PHOTO BY LEE HOFFMAN*
Rosemarie Lorenti (BD2)
I had the pleasure of sharing the stage with these guys at Mister Goodbar on August 27th and I was beyond entertained. These guys pull off a very lively set, complete with covers WITHIN covers (you have to see/hear it to believe it), scripted wrestling antics, energetic original tunes, and much MUCH more. I’m also taking advantage of my attachment to these guys to break up this issue a little bit and get away from extreme metal for a few pages. Let’s check in with Rosemarie (bass and vocals at BD2) and learn about her journey in our local music community so far!
1. Talk about the beginnings of BD2. How did you guys get started?
First, I’ll start off by saying I had to have Billy Horn-Altamirano, lead vocals and guitarist, help me out with a handful of these questions haha. BD2 existed well before I joined the band!
Billy performed in a production of Hedwig and the Angry Inch in New Jersey and took the pay he made from that and recorded an album called Harlequin. The demo convinced Doug Life, vocals and rhythm guitarist, to move home from Vegas. Around 2009 they chance they were holding auditions for a violinist or keyboardist and somehow they ended up with me playing Bass instead! We’ve finally found ourselves with Jake Gibbs as our drummer and it’s been a wild ride since then.
2. How did you come up with the name of the band?
BD2 is short for Billy Draws Two, which originally was a play on Ben Folds Five when Billy wrote and recorded that first album. Overtime we continued to abbreviate our own band and decided to rebrand with it.
3. How have you guys been received so far in your end of the local music scene? As a metal guy, I don’t get out “your way” often.
Honestly, it varies. We hail from Niagara Falls which has a wonderful music scene that you can only find outside of the city. There aren’t many venues in NF so we are typically found playing in Erie county. As for our genre; we used to joke that we were ‘PopPunkIndieEmoRock’ because our catalog is eclectic. Sure, we have a style, but we’ve always branched out into what we think sounds good- not trying to put ourselves in a box of one certain style of music.
4. Who are your biggest influences as a bassist and vocalist? (any genre, go with your gut)
Holy lovely, ya know… I didn’t think that this would be such a hard question but it really is! When I was a young, angsty, and naive juvenile at 13 years old I have always looked to Kim of the Pixies as my biggest inspiration. She was the person that made me want to be in a band and up until then she was the first musician I had stumbled upon where I thought “woah, wait, girls can be in rock bands?” and that simply threw me down a rabbit hole. But other than her I’mm not sure if I have influences for bass. There are people I admire as musicians and people that are so awe-inspiring that sometimes I want to quit music (laughs) but I don’t find myself ever trying to replicate styles or techniques. I’ve been playing bass for about 15 years and I’m still learning new things! As a vocalist though, I’m 100% inspired by Regina Spektor and Amanda Palmer. The Dresden Dolls taught me to not give a fuck and I’ve always admired the control and interesting affectations Regina Spektor can do with her voice. Though I definitely use those inspirations more in my acoustic side project, Moxy Cleaveland Cabaret which is as far away from any kind of metal or hard rock as you can get haha.
5. Is BD2 a collaborative project, or is the songwriting centered around one person’s ideas?
It starts centered around Billy’s idea and transforms into a collaborative project. When we go in to jam Billy usually has an idea or a riff or sometimes just ONE line for a lyric tumbling around his brain-space and we’ll build off of that. We’ve even written songs based on lines from movies. Sometimes we hit the mark immediately and we all find our flow, sometimes we take an idea and it takes a long time for it to become what you hear today. For example our song “SMS” is absolutely nothing like when it was originally written about ten years ago! You probably wouldn’t even recognize it from it’s original take!
6. Talk about any popular songs or videos you guys have online that you feel properly express who you are as a band to new listeners.
Oh man. Well, one of our most popular videos as well as songs is a live video of “Climbing Fences” from when we opened for Hinder at the Rapids Theatre in Niagara Falls.
Climbing Fences (live) BD2 @ Rapids Theatre
It is a perfect representation of us musically, I think. Starts with my vocals, goes into fast paced peppy choruses with catchy riffs, three part harmonies between Billy, Doug and Myself with underlying screams, and a heavy breakdown.
Another video that represents ‘what we do’ would probably be this one. We had the opportunity to not only write and record entrance music for a friend of ours with their return to professional wrestling, but we had the chance to play it LIVE for him at a match. It was really fucking cool.
“Madness 3.0 (Entrance Music for The Madness of Trip by BD2 – Live)”
And something absolutely fucking ridiculous and a little embarrassing – we did an interview for a friend 13 years ago in our old practice space. I don’t think we have changed much as people. Anyone that has been to our shows knows that we aren’t just a band on stage playing music. We talk to the crowd! A lot! I think my favourite compliment we get, and that we get often, is that we are fun and they love our banter.
7. Talk about BD2’s future plans (recording, shows, etc.), as in anything you’re at liberty to discuss.
Right now we don’t have anything booked in the immediate future but when we have some new material finalized and ready to put out- we’ll be back, likely at The Tudor Lounge which we consider our “home base” for many years and is my favourite place to play. Probably because it is where I had my first gig as a member of the band. For now it’s trying to find time for all four of us to get together to jam and write; we’re all adults now with lame responsibilities or whatever (laughs).
8. Most of our readers are local (Buffalo-Rochester) metalheads. List your “heaviest” songs!
Everything we play is always a little ‘heavier’ when we’re live with more solos and screaming and heavier drums. But I think our heavy songs are probably Plans, Climbing Fences (which I linked a live video of above), Bulimia, EZ Action. Billy also wants me to mention The Shadows, which is unreleased at the moment, but has some fry screams, wailing high notes, guttural false chords and beautiful gang vocals. Keep an eye out for that release soon….!
9. Talk about some of your most memorable performances, both locally and on the road. What made these shows so special?
My most memorable performance was my 3rd gig with the band. There was this opportunity to play South by South West at the “Invasion of the GoGirls” stage, run by Madalyn Sklar’s company GoGirls Music, in March 2009. The criteria was at least ONE member of your band had to be female and it just so happened I joined BD2 that January. Our drummer at the time couldn’t go and we weren’t going to miss out on this experience. So we drove to the DC area, crashed at someone’s house, hopped on a plane to Texas, and an hour before the gig when we started to panic after our back-up drummers fell through we found ourselves a last minute stand-in at a diner up the road from the venue. We showed this kid, Graham, the songs 15 minutes before we hit the stage and hoped for the best. It was wild, and amazing, and hilarious, and the best time I’ve ever had. I still have that dude’s number in my phone, too… maybe we should call him (laughs).
Another part of that same trip is a memory that Billy and Doug will NEVER let me live down. While out busking the night before our gig I was handing out free demo CDs. Tons of people listening, throwing change in our guitar case, I handed CDs out. Then someone walks up and I see the boys’ eyes get huge while singing and playing and I just stand there. Well, Matthew McConaughey was standing there listening. And I did NOT give him a CD. I didn’t recognize him. Honestly, we’re lucky they didn’t murder me right then and there (laughs).
And lastly Halloween 2021. We had a gig and we were desperately trying to think of what group costume we could do. The conversation went like this:
“What if we went as different eras of Hulk Hogan?
“Okay but what if I went as The Hulk”, and that was how we became ‘Hulk and The Hogans’ for one night.
10. What’s the best advice you can give someone who is joining or starting a band for the first time?
Don’t take everything so seriously, especially in the beginning. Remember that you make music because you love it, not to make money, and you need to enjoy the people you are making music with. I wouldn’t want to be doing this with anyone else but the boys in my band; I love them, i constantly want to punch them in the face AND hug them at the same time, that’s family
Oh, and just assume you will NEVER have stage monitors. Ever.
11. How long has the “BD2 World Title” been a part of your shows and how did it get started?
Since May of 2019! I guess that was also a favourite performance. We were playing a benefit for a friend and announced it was Billy Draws Two’s last show, got the crowd angry and shocked… then announced it was BD2’s first show. The belt itself was created as a gift for Billy by Doug, and has been held by musicians such as yourself, and wrestlers such as the Madness of Trip and TNA/ ROH’s Moose. It would have been featured more except a salty person complained to a venue that we were having “illegal wrestling” on stage so we weren’t allowed to do it there which would have moved the story of the belt forward (we haven’t played there ever since)
12. Talk about the band’s connection with pro wrestling in general.
We have dozens of singles that are entrance themes for wrestlers. Billy makes his living as a media composer and most of his clients are pro wrestlers! We have friends in the business and we’re fans of the craft. I was brought up around boxing, I’m even a former certified USA boxing official, so I’ve always been a fan of fighting arts. Moving into the world of pro wrestling was a weird but easy switch. I mean, hell, we even have lucha masks as part of our BD2 gimmick!
To grab a physical copy of our October ’22 issue where you can find this interview and more, click the image below!