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Featured Band

August 2006 - Billy Knuckles







SCS: Tell us how Billy Knuckles started as a band.

Andrew: November 2005. Dakk and I had played in Hegemonic Dysentery (a short lived but awesome band) and were also roommates at the time. We joked about starting a band. We finally did, and asked Dan to sing for us at an ABBA dance party, and Dakk had played with AJ in International Terrorist and Mad Minute, so he asked AJ to join.



SCS: How would you define your band or your sound to someone who’s never heard or seen you?

Andrew: We’re not too serious, but are trying to be a little more serious now that we’ve played so many shows. We sound like early punk and hardcore with a little bit of mid-90s thrash and powerviolence up in that shit. .

Dakk: Billy Knuckles is the musical personification of Andrew, fast, clumsy, easy, loose and sloppy.



SCS: What about one of your shows? -- If people come to see you live, what can they expect?

Andrew: It’ll definitely be loud and fast. If you don’t like loud music wear earplugs. If you don’t like fast music, stay home. If you want to see the most energetic frontman in town, definitely show up.

Dakk: Total crappola.



SCS: What types of music and which musicians/groups influenced the band members?

Andrew: mainly punk and metal from the late 70s until the late 90s. If I had to try to pick bands I’d say His Hero Is Gone, Rudimentary Peni, Plutocracy, Spazz, Iron Maiden.

Dakk: Nick from Manslaughterer said it best, Keep it Simple, Stupid. That has stayed with me for over two summers. THANKS NICK!!!

Dan: The biggest influence for what I do in Billy Knuckles comes from a whole bunch of hardcore bands, usually the kind of hardcore bands that put a heavy emphasis on speed or thrashing really hard. Some of those bands would be D.R.I., Infest, Crucial Unit, What Happens Next?, Minor Threat, and Siege.



SCS: What are your goals for Billy Knuckles, touring, just playing around town?

Andrew: Originally mine were playing shows and recording something. We’ve done both now, and I’m mainly hoping to play some out-of-town shows.

Dakk: My hopes are to kill Andrew, and replace him with the guitar players from Dragon Force.



SCS: What experience did you have in bands before B.K. got together?

Andrew: I played in a few bands growing up, but the only one anyone might have seen in Lincoln is Hegemonic Dysentery.

Dakk: Mad Minute, International Terrorist, Shit Saw, Hegemonic Dysentery and Billy Knuckles. They’ve all sucked. I’m ashamed of myself and my family.

A.J.: Mad Minute, International Terrorist, and briefly with a band called EOA.

Dan: Absolutely none. I had dreamed of singing in a punk rock band, but I wasn’t quite sure if I could actually pull it off.



SCS: Where did the band's name come from?

Andrew We originally wanted to call the band Chuck Norris, but then we were schooled by some friends that not only is there another band called that, there’s two of them. One in Brazil, the other in Canada. So we tried to come up with names of stupid people or characters and I mentioned that I went to high school with this guy who was named Billy Knuckles (the spelling was different). Either way, everyone liked it, so we kept it.



SCS: Do you think you've grown, musically ot creatively, since the band first started, and if so, how?

Andrew No.

Dan Probably Not

Dakk I think I’ve regressed. Not as much as the rest of the Knuckle draggers in this band, but I’m definitely dumber now.



SCS: Who writes the songs and how do you work them from the idea stage to finished product?

Andrew: I write all the songs anyone likes. The ones everyone hates were written by Dakk, Dan, and AJ.

Dakk I write songs in my diary. Andrew has been known to go through my diary, steal my good songs, and then taunt me about my {censored} tendencies, and my love for Tom Tom club.



SCS: When and where was your first local show, and how did it go?

Andrew: It was a basement show at Andrew and Dakk’s house. The cops were called and when they left we played anyways. Andrew broke a string during the first song and no one would wait when I said I broke a string so after the third song I went upstairs and changed it. It sucked. You are much better off if you missed it.



SCS: What was your most memorable live performance and what made it that?

Andrew: I really liked the show with F.L.A.K. from Pittsburgh, but the show with Murder of Crows (Wisconsin) and the show with Hostile Takeover (California) were pretty sweet.

Dakk: We somehow got on a bill with some “Nu-Metal” bands, and for some reasons they went ape poopy when we played. A few fights erupted, and at the end of the night, we had our first band shots, and a few broken chairs were scattered cross the C-Box floor.

A.J.: The July 4th show with Wasteoid and Iron Lung.

Dan: For me, it was Punkfest at Duggans. I imagine some would agree that it was my most memorable performance. While jumping off of AJ’s bass drum, I managed to knee myself in the face really, really hard. I split the inside of my lip open and gave myself a bloody nose. I was spitting out blood as I sang. I got blood all over myself and probably others, and then a girl took her shirt off and let me wipe off the blood with it.



SCS: What do you like and dislike about the music scene in Lincoln?

Andrew :it's pretty good for the most part. One thing is that it's always the same people at the same shows. I'd like some new kids around, and a real all-ages venue that isn't just an early show.

Dakk: I don’t dislike much of it. The parts that I don’t like, I ignore, like a certain family member I don’t like talking about.

Dan: I like that I’ve never seen a fight at a local show in Lincoln. I like that I’d take Star City Scene over Slam Omaha any day. I dislike the fact that more people don’t come out to shows on a regular basis. We could use a few more people in the scene. I wish I’d see some new faces more often.



SCS: Have you learned anything in your experiences in a band that you feel newer local bands could learn from, or made any mistakes they should avoid?

Andrew: Don’t have a house show if you have a shitty ass neighbor (for more information on shitty ass neighbors check out song #10 on our CD).

Dakk: Kids, don’t waste your time with combo amps. Save up for the full stack immediately, you won’t regret it. Also, lead singers are lazy, put them to work!



SCS: Amen to that!!! Who are some local bands or musicians that you admire or feel should be recognized?

Andrew: Wasteoid, Axes to the Sky, Manslaughterer, Use Ones Fist, Bloody Stump, Paper Peoples, Once A Pawn, The Terminals, Boycaught, The Bad Sects, American Nightmare.

A.J.: See above.

Dakk: I really admire the old school Lincoln punk, like Baby Hotline, and PSW, but I also like bands like Eagle Seagull, Wasteoid, and the Black Dahlia’s (RIP). Really dig Mercy Rule, and 13 Nightmares stuff. Pretty much the same bands that Andrew listed. Fagatron and Armatron, As Good As Dead, too.

Dan: I’ll take this opportunity to namedrop some local bands that are no longer around. From Lincoln, I miss seeing Bright Calm Blue, Creagrutus, Seasick Bob, and Rocket FM. I would have loved to have been around to see Power of the Spoken Word. There are some bands from Omaha that I miss dearly; Sutter Cane, Plosion, and the Carsinogents.



SCS: Who’s your favorite local band to play with?

Andrew:I had a lot of fun playing with Wasteoid on the 4th of July. Manslaughterer is always cool too.

A.J.: Manslaughterer.

Dakk: Probably Manslaughterer.



SCS: Do you think growing up/living in Lincoln influences your music in any way?

Andrew: I didn’t grow up here, and living here hasn’t really influenced my music, but it’s helped me get more experience setting up shows.

Dakk: I didn’t really get heavily involved with any Lincoln stuff until I was about 19. I remember seeing Wasteoid for the first time, they played with Iron Lung. I was just totally blown away by like the whole grindcore/power violence stuff. I thought everything was cool about it. It seemed less pretentious than a lot of the punk stuff I had grown up with. I like living in a power violence-y town.



SCS: Was there one defining moment that lead you to a life of rock & roll?

Andrew: No. I was born to rock.

Dakk: There were two shows that solidified it for me. My first show I ever went to was when I was 11. It was Rancid with Rocket from the Crypt at the Music Hall in Omaha.Then, about a year or two later I saw Guitar Wolf open for the Cramps, must have been about 98. Guitar Wolf was the reason I started playing rock and roll.

Dan: Watching PBS led me to a life of rock and roll. I watched a documentary series on the history of rock and roll, and by the final installment, I was convinced that I was destined to be a rocker of some sort. A couple years later, I caught a live performance from Bad Religion on a PBS show called On Tour, and that convinced me that I needed to look into the punk rock thing. Thank you, Public Television.



SCS: What song would each band member like to cover the most, and if you could tour with any band in history, who would be your dream band to tour with?

Andrew: I’d like to cover “Hey Bob, What’s Up” by Spazz. If I could tour with any band it would be someone like Nausea.

Dakk: I’d like to cover “Knuckles the Dog (who helps people)” by Killdozer or “From Protest to Resistance” by Conflict. I would love to tour with either the Fleshies or Skarp.

Dan: I’d like to tour with a “fun” band that can make the kids get wild, like Municipal Waste. A tour with Alice Cooper would also satisfy me a great deal.



SCS: What was the first album/CD you bought?

Andrew: I got a bunch of used tapes when I was a kid and the box had the Beach Boys, Michael Jackson, Metallica, and Iron Maiden in it. Other than that I think it was probably an Iron Maiden CD.

Dan: The year was 1994. The CD was Dave Matthew’s Band’s “Under the Table and Dreaming”. Yes, my taste in music has changed.

Andrew: The first album I think I bought was a B-52’s album. The first punk album I bought was Bad Brains “Rock for Light”

A.J.: Green Day's Dookie .



SCS: The most recentt?

Andrew:The new Mischief Brew LP

Dan: Numbers “Ee-Uh”

Dakk: I have no clue.

A.J.:Murder of Crows .



SCS: What other bands do you reccommend people check out?

Dan: Dude, you’ve totally got to listen to the Sword. Seriously, those dudes rock so hard.

Andrew: Wasteoid, Axes to the Sky, Manslaughterer, Use Ones Fist, Bloody Stump, Paper Peoples, Once A Pawn, The Terminals, Boycaught, The Bad Sects, American Nightmare.



SCS: List off your top five albums of all time.

Andrew: (not in order)

  • | Nausea – Extinction
  • His Hero Is Gone – Monuments to thieves
  • Spazz – Crush, Kill, Destroy
  • Plutocracy – Sniping Pigs
  • Abba – Greatest Hits Volume 1

    Dan:

  • My favorite album of all time is Bad Brains – s/t. After that, I’d have to say....
  • Zeke – Death Alley
  • Thin Lizzy – Jailbreak
  • Infest – No Man’s Slave
  • Social Distortion – Live at the Roxy

    A.J.:

  • Black Sabbath – paranoid
  • DK – Fresh Fruit
  • Dead Prez – Let’s Get Free
  • Godspeed You Black Emperor – Yanqui

    Dakk:

  • Ramones-Too Tough to Die
  • Killdozer-God hears the pleas of the innocent
  • IronMaiden-Powerslave
  • Conflict-Increase the Pressure
  • Elvis Costello-This Year’s Model (Ifucking love that album)



    SCS: What’s the best gig you've ever seen, local or otherwise?

    Andrew: The first time I saw MDC was probably the best show ever for me, or it was Manis the Bastard.

    Dan: It’s hard to say. The Converge show at the Cog Factory comes to mind.

    Dakk: Either Guitar Wolf, or seeing GWAR for the first time.



    SCS: What can we look forward to in the next year from the band?

    Andrew: I guess more shows (not that anyone is looking forward to that) but hopefully an EP and maybe a Split EP. We’d also like to get out of Lincoln for some short weekend mini-tours.

    Dan: I believe our songs will become an average of 15 seconds longer.

    Dakk: A solo techno grind album from me called BROOKE BERRINGER DEATH PLANE! And more Billy Knuckles tardation.



    SCS: Anything else you want to share with our readers?

    Andrew: Anything that Dakk, Dan, or AJ say that contradicts what I say is a lie.

    Dakk: Dan’s roommate Aimee is fucking sexy..

    Dan: I agree with Dakk.



    SCS: Thanks guys! Be sure to check out Billy Knuckles Myspace site for a list of their upcoming shows, and pick up a copy of their CD "How Many Zombies Does it Take to Change a Lightbulb?"


    - Tery Daly