Date: November 27, 1999
Taken from: Ontario Metal
Interview by: Chris
Interview with Billy Milano
On November 27th, the Stormtroopers of Death made their first ever appearance on Canadian soil, after releasing their second studio album in 14 years. As a result of these momentous occassions, I had the opportunity to interview Billy Milano before the show, and ask him about several things.
In my defence, Billy was one of the most abrasive personalities I've ever had the opportunity to interview. When I asked him a question, I didn't know if he was going to try to stare me down, answer the question, or shove my tape recorder down my throat. All things considered though, I would say it went alright.
Chris: On the new single (Seasoning The Obese), you have the song "Raise Your Swords", which is a jab at Manowar, what was the inspiration behind it?
Billy: Well, the reason I wrote it about them is because I'm a real big fan of their band. I love Manowar. But they acted like real dicks to me in Europe and I don't put up with shit from nobody. So that's my way of retaliating.
Chris: And the Slayer "Cover"?
Billy: It's not really a jab at them, we were more staying in the theme of the mentality of our band, which is ludicrous to fucking ridiculous, 'cause that's why we did Bigger Than The Devil, with a Number of the Bast album cover, and we felt that this was a good way to continue the insanity.
Chris: With that, you made it (the cover) a bit more controversial then Maiden ever did, putting Jesus under the control of the devil, as opposed to just some guy.
Billy: Right, well, isnt't all religion that's organised in some way run by someone who's not, doesn't have the best intentions for everyone?
Chris: S.O.D. is indeed, as you've said, a ludicrous band, but occassionally, you have a song like "We All Beed Red", which obviously is more serious than everything else
Billy: Sure, I mean, the bottom line is this band is not a racist band. It's a band that has a very satyrical, dark sense of humour and yet, we're not really poking fun at an individual thing, or group of people, it's just more the quirks of life that we're really point out and taking a jab at.
Chris: You worked with Roger Miret on that song, and you also appear on the new Agnostic Front album, and you also manage them I understand
Billy: Right, I manage Agnostic Front, the US Bombs, Skinlab and Madblow. The Skinlab deal happened a couple of months before this tour. I've known Scott Sergeat a long time, I worked with his band Killing Culture for a while and I wanted to work with Scott, I've always been a big fan of Scott as a person and as a performer, and it carried over when I met the other guys in Skinlab. I met real, genuine people and saw them a few times, and felt that there was something there to take to the next level, and I really feel it could happen, and as a result, we're working together.
Chris: Have you met a lot of people then that aren't genuine?
Billy: I'm just saying they're more my kind of people, you know, they're personable, and to me, isn't that where it all starts?
Chris: I understand that on the West Coast dates, you played with 40 Grit, what were your impressoins of them?
Billy: I lvoe 40 Grit, great band. I think if they get their deal done soon, I'd love to produce them. I also would really like to see them fo to the next level, I think they're a band that could come out of the box, come out fresh and new, with whatever they;re doing, having a definitive sound fromt he beginning, they can go forward, and make strong waves.
Chris: Like you guys did when you first came out?
Billy: Yeah. I mean, you start off with something, you should finish as the same thing. Whereas being the experimental is straying away.
Chris: There seems to be a 7 year cycle of S.O.D., are we going to see another, perhaps another live album, in seven years?
Billy: 2006 Tour.
Chris: Already planning it?
Billy: Yes, I think we'll be able to play it still... Let's see, I'll be 42 then, it'll be fun to do it, then I'll be 49, then I'll be 56... When all else fails, do more.
Chris: How was your experience headlining the November to Dismember festival?
Billy: It was all good for me, I mean, we played really well. We were all a little sick. Danny was very sick, the bass player. But, you know, we were really good and we stole the show. We know it, and we played a good set, you know?
Chris: What did you think of the atmostphere? I know there have been a lot of people criticizing the metal fests for having just too much, with the porn stars and wrestling, in additon to the bands.
Billy: It's a fuckin' sideshow now.
Chris: Do you think it will have to change, or will people still go?
Billy: They're gonna go to it regardless, whether there's porn and wrestling, I don't think that really matters.
Chris: You've stated how far S.O.D. is beyond the reach of the "new metal" bands, are there any bands that you especially hate?
Billy: Well, I don't want to name names... My band...
Chris: You detest S.O.D.?
Billy: *laugh* Yeah
Chris: You don't have any that you love to hate?
Billy: You know, I'm a lot of hot air at times, but it's all in good fun.
Chris: On your albums, you do the tribute songs, such as Ballad of Jimi Hendrix, Phil H. and Michael H, are those people that you've respected?
Billy: Oh yeah, of course. I mean, you know, I wouldn't waste my time saying something aout someone I don't care about, I don't think it would make any kind of sense to do that. more importantly, we've taken the time to acknowledge these people, I think that says enough, within the context that, to make you understand that these people were important to our lives.
Chris: Maybe you could elaborate on how you feel that each of them was important to your lives.
Billy: Hendrix was my first introduction to metal, you know, without a doubt. The Simpsons are one of my favorite shows, and Phil Hartman was quintessential to that show. INXS, you know, I've always liked INXS. I bought the studio where they made the INXS record Kick now, so, all those people are somehow interwoven in my life.
Chris: Are you also a fan of Planet of the Apes, and is there a tie in with Monkeys Rule?
Billy: I'm a fan of the movie, but the principle, the basic premise of the movie is, I think, is really reflective of society as a whole in America, especially during the times t was made. It was written during a really rebellious, riotous, uproarious time, you know? And I think it says enough by itself.
Chris: Any last words?
November 1999, Ontario Metal