(taken from the liner notes of the 1998 reissue of Urban Discipline) Six years after it was first released, URBAN DISCIPLINE is still as fresh as the damage from a smoking gun, still as human as the ambulance crew that takes away another victim, still as angry as the friends that are left behind, and of course, still as loud and powerful as the initial blast. See, by capturing their own little piece of tough city life so well, Biohazard had, without even realizing it at the time, captured so many of our lives. As I write, thousands of miles from where this album was actually recorded, it's with the knowledge that two friends will be buried this week. Next week it could be your friends who get killed or your kids playing in the chalk outline. Even the sleeve to URBAN DISCIPLINE tells a story.
The idea was that children are pure and untainted by society until society gets them explains vocalist/bassist Evan Seinfeld, when we get to discussing the album exclusively for these notes. Left to their own devices, children don't see colour or religion or political affiliation or economics and they don't care. On the sleeve, the kids are so innocent, they're playing on a chalk outline of a murder scene completely unaware, and if you look closely, you'll see the kid at the back has picked up the gun and to him its just a toy. You're the one dealing with people being shot and killed today says Evan, "Nobody I know got killed today and that's a good day. Every day that happens is a blessing, but just open a newspaper or turn on the TV.
So URBAN DISCIPLINE is a hard, streetwise album but that is merely a reflection of the hard streets that Biohazard walked. "Biohazard saved our lives in many ways" Evan admits. "We were all at the end of our lines in these dark, dismal places and than when we formed the band, I wasn't Evan from Canarsie, Brooklyn any more, I was Evan from Biohazard. But it wasn't until URBAN DISCIPLINE that we got out and saw the world" he adds. So that album was basically about the urban struggle and growing up in a city in 1992. And it's kinda timeless in a way 'cos the songs mean more than ever today. There's a real dark side to the album, but there's also a unity and a powerful, hopeful side to it too. Indeed, each song on Urban Discipline has its own unique strength and a refusal to bow down or be beaten. For each dark moment like 'Tears Of Blood' or 'Loss' there is a glimmer of light, none brighter than the title track itself.
The reason we put songs on albums, at least back then, smiles Evan was to share a message and use it as a therapeutic way of getting rid of the angst we were living with at the time, and still dance to it. And among the many classic hardcore tracks on this album is 'Black And White And Red All Over' the song that put an end to the frankly ridiculous rumors that Biohazard were racists. Well it was fucking hilarious to us that were rumors about us, laughs Evan ruefully. We like to ride the controversial edge, but anyone who knows our nationalities, religions or political affiliations - they would never even have considered the idea I mean, how about the fact that Danny (Schuler, drums) and I are Jewish? It's a bit of a giveaway that I'm not a Nazi! At the time URBAN DISCIPLINE came out, recalls Evan, even though we had 'Howard Beach' on the first album, there weren't a lot of bands looking at political issues and really attacking them in our genre of music. I think we were one of the first bands to offer an awareness and maybe not a solution, but just that we can rise above it on an individual basis. That's how you change the world, with one person, then one more, then another. We just sing about our experiences, our fears, our hopes, our strengths and our weaknesses and I think it's very honest. You don't have to be from Brooklyn to understand it.
URBAN DISCIPLINE was an angry time man, an angry time. I don't think the world has changed that much, maybe a little bit. But things have changed a lot for us, notes Evan with rightful pride. When we were recording URBAN DISCIPLINE, Biohazard was still just an idea and now it's something we do full time, it's our lives. It's kind of hard to imagine Biohazard working day jobs, but back then Evan was delivering building materials, Danny was working in a stockroom, Billy (Graziadei -vocals/guitar) was driving a truck and Christ only knows what then-guitarist Bobby Hambel was doing. We recorded URBAN DISCIPLINE pretty fast with a guy named Wharton Tiers at Fun City Studios on the East Side, remembers Evan fondly. It was so Biohazard, like, the drums were recorded in the bathroom and the vocals were done in the kitchen with no lights and all the dirty dishes in the sink that looked like they'd been there for five years. Everything was home-made, which is kinda how Biohazard is and it was definitely a great time. In 1992, no one could have known what a huge effect Biohazard would have on the music world, eventually going on to influence the likes of Prodigy, while all the time retaining their underground roots, and of course, massive, ever-loyal worldwide following.
In 1998 they are justly proud of their achievement and of this stepping stone album. I would have to say that URBAN DISCIPLINE is the definitive Biohazard album, considers Evan. It embodied a very powerful balance of raw unbridled energy, band focus and our diverse musical tastes. The album goes through all the flavors that are Biohazard and sets the stage for what's to come with STATE OF THE WORLD ADDRESS, MATA LEAO and even the album we're working on right now. It's great to be able to go back and look at what you did with hindsight, but the important thing is that this is an album we're very proud of and if you really want to know about the album, stop reading this and put it on. You heard the man. Crank it up! -Morat, London 1998