Billy Boy in Poison offers an unique take on death metal with a modern, razor-sharp sound. The sophomore album Invoker is stuffed with aggressive and heavy songwriting. The wide varied vocals of Hjalte Sejr gives the band a blackened edge, which you don’t hear much in the Danish scene. The album is produced by Jacob Hansen who is known for his work with Volbeat, Aborted, Amaranthe, Mercenary, Tyr and many more.
Since 2013 the band released a collection of EPs and a critically acclaimed debut album, Metalized called it an ‘amazing debut’, while Powermetal.de used the words ‘death metal album of the year’. The band is part of the very active wave of modern metal bands from Denmark and has already played with major names like Aborted, Wild Heart, Trigger the Bloodshed and more.
Furthermore, Billy Boy in Poison has performed at major Danish metal festivals, including Copenhell and Aalborg Metal Festival, as well as touring abroad. The lyrics on Invoker is about ’the struggle within while overcoming your inner demons and move forward. These songs are alternated with more socially critical songs that take a look on society nowadays’
“With this album, we really wanted to take the music artistically seriously,” says Mikkel Larsen from Billy Boy in Poison. “We are taking a big step towards our own sounds and expressions that can both can be brutal, and also create a variety of moods.”
This interview was prepared by Prime Collective…
Can you explain a little about your band name and music style?
We play a kind of modern death metal with lots of groove. There’s growls and high energy, but the music is not inaccessible. On the new album, we are inspired by acts like Gojira who has a distinct identity and who values atmosphere over speed and complexity.
The name Billy Boy in Poison comes from A Clockwork Orange, which we view as a masterpiece in both novel and movie form. It may not be your typical death metal band name, but at least it stands out.
How do you think your music stands out, and why should readers give you a chance?
We have often been told that while our inspirations from other bands and musicians are plainly heard, our music is always readily identifiable as BiIly Boy in Poison. We like to think it means that we in some way have our own sound.
You should check out our music because it offers a wide palette while remaining coherent. It’s death metal, but there’s drive, groove, atmosphere and melody in a great mix.
A good review on Rockfreaks.net once praised us for disregarding genre boundaries and being ‘true’, but instead embracing the love of metal in the broad sense. We took that as a big compliment.
What can we expect in connection with your album release? Do you have any concert plans, music videos or collaborations that you can reveal?
Back in September we released the music video for the first album single Iron Grip, and that gave us a lot of publicity. It’s also a pretty unique video, recorded in Russia, without any band performance but with a very haunting atmosphere. The next video comes out on the album release date and is a little more traditional, but still pretty spacy.
We are booking a Danish national tour for this spring, and it’s looking very good so far – we’ll get around most of the country. More details will be revealed on a later date. Later in the year we are looking to go abroad.
What is your ambition with the band and what are your future goals and aspirations?
With this album, we really want to move up to the next level! The band has existed for a while now and has released three EPs and two albums. Now we think that the songs and the live performance are at a level where we can play the nice festival gigs and have a chance abroad. So we aim higher than before and give it all we have.
At the same time, we want to preserve ourselves in the process and not compromise artistically.
We are in the process of professionalizing the band as well, stepping up our communication and promotion game, managing the money, sharing the tasks within the band and so on. And we ‘re looking to find the right partners for booking and management.
If you were to recommend a song for a new listener, which song would you recommend?
First single ‘Iron Grip’ would be a good starting point. It has a cool verse with a bit of black metal inspiration, a heavy chorus and a powerful atmospheric interlude. An energetic track that’s still quite catchy.
How would you describe the Danish rock/metal scene to be, currently? Are there any Danish bands, besides yourselves, that you would recommend?
The Danish metal scene is thriving at the moment. A lot of cool new bands are popping up and finding an audience.
However, the competition can be hard. Often bands emerge with the full package – when you first encounter them, they already have professional recordings, beautiful merch and play at a high technical level. And there are a lot of bands vying for people’s limited attention on social media.
But a high ‘bottom level’, faith in your one’s own material and a healthy DIY approach are all good things for the scene.
Some of the cool Danish upcoming bands that we like are Piss Vortex (spastic grind), Sunless Dawn (progressive atmospheric metal), Cabal (very sinister deathcore), Livløs (classic death metal) and LLNN (sci-fi hardcore).
What are some of your rituals before a show?
For many years, our pre-show ritual has been listening to “Footloose” and drinking one of those wonderful/awful alcoholic sodas for teenagers. Other staples are fiddling endlessly with the drumkit and going for a piss countless times, the classic stuff.
What is the absolutely worst thing that could happen with your upcoming release?
That it kind of fizzles and does not create the momentum we hope for. We want to build on the back of this album release and start getting the nice festival and support gigs and touring more abroad. So, if there are only lukewarm reviews and low interest that would be bad.
But looking at the excellent feedback so far, we’re going the right way with Invoker!
What is the craziest/stupidest you have been exposed to as a band, so far?
A show in Nykøbing, where a group of handicapped girls did a catwalk for their parents during the show, dressed in homemade blanket dresses. In the hallway of the venue a big sex toy booth was set up.
Our show at big Danish metal festival Copenhell, where the power cut out twice due to heavy rain. We had to go off stage after a lousy fifteen minutes.
Among the general Danish population, we are known as “Soft Pillow Girls” after being on the popular comedy show Dybvaaad. We also recorded a version of the theme song for the show.
One late night at a venue in Switzerland, a guy from the crew entertained with his favorite bestiality porn. One scene where a small white hen is penetrated by a massive dick made an indelible impression.
Which track on the album do you hate the most?
Each band member has their own disfavored track, which is typically the one they find the hardest to play. In general, it’s the most fun to play the newest songs opposed to the slightly older songs on the album, such as “Mara” and “Glaciers” – although they are definitely good bangers in their own right.
Home: Parczew (Poland). Interests / Hobbies: music, musical journalism, oriental studies, anthropology, psychology, medicine, sociology. Favourite music genres: first of all the all genres of Metal, Hardcore and Progressive Rock as well as Gothic, Ambient, Classical Music, Ethnic Music, Sacred Music, Choral Music, Soundtracks, New Age Music, Folk Music i sometimes Jazz, Electro, Experimenta or Alternative Music… He co-founded magazine & webzine Born To Die’zine as Gnom.