INTERVIEW: Sick Of It All – Built to last


as we’ve seen around the world, We won’t go away
cause we’ll always feel this way, We’re here to stay
and our impact will be felt, We won’t go away
if we feel it, we feel it, We’re here to stay
Built to last

Built to last, they said it back in 1997, 11 years after their formation 1986 in Queens, New York. It is 2016 and Sick Of It All is still going strong … they are built to last. For 30 years this American hardcore band are ahead of the game, they always have been and still are one the greatest hardcore bands in the world. Their “30th anniversary tour” anniversary tour got them to Groezrock, (B) where I had a chat with guitarist Pete Koller.


Pete remembered how he started to go to shows at CBGB’s to see hardcore and punk bands play. Seeing how primal the music was, how you did not had to be a good musician (not as good as in metal bands) and experiencing the energy of that scene made him decide that also he too could do this, that also they could do this and it all led to the start of Sick Of It All.

“30 years … well it was fun. I would not say an achievement because we never really wanted to achieve something. We just kept on playing. Their are also no regrets, what’s done is done and if you fucked something up back then so what,” Pete explains how he looks back on 30 years of Sick Of It All. Their secret? “There is no secret on how to keep doing what you do for 30 years. We never said that we are going to do this or that … we just kept on playing. When we came along it seemed to be the perfect time for our Sick Of It All style of hardcore. We have a certain style, it changed over the years, not much. I still write a lot of the music but Craig writes a little more now and our music is whatever comes out of us,” Pete adds.

Took alot of shit in our lives, made it thru time after time
i know we will survive
we, we will survive


The band’s currnet line-up consists of brothers Pete Koller on lead guitar and Lou Koller on vocals, Craig Setari on bass and Armand Majidi on drums.

“Hardcore bands nowadays are more metal, there is no Oi!, there is no punk. We grew up listening to Venom, GBH, Discharge, The Exploited, Manowar, Twisted Sister, Anti Nowhere League, Cock Sparrer, … and that is what we put in our music, that’s what we like. New bands are more like “they sound like that so we have to sound like that”. Who cares what anyone sounds like. It is what comes out of you that matters. When I write a riff, its not like this sounds like Cock sparrer, no it is me in an Oi! version …when I write something, it becomes my music … and when Lou sings it, it becomes SOIA. If you don’t feel the movement, you don’t move. You feel what you feel and do what you do. Don’t do what anyone thinks that you should be doing. Don’t start a band ‘like them’ … just be you,” Pete’s advice for starting bands.


I got to know Sick Of It all by their 1997 ‘Built to Last’ album and together with ‘Scratch The Surface’ it Is my most favourite Sick Of It All album. Pete does not have a favourite SOIA album: “A favourite SOIA album, that’s a hard question. As soon as we write new stuff its great because its new. We just wrote 5 new songs that we are going to put out later this year and these songs are great, ” Pete says.

This five song release will be something special so keep your eyes open!


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