Generation Underground is an NJ-based modern hard rock band who recently released their album Kold Blooded Vol. 2. Metal Contraband’s Scott Sommer spoke with frontman Mike Florentine about the band and release.
Let’s start with some of your musical background. What inspired you to make heavy metal?
I’ve been around it for most of my life. My dad and two uncles are big into this style of music. My uncle was on That Metal Show so I have kind of been around it for a while. Also growing up, a lot of the sports video games I liked had a lot of metal and hard rock. So that plus always being around it got me more down the rabbit hole of this genre of music.
You have any fun memories of the That Metal Show days growing up?
I went to the taping of the show once with Rob Halford and Chris Jericho. I also went to another one with M. Shadows, Zakk Wylde and Jason Hook. Another one with Yngwie Malmsteen and Vinny Paul. And then another one with Billy Sheenan, Bobby Blitz and Frankie from Quiet Riot.
For those who aren’t familiar with Generation Underground, how would you describe your sound?
It is hard to pinpoint to one specific thing because there is a lot of diversity to it. Whether you like metal or rock, there is at least a song or two for you because the music stretches so far. I know people who don’t even listen to metal who dig the band. I want people who don’t listen to this style of music to have us as their gateway into the genre. We teeter on the hard rock and metal border. With all the breakdowns, we teeter towards the heavier end.
What does the title of your new album Kold Blooded Vol. 2 mean to you guys?
So when we started the band, we used to be called Kold Blooded, we took the name from the Damageplan song. I don’t remember why we chose Kold Blooded as the album title even though we named the first record after us, so we have two self titled records at this point. We then took Generation Underground from the Motionless in White song.
How did the pandemic impact the way you guys made this album? Did it help or hinder the process?
The record was actually done in 2019, we just sat on this for a while and weren’t sure how we were going to release it. We didn’t really have a plan on how we were going to put out the record. We were all over the place of putting this out and that out. We weren’t quite happy how the promotion for the first record was, being our first record and touring. This record was navigating through the pandemic, and we kept pushing it back after it was supposed to be released 2020 and then 2021, and then we just said, “enough” and agreed to put the record out this year.
You mentioned this record was already done before the pandemic. Were you creating any new music throughout the pandemic?
We actually have a record already done, we’ve been working on it for 2 years. We started in June of 2020. We just finished about a month ago and we are in post production. We are probably going to go with a couple of singles at first before we release it. Even though EP’s are the new trend, they lack the full album experience. Kind of like what Nonpoint or Memphis May Fire did, release 5 singles, and then release the full length album. We are trying to not let the full album experience die, but also keeping up with the times.
You had some cool guests on Kold Blooded Vol. 2. Any guests lined up for the new album?
We have been talking. We have been going through this site, FeaturedX.com. I don’t really know who we are going to pick yet. They have everyone from Spencer of Ice Nine Kills, to Sonny from POD, Frankie from Emmure, there is a lot of variety of options on there. I don’t know what we are looking for in a guest yet. We collaborated with Pablo from Chelsea Grin, we collaborated with Attila for “Slaves to the System”. We had John Moyer from Disturbed who helped engineer produce our first EP. I don’t know who we are going to pick but I guarantee there will be one guest.
How did Pablo from Chelsea Grin influence the track “Our Betrayal”?
That was a song wasn’t initially on the record. When we finished Kold Blooded, we kept writing and that ended up being the second song we finished, we agreed that we couldn’t leave it out on the record. I forget where the idea came from reaching out to the guest. When we heard Pablo’s vocals, our jaws dropped, and then we got him in the video and the rest was history. Then we had to wait on it for two years and that sucked. When it came out, people loved it. 23,000 views on Youtube!!
I gotta ask about the track “Brandon Boulder”. I would love to hear the story behind it. If this guy Brandon is real, he has got to be a pretty wild dude.
He is actually one of my friends. He is a friend of another band member who fills in from time to time. He was dating this girl at the time who was super annoying and toxic. I don’t know where we started writing a song from, but we started working on music and lyrics to it, and it is just a story about watching this toxic relationship and go through the motions for three to four years. It is a very interesting song that isn’t meant to be taken seriously. The best part of the whole song is the breakdown, because the person who wrote that breakdown is the person named Brandon. He wrote a part of music to his own song about himself. The irony is awesome. You can’t make every song so dark and gloomy. It is always the stupid songs people go nuts for.
(Metal Contraband thanks Mike for the interview.)