From Drizabone To Bad 2 Da Bone: Billy April Returns
Sunday, 17 June 2001Bad 2 Da Bone are ex Drizabone mainman Billy April, ex Jam & Lewis writing collaborator Trevor Moses and bassist Steve Graham. The band first formed in 1998 and recently released their debut single Party, on Sacred Records, a UK garage style tune featuring the soulful vocals of Sharmaine Campbell. Billy's first band Drizabone were amongst London's most credible soul acts of the 90s before splitting after failing to achieve commercial success.
Skrufff: You formed in '98, yet "Party", your first single, is out just now …
Bad 2 Da Bone (Billy April): "Well, I'm notorious in the music business for taking my time. The truth is that me, Trevor and Steve formulated the idea for the band back in 1998 and started doing working on it then too. We wrote a couple of tunes, but we were too busy on other projects to really give our all to Bad 2 The Bone. It was only in the summer of last year that we seriously started working on it, we didn't even play out together before."
Skrufff: Are you really 'Bad 2 Da Bone' in terms of attitude- Should we be scared-
Bad 2 Da Bone (Billy April): "I don't know. I was still in the band Drizabone when Trevor and I were thinking about forming a band together. Once we were chatting on the phone and he came up with this name, and I said THAT'S the one."
Skrufff: How did you all meet in the first place-
Bad 2 Da Bone (Billy April): "We're all from Northampton, I used to live in London but I came back to Northampton in '97, to get away from the rat race that nearly killed me. I've known Steve and Trev for years, and Charmaine lives just down the road from us. We knew her because she was one of the singers from around town; we tried her out on a couple of tracks and she turned out to be good. Juiceman is also very 'local' and he's an established MC on the scene already. We're proud of our 'Northampton-ness' and we'd like to keep it a Northampton thing."
Skrufff: What was the main reason for leaving London-
Bad 2 Da Bone (Billy April): "Well, I'll say something that's printable. Mainly the non stop partying attitude…"
Skrufff: Are you looking to break the States-
Bad 2 Da Bone (Billy April): "I think all English bands always want to break America, no matter if they're rock, soul or whatever. It's as important to us as it is to everybody else but in reality the chances are stacked against you and there's nothing you can do about it. Our record company is actually encouraging us in trying our luck over there, which is very unusual. Normally labels are resigned to the fact that English bands are never going to make it in the US."
Skrufff: You were the driving force behind Drizabone. Why and how did it end-
Bad 2 Da Bone (Billy April): "In-amicably. It was definitely a case of a 'seven year itch'. We grew apart and despite our first single being a hit, the rest of our music didn't follow up on the same level of success. It was a disappointment especially since we had a heavy weight label like Island Records behind us. Had we been successful we probably would have managed to work out our differences, but in the end it came down to the fact that we didn't like each other, so it all fell apart."
Skrufff: We haven't seen many album acts coming out of the UK garage scene yet , rather singles and compilations of the same tracks, what's your assessment of today's scene-
Bad 2 Da Bone (Billy April): "On a ground level ('and you must appreciate that garage is only a part of what we do', he stresses) kids love it. Where we come from it's very much alive, on the whole it's underground but mainstream at the same time. It's the young people's music. I agree that the scene lacks in inspiration and lots of bands do seem to fold after their first single. That's why I think we stand a good chance."
Skrufff: What makes the scene so rough-
Bad 2 Da Bone (Billy April): "Kids are different these days, they< Tags