What makes Ben Katzman’s Degreaser so great is not just their rok, but their Rok Philosophy, and Rok therapy. Rok n’ Rol Community College is one of my favorite songs. It’s about total disillusionment with community art school or music school programs. What do you do when the very place that should encourage you to master you craft tears you down? According to Ben Katzman, you rock…even harder. Ben Katzman’s music is about rocking through the hard shit life throws at you. Too old for Retail is another example of this. Everyone has been screwed over by their boss, worked too hard for too little. Many have found themselves seeking permission to have fun because they feel guilty when they do. Katzman’s music not only encourages chillin’ hard after working hard, it shows you how to rok out during the grind as well.
Ben Katzman brings back a showmanship similar to Diamond Dave while maintaining his originality. This is something we lost in eighties rock and I’m so glad to see it coming back! Rock never stopped being cool, but Degreaser brings everything that is fun about rock back. Seeing them live can only be described as that one scene in Back to The Future where Marty McFly breaks into his parent’s prom and shreds Johnny Be Goode. McFly time travels into the past and plays the song before Chuck did people think he wrote it. This is similar to the way Ben Katzman and his band bring back the religion of rock, particularly the uplifting kind. Although Degreaser did not invent the art of shredding, they are stewards of it. Their music is less about giving you something to believe in and getting you to believe in yourself. It’s fucking great. Kindness is Hot is a song that should be played everywhere. Kindness is hot should be played in DIY punk shows, churches, elementary schools, and strip clubs. Spread that shit like peanut butter to the ends of the earth! Ben Katzman’s Degreaser makes for a nicer, cooler world where we can all “chill mad hard, 2gether.” How can we do this you ask? Here are some guidelines from the band.
“Commandments of ROK"
1. Thou must always rok hard
2.Thou must shred from dusk ‘til dawn
3. Thou must not worship any idols, except Billy
4. Cool points don’t pay the rent
5. Thou must chill hard every day
6. Thou must sub beef for bean at Taco Bell
7. What goes around comes around, SO BE CHILL
8. Thou must work hard to chill hard
9. Diamond Dave Every day
10. "KOOL IS THE ROOL”
Their passion for shredding comes from a pure place. “I want to make it. Don’t get me wrong. But I feel like a lot of times- I’ve definitely been guilty of it in this lifetime. All the sudden you decide ‘Alright! We’re going to make it’ and you start looking at what you don’t have, and then it stops being fun.” (Ben Katzman – 5/26/18)
Don’t forget to check out their new single “Chill Position” linked below.
Don't click below if you want to hear an interview with Ben.