An interview with Felix Griffin: Manager, Prison and music

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Very cool new American Heavy Speed Metal band around some Municipal Waste and DRI dudes! So I thought it was a cool idea to do an interview with drummer Felix Griffin, also ex-DRI. So here we go!

Welcome Felix! How are you doing and are you playing some record at the moment?

Felix: No not at the moment, I’m not. I am doing OK.

Starting off with a basic question. When and how did you start listening to Metal music? When did you decide to become a musician yourself? How old were you when you start drumming for DRI?

Felix: Well I started playing probably when I was about 12. The first music I got into was New Wave then Punk and then Metal. I started playing drums to escape reality. I was about 16 when I joined DRI

About BAT! How was this band formed and did you join from the beginning?

Felix: Well Ryan and I always talked about doing some recording and then he came up with BAT. He would send me songs and I would practice and write the drums on some of them and then I went up to Richmond and did the demo. I have been there since the beginning
Marco: Thank you mate, I ordered both records at Ryan right now!

How is the feedback on your full-length ‘Wings of Chains’, are you satisfied so far?

Felix: The feedback has been very good. We have been voted, I think, Metal album of the year or something like that with Metal sucks… I am very satisfied, very happy.
Marco: That’s wonderful!

Is it true your latest album was released on all possible formats? Though what do you prefer, Vinyl or CD? I personal also worship tapes! Do you think it’s important to keep this old cult format alive?

Felix: Yes I do, I like all of them but vinyl, it’s like bigger and can come out in different colours.

Which bands are your main influences?

Felix: The Offenders, MDC, Circle Jerks, Black Flag, Poison Idea. The Big Boys, and The Dicks.

Where do you get all the inspiration from and how would you describe the BAT sound?

Felix: Well my drumming comes mostly from a Punk background but as far as BAT is concerned, it’s very simple and direct. You can hear all types of music in the songs, from punk to metal.

What are your lyrics about? Is it just about Death, Domination etc. or is there also a certain message behind them?

Felix: All kinds of stuff even bondage, lol!

What was the best gig you played so far and are there any plans to visit Europe?

Felix: I could never say just one gig was better than the other, they’ve all been pretty much great. As for Europe I hope we can come over there next year but it’s been very hard for me financially.

What are your future plans with BAT?

Felix: Well I am going up to Richmond in two weeks to write more music and we are doing a video.
Marco: sweet!

Is there any chance to see you back as a drummer in DRI?

Felix: Well I did some shows together with the 80s line-up and Josh in 2013 and we were told that we were going to do more shows but things fell through. So I don’t think we will be doing any shows with the DRI. But Josh and I are putting a band together here in Texas.
Marco: Very excited to check out that band when the time is right!
Felix: Hehe

Tell me about your band Blunt Force Trauma, is there anything new we need to know? And what have you been doing musically speaking during the late 80’s/early 90’s when you left D.R.I.?

Felix: Well Blunt Force Trauma is no longer. For sure there were some financial differences between some of the members and midlife crisis lol… In the early 90’s I went to prison for a few years and then I didn’t play my drums for about seven years; the 90’s sucked anyway musically.
Marco: Damn prison…. I hope nothing really serious! And indeed the 90’s were a horrible decade for music!
Felix: Yep after DRI our manager ripped everything off for me and for just about everybody else. That’s when my drinking got heavy and then I picked up a case and ended in prison.

Talking about your local scene! Do you all live in Virginia right now? How is the scene over there? Are there many active bands, bars, clubs and record stores?

Felix: No I live in Texas, I just fly back-and-forth. Richmond has a killer scene. As far as Austin it kind of sucks there. It’s not what you would think; they call this the music capital of the world but it’s is a bunch of bullshit.
Marco: At least not for Metal and Punk…
Felix: No it kind of sucks for both… Really what do I know I don’t go out that much anyway Hahaha
Marco: You get old haha…. You still follow the new upcoming bands?
Felix: Yes I do but I can’t give you any names, I got a bad memory from all the partying.
Marco: Yes, you started very young living the Rock ‘N’ Roll life!
Felix: I was 13
Marco: Damn!
Felix: I played in my first band back in 1982: The infected.

Do you still remember the SOD/DRI tribute band S.O.D.R.I. from my local Tilburg friends Milkman and did you like them?

Felix: Yes I do remember them I met them when I was on tour with MDC.
Marco: But did you like SODRI?
Felix: Yes I do, very much

My standard question: top ten obscure Heavy, Speed, Thrash Metal and Crossover records all time!

Felix: Wow…. Dude I really don’t know, it’s like each has his own preference, there are so many opinions. That’s the best I can do on that question. Sorry!

Felix, here a final but really hard question. You’re free to answer to it or not. But I read about your really big loss on Facebook. My sincere condolences mate! “Did it impact your passion for music and how? Losing a child must be the worst thing that can happen to a parent. “Of course I won’t publish the question if you’d rather not answer it.”

Felix: Well she was my oldest daughter and she was my best friend. She made herself my manager so to speak and she made my fan page from which she would not give me the password to lol! I still don’t know how to get to that thing. I am changed forever. People ask me how I go through it. You just have to. It makes me want to be a better person for her, I miss her every day; some days are harder than others. This month is especially hard as her birthday is on the 12th.I will keep playing till the day I die. I might not be able to tour because of money but I’ll always be putting out albums. Thank you so much for the time and having this interview with me.

Marco: Thanks a lot my friend for doing this lame interview with me haha. KEEP STRONG!!! Any last comment? Love & Respect! Stay Thrashed!

Felix: I’d like to thank all the fans and DRI over the years, also the new fans. I’m truly grateful to be able to still be playing and hopefully I’ll get to play for you guys someday soon, thank you so much again!
Marco: When you come over as a tourist or musician in my neighbourhood, stay at my home! Drink with me & watch old movies and listen old records! I live small but tonight I host 2 bands plus crew too haha. That’s Rock ‘N’ Roll!

Felix: Have a good time my friend!

Thanks Marco van Empel (Headbangers Zine) for the interview with Felix Griffin and making it possible to publish it on RockMuZine

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