Here at OzProg we have all kinds of colourful contributors and without a doubt, one of the most charismatic is ‘Dirty Big Bilky.’ I interviewed the man recently to get his thoughts on the new Dream Theater & Karnivool albums which dropped last year, as well as a bunch of other wide-ranging topics.
Alright ‘Asymmetry’ by Karnivool…what do you reckon?
I think it was OK, it wasn’t better than the first two. I liked the second half of the album, but the first half of the album was a bit frustrating. AM War has to possibly be the worst song ever written…in the world
Really, haha? What didn’t you like about the first half? Why was it frustrating?
I liked We Are but The Refusal just didn’t fit with their profile and was sh*t.
But they’re still good. Do you mean in the context of a vool album?
…Nacash is boring
AM War is the worst song ever
What about the drum beat?
Did you just want them to make ‘Sound Awake’ all over again?
No, I liked ‘Themata’ as well.
Ok so you wanted them to make both ‘Themata’ and ‘Sound Awake’ all over again?What are you talking about? You told me you liked it?
I just want them to write good quality stuff. If the rest of the album was like the first half, it would have been the worst album ever. I think for me the second half does it with melodic stuff…
This is your whole point about Asymmetry right? The album being uneven. Why do you think they did that?
Because they were trying to be overly progressive?
What’s that mean?
They’re trying to be like TOOL with the whole synchronization Lateralus stuff.
Do you think they derived this concept from Tool? Or do you think they wrote some stuff like this…
See how you’re prompting me? I don’t know what to say. Even still I’m not coming up with any good content.
This is awesome, you’ll see when I write it out, I’ll send it to you for approval.
Why don’t you just write it then?
Because I don’t know what you think!
Why do you need to know what I think?
Because it’s your thoughts I want, it’s your thoughts that our readers want.
Why do you want my thoughts?
I want other people’s opinion – I don’t want my own opinion, otherwise I would just write everything and everyone would just read only what I’ve written.
So you’re getting my opinion on certain albums and you’re getting other people’s on others?
No I’ve just got yours at the moment…eventually I’d like to get other people’s – and maybe some of them can actually write their own reviews.
Hahah that felt so cold.
I like your approach to describing music so…
Ask me about the Dream Theater album then
I actually haven’t listened to it.
Don’t listen to it. You’ll waste your time. I spent a few hours trying to listen to that album in the hopes that there was some quality in there and I reckon I would have got more quality listening to the latest Eminem release. And I love DT and I still hate it.
I listened to Eminen’s Rap God it was pretty good…
Well maybe Eminem’s a bad example. Maybe the latest some thing that I don’t like…the latest U2 album
You showed me a bit of this DT album, it sounded like Rush, on the one hand that’s sad, on the other hand it’s actually pretty awesome.
It’s good because they can truly emulate the style without directly ripping them off, unlike Avenged Sevenfold.
That’s true. But then you’d say but…
Look, I don’t mind it so much, because it seems like a blatant tribute, which is sort of fine by me, it almost felt like they were doing a cover and it was one track on the album, that’s fine by me. Yeah it’s fine, I don’t mind it, because that’s who they are, they’ve sounded like that before.
Just that one track though? What about the rest of the record?
The rest of the record, there’s the worst instrumental they’ve ever written
At least they saved us from throwing it in the middle of a track…at least they did us the courtesy of splitting into another track so I could skip it.
Why is it the worst one they’ve ever written?
I listened to Erotomania, this is a proper instrumental, up and down it progresses and actually goes somewhere. This one sounds like Inspectior Gadget, I know that sounds cool, but it just doesn’t go anywhere, just straight solos and the hooks are not even that good. The opening part is a rip off of Symphony X.
Uh what else. The single’s OK, I actually don’t mind the single, but I prefer On the backs of Angels from the previous album.
The thing I always come back to is – and I take your point if it’s not a good instrumental – but are you judging because it’s DT album, or if this was a random new band, would you like it? You can’t help but listen to it in the context of who they are?
It’s like someone teasing DT
Let’s say Breaking Orbit released this album next year
OMG I would shoot them
You would genuinely be like yeah that sucks?
Listen to it and you will understand
I said this a while ago about the Red Hot Chili Peppers, they released this album called ‘I’m with you’ and it’s like compared to everything else the chili peppers have ever done it’s just so far below it it’s not funny. You listen and think – I can’t believe after 25 years, this is what they came up with for an album, right? But then I listened to it again, if my friend’s band released this, I would think they’re my new favourite band, it’s still good enough and it’s still got enough chops
This is DT’s attempt at what they’d describe as songwriting. Unfortunately John Petrucci’s idea of good songwriting is verse chorus verse chorus verse.
Is it for you, what the lyrics to Octavarium are for me?
It’s not cringey, it’s just boring. In fact that’s the one thing it should be commended on, the fact that there’s no cringe.
Is it better than ‘Systematic Chaos’?
What, Systematic’s better? Do you like Systematic?
Well that’s another conversation which we’ll continue, another time!
For more of Dirty Big Bilky’s reviews/interviews, email us to request his views on certain releases.