Justin Bonitz + Max Portnoy Talk Tallah, Nu-Metal + Disney Influences
After Max Portnoy destroyed a Hello Kitty drum kit to complete the Portnoy/Hello Kitty trilogy, we sat down with the drummer and vocalist Justin Bonitz to talk Tallah, nu-metal and unexpected Disney influences.
While Portnoy was putting together Tallah, the drummer knew he needed Bonitz on vocals. Bonitz blew up online after winning Jared Dines’ vocal contest search and posting dozens of Hungry Lights and Hungry Covers videos, performing original tracks and covers of classic nu-metal songs.
Beyond nu-metal, Bonitz is heavily influenced by an unlikely source — Disney and Dreamworks villains. “The guy who did Rasputin from Anastasia is one of my favorites,” Bonitz raves. “Obviously, Scar [The Lion King] is a great one, there’s a little bit of Gaston [Beauty and the Beast] in there. A lot of people are like, ‘I can hit a C6 or whatever the low notes are.’ I’m like, ‘That’s cool, but what if you can do more with your voice? What if you can hit that C6 with six different voices?’ That’s more impressive to me.”
As nu-metal fanatics, of course Portnoy and Bonitz wanted to make their video for “Cottonmouth” as messed up as possible. Portnoy directed and edited the video himself, creating scenes of surgery on a stuffed bunny while sewing slabs of meat to it. “You don’t really know what’s going on,” says Portnoy. “But it was a lot of work. It was fun.”
Check out our interview with Tallah above and check out the band’s No One Should Read This EP here.
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