Book Your Own Fuckin' Life

john biz (& The Rolling Stallones) (band) [edit] [flag] Last Updated: 2008-07-06

John Biz was born in Brooklyn and grew up on a steady diet of street fighting and punk rocking on Staten Island. Inspired by shows at the now defunct Rock Palace and looking for a more aggressive outlet, Biz was fronting bands at the age of 13. I was a screamer, more or less. Biz recalls. I mean, we had a little something. It was really heartfelt music, but it was really unrefined, which is what you would expect at that age. Biz dove headfirst into his heartfelt calling at a bungalow in Long Beach, NY, where he would paint all day and spend all night recording music in creative isolation. After moving to Williamsburg, Brooklyn in 2002, Biz set up shop in the shadow of the Bushwick project houses, where he founded Industrial Park Records. The following years found him relasing two solo albums, The Elephant in the Room and B-Squad Leaders, both poignant indie rock gems inspired by Elliot Smith, Bob Dylan, and The Beatles, before his imminent personal and financial collapse. In 2005, Biz was invited for a recording session with legendary artist/engineer Steve Albini (Shellac, Pixies, Nirvana) at Albini's Electrical Audio. With a few loosely sketched songs, no band, and the recording just weeks away, he embraced the storm, channelling an expansive artistic statement thru a minimalist pallette. Backed by a ferocious trio featuring bassist Dave Patrikios (The Realistics, Greensleep) and drummer Stephen Chopek (Charlie Hunter, The Alternate Routes) John Biz presents a deceptively simple, high impact album; a dark forest of intricate sound and color to lose yourself in. I was in the middle of a complete sh*t storm and that pushed me harder than ever. It was definitely one of those hail Mary, lets-see-what-happens kind of things, he says. I wanted to nail it in one shot, and we did. The majority of the album cuts were first takes with very little in the way of overdubbing, effects, or studio embellishment. Biz wanted the recording to rely on the strength and impact of the songs in stripped down form, leaving room to elaborate on stage. After four days of love, sweat and attitude, The Happiest Days of My Life was born. The album has the honest raw energy of early punk rock influences such as Husker Du, The Ramones and The Replacements, but with lush, confessional vocal melodies, touching upon The Beach Boys and The Velvet Underground. Without missing a beat, John hit the studio again, this time recording an album of Woody Guthrie interpretations called National Seashore. Driven by a desire to overcome bankruptcy and homelessness and heavily inspired by reading Guthrie's autobiography Bound for Glory, Biz explains the album is not made up of Woody Guthrie covers per se, but that they are songs in celebration of the Woody Guthrie spirit. Backed by an allstar cast (featuring members of Apollo Sunshine, Unsacred Hearts and Super Monster), and recorded in a shotgun style reminiscent of Blonde on Blonde, it seamlessly combines John's music with Woody's lyrics, and true to the Industrial Park Records name, National Seashore is hitting tape in an industrial loft in East Williamsburg. With The Happiest Days of My Life due out October 27th and National Seashore to follow in 2007, this is only the beginning of a long and diverse career for John Biz.

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