heavy metal

Stormtroopers Of Death Bio

Stormtroopers Of Death
Band members
Billy Milano - vocals Scott Ian - guitar Danny Lilker - bass Charlie Benante - drums


"Music comes in waves. You either make the wave, ride the wave or miss the wave. It's only a matter of timing." (Billy Milano, S.O.D.)

Fourteen years have passed since Stormtroopers of Death's maiden roar was heard. Through the passing years, a period highlighted by several prestigious live performances, the controversial yet influential quartet's legacy has remained strong. On May 18 the mighty Sgt. D returns.

Bigger Than The Devil marks only the second time in S.O.D.'s history that ist respected personnel have assembled. Notorious frontman Billy Milano recently stressed that the recording should not, however, be regarded as a reunion album. "S.O.D. never really broke up," confirms the singer. "The band is something of an eternal enigma which shows its ugly face from time-to-time. No one is more dedicated to perpetuate the ongoing myth that is S.O.D. more so than the four guys who are in the band."

Recorded earlier this year, Bigger Than The Devil rips the generation-plus gap to shreds. Twenty-five of thirty-two tracks survived the band's scrutinizing cut, with only two -- "Aren't You Hungry" and "Kill The Assholes" -- revisiting the band's previous writing sessions. "We felt it was important for us to project our experience and intelligence without compromising our integrity or honor," reveals Milano, "so we wrote all new music and kept only two songs from the old days."

"This album just made sense in the end both musically and lyrically," explains drummer Charlie Banante, „There's the heaviest of the heavy and there's still the classic parts that are completely ridiculous but in the end it just all came together as S.O.D.'s strongest set of tunes yet." For S.O.D. writing is a collaborative effort, with each member providing lyrics as well as music. Benante reveals, "The thing about S.O.D. is that we're four people with four very warped senses of humor. People need to remember that the outcome of our writing is purely satire."

As expected, Bigger Than The Devil's lyrical forays will be of high interest to critics as well as fans. Their often-times controversial subject matter, originally introduced on the monumental Speak English Or Die, illicits -- even today -- rabid criticism from organizations worldwide. Bassist Danny Lilker says, "What people don't seem to remember or realize is while we had controversial lyrics to songs like "Speak English Or Die," we also had songs with lyrics about not having milk in the morning when your hung over. On this record we have "Frankenstein and His Horse," among other whimsical numbers. I think people should lighten up and realize we're just poking some fun."

Rumblings of a new album began to circulate last fall as members began to work on music that ultimately became Bigger Than The Devil. Milano admits, "it was while Anthrax was recording Vol. 8, that we started to work on material for S.O.D. We all felt that if it didn't seem natural we would not do it. As time rolled on, the band became more enthralled with it and felt the magic that was, is, and always will be unique to us was still fresh and alive." Bigger Than The Devil strikes at the heart of sonic territory originally founded by the band years ago. Their now often copied mixture of heavy metal and hardcore, supported by the band's razor-sharp lyrics, have done much to influence the genre, even tens years after initial impact.

"One of the reasons we had such an impact in the old days was because it was so fresh and intense sounding compared to other stuff out there," says Lilker. "Now it's all suburban, home-boy metal. It's no contest." Formed in 1985 by Anthrax's Ian and Benante, S.O.D. have but a solo studio effort to their credit. Recorded in only three days, Speak English Or Die pushed the genre's then blossoming commercial success, with sales exceeding 900,000 units world-wide. Today it is regarded as one of metal's poignant milestones. In 1992, the band regrouped for Live At Budokan. "We're the only four guys who can travel around the world and act completely retarded yet everyone seems to be in on the joke," laughs guitarist Scott Ian. The album marks one of only fourteen-odd live appearances to date by the band. Six years later, S.O.D. rumors began to circulate. Months passed as a bidding war ensued around the band. In late 1998, German-based Nuclear Blast claimed victory. This completes the seven year cycle.

Recorded at Big Blue Studios in Jersey City, Bigger Than The Devil was produced by the band and Tim Gilles, with mixing duties courtesy of Vincent Wojno. "This is the feel-good album of the year," says an enthusiastic Ian. S.O.D. will premiere the album's material at the upcoming Dynamo Open Air Festival in Eindhoven, Holland. The performance will be followed by full tours of Europe, Japan and a tour (or two).

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