Pizza Death got in touch with us all the way from Melbourne Australia pimping their latest in the 20 track “Slice Of Death” album which is sort of along the lines of Iron Regan/Stormtroopers Of Death thrash rooted crossover with an obvious emphasis on pizza and death by pizza. I thought the name and artwork was really cool but was pretty certain that the music would not live up to the great imagery but I was dead wrong there. These guys can write and play as “Slice Of Death” is one ass kicking offering that I was not expecting. Their progress as a band has been slowed by Australia’s Covid restrictions but there seems to be some light at the end of this tunnel as they have a few shows lined up within the next few weeks. Singer Pat and Kane on bass were up for the challenge of answering our questions in late January. Rounding out Pizza Death are Plonk on guitar and Tim on drums. Live photos supplied by the band. Graphics by Pat.
IE: What’s up guys? Let’s start off with the Pizza Death story which like so many other new bands arose due to quarantines and people having a lot of extra time on their hands. Why did you create a band centered around pizza and death by pizza?
Pat: The band started with the name and the whole idea for the band stemmed from that. I was talking shit with mates and coming up with funny fake band names and someone came up with the name Pizza Death. The name stood out to me because you never really hear those two words in the same sentence. I feel like the name perfectly sums up what the band eventually became… haha!
I sat on the name for months thinking that one day I would like to write some songs for a band called Pizza Death and then when we went into lockdown due to Covid and were stuck at home with a lot of time to kill. Melbourne was in lockdown for over 260 days which is one of the longest in the world and I think that definitely gave our minds plenty of time to wander to some weird places. The ridiculousness of this band definitely came from being locked inside for so many hours. We wrote 4 songs just because we thought it was funny and the joke just kept going. Obviously we aren’t the first novelty band to sing about pizza and we didn’t want to just get written off as a “pizza thrash band”. We wanted to do something different with it which is why none of our songs are about eating pizza and partying but are instead about being killed by pizza in various ways.
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IE: Can you talk about the “Slice Of Death” album, the writing and recording process and how hard (or easy) it may have been to write 20 songs with pizza related themes?
Pat: When writing songs our general approach is to come up with a funny pizza related pun and then write a song around that. We watch a lot of horror movies so we usually just get ideas from there and add pizza. By default it becomes funny! Haha! A common thought we have during the writing process is “is this idea too ridiculous?” and the answer is always “no” haha. We really thought that we would write a handful of songs and run out of material but that hasn’t been the case at all. We have almost finished writing our second album and the dumb pizza puns just keep coming!
IE: Can you talk about some of the soundbites that are used in between songs on the album and where they originated from? From a listeners standpoint I have to say that they are so well placed with “Microwave Monster” probably being my favorite the way it is blended into the song.
Pat: Thanks man, glad you like them! We wanted to go all out with the pizza theme and part of that was cramming as many pizza related sound bites onto the album as possible to make it as entertaining as we could. I feel the samples really tie the album together as well as break up the songs. The sample from “Microwave Monster” is from the movie “Spaceballs”. As kids who grew up in the 90’s we grew up on Ninja Turtles eating pizza and have a lot of nostalgia from that era so we really wanted to lean into that.
IE: An aspect I really like about this band is that you guys can really play and wrote some catchy songs here but it goes without saying that you have some amazing imagery starting with the “Slice Of Death” album cover. Please take us through the journey of its inception and how it came about.
Pat: The album cover artwork was done by the amazingly talented Andrei Bouzikov who has done covers for heaps of great bands such as Municipal Waste, Reproach and Cannabis Corpse among others. He painted the cover for my previous band Hailgun. He is such a super nice dude and we loved his work so we thought we would get in touch with him to do the Pizza Death cover as we thought he would be perfect! The idea for the cover comes from one of the songs on “Slice Of Death” called “Slicezilla” which is about a giant Godzilla-like pizza slice rising out of the ocean and destroying the city. We felt like that idea perfectly sums up the idea of Pizza Death in an image… haha. The city that is being smashed on the front cover is actually our home city of Melbourne!
IE: Now with this artwork you guys have pretty much run wild with merch ideas and probably should be up for some kind of marketing award based on items such as Pizza Death umbrellas, jigsaw puzzles, cooking aprons and a pizza cutter shaped like an axe. Please give us some background on some of these items as well as some of your more unique shirt designs, the Vans style slip on shoes, etc…. Some of these items are not the typical types of items that you can just ask your local silk screen t-shirt guy to print up for you.
Pat: Part of the challenge of trying to launch a new band without having the ability to play shows is trying to get people to take notice without just spamming our social media with the same video clips or promoting the same release over and over. We wanted the band to put smiles on people’s faces and making unique merch was how we decided to try and do that. I am a graphic designer so I am able to design pretty much anything myself so we would just try to think of the most “out-there” merch that we could and then look into if we could actually get it made. Sometimes it is just too expensive to make such strange merch. We don’t follow through with all of our ideas. A few of the ideas that didn’t make it are temporary Pizza Death tattoos and scratch and sniff stickers that smell like pizza. These were both just gonna cost us too much. We are thinking we might get some Pizza Death yo-yo’s made soon though. Haha! We wanted our merch page to be fun to scroll through even if some of the weirder merch doesn’t sell much. We pretty much put the money we make off merch back into more merch so if something doesn’t sell it’s no big deal. We recently had a merch sale to raise money for the Bendigo Hotel in Collingwood which is the venue that we were supposed to have our album launch at but had to postpone until April. We sold so much merch that within a week we had sold out of almost everything. We have a new batch of merch in the works which should be ready in the next few weeks.
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IE: With Covid lockdowns the band has only played about 5 shows in its existence with one of your first shows actually being your guitarists wedding! Can you talk about your 5 shows and tell us a little more about that wedding?
Kane: Pizza Death was started with the intention of just being a fun studio project and was most likely just going to play a couple of shows a year. So when our guitarist Plonk and his wife Cris were planning their wedding I jokingly suggested to Cris that Pizza Death should play the wedding and then much to my surprise she responded with a very enthusiastic "that's a great idea!” At this point in time I think we had only a handful of rehearsals and it was going to be our first show so we thought it might be a good idea to play another show before so just in case we don't completely ruin someone's wedding…haha! After we played our first show DOWNTUNED RECORDS offered to put out our debut album and a lot of people really loved our set so we thought that maybe there was something more to this than a studio side project and we started booking a few more shows around town. Covid lockdowns have ruined a lot of plans for live shows including our record release party but we are still trying to make things happen whenever we are allowed out of the house. We are playing in Sydney February 13th at Frankie’s Pizza which is a pretty world famous rock ‘n roll dive bar that serves up some really quality pizza as well. So obviously that sounds like the perfect place for Pizza Death to perform. Australia is a huge country with big distances between major cities so we tend to fly to play interstate-shows which is what we will be doing to get to Sydney. Also we will be playing in Melbourne on February 26th at Whole Lotta Love which is thankfully just up the road from us!
IE: Does the band really hand out free pizza at shows?
Kane: At most shows you can expect to get free pizza but it’s guaranteed there will always be at least garlic bread. So far we have 0 recorded deaths at shows so we’re off to a bit of a slow start.
IE: What areas or places are considered to have the best pizza in Australia? I live in New York and people here often have arguments about what their favorite pizza is while other nearby areas in Connecticut and Pennsylvania say they are the best. I won’t even get into Chicago and Detroit style pizza as I don’t want this to escalate into some kind of international pizza war!
Kane: Personally I think Melbourne has got the best selection of pizza in Australia (of course I was going to say that, I’m from Melbourne) But Melbourne is a melting pot of different cultures and there is large Italian population that has heavily influenced our food so there is a big selection of Napoli style wood fire pizza restaurants but we also have a lot of greasy Bain-Marie places serving up dirty slices that are only appealing after 1am when you’ve had a big night of drinking. I wouldn’t say Australia really has its own signature style of pizza like Chicago, Detroit or New York but I have noticed a lot of local pizza places in the suburbs have a pizza on the menu called The Aussie which is just ham, cheese and for some absurd reason a fucking egg cracked right in the middle of it. What the fuck that’s about I don’t know but that’s always a hard pass from me.
IE: The band lists the very far-fetched idea of ‘death by pizza” as its biggest fear. What are some of the most fascinating ways you can see yourselves being “offed” by pizza?
Kane: One of the most common ways to die from pizza is when you first open up the box and you discover your pizza is an alien life form that leaps out of the box and wraps itself around your face and suffocates you until you die. Then it folds it’s self-up into a calzone crawls down your throat and bursts out of your chest and continues to murder your entire family. It just happened again a few weeks ago and it was all over the news so I’m sure you’ve already heard about that one. When I was in prison I learned how to make shanks out of frozen pizza. I never had to use it but it’s better to have it on you and not need it than to need it and not have it. You know what I mean?
IE: Most or all of Pizza Death’s social media posts are written by Dougie and usually start off with “hey everybody, it’s ‘ya boy Dougie here…” Who exactly is this infamous Dougie guy?
Kane: Dougie is a supreme being kinda like Captain Planet or Voltron and is bought to life when all four members of Pizza Death summon him. Before Dougie set out on the ambitious quest to become a thrash god he was the star of a long series of popular TV commercials in the 90’s and played the role of a pizza delivery boy for a pizza chain restaurant whose name I won’t mention. From this Dougie became an Australian icon and for many years pizza delivery boys were just known as Dougie. Just Google Dougie and pizza then you should find everything else you want to know and then head to YouTube to watch these commercials. You won’t be disappointed.
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IE: The members of Pizza Death are also in other established Melbourne bands. Can you tell us those band names and what kind of metal/hardcore/punk each plays and what is each bands current status?
Kane: Pat (singer) plays guitar in a punk/hardcore band called DEAD ALREADY and would definitely recommend to anyone who is a fan of 80’s hardcore. They have an album and an EP out that are available on vinyl and streaming on your usual platforms. Plonk (guitar) and myself (bass) have another band together called PISSRASH which is a blend of stoner and thrash metal. Our latest release “Routes Of Administration” is available on Spotify and we are also about to hit the studio to record another 4 songs for an upcoming 7”. I also play in a thrash/punk band called WOLFPACK who are a not for profit band and in the last 10 years have raised over $50,000 for animal shelters and various other charities. We’ve toured the US West Coast a few times opening for D.R.I and were the first band from Australia to play Punk Rock Bowling. Over the years all members have played in so many bands but most notably Pat and Tim (drums) had a band called HAILGUN. A very intense fastcore/power violence band that despite having been broken up for many years is still very popular in Australia and Europe’s underground heavy music scenes.
IE: While setting this up you guys were telling me about upcoming recording plans. What lies ahead for Pizza Death for the rest of 2022 and when can we expect new music?
Pat: We have a split 7” in the works with a band from the UK that hopefully we can announce soon and we are currently working on our second album that we hope to record later this year. As far as touring goes we want to be able to head up to play Brisbane and Gold Coast later this year but live music in Australia is so uncertain at the moment so we haven't booked anything yet. We definitely want to make it over to the US and Europe when tours become possible again! Myself and our drummer Tim have also been working on a Pizza Death video game that should be coming out in the next few months. It is in the style of early Sega and Nintendo games that we grew up with and you play as the pizza boy trying to deliver pizzas on time while pizza monsters and traps try to stop him. The soundtrack is the music from our album! We are having a listening party/game launch at our local favorite pizza shop Thin Slizzy in Collingwood hopefully in March. Our album launch has been postponed until mid-April and we hope to announce the new date and the lineup shortly. We are going to have the launch at the legendary Bendigo Hotel in Collingwood! Click HERE for all your Pizza Death links including music, socials, videos, merch and more!
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