|In Rochester New York there are more metal bands than we can keep track of. But few have been around as long as the band
AGGRESSIVE BETTY. At this time they have been at it for about 17 years and going strong.
They recently released a new album called “VAMPIRE STATE“. The music on this release is solid old school metal with a
strong modern sound. They are one of the few metal bands in the area that has stayed true to their original form. Plenty of
guitar work, solos, harmonies and actual singing, as apposed to the ever popular growling that we have become all too familiar
with in the past decade or so.
Here we talk to the current band members, Rob Buttach - Guitars and Lead Vocals, Kevin Dettman - Guitars and vocals, Jeff
Buzzard - Drums and vocals, Paul Towsley- Bass and vocals.
|Aggressive Betty has been around for quite a while.
Can you tell us a little about the history of the band?
|Jeff: I've been the drummer since 2009. Rob and Kevin are original members. Paul joined in early 2016.
What I've been told, the band has been around since 2000.
Before that, Kevin and Rob met and formed Fear Not, which turned to Livid, and eventually they formed
Paul: (Origin of the name Aggressive Betty) During the first year of the American Civil War a wide eyed Virginia
farmhand took to bed a rich plantation
heiress, but soon thereafter fled the advancing confederate army.
The scorned young lady (with child) used her families vast resources to track the young man North to force his
hand in marriage. The story of this pursuit circulated the among the Union soldiers and the tale of "Aggressive
Betty" reached nearly the epic stature of great American tales like Paul Bunyan and John Henry
The new full length release “Vampire State” sounds great!
It has an old school vibe with some modern elements. Is that how would you describe your music?
Kevin: I think that’s a fairly accurate statement. For good or bad, we’ve never really been a band that follows the
trend. We just do what comes naturally. I like to say that were a traditional style band that has its own style. In the
end, I think that our individual influences really make our sound what it is. We all have a love for bands like
Pantera and Sabbath, but for example Paul is a huge Primus fan. I’m a big Pink Floyd guy. Rob always loved
Ozzy. If you take all our influences and give them a kick in the ass, that’s basically where we end up.
|How was the recording process?
Where was it done and who was involved?
Paul: Oblivion Studios. Produced and engineered by Kevin
Murphy (from Vanity Strikes) and Aggressive Betty.
Jeff: The recording process went very smooth. Kevin Murphy
was easy to work with and really knew how to engineer and
help produce the best Betty sound to date.
This is your 3rd release, care to tell us about the
|Kevin: Our first CD was self titled and was released in the spring
of 2003. It basically consists of a lot of songs that Rob and I wrote
when we were kids. There were a few new writes on it but a lot of
that disk was put together over a long period of time. That CD is a
lot tamer than our current sound, which has gotten beefier as the
years have went on. I still love that disk but it was more of a period
piece for us.
The next release was an EP entitled “Demoralized” and we
released that one a few years back. That one was done fairly bare
bones. We recorded it in our jam room on a laptop and it kind of
sounded like it. Lol. I mean we support all of our previous
recordings, but that one actually set the tone for the way we
approached the recording process for this one. Polar opposite
recording techniques, but that’s where we needed to be this time
What is the songwriting process like for AB? Is there a key
songwriter? Do you have specific roles or a formula?
Kevin: We all have our roles. There isn’t really a formula. But a lot
of the time, it starts with one of us coming up with a riff or a hook.
Another guy will come up and say “well, let me play this over the
top”. Once we get a few core riffs together, the process starts.
|We’ll start playing around with layers and tempos. Rob will start writing the hook and with a little bit of luck, well
end up with a competent piece of music.
How would you describe the relationship between band members?
Paul: Brotherhood. Despite strong opinions, disagreements and getting on each others nerves once in a while,
we always come back together for the good of the band.
|Jeff: "We are close friends/brothers and gel well together. I agree with what Paul said, but will add that I think we NEED this
band for the sake of our sanity and the release it gives us- keeps us young!
Where do you collectively draw inspiration from?
Jeff: I think we draw inspiration from the music we grew up with. I personally grew up listening to my parent's oldie's music for the
50's, 60's, 70's. Although I didn't appreciate at the time, I think that gave me insight into different musical styles.
|Eventually I was exposed to classic rock, which then turned me to heavier sounds, and then I heard metal and was hooked.
Are there any bands or artists that you model yourselves after?
|Paul: I like to follow the model of independent artists like Les Claypool
and Ani Difranco who record and produce their own work, as
well as bring other musicians into their orbit. These artists used to
work for big record companies, but once the contract was up, went
and did it on their own.
What's the best show you have done so far?
Jeff: I don't know if I can pinpoint one show in particular as the best.
Playing gigs and sharing the stage with some of our musical heroes
we grew up listening to are probably some of the best.
Gigs with Joey Belladonna, Geoff Tate, Metal Church, Exodus, stand
out for me.
Our cd release show on 4/29/17 was one of the best as well!
What is the funniest story you can tell us about that took place
at one of your shows?
|Jeff: Kevin and Rob have told the midget story a few times hahaha. Apparently, AB was on stage playing their set at a local bar, and a female midget in the crowd had her eye on
Kevin. She jumped up on stage and tried to 'have her way with him' if you will. She wouldn't stop trying to grab him until she was pulled off stage. I wish I had seen that!!
|Interview by Dave Henninger
for Metal Meat Magazine