came out of nowhere and replaced the phrase slamming in the underground. It definitely got itís start from the metal side of things though.
B: I think SOD started it but itís been linked to both bands, but Iím sure it was us that actually started it.
M: How did you get to be the management for Agnostic Front?
B: I have been into managing and the management side of things since 1991. At that time I wasnít into performing that much any more so I just got into it. I manage a lot of bands besides Agnostic Front. I also do the US Bombs, SOD and I just picked up Madball.
M: Cool! I was just going to say, you should try to pick up Madball with Freddie and Agnostic Front being family and all.
M: Did you guys pick the opening bands on this tour?
B: I actually did, I picked the bands and Iím also running the whole tour.
M: So is the whole band committed to the whole tour?
B: Yes weíre all committed to the whole tour plus a European tour. The only one thatís a little sketchy is Charlie the drummer who isnít into playing live any more. Heh! He isnít the only drummer who can play this shit. If it comes down to Charlie not wanting to do it any more and we get another drummer there wonít be any animosity or anything.
M: (If Dave Lombardo and Phil ĎAnimalí Taylor can be replaced can anyone be safe.)
M: The first time out SOD never did a tour.
B: SOD never really did any live shows at all, just 12 shows in 12 years.
M: So what do you think is the biggest difference between 1987 to 1999 has been? Back then SOD was part of that whole crossover thing between hardcore and metal along with COC, DRI, and the Crumbsuckers just to name few. Now a days the sound which is associated with hardcore is more like the whole metallic sound than what was customarily associated with hardcore.
B: Thatís just to much of a question to ponder right now.
M: Well do you think SOD influenced a lot of bands?
B: I think we influenced everybody because we were the first underground band to get major exposure on MTV, on Headbangers Ball. That show became a standard for everyone back then. SOD was to metal what Chevrolet was to the American dream.
M: Did SOD not continue back in 1987 after making a big splash with Speak English Or Die because all the members had prior commitments to their other bands?
B: It really came down to some of the guys in Anthrax not wanting us to do SOD full on.
M: Was it the members of Anthrax that were in SOD or the other members that were not.
B: Totally the guys that were not SOD!
M: Do you remember when you played here at the Troc with MOD, (Billyís band after SOD) Exodus and Phillyís own Anvil Bitch opening? You guys would not get off the stage until they brought down the Disco light towers and did an encore.
B: Yeah! That was a great show. I have it on video tape. I even remember spitting at the promoter for trying to throw us off the stage.
M: You even picked up a guy over your head and threw him into the audience.
B: Well he must have deserved it!
M: No actually I think he wanted you to throw him.
B: Thatís right he did, I threw him head over heals into the crowd. I must have been in one of my Ivan Putsky moods. That guy even came back after the show to try to get me to pay for his broken glasses.
M: I remember hearing the first SOD and the first Possessed albums and thinking that they were the most insanely and fastest played records I had ever listened to at that time.
B: Yeah, Possessed was a good band.
M: I liked your little dig at Micheal Hutchence of INXS on the new CD, the whole intro your dead thing.
B: Heh! itís true though.
M: Well if you hang yourself from a door knob nude people are going to talk.
B: Exactly, you should just jerk off naturally.
M: So were does SOD go after this?
B: Well we just started touring and this is the first show. Weíre going to take it from there and see how it goes.
M: Why did you pick Philly to start off the tour?
B: We didnít, itís not like we picked Philly to start the tour. It just happened that way.
So thatís it, Billy was cool enough to let anyone come to the show and take pictures and even video tape the show, something you donít see with bigger bands these days.
1999, Matt Wasiolek