The Bronx, 2002; where hip hop and R&B has become the backbone of musical influence, there seems to be no room for rock-n-roll. Plagued by artists like Ja Rule, P. Diddy, Ashanti, and others, we figure that rock-n-roll can not be fitted in. Metalheads have become the minority and seem to be waiting for a revolution. Hence, one band has come, with the aid of other bands, to lead this revolution. Playing harder and faster than the mainstream bands, and also bringing rock-n-roll where it belongs, right here at home. With tracks like Bleed, Hell in Me, I'm Sorry, and BRB, Providing the Sickness covers the full spectrum of your heavy metal blueprint. From thrashing guitars and melodic pieces, to great vocals that make your ears open wide and your head bang. Live tracks like, 1500, puts one in the zone to mosh and destroy. Playing show all over New York City, PTS has created a following like all the rest. Not because of good looks, but for kick ass metal. Metal played with the means to destroy those who oppose, the way metal was meant to be played.
Recently, I had the honor to interview, Rob, the bassist for Providing the Sickness. Rob seemed to be a laid back, yet opinionated person with views that many may or may not share. And yet he seems to love being in this position that he is placed, playing heavy metal with those who share the same love. In this interview, you will read what things make him who he is, the good, the bad, and the metalhead.
Big Angry - Where
are you guys from?
Rob - What's up bro? We're all from various parts of the Bronx. Throgsneck, Co-op City and Country Club. We were all born, raised and still live here.
BA - How long
have you guys been together?
Rob - PTS formed in 1998. We went through a few lineup changes over the years and the line up now consists of me on bass, Rico on guitar, Johnny on vocals, Mark on drums and Frank on guitar.
- How did you guys meet up?
Rob - I met Johnny on the bus when I was looking for a singer, for a band Dream Long Dead that I was putting together back in 96. A mutual friend introduced us. I've known Frank since High School; I met Rico, through our old drummer DJ, around the time DLD was breaking up. I met Mark, who used to play drums for Sewage, through Johnny, they knew each other since birth. Frank and Rico also have known each other since birth.
BA - What caused
you to come up with your band name?
Rob - PTS started out as a crew with my friends back in the early 90's. We would always hang out smoking blunts and when cats were sleeping' on the blunt, we'd be like PASS THAT SHIT! Then we'd sit around and make up other things PTS could mean when we were all stoned out. Providing the Sickness was one of the names I came up with and it just stuck.
- What genre do you think you represent?
Rob - We're all influenced by a lot of styles of music. Between the 5 of us, we have every style of music covered. Rock, Metal, Harcore, Punk, Jazz, Classical, Rap, Techno, Blues, Country, R&B, Funk and just about everything else. I like to think we have elements of Metal, Hardcore and Rock in our sound. With us, purists tend to have shit to say, like, we're not "Metal enough" or we're not "Hardcore enough" or dicks label us with the whole "Nu Metal" tag in a negative way. Fuck that shit. We represent Heavy music in general and our boys always fuck shit up in the pit and that speaks for itself. Just because our singer can actually sing and we incorporate melodic parts into the heavy parts, dicks always got some stupid shit to say. But it's all good, for every asshole that talks junk, there's 5 more people that dig our stuff. Sorry if I seem bitter, but being involved in "the scene" for so long, you come across a lot of cats that are cool to your face when they want something, but they're quick to stab your back and run their mouths the second you turn away. On a positive note though, I've met way more cool people as opposed to assholes in my years involved in the scene. Shit, all the cool friends I've made through the years is what keeps me into it still, other than the music, of course.
BA -What does
the name of your band mean?
Rob - It means we couldn't think of anything stupider to call ourselves. PTS also stands for Pass That Shit, Pop That Slut, Praise The Sativa, Packin' Too much Sausage, and whatever else you can think of.
BA - When and
what got you into music all together?
Rob - I grew up with parents, aunts and uncles feeding me 60's and 70's Rock, as well as 80's New Wave, so when I started buying my own albums, I was getting stuff like Twisted Sister, Motley Crue, Quiet Riot, then graduated to Slayer, Anthrax, Possessed, and Metallica. Then I started listening to Death Metal and Hardcore bands like Sick of It All, Morbid Angel, Brutal Truth, Agnostic Front, Bolt Thrower, Immolation, Biohazard and Leeway. Nowadays, I still listen to all the bands mentioned, but add about 9 million more bands and about 2 thousand more styles of music.
BA - Who or what
inspired you to play music?
Rob - People like Jimmy Page and Randy Rhodes made me wanna play guitar when I was younger, and of course the lifestyle, then when I switched to bass, people like Cliff Burton and Geezer Butler influenced me a lot.
- What was the strangest band you have been compared to?
Rob - People either tell me we sound like nothing they ever heard, or they compare us to bands like Anthrax, Pantera and Sevendust.
BA - If you weren't
doing this what / where do you think you would be doing right now?
Rob - Well, we all have "day jobs" and I help book bands at Club 1680, so even if I wasn't playing in a band, I'd still be involved in the scene one way or another. I guess I'd have more time to download music, movies and video games off the Internet.
BA - What makes
your band different or stick out from all the rest?
Rob - I don't know. I guess we write and play what we like and combine all our different influences and have fun with it on stage. We're not worried about what other people have to say. If something isn't "Metal enough," or if it's "too commercial sounding" we're not worried what people in "the scene" are gonna say. Half of these kids talking shit about how "Nu Metal sucks" and how they, "only like true Metal" weren't even alive back in the glory days. Don't get me wrong, I hate bands like Linkin Park and Poppa Roach, but I'm sick of all these kids that were listening to Korn last summer, all of a sudden hate them and they're all up on the "True Metal" bandwagon. I guess what sets us apart, we'll write what we like and have no qualms about it, some bands get into a particular style and are afraid to incorporate other elements into it, like they're afraid their peers will call them a poseur or some shit for having an open mind. I can't stand any of this Pop Punk faggery either, bands like Greenday and Blink 182 should be shoved into an oven. A retard with cerebral palsy could play that shit.
BA - When is
the next / first / demo CD coming out?
Rob - Wish I knew. Nah, right now we're working with a producer out in Queens on a DIY album, as well as working on new material. We have over 30 songs up for free download at mp3.com and we're always adding scratch mixes of songs on our mp3.com page too. Frank is appearing in an indie-horror flick that features like 5 seconds of one of our songs in it and there's talk of doing a video for it. Check our site for updates on that. We're also playing a Goth party out in Harlem sometime in December. Again, check our main site, www.ProvidingTheSickness.com for more up to date info.
BA - What was
the first and most recent concert you went to?
Rob - Shit, I used to go to a lot more shows back in the day, I think the last one I went to was Shadows Fall, Unearth, From Autumn to Ashes, and Scissor Fight at CBGBs about a month ago. Oh, and I got dragged to an Incubus concert on a date. I kept getting woken up by the screams of 12 year old girls! I don't really count the 1680 shows as "going to shows" cause I'm always running around and never get to enjoy the bands, but I'm always in the element, so I get to hear a lot of live bands. I spend a lot of time hangin out at my boy Rich's studio, Muzic Unlimited too, so I pretty much get to hear a great majority of the bands in The Bronx/Westchester scenes.
- What's currently in your CD player right now?
Rob - Right now, nothing, but lately I've been listening to a lot of Unearth, Queensryche, 7 Angels 7 Plagues, Antipathy, Voi Vod, Kreator, Merciful Fate, Dream Theater, Vital Remains, anything The Neptune's have been producing lately and the new Eminem album.
BA - In your
opinion, what's the place that you guys love to play?
Rob - My favorite clubs to play so far were The Limelight and CBGBs, but nothing beats playing some dump in The Bronx for all our friends, watching the pit get hectic. These Goth parties that we play every few months in Harlem are pretty cool too. We're always down for parties with a lot of drug and alcohol use with chicks wearing next to nothing.
- When are you going to play next? With who?
Rob - We have a gig at that Goth party I mentioned booked for December, but we'll probably pop up with a few shows between now and then. Possibly the next show will be sometime in September. We'll most likely be playing with Hindrense, Vic 20 and Shakuan.
BA - When you
guys first started, were you ever subjected to the "boos" and "u
suck" chants at shows?
Rob - One time we played out at Obsessions in NJ, and at that time, Frank was in his old band 4 in tha Chamber, and they were on the bill with us. While we were playing, Frankie started bustin' our balls and yelled out "You suck" then some lil 13 year old girls joined in. It was hysterical, we have it on video.
BA - Where would
you like to see yourself or the band in the future?
Rob - Filthy rich, surrounded by Star Wars toys, porno movies and piles of weed.
BA - What's your
creed or personal belief in life that you try to live by or instill in others?
Rob - Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of true law.
BA - Motto or
dirty limerick that keeps you going through the day?
Rob - YOU'RE NOT WORTHY OF HOLDING MY COCK, SO I'LL JUST SLAP YOU WITH IT!
BA - What are
your views on MP3 file sharing on the Internet in the wake of the Napster revolution?
Rob - I'm all for it. Back in the day, I used to write to bands and editors in the US and overseas to get demos and zines. You'd wait months for them to come. Most of the time the news in the zines would be outta date by the time you got it. Sometimes the bands were signed or had newer demos by the time you got your tape as well. You'd ALWAYS dub the shit for your friends and trade with other cats to help spread the word. It's the same thing now, except you just gotta point and click. Bands like Metallica made it because of "tape trading." Now they call it "file sharing." Dicks like Lars Ulrich need to remember where the fuck they came from. When Napster got shut down, it didn't matter because Audio Galaxy came along and blew it away. Now AG is gone and we're left to use 2nd rate progs like WinMX, Filetopia and Kazaa.
BA - What do
you think about media whores such as Fred Durst and Puff Daddy trying to get
the music industries attention for publicity?
Rob - If it works for them, fuck it. I mean, I liked everything Puffy did with Biggie, don't care for all the bullshit he comes out with now, but he's getting paid and gets lots of ass. Shit, Durst hangs out in the Playboy mansion, so they must be doing something right.
BA - If you were
a cartoon character, who would you be? Why?
Rob - That's tough. I like a lot of the 70's and 80's cartoons. I'd wanna be like a Deceptacon or some shit. That one, Soundwave, he went from a robot to a tape deck and had all the tapes that popped outta his chest and turned into different characters, Rumble, Ravage, Laserbeak and Ratbat. Why? I have no idea, he was just fuckin' bad ass, and them tapes used to fuck shit up. Mxyzplk from The Superfriends was cool too, he was that prankster that you had to trick into saying his name backwards to send back to his own dimension. He was cool cause he was a lil cat, but still managed to cause grief for the pussy good guys.
BA - If you were to be depicted in an episode of celebrity deathmatch, who would you beat up? Why?
Rob - I'd wanna beat down Carson Daly cause that jerk has had the longest 15 min. of fame ever in the history of the world. That cat is such a phony fuck. When is he gonna go the way of Rikki Rackman and Kennedy? MTV sucks, they get rid of the likes of Jenny McCarthy, Kari Wuhr and Carmen Elecktra, but this jerkoff is still around!
BA - If you had
the chance to book your version of a "dream tour" what would that
Rob - Slayer, Morbid Angel, S.O.D., Agnostic Front, and Nine Inch Nails
- That's for taking the time to talk us. You guys be good and good luck with
your future projects.
Rob - Thanks for taking an interest in the band and helping us get some exposure. It's been cool doing your interview. I wanna shout out my boys in Hindrense, Vic 20, Torn From Ascension, From Beyond, and Shakuan. Check us out at www.ProvidingTheSickness.com and if your in a band or know bands that wanna play Club 1680 in The Bronx, hit me with an email at DarthSickness@AOL.com We book all kinds of Rock, Metal, Hardcore, and Punk bands. Peace out!