State of the World Address (Warner Bros.)
An interview with bassist/vox Evan Seinfeld
by Paul Lee
Written in kanji, located just below the massive black widow tattoo on his back, it says “Respect.” Evan Seinfeld, bassist/vox for Biohazard is fully adorned with tattoos, but the “Respect” tattoo in particular caught my eye. Seinfeld says that respect is an important concept to him and that “you have to give respect to get respect.”
On a steamy evening at Great Woods, I got a chance to hang out with both Biohazard and Sepultura just before their show with Pantera. Seeing Biohazard live wasn’t new to me, but was still an experience I was eagerly awaiting ever since I heard the rawness and excitement of their new release on Warner Brothers. I had already been pummeled by their live power a few years back, when they opened for Kreator. I was as impressed by them then as now in ’94. I have been even more blown away by their newest creation entitled State of the World Address.
Now don’t be lead astray by those simplistic writers who would have you believe that Biohazard is a metal band. They’ve carved their own niche in the dirty city pavement. Their signature is part hardcore and rap, with rock and metal blended in.
If you witness the power of Biohazard’s rhythmic overdrive live and you don’t move, you either belong in a geriatric asylum or a morgue. State continues the honing of their rage-fueled sound which began with their first eponymous release in 1990 and escalated with 1992’s Urban Discipline on Roadrunner Records. Warner Brothers had in fact signed them around this time, but Biohazard wanted to release on an independent label for one last time. Then it was off to the majors.
Biohazard had been busy even before State hit the streets. They’d been road-bound for a while, hitting Europe (40 shows in 39 days with a stop at the Monsters of Rock in the U.K.), and four dates in Japan.
When they played before the many jaded Pantera fans at Great Woods, it seemed Biohazard put a great many necks in traction and badly battered some bodies. If there had been a real floor, unencumbered by annoying amphitheater seats, I’m sure more bodies would have been flailing and flying around. Guitarist/vox Bobby and his guitar cohort, Billy, bound around the stage like possessed tribal dancers and even managed to travel through the audience, thanks to their wireless equipment.
Evan informed me that Great Woods was the first show that they’ve done with seats. “It was very inconvenient, like having sex with three condoms, you really can’t feel it,” Evan divulged.
State is a massive album in both scope and sound. These four guys from the dark side of Brooklyn have tapped into the angst and intensity of urban life. Biohazard’s sound and message is universal for the crazed and angered folks around the world. Evan had an interesting perspective on Biohazard’s music in general: “The music breaks down all the barriers, we could play Croatia where nobody speaks any English and they don’t understand the lyrics necessarily, but they get the emotion. Music is spirituality, it’s magic.”
I discussed with Evan the brutal honesty that comes through in Biohazard’s message and sound, “That’s all we got, reality. There are a lot of bands who sing about politics or social situations but you look in their eyes and they don’t have that thousand yard stare. You can tell these guys read a lot of newspapers and watch a lot of CNN, but they’ve never lived it. I think people aren’t stupid, you can watch the gangster rap videos and you can tell who the real gangsters are.”
If the acceptance being gained by Biohazard is any measure of how hard music in general is faring, it would seem that the future is bright. Even though they’ve been put in the opening spot for Pantera, they proved their worth to the masses at Great Woods. Biohazard has carved out their own special and brutal niche in the hard scene and are finally getting the recognition they deserve. These guys are genuine and have become another great cathartic band that connects with those of us who have the rage and the intense energy that needs to be unleashed. When Biohazard comes back to headline, make sure you are prepared to connect with their power and fury.