Please tell us about your band's story. What did you want to say when you called your band Kill Your Idols and how did you make the name up?
Gary (guitar) and I have a friend named Big Vinnie... He used to sing for a band called "Situated Chaos" that is from Long Island, N.Y., where we are from. He introduced Andy and I and we started this band. Andy told me he wanted to sing for an old-school sounding band like Negative Approach and Minor Threat. So we started the band, and we decided to name it after a Situated Chaos song of the same name, "Kill Your Idols". We thought the lyrics summed up what we were about. No one is better than anyone else and you don't have to listen to people just because they have power over you.
Do the other members of Kill Your Idols play in any other bands?
I play in a new band that I started with our friend Ron, called Deathcycle. Ron is the singer. He also sings on some KYI songs (The Path, Miserable and Satisfied, Fur Is For Fucks). Ron actually was KYI's first drummer. But he is a better singer... Mike and Brian are in another band called Celebrity Murders. Coincedentally, both bands are more of a crossover hardcore style, but Celebrity Murders is very fast and thrashy where as Deathcycle has a more slow, heavy style with some discharge style punk beats.
Where do you find your inspiration for making music from?
We all love hardcore/punk. We live it. Just hearing other bands play gets us pumped to write songs. Lyrically, we are inspired by day to day problems, social problems, sometimes political.
What bands did you play concerts with? Where do you like to play most of all?
We play with bands like Forward To Death, Sick Of Talk, Inhuman, Disnihil, Modern Life Is War, Sick Of It All, Agnostic Front, 7 Seconds, Poison Idea... We have had our fair share of great shows with great bands.
Tell us what bands had an influence on you? What things are you influenced with now?
Sheer Terror and 7 Seconds were my biggest influences to start a hardcore band. And the Misfits. Before I heard real hardcore, I was into heavy metal, and thrash. I heard Agnostic Front and Misfits and I realized that good music didn't need to be technical. Even some metal bands were influenced by the simplicity of punk, like Celtic Frost and Sodom. Then when I got more into punk, I also learned that you could be a great musician and still play punk music, like the Dead Kennedy's and the Damned. So I started a band when i could barley play, back when I was 15. By the time I was 20, I was much better and learned so much about music. But the bands who influenced me to do a band that made records was definitley 7 Seconds and Sheer Terror. Both bands got me so pumped for different reasons.
Can you briefly formulate the ideas that you express in your lyrics?
Just the pain of everyday life, relationships, people who let you down... Things like that.
Are any members of your band streightedge?
Brian and Mike are straightedge.
What is the best and the worst time in Kill Your Idols?
The best times are two many to count, but I can mention a few highlight memories. Touring with Agnostic Front, F-Minus, and Bane. Anytime we have been to Europe. Recording our last record was awesome. The time we played Posi Numbers Fest and Jeff from Breakdown came up and sang the cover song of "Vengeance". Our Japanese Tour with Decay from Japan and Ensign from New Jersey. Actually, the Japanese Tour helped bring us together through our lowest point, which was when we almost broke up.
Are you politically active? Do you support any organizations?
We support a number of organizations, here is a couple:
Food Not Bombs (Long Island, NY):†www.longislandfoodnotbombs.cjb.net
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA): www.peta.org
Tell how long was you recording "From Companionship To Competition" and how was the process of making the songs going on?
That record took us a month to record, but we only worked on weekends. We tracked the songs almost all in one or two takes, the vocals went by rather quickly as well. Mixing and mastering took the longest. Noah Evans is an awesome engineer who used to be in a band called "Icemen". Atomic studios is a great place for hardcore bands to record.
Your band has existed not so long, but you've already recorded many albums. Have you already created the songs for the upcoming album? At what stage of working out is it now?
In December, we will actually be together for 10 years. We are already working on the next full length.
What bands, to your mind, are worth paying attention at?
Sick Of Talk, Celebrity Murders, All Or Nothing HC, Splitting Headache, Deathcycle, Disnihil, Inhuman, The Spark, Solidarity Pact, Outbreak, Dead Stop, Dead Hearts, Iron Boots, Direct Control...
What do you think about major labels and the bands that conclude contracts with them?
I think everyone should do whatever makes them happy in life. Personally, I don't think hardcore has a place in the major label music industry, and should stay out of big buisness. Hardcore bands that think they can be rich playing hardcore are wrong, because there isn't enough hardcore people in the world to make you rich... And bands who use the term "punk" or "hardcore" but play radio music, is insulting to those of us who live this life for real. I have nothing against making a living playing music, but I feel that hardcore is an extension of something more, and underground means "underground". You can make money playing old rock songs in a bar very easily. It's much harder to write really good songs from inside yourself. And it is a challenge to see who will get what you are trying to say. Money should not be what it is about.
Whom you imagine yourself in ten years? Tell us about your plans for the future.
In ten years, I will be 42. I hope to be married and traveling with my future wife, Mary. I also hope to still be playing music. I love the creative process of making new songs and recording them, and playing live.
Have you ever heard anything about russian punk-hardcore bands? What have you heard about Russia? Would you like to come with concerts?
The only contact I have with russian hardcore is Last Breath fanzine, which is dont by a guy named Nemanja. We have been in touch for about 5 years now. He has sent me issues of his zine and done an interview. I wish we could come to Russia. We are doing a European tour in July 2006, but I think it will only be in Germany, Belgium, and places close by. We can only come to Europe for like 12 days, we all have jobs that we cannot leave for long. But please keep in touch, who knows what can happen!
Gary W. Bennett II
KILL YOUR IDOLS / DEATHCYCLE
497, 14TH STREET
WEST BABYLON, NY
Official website of Kill Your Idols: www.killyouridols.net
Official website of Deathcycle: www.angelfire.com/creep/deathcycle0
Rumon, Headfucker, Alla, Smash (special for punks.ru)