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Interview - Mikkel Ellung Larsen (Billy Boy In Poison)

Interview with Mikkel Ellung Larsen from Billy Boy In Poison
by Bex "Hardcore" Tasker at 05 February 2014, 9:40 PM

Our own Bex had quite a revealing sit down with Mikkel Ellung Larsen from BILLY BOY IN POISON. What would be revealed? Read on!

Hey Mikkel, thanks for doing this interview. How are you?

Hey, I’m good. And thanks for the great review at your site! At the moment I’m at home nursing my coughing 1-year-old daughter and trying to book a national tour for the band in the coming spring.

 The name of your band is very interesting – what inspired “Billy Boy in Poison”?

Not many people know the origin of the band name, and some reviewers seem to dislike it. It comes from the classic “A Clockwork Orange” novel and movie, where Billy Boy (in Poison) is the leader of a rival gang that gets beat up by main character Alex’ group. When choosing the name back in the day, we went for a nerdy reference instead of something ‘evil’ sounding. It might sound a bit silly to some, but it has been our name for many years, and we stick with it.

 How exactly would you describe your music style?

Modern death metal with metalcore and deathcore influences. We are not genre purists and take inputs from what we like and think works in the context. The band started out a lot more ’core oriented than it is today, but each release have moved us more towards death metal - the modern kind, that is. The roots can still be heard, I think, but we don’t have excessive breakdowns or any clean vocals.

 What’s the idea and influence behind “Watchers”?

Most of the songs were written over the course of six months, except a few older ones, so they came to in the same context. We had some ideas for a theme, ‘forest’ inspired artwork etc. while we were writing, and that became the concept for Watchers. The lyrics came later (our current vocalist Steven joined when the instrumental side of the album had been completed) and his lyrics built upon this concept in places.

 Which song on the album is the most significant to you?

I think that “Decadent God” is one of the favourite songs for all band members. It contains most of our influences and represents the different things we try to do on the album. There is a really heavy death metal intro, fast blast verses, a Lamb of God-esque groovy part, a Djent breakdown, a quiet atmospheric clean section and an epic sounding outro. It might sound like a mess on paper, but the result is a varied but coherent song.

 What do you think sets you guys apart from other Metal bands?

Perhaps our attitude towards music. We are decidedly non-purists in regards to genres, and the way we mix death metal with many other inputs, while still maintaining an expression that makes sense, is our own, I think. And while we take the music and our live shows seriously, we also take care not to be too serious or self-important – it’s for fun, after all.

 Do you guys always get along?

We are quite different people who, except for two brothers, got to know each other mostly through the band. That gives a different dynamic than a group of childhood friends forming a band. We have our share of differences and conflicts, but shouting arguments and fistfights are more uncommon.

 Have you had the opportunity to share the stage with any of your favourite bands?
Yeah, we have played support slots for Aborted, Hatesphere and Trigger the Bloodshed, all awesome bands. We also had the opportunity to play the same small festival as Gojira (a band favourite!), Decapitated, Fear Factory and Devin Townsend in 2012.

 How do you spend your time outside of touring and band practice?

I’m an environmental planner, currently unemployed and looking for a job. I also have a small child who takes up tonnes of time. Niclas (the drummer) recently graduated as a graphic designer and does merch designs for lots of well-known bands. Alexander (the other guitarist) is an apprentice at a sign making business and an avid retro gamer. Troels (the bass player) is soon going back to school and is into cooking and suspension. Steven (the vocalist) is an electrician but is preparing to study physical therapy, and he practices the deadly art of ninjutsu.

 What are the next steps for “Billy Boy in Poison”?

We have a new music video coming up, and as mentioned we are booking tour of Denmark in the near future. We try to go abroad as much as funds and time permit, and we are looking to tour Germany and eastern Europe later this year if possible.
It won’t be long before we start writing the next album too.

 Any last words for the fans before we wrap this one up?

I hope that you will check out our album “Watchers”. It will hopefully be our stepping stone to the next level – bigger shows, more tours, attention from outside of our home country. The more people who stream, download and buy it, the better. The support is appreciated and it helps!

 That’s all the questions I have, thanks Mikkel, and best of luck with the band in the future!


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