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Exploring the Dizzying DIY Madness of Billiam's 'Steakhead Breakbeats'

Australian wunderkind Billiam, who's been a member of Disco Junk, TOR, Verminator, and other bands, has been making music on his own for a few years now. He is a Sonic aficionado, both in the music sense and the hedgehog sense. He has graced the world with his latest tape, Steakhead Breakbeats and we had a brief confab with him to talk about his dizzying brand of rip-roaring bedroom punk and what he's been up to.

Photo by Jack Thomas

Australian wunderkind Billiam, a member of Disco Junk, TOR, Verminator, and other bands, has been making music on his own for a few years now. On his latest release, Steakhead Breakbeats, released through Cow Tool Records, Dial Club, and Painters Tapes, Billiam absorbs a mutated stab of synth-punk energy that sprints out of the gate with pace and seemingly never loses any of its momentum over the sonic splendor. With mastering from no other than Mikey Young (Power Supply, Total Control, Eddy Current Suppression Ring), there's a higher fidelity on the new EP than any Billiam release that has come before it, especially with his melodic pop sensibilities cutting sharp over jagged guitars and manic drum machine beats on tracks like "Lost Items" and "Barefoot Dancing" if you're new to Billiamcore, think Ausmuteants, Erik Nervous, and Sydney DIY punks R.M.F.C. and Tee Vee Repairmann. There's also cover of Lesley Gore's pop classic, "It's My Party," which features lead vocals from Ada Duffy of The Vovos.

We're excited to hear more Billiam (which won't be long) and luckily had a brief confab with him to talk about his dizzying brand of rip-roaring bedroom punk and what he's been up to.

Paperface Zine: Hey Billiam, how's it going?

Billiam: Goin' good, goin' good. Just working on some Disco Junk stuff, which I am absolutely stoked that we are finally making some headway on; I'm with Ruben, our drummer's cat right now named Fluffles, she's pretty cool.

PZ: That is cool, what are you recording?

B: An album, we've been recording it since like late 2019. It's been a journey to get this done, but we're very close, I think we only need like a few more vocal tracks and we're done. I'm really excited for it, I think it is, so far, the best project I've ever done. I'm really proud of it.

PZ: Awesome we're stoked to hear it!

B: Yeah it'll be out on HoZac and Drunken Sailor. With pressing delays, I think it will be out like early next year, or something like that.

PZ: Sick. So how long have you been playing music?

B: I got an acoustic guitar when I was like 12, and immediately tried to start making sounds with it. I started making songs when I was like 14; I taught myself GarageBand and did like very basic songwriting. I still have all of those recordings, and I want to release them someday because they're pretty funny. One of the songs Disco Junk is recording now, "Jabba The Hut," is one of the first two songs I ever wrote haha.

PZ: So then was Disco Junk your first band?

B: Yeah, like I'd played in a couple of after-school program groups with kids who'd wanna play Led Zeppelin and I'd wanna play Sonic Youth, but Disco Junk is my first project I ever pursued as anything like kind of serious; and I'm surprised it's still going strong! We're still giggin', still doing the album, still goin', five years strong baby!

PZ: How many bands are you currently in?

B: Well, there's Disco Junk, TOR, and I'm in a new band called Verminator which is kind of like a power pop band. Then there's a few bands that are still in the talking stages still kind of jamming and stuff.

Photo by Jack Thomas

PZ: Cool, and what have you been listening to lately?

B: I've been listening to the new It Thing record, the new EP by Cluttered Grotto, and the new Kat Haus EP. Also people should listen to Revv.

PZ: Your music has evolved from the days of Who is Billiam? Cassingle Club 2020 to 8 Hours In Billiamville to now your latest, Steakhead Breakbeats. Would you say this progression has been intentional, or more just kind of naturally happened that way?

B: I don't know because when Billiam started out it was kind of just intended as my dumping ground for things that weren't Disco Junk; like the first thing I did, which I've taken offline, was like a pop EP with me trying to sing, I think it's shit now, but a few of the songs are on the live album. For a while it was just kind of whatever interested me that I didn't want to make into a full band. Billiam's Synth Explosion was just me figuring out how to use my synth while Cassingles Collection 2020 was me getting into drum machines and stuff, and the new stuff coming out now, Billiamwave if you will, is me just kind of experimenting in songwriting.

PZ: Do you play solo live with a backing track or do you play with a band?

B: Well, I had a band for I think a grand total of one weekend, that dissolved quite spectacularly, but right now I'm just playing solo with a backing track. That is definitely going to change soon.

PZ: Do you have any plans to tour Europe or the U.S. any time soon?

B: There aren't any concrete plans to, but it is definitely something I want to do. If anybody would like to help out with that, my email is very easy to access!

PF: So then, what is next for Billiam?

B: I got a split with The Vovos coming soon. Other than that, working on an album; I think I've got it done so if any labels are keen or interested please hit me up! I've got a ton of Billiam shit recorded, so if yer likin' it, by God I've got a lot more comin'!!!

Billiam's Steakhead Breakbeats is out now. Pick up a copy of the tape through Cow Tool Records, Dial Club, and Painters Tapes. Stay tune for the split 7" with The Vovos in September.

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