By Craig Obert
Sporting big, in your face, dual attack guitars, a thunderous and precise rhythm section and soaring impassioned vocals, NYC’s own KILLCODE deliver high potency Southern/Hard/Anthemic/RAWK! Stellar musicianship, influences that run a wide gamut, and enough swagger to last until next week, these guys bring it. I know I’ve said it before, but folks, this may be your new favorite band.
Tom Morrissey (lead vocals)
D.C. Gonzales (guitar);
Erric Bonesmith (bass/vocals)
Rob Noxious (drums)
Greetings from Metalheads Forever. We appreciate your time. How are things in your world?
Hi Craig , all is well in the KILLCODE world and as usual we’re keeping busy.
Congratulations on your new album The Answer. It is killer. I’ve been listening to it quite a bit. (1) To prepare for this interview and (2) from a music lover standpoint, it really is that good. How has the reception been overall?
Thanks and that means a lot to us! We feel it’s our strongest work to date and the reception so far has been awesome! There have been great reviews coming in from all over the world and it really seems to be connecting with people.
Joey Zampella, of Life of Agony, produced The Answer. What did his time in LOA bring to the band? What other changes have transpired since 2013’s Killcode?
Growing up in NY we were all fans of LOA, so when we had the opportunity to work with Joey Z we were very excited. I feel he helped bring an edge and sound to this album that was there when we played live but wasn’t as present on our past recordings. He also was extremely easy to work with and let us do our thing while making small suggestions here and there that helped us take it to another level. As far as changes since 2013 ..Guitarist, DC Gonzalez joined KILLCODE in 2014 and while he was a perfect fit, it did change the sound and direction of KILLCODE a bit and in my opinion, for the better. Also, up until that point, while KILLCODE did tour in the states some, we really focused our efforts on the NYC scene and building a strong following here. KILLCODE began playing sold out shows at smaller venues like Mercury Lounge and Arlene’s grocery and then bigger venues like Bowery Ballroom , Irving Plaza , Gramercy Theater and Roseland Ballroom. After we accomplished that we set our sites on playing outside of NY and spreading the :::CODE::: worldwide. Partnering with Danny Stanton and Coallier entertainment 2 years ago helped make that happen and for the past two years we’ve playing festivals and touring all across the world and states. It’s been an amazing experience!
I really like your version of the Allman Brothers’ “Midnight Rider.” Any other covers on the horizon? I know artists will throw in a cover or 2 in their shows. What song do you think should definitely not be covered?
Thanks and glad you dig it! We love the Allman brothers and southern rock, so it was fun to put the KILLCODE spin on that song. We don’t do covers that often but we have been playing “You Can’t stop Rock and Roll” by Twisted Sister. We had the pleasure of being joined on stage by Jay Jay French from Twisted Sister a few times in the states and overseas when we played it. That was a blast and an honor. It’s a great song and gets the crowd going!I really don’t think there is a song that shouldn’t be covered. Personally, I feel as long as you try to make a cover your own and not an exact copy it’s cool.I find playing covers boring otherwise.
“Own It Now” is a very powerful song. Can you please elaborate on this track? I imagine the lyrics are meant to be open to interpretation.
It’s one of my personal favorites and again, glad you dig it! This song is a perfect example of how KILLCODE’s sound evolved a bit when DC Gonzalez joined. While it was a total collaboration like most of our songs, you can def’n hear what DC brought to the table in this Particular song. It also features Chris Wyse (Owl, Ace Frehley, The Cult ) on electric upright bass, which added the perfect touch to the intro and the song. You can actually download that song for free here, You are correct in your assumption about the lyrics. I tend to leave most of my lyrics open to interpretation.
You’ve been around a few years now, seen a thing or two. Remembering your first days, what was your biggest misconception about the music business? On the other end, what has been the most pleasant surprise?
Very early on, one of the biggest misconceptions is that we would need a big record deal to get our music out there and play to the masses. A pleasant surprise was that we could make that happen without the help of a big record deal. While that certainly can help, we found with the right team, hard work, patience, great songs and performances you can do it yourself. It’s not easy but you can.
You’ve have been described as Southern Rock, 70’s Rock, Hard Rock, Outlaw Metal and Country Metal (whatever the hell that is.) All these elements may ring true, but if you had to pick just one Killcode song to represent you as a band, what would it be?
That’s a tough one as one of the rules that KILLCODE tries to follow is that there are no rules, as far as the type of music we write and play live. We like to describe ourselves simply as a Rock band. We do have many influences and many of those you listed above. If I had to pick one song “6 amAgain”, a song that Chas and I wrote when we first started the band, would be a good one. To this day it’s still a mainstay in our set and a crowd favorite.
Tell us about the show to benefit Puerto Rico. Big tip of the hat by the way.
KILLCODE has played in Puerto Rico a few times and Dc Gonzalez and I are both Puerto Rican, so the cause is one close to both our hearts and the band as well. We were recently asked to play a NYC benefit show to help the people and animals of Puerto Rico at Arlene’s Grocery, along with other local bands and people from the NYC rock scene. We were very happy to be a part of it and it was a big success. We filmed the event for a soon to be released documentary directed by David Swajeski that we hope continues to help raise money and awareness for a situation that is still very dire.
Over the years you’ve played in multiple venues, festivals, and countries and even toured with Dee Snider. What has been the absolute best moment so far? What has been the “not so best?” No names please. 🙂
There are so many great memories that it would be really hard to name one. One that is up there, would be playing in Mexico at the “Hell and Heaven” festival to 50,000 + people. It was the biggest crowd up until that point that we had played to. We do this call and answer thing at shows where we say “KILL” and the crowd answers back “CODE”. To hear that many people enthusiastically roar back “CODE” and the response we got in general, was an amazing feeling. You can actually watch that moment here-As far as a not so best moment…that is better left unsaid. If we told you we’d have to kill you (:
So the obvious questions…when will we see you on the road? What are your immediate plans? When are you coming to Denver and what kind of beer do you like? I have to be prepared after all.
Like I mentioned KILLCODE has spent the better part of the last 2 years touring all over the world and the states. As much as we love the road, we are taking the next few months to record our next Release. We are already a few songs into it and excited about where it’s going so far. We will also be filming a few new music videos over the next two months and working on pre-production for those at the moment.That would be our immediate plans but after that we hope to be back on the road by the summer supporting the new release. As far as what beer we like, as long as it’s cold and plentiful we’re pretty easy 🙂
We know you are very busy these days, so thank you so much for your time. Any parting words for our readers?
It’s my/our pleasure! Please visit killcode.net for everything KILLCODE related and thank you for helping us SPREAD THE :::CODE:::!
MHF Magazine/Craig Obert