|Interview By Burt Wolf with guitarist Dan Brown, bassist Ken Carbone, drummer Mike Carbone,
Vocalist Finiello & guitarist Andrew Wheaton of STRIK-9.
Interview done April 29th, 2006.
I AM PRETTY NEW TO YOU GUYS, SO COULD YOU PLEASE GIVE SOME OF THE BANDS
HISTORY? HOW YOU GOT TOGETHER? ANY OTHER BANDS IN THE PAST YOU WERE IN?
The band was together for about two years, (originally with Mike on vocals & guitar, Ken on bass & our friend
Chris on drums) before they took a hiatus. At that time Mike got involved in a side project where Fin was playing
keyboards. Mike eventually left the side project for STRIK-9 then eventually asked Fin to play guitar for the
band. That line up stayed the same until Dan joined the band a few years later & Fin moved to just vocals. After
awhile things started to progress & we decided that it was time to get another guitarist to make the sound bigger
so we acquired Andrew through a Death Metal band we had been involved with, but had a falling out with.
WHY WAS THE NAME STRIK-9 CHOSEN AS THE BANDS NAME?
STRIK-9 was chosen because originally the band was an Acid induced Metal band. STRIK-9 is found on blotter
hits, thought it was a cool name & it stuck.
WHO OR WHAT HAS HAD SOME IMPACT OR INFLUENCE ON YOUR MUSIC & LIFE?
Bands like PANTERA, SLAYER & TOOL have a profound effect on us musically. It also depends on which
member of the band you speak with as we are all influenced by all styles & different types of art & artists.
HOW WOULD YOU BEST DESCRIBE THE STYLE & SOUND OF STRIK-9?
STRIK-9 is STRIK-9. We don't feel we are a style of our own, but at the same time you couldn't say, "Oh well
they sound like this band". We also hate labels on music - there's too many. It's no longer as Metal, Thrash,
Death Metal, or Hardcore... It's Metal, it's heavy, it's a little different - run with one of those.
YOUR CD "PHILADELPHIA IN RUINS" HAS BEEN OUT FOR A LITTLE WHILE NOW. HOW WELL
HAS IT BEEN DOING? WHAT HAS THE RESPONSE BEEN LIKE TO IT?
To our fans (friends more like it lol!) our CD did not disappoint & we thank them so much for their continuing
support. As to the rest, it's been 50/50. Hey, we're not under the impression that everyone's gonna love us. We
just know what we like & that's what we do. If you like it - awesome! If not - too bad. We're still gonna do what
we do. The same things we get dissed for by some are the same things we get praised for by others - i.e the
singing, the song structure, recording quality.
WHAT IS SOME OF THE LYRICAL CONTENT IN YOUR SONGS?
Well, lyrical content depends on the song (obviously, but let me explain). Some of the songs like "Beast", "I Of
The Storm" & "7's" we have kept from when Mike was singing so those songs lyrically (even though having
some input by Fin) are going to have a different tone than others. But for the most part the songs are based
around religion, politics, hookers on the el, friends reinventing themselves for the best, frustration from where
we come from, etc...
WHO DOES THE MAJORITY OF THE SONG WRITING OR IS IT A WHOLE BAND
We all put our input into the songs, this is no one man band. Generally someone will come in with a skeleton &
then we try our best to make a monster out of it.
CAN YOU EXPLAIN THE COVER ART FOR YOUR CD & WHO DID IT?
Finiello did the cover art, but from many, many suggestions of the rest of the band. Does it serve a specific
purpose? We could bullshit you & tell you that it's how America is so censored & ass backwards politically that
it leaves us in bondage - that could go with it, right? But the truth is...Fin made it, it looked cool, we kept it
YOU GUYS WON A CONTEST PUT ON BY BOWSH RECORDS. CAN YOU EXPLAIN THE
CONTEST A BIT?
Everyone in the band at one time or another has worked for Ibanez & Tama. Some people at Ibanez (Matt J &
Joe B) decided to start up their own Indie Label, which would be funded completely by Ibanez. They had a sort
of battle of the bands, had a great big show. And the way the band had to win was by the amount of votes made
to them under a certain amount of time (a month if recalled correctly) via the Ibanez website. And by the end of
the time frame we had the most votes.
HAVE YOU STARTED THE RECORDING PROCESS YET FOR THE NEW ALBUM? WHEN WILL
THE NEW CD BE RELEASED & IS THERE A NAME FOR IT YET?
We haven't started recording for our new CD yet. We've been writing A LOT & with this we are taking our
method in a more heavy/progressive direction, while still keeping our style. If you like us now, you're gonna like
what we got coming.
DOES STRIK-9 PLAY OUT A LOT? WHERE ARE SOME OF THE PLACES YOU'VE PLAYED & WHO
ARE SOME OF THE BANDS YOU'VE SHARED THE STAGE WITH?
We were for awhile playing locally show after show multiple times a week, but after a while you realize you gotta
choose your battles other wise you'll get burned out really fast. So we've been taking it easy & writing a lot &
now we have our sights focused on more out of state gigs & road trip gigs.
I SAW SOME INFORMATION ON ZEE DOCTA ON YOUR WEBSITE. WHAT IS THIS BAND? WHO'S
IN IT & ARE THERE ANY RELEASES AVAILABLE?
ZEE DOCTA are some of our closest friends. We wrote "Bare The Sign" for them, because they've shown
nothing but unconditional support towards us & with out them we would not be the band we are today. They are
a Metal band, but with a really wild & bizarre stage show complete with blood, nudity, fighting, & just total
degradation of one another! They're awesome, couldn't ask for better friends, couldn't ask for a better band.
They actually have a CD on the way & are getting ready for an East Coast tour.
WE ARE BOTH PART OF THE PHILADELPHIA MUSIC SCENE. WHO DO YOU FEEL ARE SOME OF
THE BETTER BANDS, LABELS, ZINES, ETC FROM THIS AREA?
Obviously we think ZEE DOCTA is an awesome band. As far as Metal - D.E.S., FILTERED HATE,
CONTEMN, LIFTED, MIDNIGHT REIGN, SUTTER CAIN, KANDELLA & SHINED (they're a little
different, but really good as well). As far as non Metal bands we're very impressed with S.D.S. who are like a
Metal/Reggae band, MR. MARBLES, CHERRY BOMB SCARE & ANGER AND ADDICTION who are on
the Punk side.
ARE YOU INTO ANY OTHER STYLES OF MUSIC BESIDES WHAT YOU PLAY? WHO ARE SOME
OF THE BANDS YOUR CURRENTLY LISTENING TO?
We all listen to a number of bands & artists of all types, here's off the top of our head: MR BUNGLE,
DILLINGER ESCAPE PLAN, BEASTIE BOYS, CHILI PEPPERS, NASRAT FATTAH ALLA KHAN, WU
TANG CLAN, NICK CAVE, etc...
WHAT DO THE MEMBERS OF THE BAND DO WHEN NOT DOING ANY WORK FOR THE BAND?
JOBS, HOBBIES, ETC...?
Three of us (Ken, Dan & Andrew) work all day in a guitar factory (Ibanez) fixing & adjusting guitars (actually
Dan works on the Tama side with the drums). Mike is a bill collector - which suites him because he's pretty
strategic & good at arguing & Fin works, runs truck parts all over Jersey. As far as what we do outside the band
- we're all pretty much losers or weirdos (lol!). Our days revolve around drinking & negotiating different types of
porno to watch.
WHAT CAN WE EXPECT TO SEE NEXT FROM YOU GUYS?
Like we said, we are working on new material & so far it's been great. A lot of the songs on "PHILADELPHIA
IN RUINS" (with the exception of the first four) we had been playing for years now & we had recorded them
for the simple fact that we like them. Our new album is going to have much more method behind it as far as a
message is concerned. Like we said, it will be heavier & more progressive. We've all discussed that lyrics &
album art will have duel meanings while designated songs will originate with certain members as to give each
song a different feel. Sounds stupid & probably doesn't make much sense to anyone else, but then again, when
has that ever mattered to us?