When your band carries a name as symbolic and burly as 'Epidemic,' your music better back up all the jabber. The men of Epidemic; vocalist Boris B., guitarist Bruce Allan, drummer Tim Ganard and bassist Jimmy McDaniel are slowly undermining the norms in the world of hard rock. Minding their own business, making music that pleases themselves (as proven on their rockin' self-titled Elektra debut)and turning up the intensity at every show are just a few of the ethos Epidemic is proud to boast on.
Here’s what Boris B. had to say about the band, their habits, and just about everything else music-related.
You’re from Holland, and the other guys are all from the south. Both hold pretty deep roots when it comes to the heavy part of metal. Do you think that transfers into your songs, or do you try to keep it accessible to all sounds?
We try to make it as intense as possible, but we don’t just keep on running to be heavy. Our main goal is to write good songs, and what we try to do is write a balanced album that doesn’t have 10 heavy songs and one ballad. We tried to make the sequence of the album as a whole, where you can listen to it the entire way through with one go.
Is that because of the current trend of pretty lame albums?
Yeah, I’ve noticed there’s a lot of records that aren’t good across the board. They’ll have 2 or 3 good songs, and the rest is just filler.
European rock is taking off in the states these days. What element do you feel being from outside the US adds to a musician? Is there a certain energy/mindset that European musicians have over American musicians?
As a musician I consider myself an American. I’ve lived here for 4 years in LA, the music I listened to in Holland. I listened to American rock, so I grew up in the same scene they did. Maybe in my lyrics it transfers a little.
What’s your opinion on current mainstream rock?
I think it’s pretty mediocre. There’s young bands like Sinch trying to do their own thing, but a lot of bands follow each other and there’s not a whole lot of new things. Some bands sound solid, but there’s not originality. Track 3 on the album, “Individual”, is sort of about the lack of ambition amongst artists.
Not too many people know how frustrating the recording process for an album is. Does the repetition and long hours in the studio take away from an album, or does it fuel the fire that hard rock needs?
Actually, we recorded and mixed our album in about 6 weeks time. Our songs were 90 percent finished when we started recording with the producer, so we were relatively fast. We wrote for 2 years striaght though. We use a 4-track, and then the songs are pretty much set. Usually it’s Bruce coming with a bunch of chords and progressions, and Tim alters the beat, and I go with that back and forth. We try to be like the Beatles where I’ll go mess with the guitar, and the drummer will mess with the lyrics. Everybody in the band needs to be completely happy with what’s going on.
Your lyrics, while in-your-face, seem to have a subliminal tone to them. Is that what you strive to do?
They’re really thought through, and I spent a lot of time writing them. Everybody in the band looks at the lyrics, and it’s something we all think about and have to agree with. There’s commentary, there’s fierce lyrics, but they’re not preachy. A lot of people can tell what I’m trying to say, but it’s not that obvious and that’s what I want. I like to be beneath the radar, and everyone can interpret it the way they want.
If you were to talk to a person that hasn’t heard your music, what would you tell them to focus on?
Check out the record, try to listen to it in one go. Live shows, we go as intense as possible, and there won’t be any of that audience participation, like asking the crowd to ‘make some noise’. We tend to think that’s pretty lame. That’s what’s wrong with a lot of shows. You see bands saying ‘make some noise’ and all that to the crowd. We try to be on an equal level with the crowd and throw down the best we can. We try to keep the distance between us and the fans as small as possible.
To find out more about Epidemic, their tour schedule and some MP3s, check out :www.epidemicband.com,