By OnMilwaukee Staff Writers   Published Apr 17, 2003 at 5:10 AM

"Hopefully they'll enjoy it, for one, but we've found that even when you give people the lyrics ... they tend to put it in their own world and make it work for them." That's what Ken "kZB" Beiro says of what he hopes people will get out of music by his band, Atomic Number 9. "I think we all do that and that's one of the most beautiful aspects of music."

Don't get the wrong impression, though. He did use the word "beautiful" in the same sentence as music, but this band is anything but demure. The band's name itself comes from the most reactive and "highly corrosive, poisonous element" found on earth.

And where else do they get their influences?

"Everyday life and little bit o' Glenn Danzig," Beiro quips.

Starting to get the picture? In plain words, it's not the kind of music your mother listens to. But for those of you who need some tunes with a little bit of rock, a little bit of punk and a whole lot of rage, you'll find what your looking for in this local band.

The four-member group was formed in 1997 with roots in other local bands like Rust Belt, Man Bites Dog, Miss Trixie and Putrid Mass. And Beiro says that so far, the local scene in Milwaukee has been a pretty good gig.

"There is an incredible amount of talent in our music scene in general. There are bands in this city that are some of our favorite bands. We've been extremely fortunate to have seen and played with some awesome local groups," says Beiro. "I think that the heavy rock scene is like any other family. Maybe a tad more dysfunctional than most, but still a family."

The band has recorded two full-length CDs to date on their very own label, Sparkle Records. "Burn," released in 2002, combines still more combative riffs and pulsing undertones than the one before, 1998's "Aural Sex." And after taking some time to build their own studio and writing "constantly," Beiro says they hope to have a brand new CD out by fall 2003.

"We're always exploring different styles of music and different ways of expressing ourselves," says Beiro. "Whatever the case it's gotta have groove and get our blood pumping."


It's precisely that attempt to "think outside the box" that leads Beiro to contend that it doesn't necessarily take a hardcore rock fan to enjoy Atomic's music.

"I guess we just want you to take us in completely, without presumption or preconception ... Our music is obviously heavy but yet grooves. I think what sets it apart from the masses is its willingness and attempt to color outside the lines. We feel we can literally do anything musically if we want to and it'll still sound like an Atomic Number 9 song."

With a record label company, two strong CDs and six years of experience under its belt, it'll take a pretty sweet deal to get the Milwaukee outta this band.

"It would take a lot to dig us out of Brewtown. If someone wants to throw us on a label, sign us to a big, fatty, no-strings-attached contract, put us on an arena tour in a big bus with a built-in bowling alley, hot tub and free-flowing tapper, maybe we'll consider it," says Beiro. "But until then, we're just gonna jam it up, local style."

You can catch Atomic Number 9 next at the Funky 420 Metal Meltdown show at Vnuks with Rictus Grin, I Decline, Blackwater, Play Dead and Putridissentary on Fri., April 18. Doors open at 7 p.m. and bands start at 8 p.m. Vnuk's is located at 5036 S. Packard Ave.