What Do You Get When Science And Punk Rock Mix? BILLxNYE.
Republished with permission from the archives of Alternative Nation, article originally by Anthony Carioscia.
BILLxNYE are a grindcore band from Middletown, New York that combine Neil Degrasse Tyson with Napalm Death. No, seriously. Though a local level act, they have already played with huge name acts such as Noisem, Full of Hell, Aborted and Origin, whose vocalist, Jason Keyser, even proclaimed his love for the band. I recently met up with Nick Jakubowski, lead vocalist and main songwriter, at the Touch Base Bar & Grill in Chester, NY. He told me the unsung story of BILLxNYE. Hail Sagan.
How would you describe your band’s sound?
Grinding noisy wall of harshness! We are essentially a punk band playing grind and noise, all at the same time, and annoying everyone.
Why did you choose to name your band BILLxNYE?
I wanted kind of a tip of the hat to the band Bruce X Campbell. The name immediately reminds you of the band. It’s short and sweet… and its Bill Nye The Science Guy. Who doesn’t like Bill Nye the Science Guy? The name of course also fits the band. We are pro-science and pro-skepticism. It just seemed like a natural progression of what punk ideals should be. As soon as I thought about it that way, it all made sense to me. I realized that science and accepting reality is the most punk rock thing you could do.
Any new music on the horizon? If so can you tell us about the upcoming release?
We have been playing alot of new songs recently. We definitely have enough for a new EP We are working on even more new material. Again we are a punk band, don’t have that much money, we are in and out of jobs, so the money to record is not there. We also go back and forth between recording in a studio environment and recording on a ******* tape deck. I personally like raw recordings, but when it comes to recording music, especially the grind songs, people want to hear their grindcore with crystal clear studio production. It’s this thing where half the band wants to record good and the other half is against it, but we do plan on recording another EP in the near future.
Will this new EP be grindcore or noise? I notice you jump back and forth between those genres in your releases.
What happens is when we do mini CDs, we do grind stuff. We also use cassettes for splits, with bands we like. On those we happen to play noise. That way we don’t get stuck doing one thing. I don’t want to get stuck playing one genre and then run the band into the ground. It’s almost like two different projects with the same name.
I notice that you are very well received in this area’s metal, punk and noise scenes. How do you think you caught the interest of these three different music scenes?
Music wise, we are more like a metal band. Our drummer David Gapay is originally from the death metal band Necroptic Engorgement and brings metal technicality to the drums. We have the mentality of a punk band, punk being the scene I came from, so that just happened naturally. I really enjoy stuff like noise music, avant-garde, experimental and outsider music, so I added elements of that stuff to our sound. I like improvising with noise artists… we let other noise artists hop into our set because it just adds a layer of chaos to our structure, and the juxtaposition is really something I find interesting.
This gives a different vibe to our shows, because we may not sound the same as the last show. I think these elements of chaos is what kinda brings everyone together. It’s like the progression of a teenager into adulthood, musically. You start out as a young kid only liking metal or punk, you grow up a little bit and start exploring more genres. At the same time I get to feel like a kid and jump around with all the simple aspects of metal or punk, and then mix that with the intellectualism of the avant-garde scene. It’s looking forward and back at the same time.
With all these grindcore bands playing big fests and bands like Napalm Death getting lots of press coverage, do you feel grindcore is more popular than it ever was?
To be honest I haven’t kept up with a whole lot of grindcore. There are very specific bands in grind core I like, such as Discordance Axis. It does make sense that it would get popular, though. Each generation the music has to get more extreme. People get desensitized to what was considered “not accessible” to people before them. Your father’s death metal or grindcore bands are no longer fast or heavy enough, so you have to do it faster, heavier or noisier… you have to step it up!