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Interview:
Upbeat: Critical Bill
 

By GARY GRAFF
of the Oakland Press

» See more SOUND CHECK

Name: Critical Bill

Formed: 2002 in Mount Clemens

Members: Powerdise (aka Bryan Davis) — vocals (Mount Clemens); Mike Scott — guitar (Clinton Township); Mark Causley — drums (Harrison Township); Phil Thacker — bass (Mount Clemens); Tom Sawyer — turntables (Southgate).

Sound: Urban rock, which guitarist Scott describes as “a little more street than regular rock, but it’s not quite gangster hip-hop by any means. It’s got a little more of an edge to it.”

Influences: A wide array of rock and rap that includes Rage Against the Machine, Soundgarden, Van Halen, Sevendust, hed(pe), Van Halen, LL Cool J, Run-DMC, Wu Tang Clan and Ludacris.

Day Jobs: Powerdise owns the 7.15.4 Clothing brand and is head of security at the Hayloft in Mount Clemens where Thacker is head bartender. Scott owns the Hayloft and is co-owner of the Emerald Theatre in Mount Clemens. Causley owns Comfort Makers Heating & Cooling. Sawyer is a licensed caregiver.

What’s in a Name? At the suggestion of frontman Powerdise, Critical Bill took its name from a character in the 1995 Gary Fleder crime drama “Things to Do in Denver When You’re Dead.”

Instant Karma: The members of Critical Bill knew each other when they played in different groups and, according to Scott, “started getting together in my house, writing songs. Before we knew it, we wrote and recorded our first record without playing a show — we didn’t have a name for the band, nothing. We enjoyed what we were doing so much and it came so naturally, the next thing we knew we had 13 songs on a disc and said, ‘I guess we should be a band.’ We’ve been inseparable since.”

Music First: Though Critical Bill’s members have solid careers outside of music, Scott promises that “we do music for a living, and this is our career,” which includes touring about half of the year and opening for the likes of Puddle of Mudd, Drowning Pool, Tech N9ne, DMX and others. “We’ve created one of the best business models for an indie band, based on touring, merchandising and exposure. We’ve learned from the best — Tech N9ne, who’s the No. 1 best-selling independent hip-hop artist in the world, and of course form the kings of the do-it-yourself artists, ICP.”

Hear ’em: Critical Bill has released four albums, and a fifth, “The Underground Kingdom,” comes out on Tuesday (March 16).

See ’em: Critical Bill celebrates the release of “The Underground Kingdom” on Saturday (March 13), at the Emerald Theatre, 31 N. Walnut St., Mount Clemens. Hell Rides North, Lithium, Stellar Drive and Madonna Bros. are also on the bill. Doors open at 6 p.m. Tickets are $10 and includes a copy of the CD. Call 586-913-1920 or visit www.emeraldtheatre.com.

Surf ’em: www.critical-bill.com.

Web Site: www.critical-bill.com

Send your thoughts and comments to Gary Graff

 



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