Interview: Billy Graziadei / Biohazard

24.11.2013

You seem to take care of your body, stay fit and in shape. How much the condition of your body affects the condition of your spirit?

Healthy body, healthy mind. It’s all related. I’ve always tried to stay health conscious. I gave up drugs a long time ago. Drinking was never a big part of my life. It’s always been my personal choice. I find that cards which are dealt to you by life are easier to deal with when you’re clear. If you feel good about yourself, you’re not going to be plagued with all the shit that keeps attacking you. It’s easier to climb Mount Everest with good nights sleep and stomach full with healthy food than to wrestle with let’s say a hangover. But that is my choice. I never look down at other people for making their choices.

So ju-jitsu is part of it?

Yes, it is a passion of mine.

There are many martial arts. Why this particular one?

I did many, but I find ju-jitsu is the best for me. I feel strong by the benefits it gives me. It’s not only a healthy mind-healthy body thing. There is so much more to it. “Ju-jitsu” in Japanese means “gentle art” and it’s almost like chess, where as other martial arts are like fighting fire with fire. In ju-jitsu you fight fire with water, so it’s a totally different thing.

Billy Graziadei, Warsaw 04.11.2013

photo by Tomasz Pulsakowski

When answering the question about ego you mentioned your family. I hope it’s not too personal, but I wanted to ask you how much being a father has changed you as person?

I think being a father really magnified what I believe in and kind of purified any kind of questions I had in life. It helped me deal with issues I had as a child and when growing up. It made me a stronger, better person. I look at people differently. For example I’ve always respected women, but you have a different respect for your woman, when you see her give life. Besides, the responsibility of becoming a parent makes you become concerned about everything else, but you. I’ve always tried to be concerned about things around me, which is reflected in my lyrics, but when you are a parent, the things you focus on in life change and you become more about society and your people in the society. That’s why I’ve done music and art programs at school, because those are the first things that get cut in America, so I did fund raisers and tried to save those programs at the school, which are important to me and very important for kids, to have music and art.

So would you agree with the saying, that love to a child is the only unconditional love in the world?

For me yes, of course. Unfortunately not for everyone.

In this conversation a few times you have used word “strength”. Do you consider yourself a strong person?

Yes.

What does it mean to you?

I think that a strong person is a person who can adapt to different situations without having to sacrifice what they believe in.

Very interesting answer. Ok, last question. From time to time I like to support my interview with a quote and when I was preparing for this interview I chose one for you, which I think might be interesting because it includes a “punishment” and “anger”, which both appear in Biohazard’s music and lyrics. This one is from Buddha. Apparently he said once:

You will not be punished for your anger. You will punished by your anger.”

Have you been punished by anger in your life?

I think people misconstrue Biohazard for being angry, where it is angst. When you feel passion about something and you express it with passion, sometimes people misconstrue that with anger. I had big angry issues growing up as a kid. I felt misguided, had internal strife that sometimes internalized and caused something which was punishment. What I felt then was manifested in our lyrics, but it was always a passion, not anger. And it still is.  But like I said before, becoming a father helped me deal with that shit.

To me the emotional essence that heavy music carriers I feel as anger, or as you have put it angst, however there is absolutely nothing negative or destructive about it. It is more about the fire, energy, intensity, that….

…release

release and that emotional fulfillment. I listen to different types of music, not only rock or metal, but heavy music is the only one, which gives me that feeling of emotional self-sufficiency. It’s as if in the moment it hits me there is nothing else needed in the world.

It’s like I said at the beginning, it’s that release. We share that.  Whether I’m on stage or in the crowd watching a band, I get it there too, just like you. It is super positive experience.

It is super positive indeed and with this super positive vibe I’d like to thank you for this conversation.

Dzienkuja!

Interviewer: Chris Bienkiewicz

Biohazard, Warsaw, 04.11.2013.

From left: Scott Roberts – bass/voc, Billy Graziadei – guitar/voc, Bobby Hambel – guitar, Danny Schuler (in the back) – drums

photo by Tomasz Pulsakowski

 
 
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