This band first caught my attention with their Roadrunner Records, Wharton Tiers-produced album Urban Discipline. It wasn't until the band signed with Warner Brothers Records with State Of The World Address. Hung out with the band many shows and really find out they are reasonable, consciously good artists who care about pollution, racism, corruption, greed, envy, the drug war and the politics involved. All members of this band are involved on every level of creative process. They are all on the same page as far as the Biohazard Creed goes. Bobby Hamel was heading in a direction both musically and personally so he left the band. Ex-Helmet guitar whiz Rob Echeverria was brought on board for the long tour ahead.
Q&A with Evan Seinfeld
Sheila Rene': Evan, the tour bus is wonderful and cool. Let's get right into the album starting with the title, Mata Leao. (what a time for the plug to the wall to be intermittant.)
Evan Seinfeld: Okay, we're moving. The last three years has been a trying time. You have to get really negative before you can get positive. It's been an emotional time.(at this point Evan is holding the stupid tape recorder and holding the ac plug into the machine) It's a real personal thing. We're asking anyone who care enough to ask is to check out the lyrics and read them. Listen to the music and make your own reading on the title. You can get a literal translation on the title, but it doesn't mean anything. It's a personal bond between the brothers in the band. It would be like me trying to explain an inside joke that's been around for years. You'd never really understand. I respectively apologize to you and now we can drop the subject.
SR: It is a gorgeous cover. You'll give me that much.
ES: Absolutely, I love it. No one's been able to figure out what the picture on the cover is.
SR: I think it's a lion or better still a mystical griffin that protects all things.
ES: Something like that. We're really enjoying this new logo of ours--the crest thing. People from Japan are calling up saying 'wow, you did an oriental album cover.' It looks so European. It came from a lot of places and everywhere and nowhere.
SR: I had a very close, wonderful friend who's on the other side now who gave me a sleeping griffin, which means that all is well if the griffin can sleep.
ES: The griffin can sleep.
SR: I love all the speak on this album, rap chant or whatever you call it.
ES: We're just fans of rhythm. Anything that's rhythmic. Biohazard has a tribal ceremony to us every time we make music. We don't try to be a rap group or a hard rock group, heavy metal, punk or hardcore group. We just do what we do. It's what our fans have grown up hearing. Just as I was a Kiss fan when I was a kid, I also liked other types of music.
SR: I guess you're excited about Donnington.
ES: Yeah, we'll be playing on the same stage with Kiss in full makeup, Ozzy Osbourne, Sepultura, Fear Factory, Paradise Lost. Type O Negative on the second stage. We're going to be in Amsterdam in two days.
SR: I just talked with Peter Steele. He wanted to play the big stage with you guys.
ES: Type O are so f***in' great. They'll be on everybody's big stage soon.
SR: I saw you the end of '94 and the beginning of '95 three or four times in a row. The Terminator show was the best I've ever seen, until the next one. It looked so great with everyone playing off your stage, jumping into the audience and the other half singing the lyrics right along with you. Everybody had fun, no one got hurt.
ES: Those are the best nights. Unfortunately, the idea is to have people on stage with no one getting hurt and sometime it doesn't happen. Look at the sign from our show in Houston last night. Attention: Mosh activities may take place. Be aware of your surroundings. The moshing area may be dangerous to your health. Get involved at your own risk.
SR: All of that is true. Rolling Stone just did a big story on moshing.
ES: It is true. Our fans are actually pretty cool people but there are so many ways you can get hurt. Chances are if some kid breaks his neck at a Biohazard show, somehow they're going to sue me and the band an everyone else involved. I said they could go crazy from the stage and they did. It's the same old thing. Like when everyone gets down on the records, devil music and Ozzy and the bat.
SR: Was this a fun album to record?
ES: This was the most fun for me. We really worked together as brothers and a team. We all pitched in. There really wasn't any slack involved since we felt so free and so good because we were all writing complete songs with music and lyrics. I took in some ideas and everybody was digging everyone's input. When we started working as a three piece we became so creative we came up with 28 songs in no time. We had enough for two albums, almost three. We chose 15 for the album, we gave two songs to some benefit albums so they're going to really good causes, and we gave one to a movie soundtrack. That still leaves about five songs that are hanging because they didn't fit on this album, in this groove. The album has its own vibe.
SR: Dave Jerden has an excellent reputation for getting things done.
ES: He as a great guy to work with. Every one told me he was a maniac, psycho lunatic. I said so am I and so is everyone else in the band. It's perfect. Our first conversation was about music for ten minutes and then guns for about an hour. This guy is so cool. What makes him a genius to me and I don't throw that word around.What makes him a master of his craft is not having to stick his head into everything. He let us know right on that he felt we knew what we were doing with your songs, and that he wasn't going to f**k with them. He's an Atlantic Records producer and he can do one album a year outside that contract. He was asked to do Alice In Chains and other stuff and he chose Biohazard to be that one project. What the f**k? This is the album he told us. He believes in us more than we do. He picked "Authority" as the single. They wouldn't do it in the States so it's going to be the single in Europe. The record company is being pussies about it. Excuse my language in mixed company. The European label called the day they got the demo and told Warner Bros. here that it had to be the single in Europe.
SR: It's an anthem that leads off the album. Everybody is going to be singing the lyrics on this one. Rob E. comes into the bus. What did this guy bring to the album?
ES: What Rob brings to the table is unification. He unifies the three of us into a foursome. Where there was any room for sloppiness, it's tighter. He's a tighter player than the rest of us in a way. He brought new life on the old stuff and he adds his own flavor on all the new stuff. At the same time we were all hanging out together and we had such a positive vibe with each other and a positive image. There's no strife in the band and we're back to what a real band is supposed to be like. We have gone eight years with only one change in the lineup and we doubt that we'll every have another change even if we have to chain him down. For instance, we did six songs and then we stopped. There was dead silence. Then I said all bow down to the new guy. Hail, hail the new guy.
SR: You cover a lot of topics on this one that are on everyone's minds.
ES: We cover the issues. We're not a political band. We care about society, but more than anything the reason this album crosses over is the subject matter. (more tape recorder madness). The songs were not meant to be anthems, it's just how we feel.
SR: My favorite tune is "Waiting To Die."
ES: That's a song about apathy in society. It's a positive message. It's about living instead of existing.
SR: There's just so much good material on this album. What's the single over here?
ES: After a lot of deliberation, the band, label and management decided on "A Lot To Learn."
SR: That's the one you wrote way back in '92.
ES: It was a demo that Danny came up with. We're really in touch with who and what we are. We just love to scream and do our thing. We've got a lot to say. A lot of times in this world there's no justice. Ultimately, there is a final justice that everyone has to work out themselves.
SR: I think we'd better stop here since you have to get ready for the show tonight. Thanks, once again for your time and yet another great album.
ES: Thank you for all your support. We'll see you at the next show. We'll be back over here for a long tour after Europe and maybe back to Austin. We love playing here.