Interviews

NYHC band BRICK BY BRICK deliver sick new cover of “Just Look Around” by SICK OF IT ALL

Six year since our interview with BRICK BY BRICK, we’re stoked to bring them band to our pages with a special new cover of “Just Look Around” by SICK OF IT ALL, a timeless message that remains relevant today!

With original cover art by AGNOSTIC FRONT’s Mike Gallo and guest vocals by Lord Willin and remix by Stress The White Boy (S.T.W.B), BxB’s version of Just Look Around is sure to reignite the battlecry for hardcore unity once again.

Just Look Around drops on all digital streaming providers on October 29, 2021 through Upstate Records and Blood Blast Distribution.

BRICK BY BRICK by James F Wertman Junior

BRICK BY BRICK by James F Wertman Junior

Upstate Records sat down with Mike Valente, founding member and guitarist for Brick By Brick about the their cover of “Just Look Around” and what is next for Brick By Brick.

Upstate Records (UR): Looking over your catalog of releases, it seems like Brick By Brick has a track record of including cover songs. Why have you made cover songs part of the release formula?

Mike Valente (MV): Cover songs are fun to do. Especially with this band, it’s hard to not only find one that everyone likes but one that works with our style. Gives you a glimpse of our influences as well.

UR: Tell us about why you picked Sick Of It All’s “Just Look Around” for a cover?

For the outro, you mix in a little hip hop to round it out. Tell us who made the beat and more about Lord Willin.

MV: “Just Look Around” was done because we wrote this album during the pandemic and the message of that song has never waivered over it’s 30 years since it’s been written. Sick Of It All is my favorite NYHC band as well!

Jeff “Stress” Davis was the producer on this. He made the beat. He is a gold record producer with credits like WuTang, Gym Class Heros, among MANY notable artists. Lord Willin is the perfect mix of hardcore and hip hop. He has a vast knowledge of both genres and reps hard with his lyrics. Willin was chosen because of his dedication to his craft and support of ALL music.

UR: The cover art for the single was drawn by Mike Gallo (Agnostic Front). Tell us more about the inspiration behind the cover and why did you pick Mike Gallo for the design.

MV: We wanted a traditional style that would match NYHC and the theme of the time that it was written as well as to help round out the hip hop addition to the song. Mike Gallo’s artwork has been featured in many NYC art shows and he is a staple in the NYHC community. His style was the perfect touch to round it out.

UR: So what is next for Brick By Brick? Any shows and tours? When does the new album drop? Anything we can expect from the new album?

MV: We are keeping a low profile this winter. We are catching up on obligations and other events. We only have one show scheduled with the possibility of one other. November 20th, you can catch BxB with Nuclear Assault at the Brooklyn Monarch. November 19th is still in talks, and we cannot say with who yet, but the show would tie many things together for this release. February 2022 will be our venture back to Europe as a headliner. We start 2/5. Then once we get back, it’s the release party for the DISMAL EXISTENCE album. Once we have the momentum back, we will be working with our booking agent to do a run in the states.

UR: Thanks for taking the time for the interview. Final words. What bands are on your radar that people should be checking out?

MV: Band worth checking out are: Year Of The Knife, Wrong Move, Downswing, Cropsey, and Kid Vicious.

Catch Brick By Brick and headliners Nuclear Assault, Subzero, Tombs, Sworn Enemy and many more at this years Upstate Records Family and Friends showcase, November 20th at the Brooklyn Monarch in Brooklyn, New York.

Tickets available here.

Born out of Troy, NY’s infamous hardcore scene in 2004, but having attacked the scene seriously since 2015, BRICK BY BRICK have relentlessly cultivated their reputation as a hybrid hardcore and metal force.

With influences ranging from Slayer to Agnostic Front by way of Black Sabbath and Sick Of It All. Having added Ray Mazzolla (Full Blown Chaos) on vocals in addition to longtime members Mike Valente (Guitars), Andy Parsons (Bass), and James Muller (Drums), the band has a fresh new perspective and wicked intent.

To kick off their new release, BRICK BY BRICK’s first single pays homage to NYHC originators, SICK OF IT ALL, with their 1992 track, “Just Look Around”. Almost 30 years later, the lyrics to “Just Look Around” are just as relevant today as they were back then. Mike Valente succinctly lays it out “Just look around the world today, if anything, we need more unity” and there is no better band or song that epitomizes what hardcore is all about and the need to embrace each other’s differences.

Furthermore, there is no better artist and member of the hardcore scene than Mike Gallo from AGNOSTIC FRONT to design the cover art for the single. A true original piece of artwork to capture the grittiness of New York Hardcore and the message behind “Just Look Around”.

“Just Look Around” appears on BRICK BY BRICK’s upcoming release, Dismal Existence, coming out on February 18, 2022 through Upstate Records and Blood Blast Distribution.

BRICK BY BRICK’S upcoming release is sure to take their metallic hardcore sound to another level. Featuring guest vocals from none other than Chuck Billy (Testament), metal and hardcore fans alike will get their fair share of head banging riffs and slamming beatdowns!

Just Look Around lyrics:

The question they keep asking me
How can one so young be so bitter and angry
Well, the answer is plain to see
Maybe if they weren’t so blind they’d see what i see
I see the homeless livin’ out on the street
On every corner they’re asking for money
I try to help them whenever i can
But sometimes i can’t afford to help myself
I see diseases and modern plagues of our times
The greed of our leaders has made them blind
To our problems
They spend millions overseas,
People right here are fightin’ wars everyday
I see the whites that hate the blacks
Blacks against the jews, race against religion
And they’re all too blind to see
When we fight each other it puts all of them at ease
It keeps us so busy, so they can do what they please
Election time comes and they’re out for votes
That’s when you see and hear from them the most
This is what they’re calling a democracy
That’s just another word for hypocrisy
We keep fallin’ for the bait
When we realize, it’s always too late
I see the whites that hate the blacks
Blacks that hate the jews, brother against brother
And they’re all to blind to see
As the rich get richer, the poor goin’ hungry
I’ve seen the toll it takes on the workingman’s family
Education system that’s obsolete
Can’t hold a kid’s interest or keep ’em off the street
See a father’s fear, hear a mother’s cry
What kind of a nation lets their children die
Government’s corrupt and full of red tape
Then you’re gonna ask me why i hate
Why don’t you open up your eyes
so you can see
Open up your ears
so you can hear
Take a look around
and you will find
Take a look around
and you will find out why

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