Tony Piccoli interviews each of the bands appearing on the upcoming FebruFury show at The Token Lounge.
Hey! Before I introduce myself and get to the meat and potatoes of this article, I just wanted to say thank you for taking the time to click on the link that led you here. Thank you!
My name is Tony Piccoli, and I am the lead singer and a guitarist of the band Imminent Sonic Destruction. I like progressive metal, playing sports-related video games, and building Legos. Now that you know that useless information about me, let’s move on, yeah?
I am a fan of promoting shows. I’ve done a few progressive rock and metal shows for various tours like Riverside, Evergrey, and Haken. I also like to work with local events here in the metro Detroit area, which includes shows for my band, Imminent Sonic Destruction.
With National Rock Review’s FebruFury show coming soon, I thought I’d do something a little fun in the way of promoting the show. To promote FebruFury, I am going to interview a member of each band in the lineup so that people can get to know each band. I interviewed each person separately, asking the same questions mostly, and asking some band-specific questions as well. I’m going to present the similar questions first, and then break it down by band. Enjoy!
What does being on the first FebruFury mean to you?
Tim Drexler (guitarist – From Blue To Gray): First and foremost, it’s an honor to be involved with some of the best talent in our scene and with people behind the scenes like Mick McDonald of National Rock Review who actually give a shit about the music as an art form. Whenever I am involved with putting a show together, there is a sense of responsibility to build a team of people around it who all share the same goal. As with all shows we do, I want to reach as many people as possible with our music and have fun doing it.
So what does this show mean to me? Connecting with people beyond a simple introduction, and leave them feeling like they got something out of the price of admission. People go to shows to cut loose and forget about their problems, if only for a few hours. That’s what people don’t realize they have in common with their favorite bands! We do it for the same reason!
Rea Kilbury (lead singer – Kilbury Unit): Being on the FebruFury bill means a lot to us for a couple of reasons. First, because of Mick McDonald and National Rock Review. This guy looked past the viciousness and the insanity which exudes from us and our music and said, “You guys need to be heard. Loudly… and everywhere.” He then proceeded to bring us with him to play on the National Rock Review Stage at last year’s Full Terror Assault Open Air Festival at Cave-In-Rock, Illinois. Therefore, we are glad to help him in any way we can.
Secondly, we are from Michigan. What better way to showcase Michigan bands than start an annual show in what is usually the bitter coldest month of the year, where drum hardware freezes to your hands before you get it through the door? Nothing stops Michigan metal. Polar vortex, my ass. Suck it up and crank it out, Nancy-boy!
Daryl Mitchell (guitarist – Hate Unbound): It means the world to us. It is an honor to work with National Rock Review and Hard Edge Radio because they are all stand up people. And we’re extremely excited to be playing with our friends in ISD, FBTG, and Kilbury Unit. It’s always good vibes and good music with these bands. We have nothing but love for all these guys and their bands. NO HOMO!
Pat DeLeon (drummer – Imminent Sonic Destruction): Well, the local scene has had better days but because of the efforts of some real diehard Detroit, music representatives, events like these should show everyone that the scene is alive and vibrant and full of killer bands.
What are your thoughts on the Michigan metal scene?
Tim: I think the scene is fantastic! We have a wealth of talented bands that are all nationally competitive, and turn-outs are better than they’ve ever been at our shows in the near decade we’ve been doing this. If there is one thing I’d like to see end, it’s trash talking fellow bands. Art is not a competition, and all that accomplishes is a division in the scene. Look, you’re not going to like every band you see. That’s just how it is. Get over it and focus on your own shit! But who cares what I think?
Rea:: Now, I’m a bit biased, but I believe the Michigan metal scene is the most overlooked and under-rated group of musicians in the world. Detroit used to be Detroit Rock City. Now, Michigan is The Bloody Metal Mitten. I see nothing but camaraderie and support between those in the scene. Here we are putting out some of the most relevant and original metal in music history, we’re just waiting for the rest of the world to figure that out.
Daryl: It… is… awesome! The talent level in Michigan is unbelievable. You can find just about any style of metal here, and there is no shortage of great bands. There still seems to be a good amount of venues that welcome metal as well which is very important. So, Michigan has a good thing going on. I hope it continues to thrive and even grow.
Pat: I have been a part of the local scene for a really long time and, while I have been in and out of cover bands and straight rock bands, I’ve always been a fan of the Metal scene Detroit has had. Bands like the Almighty Strut and Seduce when I first came out to clubs, all the way to monster bands like Battlecross and others just serve as a reminder to the rest of the states that Detroit is still a place to find really good quality Metal.
How long has your band been together?
Tim:: We started in 2008. Dave joined in 2012, but he and I were in bands together when we were kids, so we go way back.
Rea:: Kilbury Unit was formed 10 years ago. I am the only original member, though. Then was Fox, our bassist. Then was The Mad Hammer, our drummer. Then came many guitarists before our current slinger, Sir Sparky Skullfucker The First. We just acquired another guitarist to fill out our lead spot, but we haven’t named him yet. You don’t get to [pick] your name when you join Kilbury Unit. You will see him in his first Kilbury Unit show with us at FebruFury. He will have a name by then.
Daryl:: We started this whole thing back in 2013 out of the ashes of other projects. I started reaching out to guys I wanted to jam with and luckily they all joined up. So we’ve been doing this just over 2 years now.
Pat: About 100. Ha! Just kidding. We actually formed in 2007 under the name mellotrön_ and after some copyright checking we decided that it would be safer to rename the band Imminent Sonic Destruction [in 2011] after a song intro by the band Hawkwind.
Talk about some of the band’s musical influences, and some of your own influences.
Tim: Well it’s really difficult to speak for the band as a whole, because our backgrounds are very different, but I’d say that we’re all generally attracted to bands and artists that have managed to find their own voice and stick out from the herd. These artists range from Madonna to Dream Theater to Between The Buried And Me, and many artists in between. But I guess it’s fair to say that we’re all attracted to artists, as influences, that help to push ourselves as musicians, both in terms of technical ability as well as crafting a good catchy song, which is extremely difficult to do when you’re writing progressive music.
For me, personally, I’m attracted to bands that deliver a feeling. I can’t stress that enough. I’m way more into the live performance of a band than I’ll ever be to their albums. When I hear something I really like, it’s usually because I can feel and relate to whatever they’re trying to say on some kind of primal level. I like smart music that’s intended to make you think, which is what initially drew me to prog rock.
Rea: We are such a diverse group of musicians from different backgrounds that the sound we produce together is completely original and can be compared with nothing else.
My own personal musical influence would include Dayglo Abortions, Gwar, Entombed, Pungent Stench, Testament, Exodus and basically anything that makes other humans say ‘Oh, god. What the hell is that?!’
Daryl:: Lots death metal bands, thrash bands, Death, Rivers of Nihil, Suffocation, Lamb of God. The five of us all have different influences but it’s all metal. So, Hate Unbound is truly the sum of all parts. Our favorite description I’ve heard someone call us is “groove-laden death metal”. I love it!
Pat: The beauty of this band is its diversity. We have so many different influences from so many eras of music. I think that’s what makes this band pretty unique.
My personal influences are pretty varied. I had a very rich musical upbringing and my brother and I have been collector’s of music most of our lives. I listen to a lot of heavy music but I love progressive rock/metal as well as jazz and classical.
Does your band have any weird, or fun rituals/traditions?
Tim: I like to play the penis showing game. Most bands that have played with us have seen my cock at least twice. Sometimes it gets posted online with a top hat, monocle, and mustache photoshopped onto it.
Rea: Well, our bassist Fox likes dressin’ up. This guy does more wardrobe changes than Cher. Our drummer, The Mad Hammer enjoys electrical taping his nipples (for proprieties sake, of course.) But, even if he’s wearing a shirt, he may still have it on. You’d have to check for yourself. I myself, hide out in the parking lot before shows and do martial arts katas so that if anyone finds me, they think I’ve gone nuts.
Daryl: That would be our Hate Unbound artwork. What I mean by that is that we snap pics of each other all the time, whether it be when someone passed out in the van, or in a hotel, or they’re in the middle of doing some normal activity. And then we have a skilled group of artists in this band that will draw a raunchy phallus into these pics, usually in a compromising position. Or we’ll craft a mythical beast like Sasquatch doing unscrupulous things to the pictured victim. They are very childish, vulgar and fucking hilarious.
Pat: Well if I did I’d have to kill you. Suffice it to say, we have our quirky sense of humor and we never miss an opportunity to use it if full force. Drax them sklounst!!!
What is your band’s mission statement?
Tim: I think the fundamental purpose of our band is to create something that is greater than the sum of it’s parts. Anything you hear from us is an accurate representation of what we’re feeling in that moment, a lot like a time capsule; and it’s constantly changing as we mature as people and grow wiser with age. For me, the purpose of writing music is therapy. I will have something in my head that will torture me until I release it onto others, something that’s especially true when I perform. Having a band is nothing more to me than a vessel to accomplish that.
Rea: Our mission statement, if we had to pick one, would be, ‘If you’ve listened to KILBURY UNIT and didn’t want to break things, then you did it wrong. Turn it up and try again.’
Daryl:: To keep it as others have described our music: “heavy as fuck!”
Pat: This band has always considered itself just outside the mainstream prog metal band mold. We don’t try to look all glitzy and glamorous, mostly because we’re not very attractive and we’d only look ridiculous if we tried. We were dubbed ‘Progressive Super Metal by a guy who sat in on our early rehearsals and the genre was perfect for us! We just want to continue to write some really good music and we hope to reach as many new fans as we can with every new piece of music we record!
Tim Drexler / From Blue To Gray
NRR: What are your thoughts on stage attire? Tell me about what the band does. I heard Dale [Fewless – Lead Singer] once wore pajamas?
Tim: Well, I have a reputation for doing stupid shit in this regard. Everyone dresses like they would normally except for me… I’ve been known to play naked, the pajama pants were me actually, and really whatever I think will make people laugh in the moment. I rarely plan anything, but for some reason or another, I enjoy taking the opportunity to become someone else on stage and dressing out of the ordinary helps me do that.
NRR: Any new music coming out? If so, when can we expect it? How does it compare to your last album?
Tim: Yes! It’s 100% finished and we hope to have it out in early spring. Making this record has been an incredible experience and in the process, we’ve made friends we never dreamed possible with Jamie King opening the doors for us. Comparing it to our older music is night and day. It’s still distinctly From Blue To Gray, with all of the energy we’re known for intact, but the similarities end there. It’s much more progressive than anything we’ve ever done, and our songwriting has really matured as we all more or less “discovered” ourselves, musically.
NRR: How did you guys come up with the band name, ‘From Blue To Gray?’
Tim: From Blue To Gray is kind of left open to interpretation, depending on which member of the band you ask… To me, it points out the distinct line between life and death, the moment life leaves the eyes. If the band had one “theme”, that would be it. Life/Death. A fan once asked me if it had anything to do with the Civil War, and the answer is no! That had not actually occurred to any of us until a while later! Jordan [Myers – Bassist] I think once said he saw it as the oncoming storm, I thought that was a pretty cool interpretation.
NRR: How did you guys form? Lifelong friends? Craigslist ads?
Tim: All of the above! Haha. Jordan and I started the band and tirelessly auditioned drummers, guitarists, and singers until we found our current lineup (without Dave [Jaber – guitar]) in 2008. That process took about two years, but was ok because we wrote the first batch of songs in that time together in my basement.
NRR: What’s the band’s favorite color? I’m gonna be pissed if it’s not Blue or Gray.:
Tim: Favorite color? As a band? Whose band sits around and discusses their favorite colors? Our band name has nothing do with colors haha! Although, that would be a funny debate to bear witness to.
Rea Kilbury / Kilbury Unit
NRR: Any new music coming out? If so, when can we expect it? How does it compare to your current music/last album?
Rea: With our newly filled out band, we are finally ready to record our upcoming full C.D. It’s called Innerrott. We will be playing it in its entirety for the first time live at FebruFury, you lucky bastards! We should have it out for sale by June 2016. Innerrott will be different from our previous album ‘Pieces of Hate’ in that it is faster and harder. I wanted to call it ‘Faster, Faster, Harder, Harder’ but, we were afraid it would only get used for background music on pornos!
NRR: How did you come up with the name Kilbury Unit?
Rea: The name “Kilbury Unit” is derived from an old military black ops group. They were to go in and do things that the U.S. government did not want others to know they were involved with, leaving no evidence and no witnesses. If they completed their mission and got out, the got paid. If they failed, the U.S. government would deny any knowledge of them. Hence, kill/bury unit.
Daryl Mitchell / Hate Unbound
NRR:: Any new music coming out? When can we expect to hear it? How does it compare to your previous work?
Daryl:: Yes. We begin the recording process this week. It’ll be our first full-length album. Not sure when we will be releasing it, but some time later in 2016. It’ll incorporate some thrash elements and also some harmony guitar bits that Will and I like to do. We also have some heavier tunes that we’re excited to record. Overall, it’ll just be a lot more of what we already do, haha!
NRR:: You’ve played out on the road quite a bit, any chances of a full blown tour?
Daryl:: Absolutely. We’ve already discussed putting together some longer runs once we have the new album out. We haven’t decided if we’ll go the ‘supporting act’ route to another band or put together a DIY tour like our friends in Pick Axe Preacher just kicked off.
NRR:: Got any crazy road stories?
Daryl:: We did a ‘mini-tour’ with Heretic earlier in 2015 consisting of three dates. The promoter secured hotel rooms for the bands for each show. And one of the hotels was is in the middle of what looked like a war zone. Every other building in the area was closed down and boarded up. But there stood this shit hole hotel in the middle of all this desolation. There were prostitutes outside and walking the halls, shady characters coming and going. Even more odd, one of the rooms had pink walls and Mattel Barbie wall decorations. One of the guys got pink eye from that hotel and I got a nasty cold sore. HERPES for the win!
Pat DeLeon / Imminent Sonic Destruction
NRR:: You just toured with Fates Warning, tell us how that went? Some of the best moments?
Pat:: Touring with this band was an awesome experience. We have toured before so we knew what to expect and we definitely did our homework and got all of our ducks in a row and we were really prepared for it. We had an absolute blast on the road and seeing how a great band like Fates Warning operates on a daily basis helped us to further iron out our tour process. We also had a chance to hang out Next To None which features Mike Portnoy’s son Max on the drums and get to know these incredibly gifted your musicians and we hope to see them on the road again soon.
NRR:: So, this is kind of weird being interviewed by a fellow band mate, huh?
Pat:: It’s odd for sure but I’m cool with it because I know you’ll edit out all my incorrect data and erroneous rambling. (Editor’s Note; For the record, Pat’s answers are presented here completely untouched. Haha!)
NRR:: Talk about the new album coming out, what can you tell folks about it?
Pat:: The new album is called Triumphia and it is our first attempt at a full-length concept album. There is a steady theme throughout this CD and you will hear how it all ties together with an epic track to finish the CD.
FebruFury will take place on February 06, at The Token Lounge in Westland, Michigan. Tickets are $8 advanced, $10 day of show. You can purchase tickets online.
For more information on FebruFury, please visit NRR.Rocks/FebruFury.
Check out the radio promo for FebruFury at NRR FebruFury SoundClound.
Check out each band!
Imminent Sonic Destruction
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From Blue To Gray
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Website | Facebook | Twitter