Let Billy the Fridge Entertain You

Billy the Fridge

by Rasmus Rasmussen on February 8, 2011

Billy the Fridge and I met up at Blue Moon Burgers in Fremont, where they sell the Code Blue burger with two paddys, peanut butter and all kinds of goodness. It’s big and potent, just like Billy himself. A local boy, Billy the Fridge has competed in wrestling and competitive eating both – he proudly wears a doughnut around his neck, a prize from a Top Pot eating contest he won, but it’s as a rapper he truly shines. At heart he is an entertainer using music as his main outlet, but without limiting himself to that one arena.

Completely befitting the rap image, Billy the Fridge arrived with a small posse of friends in tow, but if you think there was any gangsta attitude, you’d be way wrong. Though it was obvious these guys like to goof around, there was also seriousness and thoughtful answers to my questions.

Billy the Fridge is half of the duo LBS who are just about to release their first album, a 7-track digital release with the title “Lunch Box Soldiers”. If you’d like to check out some of Billy’s music, check out his farewell to Seattle’s downtown peep-show place, Lusty Lady. Or click the links at the end of the interview.

AP: You refer to yourself as an entertainer, not necessarily a rapper or musician. How did you come to define this as an ambition, and how would you describe your particular brand of entertainment? Why do you entertain in the first place?

BTF: All my life I have been a huge person. Larger than life. You get stares from people. Strangers ogle you and you can look at it as negative attention, but I kind of see it as always being on stage. Always having an audience. If you’ve always got somebody watching you, you’ve always got that opportunity to make them laugh or make them smile or even take their breath away. I guess I call myself an entertainer over rapper or musician because the entertainer never turns off. I’ve got so many things I do to entertain, to call myself a rapper or a musician is almost misleading.

AP: What made you pick music as your main creative outlet? What makes it such a good fit for you? What do you take away from performing, compared to writing and recording?

BTF: Music picked me. Around 2000, I started recording some comedy skits and pranks at a local studio. The staff and artists became like family and I wanted to be part of everything. I took on jobs like graphic/web design and promotion, just trying to be a part of the team. As time passed by, I found myself doing guest appearances on albums. Then my own tracks for compilations. Then I realized I had enough material to release my own project. I would find myself on
stage performing in front of crowds and they wanted more and more. As an entertainer, I jumped at the opportunity. Performing is the real-time adrenaline rush of entertainment. Having hundreds of people watching your every move. It’s motivation to write and record more music for them to listen to.

AP: What is your creative process like? How do you get to a finished track from the initial idea? Where do your initial ideas typically come from? What happens from there?

BTF: I never really approach it with a direct method or formula. I constantly have ideas running in my head. Concepts, rhymes or melodies that come out depending on the piece of background music I have. I get a beat and I listen to it and I run through the ideas in my head, sometimes coming up with completely new ones in the process. Whatever idea makes the most sense with the music, I focus on… like if a certain melody just fits with a chorus or if some lyrics seem to fit perfectly with the feel of the beat. Sometimes the music just feels like pancakes or titties or Christmas to me and I need to meld my vocals around a concept. Then I just do my best to make it something listenable. I always have the audience in mind. I don’t want to be an artist that makes music for himself. I never want to lose sight of the audience.

AP: You’ve also been a wrestler and a competitive eater both of which combine entertainment with competition. What is that appeals to you about this? Are you a competitive person? How does it compare to making music, as a way to perform or entertain?

BTF: Wrestling was a childhood dream of mine. As an adult, I got to play it out and really enjoy myself. Do some traveling around Canada and the United States in the process. That was my first stab at entertainment. Competitive eating kind of found me too. A friend of mine in a band (The Saturday Knights) told me about this donut eating contest at Top Pot. I went in and kind of stole the show. I got offers after that to continue eating, thus a new outlet to entertain.

Anything you do can be an opportunity to entertain, just look at the guys at Pike Place Fish Market. They took something as simple as selling fish and turned it into a world famous spectacle. If you’ve got a crowd, then put on a show… anywhere. Everywhere.

For more, check Billy the Fridge’s website, follow @billythefridge on Twitter, find LBS on Bandcamp and if you are in the Seattle area on February 18, 2011 at 8pm, come to the official release of “Lunch Box Soldiers” at the Nectar Lounge.

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