Saturday, July 11, 2009

Kill The Drama

Kill The Drama on MySpace

Guitarist Steve Stiller and longtime mate, drummer Jason Godek, formed Kill the Drama in January 2006. They recruited Benjamin "Skinny" Solnik (Skinny) on bass and Bryan Laskey for vocals; later, Mars Papacristo replaced Solnik.

Hey, they even got the band name and Laskey for the same reason - the original vocalist was a full-fledged drama queen; she left after a few months, replaced by Laskey, but her memory remained forever through the phrase "Kill The Drama."

Stiller and Godek were together for years as members of Pagewater, while Solnik played for Inventory and Laskey with the metal band Break The Sun.

And they started off on the right foot when they won the 2006 Graffiti Rock Challenge, the 'Burgh's top Battle-Of-The-Band throwdown.

They put the studio time and CD production they won as Graffiti champs at McKeesport's Soundscape Studios to good use when they recorded the band's debut album "Close Friends with Sharp Knives." They released the 11 track set in 2007.

The sound is prog ("alt/Eurosex") rock, or as Stiller explained to Aaron Jentzen of the City Paper "As opposed to having a ridiculously poppy song and a ridiculously heavy song," he said, "if you can mold those two together...that's really what Kill the Drama is."

They've been compared to acts such as Muse, Placebo, Smashing Pumpkins, Coheed and Cambria, and the Deftones.

Though not currently signed to any record label, Kill the Drama is keeping busy. They have a new album in the works, two music videos to their credit, and their live schedule. They played with Joe Grushecky at the Three Rivers Arts Festival main stage last month, and had shows at Altar, Diesel, and Mr. Smalls. KTD also has a big web presence; they were heard over 1,000,000 times over MySpace music.

They're looking to tour and release a second CD, and see if they can leverage some of their overseas popularity into a break-out.

They have a small and loyal fanbase here, but Eurosex is still a tough sell in the Steel City. Stiller e-mailed Mishmash Magazine during a January Q&A, in response to the question "What's the weirdest thing a fan has ever done:"

"At a local show in Pittsburgh somebody clapped once:) In a city still stuck on Creed and Staind wannabees who only want to hear cover songs, we don't go over well in our hometown."

And the truth is that Pittsburgh has been a graveyard for its indy bands, no matter how much local love is thrown about. KTD has a unique sound, but history tells us if they're gonna sell, it probably won't be here. But that's a story often told by city acts.

Penn Hill's Thrills was a great Euro rock band, but they had to go to New York to get some airplay. Donnie Iris was the last New Wave rocker to make it from the area, as Old Mon's notoriously feeble memory recalls. Kill The Drama has a strong sound and are web savvy, but they they may have to hit the road to hit it big.

That's the Pittsburgh way.

Kill The Drama - Close Friends with Sharp Knives live at Diesel

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