So I check my myspace and have a message from a band that’s just added me. Billy The Kid from Costa Rica, go check them out! I was blown away, so incredibly brutal, intense and ferocious it sends shivers down my spine haha so naturally I want to get to know them a bit better so here we are!
Who are you all? How did you meet? What inspired the name BTK? Do you know someone called Billy who is a Kid?
We’re just 6 Costa Rican kids that love hardcore and music in general, we met at shows, all of us have played in different bands before and three of us actually play together on another band. We’ve known each other for a while now. BTK came out from basically not wanting to have the typical hardcore band name, the band started out as a project to just have fun locally and we thought it was a fun name but it still makes sort of sense, I mean, Billy the Kid was a badass after all haha. Yeah, this North American kid that came to Costa Rica and went to a couple of shows a while ago.
Now you all live in Costa Rica, what was it like growing up there? Being from the UK, I know the official language is Spanish & its possibly quite tropical judging from Jurassic Park but have never visited what is there for kids to do?
Well, grass is always greener on the other side as they say, but I can’t complain, it’s not a bad place to grow up at all. Yup, it is but these days mostly everyone speaks English, go figure. Man we hate Jurassic Park, it made us look like we play soccer with coconuts and go to work on horses, it’s really not like that. But I mean, there’s a lot of things that you can do, just like everywhere, you can play sports, go to shows, play in bands, go to the movies, go to the beach, which is like 3 or 4 hours away from where we live, play video games. I don’t know, I guess it’s pretty much the same way just about everywhere.
Is music a big part of your culture? Are there many clubs and what opportunities are there for hardcore bands?
It is a big part of our culture, however not hardcore, it’s obviously a latin music kind or area. However the hardcore, punk and metal scene seems to be growing at a fast pace. No, there’s not many clubs, there’s been but usually just end closing, we have a couple steady ones though. There has never really been a whole lot opportunities so far, but it’s starting to get there. I mean, our record label, Blackout Records has been helping us a whole lot with that, we really want to make it out there.
Do many bands come out to play in Costa Rica? Do’s that help give exposure to the scene and are more bands coming to check it out?
Yeah, actually since a couple of years now we’ve been getting a lot of international bands. Just last month we had Bane, Soul Control, Signs Of Hope, Five Victims Four Graves, Agnostic Front and Bishop in a row, this weekend we’re having Lion Of Judah. It really does help a lot, the bands that come here seem to leave happy and talk pretty good about the scene to other bands which eventually end up coming sooner or later. They also seem to like the local bands, we became good friends with the guys in Bishop and hopefully they’re coming again pretty soon.
Tell us what us the scene like there at the moment? Do many kids turn out for shows and do they bring the mosh?
It’s good, like everywhere there’s always problems and what not, but it’s a fun scene, kids support the bands a lot and love shows. Yeah, there’s a good amount of kids that go to shows and there’s definitely a thing for dancing. It’s a good place to come down and play.
When did you all get into straight edge? What led you to that path? And why are you all passionate about the movement?
Most of us got into straight edge since we were kids, 15, 16, around those ages you know, some sooner and some later. Basically we live on a very alcohol inspired culture, down here every day’s a motive or reason to drink, seems like people can’t do anything, far less have fun, without a beer or cigarette on their hands and it’s so easy to get alcohol you wouldn’t even know. We didn’t want that in our lives, we were tired of that shit and didn’t want to miss out on life for doing it. It’s obviously a huge part of us and has kept us on the right path and we’re very grateful for that. We respect everyone even if they drink, we’re just glad that we’re not on that side.
Straight edge seems to inspire a fanatical following & positivity is a must, it makes me feel alive every single day, what has it done for you all?
I wouldn’t know how to answer that for everyone in the band, but personally it has made me realize how fucked up humanity really is to have to look for a dependence to feel alive, there’s so much to live for and it’s good to know that my head’s straight and I’m not make a big fool out of myself, instead I’m taking every moment I can with me and hopefully I can pass that feeling over to someone else.
What are the ingredients to a good party apart from crucial tunes and fireworks?
Speedos, combovers and or/ mullets, moustaches, crappy tattoos and a little bit of shake… and then bake! SHAKE AND BAKE!
Have you had much chance to tour and where have you played? Have you been outside of Costa Rica and where would you like to tour?
We’ve had the chance, however for one or another reason we haven’t been able to. Outside of Costa Rica we’ve only played in Panama, however 2009’s the year and we’ve got a lot of countries in mind. Actually hopefully we’ll see you soon man ;)
Well we’d like to tour the whole world, however Europe, Asia and the US might be on the top of our list.
So which bands should we go check out on myspace from Costa Rica?
Inersia, Crimes, A Sangre Fria, xEl Valor de Lucharx, El Oponente, those are all great bands, there are a lot more, just too many to name.
Outside of the band what do you all do that makes you happy? Are you in school or working?
Some of us are in school and some of us work. That doesn’t really make us all that happy though haha. I guess just hanging out with our friends. That’s what makes us happy, I mean, besides playing as you said. We’ve all got different little things that make our day.
We only get one life, so we need to make the most out of it right? What’s the best way to go about that and why would you encourage kids to check out BTK or start their own bands?
That’s right. I think it doesn’t matter which religion or ideology you chose. It’s all about living life at the most, respecting people and trying to be the best person you can be. Don’t fuck with other people’s lives, live yours and have some fun, life’s short. I think that kids shouldn’t listen to us because we probably suck…No I’m kidding, please listen to us, yeah? However I do think that we’re a little different from most of the bands out there, so have a listen and maybe you’ll like us! I mean we only start this to have fun, luckily we’ve been doing great and hope to keep doing better, so I would encourage kids to try some new stuff or old, it doesn’t matter, express your emotions through music, have some fun with your friends, try to bring positive things to your scene and just stay true to your roots and your convictions, remember where you come from.
Any final words you would like to impart upon anyone that may be reading this and what are you plans for the future of the band and for yourselves?
Thank you so much for sticking with us until the end! It was fun. Hope you like our music and hopefully you can identify with it in any way and find some substance in it. Our plan’s to tour as much as possible, everywhere and anywhere that doesn’t matter, so if you’re a promoter or want to be one, just send us a message and we’ll be there. I think that’s our goal from now on, tour, tour, tour! Hope everyone has a great year!
Take care and I hope you have a great new year! Here’s to 2009!
Alrighty, you too bro, thanks a lot!