Billy Milano, a voracious reader, avid cook and a Proud and Loud Republican, inadvertently resurrected his hardcore punk rock band in a time when he needed it most. You’d be mistaken to assume anything when it comes to Billy Milano. For M.O.D. and their new album, which finds the band returning to original label home Megaforce Records after two decades, there was no pre-determined mission. At all.
It was born of love.
“I had taken off time with M.O.D. in 2009,” Milano recalls. “We had done 100 shows for [2007’s] Red, White & Screwed. I needed a break. My dog Buster, an American bulldog, got sick with cancer and I started to play guitar again while staying home with him. I started jamming again, anticipating something quick, but it wasn’t.”
Buster was a huge part of Milano’s life, having toured with the frontman. As anyone that truly has forged a deep bond with a canine can relate to, Milano turned to his trusted instrument to help him endure the pain of watching his friend wind down his life. “I just started playing guitar, while sitting there, looking at him, giving him medicine,” he says. “I wanted to run and play with my dog, and I couldn’t. The only way to be with him was to sit there and play guitar. I had no goal to do a record. I just wrote all the material.”
‘I’ve never been happy with the falsehood of the music industry,” he says. “I am a street, a real guy. I am not a ‘keep it real’ guy. I had no goal to get back to the industry.” But he’s is and he’s armed with an album that demands to be heard.
While Milano may be older and wiser these days, he’s not any softer. He’s admittedly still cynical, but has learned to temper it by being more caring and forgiving. Still, music remains something he loves doing And he still operates off the zero fucks given principle. “I don’t give a fuck, but I like playing,” he reasons. “I like making records. It’s like cooking — it’s an extension of me. If I do it as a job, I am going to fucking hate it.” So he proceeded with Busted, Broke & American without ever treating it like it was a job and the album is devoid of any and all pretense.