Billy Bryan talks about playing Stay Puft Marshmallow Man in Ghostbusters, Dune and Army of Darkness

Billy Bryan is the man who created the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man suit for Ghostbusters as well as the man inside. He is also one of the puppeteers for Chucky in Child’s Play and also played the Pit Bitch in Army of Darkness.

Media Mikes had a chance to chat with Billy about his role in Ghostbusters as well as Dune, Child’s Play, Army of Darkness, Men in Black and meeting Dave Grohl for his work on Tenacious D in the Pick of Destiny.

M.O.D. Vocalist Billy Milano Talks About the Bands New Album “Busted, Broke & American”

Billy Milano is the outspoken vocalist for the legendary hardcore/thrash band M.O.D. On July 7th the group will release its 10th full-length studio album titled “Busted, Broke & American” via Megaforce Records. Media Mikes had the chance to talk with Billy recently about the album which was an extremely personal record Milano as well as his thoughts on the current state of hardcore and the possibility of this being the group’s final album.

Adam Lawton: M.O.D. went through a couple rough patches during the making of the new album which was originally slated to be released a couple years ago. Can you tell us about that?

Billy Milano: I have never been one of those guys that say’s I “have” to do something because of music. A lot of people know me from music but that’s not all of who I am. I did the “Red, White and Screwed” album in 2007 and then toured it for a year and a half. During that time one of the things I realized was that I had been forcing myself into a position I didn’t want to be in. I needed some time for myself as I just didn’t care anymore. It wasn’t that I didn’t care about the band it’s just that I generally do about a two year run with a group of guys and then that’s it. People change and I tend to get angsty unless, they bring something to the table. I don’t agree with people being involved in my life that are all encompassing. I am an adult and want to be able to go and live my life how I want to without any interference. When I came back from California in 2012 after the first sessions for this album there was a myriad of problems. There were guys in the band I was tired off, the producer I was working with wasn’t the right guy for the job and what we ended up with didn’t work for me. I took about a whole year off after this. Also at this time my dog Buster was very sick. To watch him go through what he did was heart breaking and I couldn’t leave him. I started playing guitar again at this time and that’s when this record started to come to life.

AL: The band is back with Megaforce Records. Can you tell us how that relationship came back together?

BM: I had started working on the record again and it was starting to turn out special. I had a couple labels that were interested at the time and out of nowhere Missy the owner of Megaforce calls me up to talk about doing a 30th anniversary edition for the “U.S.A. for M.O.D.” record. I thought that would be really cool and while we were talking I asked her if she would be interested in hearing the new record. I played it for her and she liked what she heard. From there we decided to work together on this record and also to re-release three M.O.D. records from our back catalog. Megaforce has been very good to us and the packaging has come out amazing.

AL: What are your thoughts on the recent upswing that hardcore music is experiencing right now and, where do you feel M.O.D. fits in with today’s music scene?

BM: A lot of people have always looked at M.O.D. and wondered what is it? If you listen to the records it’s not hardcore, thrash or punk. It’s got a little bit of everything in it. I think it has a hardcore punk attitude which is something I myself have always been, a New York Hardcore Skinhead even as hairy as I am now I still consider myself that. (Laughs) When we would start putting together a tour I would think to myself about bands who we could tour with and it was hard because there was no one else really like M.O.D. We just didn’t fit any one specific category. M.O.D. has a core group of fans and I accept that because that is what I have offered. I have only offered a cursorary involvement with M.O.D. live around the world because I feel there are other things in my life that take precedent. That’s not what musicians who are successful think like. In my case growing up in an Italian family with 11 brothers and sisters with tight nit community around us gave me a different attitude towards things. As to addressing where M.O.D. fits on the tooth of the gear to this day this is something I still can’t answer. I know we have a great record coming out to go along with some of the other great records we have put out in the past. “Busted, Broke & American” is a very memorable record. I think it’s coming to a point where it wasn’t the timing of other things going on that might be good for it as much as it was the timing of where I am at. Things are coexisting together and that’s something you just can’t plan. It just happens. I have always just been Billy Milano. There are a lot of hardcore bands out there doing reunions and playing shows right now and I think a lot of that has to do with the vinyl market. Bands are able to release their back catalogs for the first time on vinyl and getting deals based on that which allows them then to put out new music. The anniversary of “U.S.A For M.O.D” and the history M.O.D. had with Megaforce Records certainly helped me get this new record out and I am grateful for that.

AL: You stated in a press release that “Busted, Broke & American” very well could be M.O.D.’s last album. Is that still the case as we get closer to the July 7 release date?

BM: Yes, Absolutely! Do I think I could write another record like? No. Too much pain went into this record. Watching my dog die while writing this and learning how to play guitar again was just awful. At my age the stress that comes along with doing a record is not something I want to deal with. This was a very personal record to me and I put a lot into it. I mixed this thing seven times because it was so personal. It was Busters record. I don’t think I am doing another record. Will I do a single or an EP? Sure. I think I can write a few great songs every one or two years and put out an EP with somebody. It would be cool to do something with M.O.D. and maybe some unsigned punk bands and put that stuff out and expose people to new music. For me that would be a better legacy than a follow up record. I have always tried to help unsigned people. I have brought in unknown musicians to my records because I wanted to bring people into that pool of the music industry.

AL: Are there any plans to perform the new album live?

BM: I have no live shows planned at this moment. We haven’t even been able to rehearse as we are minus a drummer at this moment. I had a guy lined up but due to some personal things he was not able to keep going with us. We will find a drummer eventually. There are always guys out there that want to get paid to play. Our music isn’t Rush or Dream Theater. Maybe more like “Mystery Science 3000 Theater” but not those other groups. (Laughs) When we are ready will be out there ripping it. In the mean time I am focusing on two books I am writing. The first one is my personal book and the second is a cook book which I am doing for my mom. I have another band I am working with called “Billy Be Damned”. I play rhythm guitar in that band. If I had to describe it, it would be a mixture of The Pogues meets Stiff Little Fingers meets the Clash and Foo Fighters. It’s heavy but it’s not metal.

Be sure to check out our exclusive review of “Busted, Broken & American” here. And for more info on Billy and M.O.D. head over to

Blu-ray Review “Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk”

Actors: Joe Alwyn, Kristen Stewart, Chris Tucker, Garrett Hedlund, Makenzie Leigh
Directors: Ang Lee
Rated: R
Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
Release Date: February 14, 2017
Run Time: 113 minutes

Film: 3 out of 5 stars
Blu-ray: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Extras: 2 out of 5 stars

Ang Lee’s latest film, “Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk” was one that came and went so fast, but no one even noticed. Especially with a supporting cast including Co-starring Kristen Stewart, Chris Tucker, Garrett Hedlund, Vin Diesel and Steve Martin. I mean are you serious? This film was also the first 4K presentation of the film to be showed at 60 FPS…but watching it on Blu-ray you are missing most of the “experience”. The 4K Ultra HD (with 3D) is where this film would shine more…but we did not receive that version to feature. If you can get your hands on that edition, it is worth watching one. Not anything that I would see again but I did enjoy the performances.

Official Premise: The story is told from the point of view of 19-year-old private Billy Lynn (Joe Alwyn) who, along with his fellow soldiers in Bravo Squad, becomes a hero after a harrowing battle in Iraq and is brought home temporarily for a victory tour. Through a sequence of flashbacks, the truth about what really happened is revealed – contrasting the realities of the war with America’s distorted perceptions of heroism.

The standard Blu-ray’s 1080p transfer with DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 surround track are still both impressive not faults there at all but when you look at the potential of this film it is like watching it on VHS tape. You missing a lot of the purposeful detail. The special features are not great either. There are a few deleted scenes and four featurettes included about the production. Again, the 4K Ultra HD disc has more content.

CD Review: Mastodon “Emperor of Sand”

Related Content

Testament’s Chuck Billy talks about signature line of vaping pens “The Chief”

Chuck Billy is probably best known as the vocalist for the legendary bay area thrash metal band Testament. However when not performing with the band around the world Chuck keeps himself busy with several business ventures. His latest is that of his own signature line of vaping pens “The Chief”. Together with Lord Vapor the leading provider of high-quality custom vape pens Billy is set to create a product line just as intense as his music. Media Mikes spoke with Chuck recently about the new product line, his experience with vaping and also touched on the upcoming plans for Testament.

Adam Lawton: What was your first exposure vaping and what was it that you found appealing?
Chuck Billy: I tried vaping years ago when I was in Amsterdam. After I got back I bought my own volcano just like I had seen in Amsterdam. There’s certainly a different feeling that comes with vaping. For me being a singer and trying to keep my lungs healthy vaping always seemed a little easier and I enjoyed that. ==

AL: How did the opportunity to create “The Chief” line of herbal vape pens?
CB: I had talked with Adam from Lord Vapor quite some time ago about doing a product line but it never really got hooked up. About eight months ago we met up and really started talking and working on designs. We had to figure out how to make the product better than it already was and also to have it stand out among the other pens like this. We went in and looked and things like temperature. We found that the hottest current temp wasn’t enough to throw the size of cloud we wanted. We worked with some things and got the temps hotter and also worked with the overall look of the pen. Once we got all that stuff down we ordered the first run of prototypes. It did take awhile but once we got it things worked great. We hit the market in March with the first run of “Big Chiefs” and we are currently working on the second line which will include slim line pens both in rechargeable and disposable models.

AL: What did you find to be the most difficult part of developing this product?
CB: The graphics and the design seemed to take the longest. There was a lot of back and forth between us and the manufactures because we weren’t right there while they were being made. Upping the temperature was certainly the easy part but getting things to look right with not only the pen but also the packaging certainly took some time. You need everything to look correct right out of the box because once you go into production if things aren’t right then everything comes out wrong. It was a bit of a gamble but we learned through the process and we have a really great product.

AL: What do you think has caused the recent rise in vaping?
CB: It’s an option people have to where they can go out in public and not cause a scene from smoking. I have used mine in movie theaters without anyone ever saying a word. One of the days on the recent tour we went out with the Exodus guys and we were all vaping during dinner and having a great time without any problems. Those are definitely some of the advantages over being out and smoking say a pipe or joint. You are a bit more inconspicuous. Also again for me personally it’s less harsh on my lungs than other methods.

AL: Are there plans to increase the line outside of just pens?
CB: I’m not sure if we are going to try out liquids or not at this point. That is something that I am not really a fan of. We are working on the rechargeable and disposable pens right now and wrapping up sales on the first 1000 signed and numbered special edition Chiefs. Once those are gone we have plans to change the packaging making those first run Chiefs really special. I think this the Chief signature line is something that’s going to keep growing. Adam has opened the door for me on this and within the next year or so I may venture in to a signature accessories line as there are just so many different accessories you can get.

AL: Aside from your vaping products can you give us an update on Testaments current plans for the coming months?
CB: We are pretty busy. We recently wrapped up one tour and will be heading out on another which is overseas in Europe. After that we will be taking three or four months of to finish the writing of the new record. We really want focus on the album and getting it done. Being that we all don’t live near one another these days that can be a little difficult. There’s a lot of emailing and getting together when we can so it takes time. We are very fortunate at this time that our label Nuclear Blast isn’t breathing down our necks to get it done. They don’t do that as they know when it’s ready it’s ready. That’s been the beauty of things as we can make the album right and we are happy with it.

John O’Hurley talks about his role of Billy Flynn in the touring production of “Chicago”

Television fans know John O’Hurley as the popular J. Peterman, Elaine’s boss, on the long running show “Seinfeld.” But it is performance on another show that helps bring him to Kansas City. As a contestant during the first season of ABC’s popular “Dancing with the Stars,” O’Hurley finished in second place, losing to Kelly Monaco, an actress whose show just HAPPENED to be on ABC. Fans of the show cried foul and demanded the two have a “dance-off,” with only the fans voting for the winner. In the rematch, O’Hurley and his partner, Charlotte Jorgensen, were declared the winners, raising over $125,000 for the charity Golfers against Cancer.

Since then, O’Hurley has split his time between the stage and screen. He played King Arthur in “Spamalot” during the show’s production in Las Vegas and has played shrewd lawyer Billy Flynn in “Chicago,” both on Broadway and on the road. Well known for his voice you can hear him in such cartoons as “Buzz Lightyear of Star Command,” “Duck Dodgers,” “Phineas and Ferb” and “Spongebob Squarepants.”

This week Mr. O’Hurley reprises his role of Billy Flynn in the touring production of “Chicago.” Before opening night he took time out to talk to me about the show and his career.

Mike Smith: Welcome to Kansas City.
John O’Hurley: I feel welcome. Thank you.

MS: If the Internet Broadway Database is to be believed you literally just walked off the stage of the Ambassador Theater in New York City, where you played Billy Flynn for the last six weeks, to travel here to take the part on the road.
JO: I closed on Broadway Sunday night. I had a great time there, especially during the holidays.
MS: Wow, when they say the road shows are “direct from Broadway” they’re not kidding.
JO: (laughs) Not at all. I think I still have the same socks on.

MS: You’ve played Billy Flynn over 1500 times on stage. Do you get comfortable in a part or do you try to bring something new to your performance when you can?
JO: Every night! Every night something different will happen. I say one prayer every night before I go on stage and that is “God, let me be surprised.” And every night something different happens. If I’ve done the role 1500 times I assure you that the role is 1500 times richer since I started playing it in 2005.

MS: You are, of course, best known for your work on “Seinfeld.” Was it your appearance on “Dancing with the Stars” that led to your work in musical theater?
JO: I’ve done King Arthur in “Spamalot” over 1000 times and, of course, Billy Flynn over 1500. I think a lot of my success came about because of that show. It gave me my name back. Prior to that I was known as J. Peterman. But after 2005 I was known as John O’Hurley.

MS: You do a lot of voice work. Do you have to prepare differently as an actor for a cartoon voice as opposed to a full live performance?
JO: Right now I’m involved in about fifteen cartoons…”Spongebob,” “Fineas and Ferb” and others…but it’s a lot of fun because I have an eight-year old son and it’s nice to be able to develop a body of work that is somewhat successful to him. As far as preparing, not really. The roles are already larger than life. It’s a medium that’s very BIG. The characters are larger. Subtlety is not a part of animation.

MS: How long to you plan to stay on tour with “Chicago?”
JO: I started the tour late last year, in October and I’ll continue through the end of it, which is the end of March.

MS: Do you have anything else coming up?
JO: Yes, I have a new television series with Bryan Cranston from “Breaking Bad” that we’re working on now. We’ll be shooting later in the spring. I have a movie to do in Greece. And I’m hosting a dancing tour this summer, which will be sporadically through my vacation time. And I’m sure there will be another tour of “Chicago” next year.


Related Content

“Billy Bates” To Premiere in Kansas City This Friday

“Billy Bates,” which recently played to enthusiastic audiences at the Cannes, Toronto and Tribeca Film Festivals, will make a premiere stop in Kansas City this Friday, November 7 as part of a 10-city tour.

The red carpet event will be held at the Tivoli Cinemas beginning at 7:00 p.m. Following the screening, a Q&A with director-producer Julie Pacino and co-stars James Wirt and Savannah Welch will be held. The film will be on cable-video-on-demand and iTunes beginning November 18 and Netflix in January 2015.

For more information about the event, or to purchase tickets, go to

Blu-ray Review “Billy Rose’s Jumbo”

Starring: Dean Jagger, Martha Raye, Doris Day, Stephen Boyd, Jimmy Durante
Director: Charles Walters
Distributed: Warner Archive
MPAA Rating: G
Running Time: 124 minutes

Film: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Extras: 3 out of 5 stars

“Jumbo” was a film that was troubled from the star. It took nearly a decade to get made and was a financial disappointment once it was finally released in 1962. The film is based on the 1935 Broadway play of the same name. In fact the film actually brings back Jimmy Durante, who was also the star of the play. This film also was Doris Day’s last screen musical. There is no shortage of talent here and the film is quite the production even for today’s standards. I remember seeing this film as a kid and it just stuck with me over the year and though I haven’t seen it since then I never forgot it. “Jumbo” is not perfect and feels a little bit aged but overall it is still quite enjoyable and worth checking out.

Official Premise: Jumbo is a mighty talented elephant. It’s also the ideal word to describe this big-time, big-top extravaganza bursting with laughter and love, sang and dance, circus stunts and star power. Radiant Doris Day sings beloved Rodgers and Hart tunes and does her own horseback riding tricks in a razzle-dazzle musical based on Billy Rose’s stage spectacular and featuring circus sequences directed by Busby Berkeley. The story revolves around a circus owner (Jimmy Durante) with only two real attractions: his daughter (Day) and popular pachyderm Jumbo. Three-ring pandemonium breaks out when a handsome rival (Stephen Boyd) infiltrates the circus, and father, daughter and Dad’s wise-cracking fiancé (Martha Raye) are suddenly at risk of losing the greatest show on earth!

Since the beginning of this year, Warner Archive has been breaking into the world of Blu-ray. This was not a title that I expect would need a Blu-ray but it still looks quite impressive on the disc. The 1080p transfer is presented with an aspect ratio of 2.40:1. The colors are aged a little but still solid. The DTS HD-Master Audio 5.1 is awesome, period. It works very well with the musical numbers and the film’s dialogue. In terms of special features, there is some decent content included. There is a musical Short titled “Yours Sincerely”. There is a fun Tom and Jerry Cartoon, “Jerry and Jumbo”. The original overture has been rejoined to the film for the first time in over 50 years, so this will be a main draw for hardcore fans of the film. Lastly there is a theatrical trailer included.

“The Employer” starring Malcolm McDowell, Billy Zane and David Dastmalchian gets June 7th release date!

“The Employer” starring Malcolm McDowell (“A Clockwork Orange,” “The Mentalist,” “Entourage,” “Franklin & Bash”); Paige Howard (“Adventureland”); Billy Zane (“Titanic,” “Back to the Future,” “Dead Calm”); and David Dastmalchian (“The Dark Knight,” “Saving Lincoln,” “Prisoners”) gets a release date starting June 7th!

Director / Writer / Producer Frank Merle (“Carnage, Chaos & Creeps,” “Gnaw” ) and his new psychological thriller “The Employer” show just how-far five applicants are willing to go for a job at the mysterious Carcharias Corporation. Anticipating their final interview, they find themselves trapped in a room where The Employer (Malcolm McDowell) leaves them with only one choice: survive. It’s kill or be killed in this Darwinian game of wits and the one who makes it out alive… lands the job. The plot is complete with twists and turns leaving the audience asking themselves, “How far would I go?”

Release Dates
• May 19th: Special Screening at SoCal Horro-Fi Film Festival, Big Bear, CA
• June 7th: “On Demand” available from Comcast, Cox, TimeWarner Cable, Brighthouse, AT&T
U-verse, Verizon FiOs, Charter Cable, and more. Computer and device users gain access via
Amazon Instant Video, Apple iTunes, Xbox Live, and PlayStation Network
• July 2nd: Blu-Ray and DVD available at Wal-Mart and

Special Recognition
• Official Selection: Shriekfest Film Festival
• Winner, Best Thriller: Illinois International Film Festival
• Official Selection: LA Independent Film Festival
• Winner, Jury Award: Geneva Film Festival
• Special Invitation: Big Bear Horro-Fi Film Festival (May 19th, 2013)

Learn More About The Film At:

Disney archivist Justin Arthur and D23's Billy Staneck talk about D23's Fanniversary 2013

D23, the official fan club of the Walt Disney Company, stopped in Newark on Saturday for Fanniversary 2013. The Fanniversary is a presentation touring ten cities in the US celebrating the milestones of all things Disney that will occur in 2013. This year’s show highlights included rarely seen concept art from unproduced short “Mickey’s Toothache” as well as bringing along a pumpkin used in the production of Tim Burton classic The Nightmare Before Christmas (which is turning twenty this year.)

As well as discussing the anniversaries reached of major properties such as Peter Pan turning sixty, the show shined a light on some more obscure Disney features and attractions. For example, the D23 audience was shown concept art from Norway attraction, Maelstrom, which is turning thirty this year having opened in Orlando’s Epcot theme park in 1983. Given the scope of the company, it was up to a small team of Disney archivists to narrow down what makes it into this ninety minute show.

Enthusiastic hosts Justin Arthur, a Disney archivist, and Billy Staneck, web editor for and writer for the

D23 Magazine talked with MediaMikes after the presentation about what goes into making the show as well as the work of the Disney archives.

BILLY STANECK: “I love the Fanniversaries because we get to celebrate all these great shows and attractions that we don’t normally get to really talk about, you know? And that also gives us the opportunity to go into the archives and open up boxes that were stowed away back in the 1970s or 1980s or even you know, just a couple years ago. We’ll open them up and start going through them and looking for things that we think our fans might like. And so that’s where we come up with these old clips and concept art…Like the concept art for Mickey’s Toothache that you today.”

MediaMikes: Was there anything that had to get cut out of today’s show?
STANECK: “We had so much content for this presentation that we had to cut and cut and cut because there’s only so much we can do– we do about a ninety minute presentation, because it is a touring show that you know, we can’t do eight hours in each city. We have enough content to do that but we had to end up cutting quite a bit. We actually had some Pirates [of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, celebrating it’s tenth anniversary in 2013] stuff in there.”

MM: Was there anything that you thought must be kept in the show?
JUSTIN ARTHUR: “One thing we didn’t have in the original show was Maelstrom, the Norway attraction, and I think it is the most bizarre, wonderful ride. I originally said ‘We need to have everybody quote it!’ but the people on the west coast may not know it…That was one I was very adamant about. I know Billy and I were both very adamant both Roger Rabbit [turning twenty-five in 2013] and Nightmare Before Christmas having plenty of stuff to show people. Because those were two of our very very near and dear favorites. And sometimes too it depends on what we have that’s cool to show. Something might be a great movie or attraction and we may not have a great clip or a really great artwork to accompany it. So it kind of depends on what we have and what we want to get out there and show.”

MM: Besides D23 presentations, what is a day-to-day task of the Disney Archives?
STANECK: “Whatever movie they’re working on at the studio, the archives is there to help them make sure that information is accurate. Like Saving Mr Banks that they’re doing with Tom Hanks as Walt Disney that’s coming out for Christmas, they all came into the archives to do research with an archivist. So stuff like that. Disney Epic Mickey [for Nintendo Wii] they went into the archives, they did a lot of research…We also have a massive photo library where people are constantly requesting images from.”

MM: With Disney’s acquisition of Star Wars & Marvel does the archive suddenly get annexed?
ARTHUR: “It kind of depends. The films as they come along, we do take in more of those things, they are our films at this point. As far as the research side of it, the book side of it…we collect everything, it just adds on to all of things that we’re looking out for…I’m a huge geek of all those things, so for that I’m very thankful!”

MM: Important fan question, what is your favorite Disney ride or attraction?
STANECK: “I love Roger Rabbit’s cartoon spin at Disneyland, it’s one of my favorite attractions, it’s unique to Disneyland and it’s just such a cool, fun ride. I love that movie.”
ARTHUR: “Oh that’s a tough one, there’s so many! Um…I love the Indiana Jones Adventure.”

MM: Another Disneyland one!
ARTHUR: “I grew up on the east coast so let me pick a Florida one too! I love Expedition Everest. I think it’s one of the coolest rides ever. It’s terrifying, it’s beautiful, it’s just kind of the perfect attraction.”

D23’s Fanniversary has two stops remaining in its tour: Seattle on Friday April 5th and San Francisco on Sunday April 7th. For more information check out D23’s official website.

Billy Joel's "She’s Got A Way: Love Songs" CD Giveaway [ENDED]


To celebrate the release of of Billy Joel’s “She’s Got A Way: Love Songs”, Media Mikes would like to giveaway TWO copies of the CD. If you would like to enter for your chance to win one of these great prizes, please leave us a comment below or send us an email indicating your favorite Billy Joel song. This giveaway will remain open until February 24th at Noon, Eastern Time. This is open to residents of the United States only. One entry per person, per household. All other entries will be considered invalid. Media Mikes will randomly select winners. Winners will be alerted via email.

She’s Got A Way: Love Songs, a new collection of 18 essential love songs drawn from three decades of recordings by music legend and composer/singer songwriter, Billy Joel.
This is a perfect distillation of the artist’s expressions of love and romance over the course of his life and career. The album brings together some of Billy’s finest and most heartfelt performances, iconic hits playing alongside under-appreciated deep catalog selections.

She’s Got A Way: Love Songs are the love songs, ballads and sentimental favorites comprising a dream Billy Joel playlist for old and new romantics alike, bringing new context to classics like “Just the Way You Are,” “Honesty” and “She’s Always a Woman” while rediscovering forgotten masterpieces like “Travelin’ Prayer” (the b-side of the “Piano Man” single), Billy’s version of “Shameless” (a #1 country smash for Garth Brooks), and the haunting instrumental “Nocturne” (from 1971’s Cold Spring Harbor).

She’s Got A Way: Love Songs – track listing
Travelin’ Prayer (single from Piano Man – 1973 – #77 pop single)
The Night Is Still Young (single from Greatest Hits – Volume I and II – 1985 – #34 Hot 100)
This Is The Time (single from The Bridge – 1986 – #18 Hot 100, #1 AC)
She’s Got A Way (Live) (single from Songs in the Attic – 1981 – #23 Hot 100, #4 AC)
Temptation (track from The Bridge – 1986)
Nocturne (track from Cold Spring Harbor – 1971)
Until The Night (from 52nd Street – 1978)
She’s Right On Time (from The Nylon Curtain – 1982)
You’re My Home (b-side of single from Piano Man – 1973)
Just The Way You Are (single from The Stranger – 1977 – #3 Hot 100 – Grammy Record of the Year and Song of the Year)
She’s Always A Woman (single from The Stranger – 1977 – #17 Hot 100, #2 AC)
State Of Grace (from Storm Front – 1989)
Honesty (single from 52nd Street – 1978 – #24 Hot 100)
This Night (b-side of single from An Innocent Man – 1984)
Shameless (from Storm Front – 1989 – #1 country song for Garth Brooks)
An Innocent Man (single from An Innocent Man – 1983 – #10 Hot 100, #1 AC)
All About Soul (Remix) (single from River of Dreams – 1993 – #29 Hot 100)
And So It Goes (single from Storm Front – 1989 – #37 Hot 100)

Theater Review "Billy Elliot: The Musical" – Music Hall, Kansas City, Missouri

Billy Elliot: The Musical
Music Hall, Kansas City, Missouri
January 22, 2013

Our Score: 4 out of 5 stars

“I never had that much energy at that age,” is what I told myself after watching 12 year old Drew Minard steal the show as the title character in “Billy Elliot: The Musical.”

The show, based on the film of the same name, tells the story of a young man who, bored with boxing classes, finds himself drawn to ballet, an endeavor that does not go over well in his tough, English household, where it’s easier to make fun of “the bally,” as it’s called, then appreciate the beauty of the art.

As the show begins the audience is thrust into the beginning of Britain’s 1984 Coal Miner’s strike.  Billy’s father, Joe (Rich Hebert) is one of the leaders of the strike, hoping by holding out that he can better the life of his sons.  His oldest boy, Tony (Cullen Titmas) also works in the mines but doesn’t have his father’s temperament.  Joe and his sons live with Grandma (Patti Perkins), Billy’s mother having died some time ago.  They are working class, as is the majority of their small town, which makes Billy’s new found hobby even more difficult to embrace.  But, urged on by his teacher (Janet Dickinson), Billy follows her advice and, true to the song she sings to motivate him, he shines!

Photo by Amy Boyle

Winner of 10 Tony Awards including Best Musical, “Billy Elliot” is what I would call a “solid” musical.  It has all of the great elements you want in a show:  great cast, intriguing story and a good score.   Which is kind of disappointing since the music was written by Elton John (“The Lion King”) in a collaboration with Lee Hall, author of the book and lyrics as well as the screenplay to the original film.  While a couple of numbers stand out (“Solidarity” and “Merry Christmas Maggie Thatcher”) there really isn’t a song that you leave the theatre humming.  But don’t let that keep you away.  The show is entertaining and well choreographed.  Heck, the curtain call is a production number in itself.  And if you go, make sure you give a standing ovation to Master Minard (or any of the other boys, there are four in total, who are playing Billy on this tour).  He certainly earns it!

“Billy Elliot: The Musical” continues in Kansas City through January 27 and then visits the following cities:

CLEARWATER, FLORIDA                 January 29 -30

RICHMOND, VIRGINIA                   February 1-3

BIRMINGHAM, ALABAMA           February 5 -10

GREENVILLE, SOUTH CAROLINA                February 12 -17

NAPLES, FLORIDA                            February 19 -24

JACKSONVILLE, FLORIDA              February 26 – March 3


PEORIA, ILLINOIS                             March 12 – 14



Interview with Biohazard’s Billy Graziadei and Danny Schuler

The legendary NY hardcore group Biohazard has a new album coming out in January titled “Reborn in Defiance”. Media Mikes had a chance recently to speak with Biohazard members Billy Graziadei and Danny Schuler about the upcoming release and their plans for 2012.

Adam Lawton: Can you tell us about the new album “Reborn in Defiance”?
Billy Graziadei: We worked really hard on this album. It actually was a culmination of us coming together on the reunion tour. We had a lot of fun playing together again and everything just worked. We didn’t sit down and say we were going to make a record. It was just something that happened. I can’t wait to get the album out and play the songs live.

AL: Did you guys try any new approaches to the recording process?
BG: To be honest we had all kind of forgotten how to do everything. It had been so long since we all worked together we just didn’t know how to approach things. It was interesting to figure out how to all work together again.

AL: Have you guys settled on a favorite track off the album yet?
BG: I think they are all our favorites. I don’t think they would be on the record if we didn’t like them. Time will tell as to which songs will stand out the most.
Danny Schuler: Some songs just have a different vide when you play them live while other work better just listening to them on a CD. There is a certain energy level with the band that we like to keep around 10 or 11. We will just have to see.
BG: I remember after doing our first album in 1990 we had been touring and writing new songs for what would be our next album. We played some of them live and you could just tell they were different from our previous songs but they still fit. The songs on “Reborn in Defiance” I think have that same feeling. We are pretty excited.

AL: What are the release date/plans for the album?
BG: January 28th the album will be available worldwide.
DS: The record will actually hit Europe first. We have been talking about doing some cool release things here in states. We love vinyl and it would be cool to see the album released that way however we will have to wait and see. Everything will start unfolding in the coming weeks.

AL: Can you tell us what Evan Seinfeld’s involvement is with the band these days?
BG: The album was recorded with the original band lineup. We actually recorded the album at the end of the reunion tour. We finished this album around spring time of 2011. Evan called us out of the blue in June and quit the band for personal reasons. We love what we do and decided to keep on going. I look at it now as this being a different era. The time frame is a little confusing but we just wanted to leave the record as it is.

AL: What will the tour line up look like?
DS: We are going to have someone else there with us.
BG: We have been touring with a friend of ours lately. We took him to China with us recently and we also did some shows in the UK. I think the back and forth Biohazard vocals are something that we all love and can’t do without.

AL: Going back into your guys history can you tell us how you got hooked up with the rap group Onyx?
DS: It was kind of a natural thing. We were managed by Def Jam back in the late 80’s early 90’s. We were pretty much the only heavy white band that was a part of their company for awhile. People didn’t like us too much because we were a real street band. We weren’t silly or anything. Billy had been approached about doing a remix of the song “Slam”. I don’t know how that quite happened but I did play drums on the track and some of us were in the video. That led to us doing some shows with Onyx as well as working on the soundtrack for the film “Judgment Night”. We got along well those guys and we were all from NY. There were a lot of parallels with what we were saying and with what hip hop was saying through our music.
BG: We got to work with Jam Master Jay through the “Judgment Night” film and that was really cool for us. We had grown up with bands like Iron Maiden, Agnostic Front and The Sugar Hill Gang. Everything seemed really natural for us. Where we were coming from was very similar. We never sat down and said “hey lets mix what you do with what we do”. We were friends and put some tracks together. After we did some other tracks with Cypress Hill and House of Pain we stepped aside and let Limp Bizkit collect all the money off that style. (Laughs)

AL: What are the rest of the plans for the band into 2012?
DS: We are doing the first group of shows here in the states with Madball. That kicks off towards the end of February. From there we go to Australia to do the Sound Waves festival. It’s going to be a lot of fun as we have five or 6 big festival shows across Australia. We have a short break and then we are going to start planning U.S. and European festival dates for the summer. We will probably make it back to South America as well this year.

Click here for our CD Review: Biohazard “Reborn In Defiance”