The Kill Gene is a group comprised of “five guys from Jersey.” With vocalist Dave Boland, guitarists Dave Kaminski and Dave “JD” Lisowski, bassist Josh Roman, and drummer George “Huzzy” Hazinikitas, The Kill Gene is trailblazing forward, releasing an EP next month, “From Tears Of Those Who Grieve,” which has been called a “must-have” of the year.
Liv: Where did the name, “The Kill Gene,” come from?
TKG: The name is a long story. We all wanted to come up with a better name from what we were using at the time. Josh was looking at different things about serial killers, and then we all pretty much started to as well. So we all decided that we come up with 5-10 names each. Then we all got together at Georges' house (where we practice) to settle on one. The way we went about it was to vote. So we went through 50 names or so until we hit The Kill Gene. The story behind is, basically it's a gene that certain scientists believe predisposes them to their behavior, hence The Kill Gene.
Liv: When did you guys get together, and how did The Kill Gene come about?
TKG: Well George and Dave K. were hanging out back in January 2009 and decided it was time to start a new band. After the forever process of trying to find a guitarist, bassist, and singer we started looking on Craigslist. We then found Dave L. from Freehold, NJ. He sent us some clips of what he does and we asked him to come on down! Then we found our old friend Josh who used to play guitar but wanted something new, so we threw a bass in his hands and BOOM! We had our bassist. So, The Kill Gene was almost complete. After about five different singers auditioning and not hearing what we were looking for, back to Craiglist it was... We then found an ad on there for Dave B. from Iselin, NJ. We had him come down for an audition and loved everything about it!! The final piece to The Kill Gene was found! This band went from almost strangers to a Brotherhood! So The Kill Gene officially started around July 2009.
Liv: How far would you say you guys have come since forming The Kill Gene? Are you in the same place goal-wise?
TKG: Since we came together, we have released a demo, have played roughly twenty-five shows, recorded our first E.P., and will be releasing it in less then a month. We've grown tremendously! Our song writing has become easier due to our styles finally coming together. We are all very different and I think it shows in our music. It’s not even a full year yet and we plan on going back into the studio to record a single by June. We don't think this band will ever be okay with just staying the same. We always try to push the envelope musically and lyrically. Our goals change every week, they just become bigger and harder to reach but then we just work harder and faster.
Liv: You have a new album coming out within the next month. What was the writing process like?
TKG: The writing process was probably the biggest wake up call since we started. We all, as individuals, found out a lot about ourselves and our band mates. It was a long process with some really early days and some really late ones as well. Only as we got more comfortable with each other's playing, did we start to incorporate more melodic, intricate idea, like in "Last Chance To Dance." But toward the end of it all we realized what we need to do for the next album to come. If it weren’t for Jeff Wallace of Entrolab Studios who engineered and produced our E.P., we would have been lost. His patience and love for music made the process as smooth as possible!!
Liv: Is there a song on the album that you love to play live, or is just a personal favorite?
Dave B: I love performing, "I Thought You Died Yesterday," it starts off soft and slow and then it hits you with heaviness. It gets me pumped up.
Josh: “I Thought You Died Yesterday” is the most fun to play live (personally). It has a lot of emotions that all get released at the very last breakdown and it gets pretty intense live. As far as a personal favorite in general, “Last Chance to Dance” is the song that really captures just how much we've grown as a band and gives you a little insight on where our music is headed.
Dave K: Personally, “I Thought You Died Yesterday” is my favorite to play live and just my favorite because it has soothing melodic riffs and brutal breakdowns!
George: All of them. I really can’t narrow it down. In every song, there’s parts that I just love.
Dave L: Well, “Last Chance To Dance” is my personal favorite. It mixes all of the things I love in music: harmony, beautiful instrumentation, brutal riffage, and breakdowns that can split skulls. But I like to play “I Thought You Died Yesterday” live, because the song speaks to the crowd and they go crazy for it. I guess the thought of a girl coming back from the dead interests them.
Liv: What’s your advice for people who want to form a band?
Dave K: If you’re going to form a band make sure your heart is in it until the end. And never take things too personal during the writing process, because people say things they don’t mean at that point pretty often!
Dave L: Find people that you vibe with on a musical and personal level. For all intents and purposes, this is a second family, so you have to trust the guys or girls in your band that have your back, because it's only you guys on stage for thirty minutes to one hour, there is no other safety net.
Josh: Go for it! Just have an open mind. It’s like a relationship. Communication and compromise are key. On the other hand, if you want to go anywhere with the band, you better have your heart invested or don't bother wasting your band-mates’ time.
Dave B: Do it! Making music is so much fun, and all the people you meet and the friends you make, rockin’ out in front of people, the ridiculous things that go on in the studio, it’s a blast!
George: Communication. If you don't have it you will go nowhere. It’s true, no BS. Also practice a lot.
Liv: Who influenced your sound?
Josh: Pretty much any one that has ever made music. We really do all have much different tastes in music and that’s what helps bring us together.
Dave K: My biggest influence is Parkway Drive. From the first moment I listened to them, I wanted to start playing guitar again.
Dave L: I'm usually laughed at for my influences, because I'm the oldest, I have a lot of tastes that date back to the 80's, Metallica, Poison, Motley Crue, but a lot of my playing style has come from As I Lay Dying, Killswitch Engage (especially), and bands like that, that crunchiness and just straight-up metal...also Chicago and Journey! Hahahah I love ‘em.
George: For me, it’s In Flames, As I lay Dying, Parkway Drive, Killswitch, Devil Wears Prada, and Poison The Well.
Dave B: I am a huge death-metal fan, but when it comes to The Kill Gene, Parkway Drive and As I Lay Dying were my main influences.
Liv: What is your favorite part about live-shows?
George: The crowd. The fans. And the PITS.
Dave L: I love the energy before the show - that feeling you get when you see a packed room with all eyes on you, they're looking for a great show and they're looking at you to give ‘em one...It's kind of a pressure, but more of a goal...I am determined to make every last person in that crowd fall in love with our band and make every hater pay for their words!!!
Dave B: Girls!!
Dave K: Playing live is cool in so many different ways. But the best is just being on stage and owning it! There is no better feeling then to have the crowd in awe!
Josh: The breakdowns and watching the crowd go nuts! Connecting with other bands is great as well. It helps open the doors to new things (venues, crowds, et cetera).
Liv: You’ve shared the stage with so many bands. Who would you like to perform with most?
Dave L: Easily Killswitch Engage, As I Lay Dying, A Day To Remember, Parkway Drive...and possibly Journey if it was like a festival or something!
Josh: The list is huge! With any luck, we'll find our way on some festivals in the near future that will remedy that.
Dave B: I'm gonna have to say Parkway Drive. They're just awesome in so many ways.
George: Any One We Can!
Dave K: I would have to say Parkway Drive as my Number One, but As I Lay Dying is a very close Number Two.