Michael Guzowski, lead singer and backup guitarist for the group, said the band got their name when they were partying at a bar in the city and a fed-up manager told them to leave the premises, stating that the boys were simply too far “beyond belligerent” for his establishment.
The band played its most recent show at the Knitting Factory in Williamsburg, Brooklyn on Friday, October 7, where they nearly packed the space with fans dancing and singing to their music, along with intermittently shouting friendly catcalls to the stage.
Beyond Belligerent demonstrated its ability to play riffs the crowd could hold on to, by alternating between slower and more upbeat songs, but keeping the energy in the venue at an intoxicating level.
The band also gave a shout out to drummer Joe Jensen’s grandmother, who attended the show on the day she turned 75, and subsequently received a room of excited Belligerent fans shouting good wishes in her direction.
In an interview after the show, Guzowski admitted to experiencing a recent heartbreak, which he channeled into his music in the band’s beginning days.
However, in recent months, “I started listening to more up-beat kind of music.
“I feel that if you’re a musician and you’re writing something and you don’t mean what you’re writing,” Guzowski said, “ it’s going to be heartless.”
His band mates expressed support for their singer, showing a bond they developed from growing up together in Queens.
“He definitely writes his feelings well,” said bassist Alex Rydzewski. “it’s not easy to write something like that.”
As for the music, Guzowski said he writes the lyrics and the chords of the group’s songs.
“I get the skeleton and they put the guts in,” he said.
The guts include a guitar rip in the song “What If I’m Right,” which showed off lead guitarist Mike Velante’s skills on his ES335 Gibson.
The band members described their sound as eclectic, overall.
“All of our influences come from different places, so it makes the sound an odd-good,” Guzowski said.
He said while he prefers acoustic sounds like that of John Mayer and Oasis, their drummer is influenced by Travis Barker of Blink 182, Rydzewski is more into reggae, and Velante loves the blues.
“I grew up playing along to B.B. King,” Velante said.
Until their next show, visit Facebook.com/BeyondBelligerent to hear some songs off their latest EP. However, Velante advised listeners to “have a few drinks” while doing so.