By Jef UK

V on Boiko, aka Boiko, aka Boiks, aka Bizoiko, aka The Bizoiko Bot.  Some call him, “Pete.”  Some even call him, “Peter,” which seems ridiculously formal to me.

AM/UK Live From Another Dimension is all his idea, soup to nuts, even the title, although I insisted on “from” instead of “in another dimension,” and of course JTR and I gave feedback as needed.  I made some ad hoc decisions about what songs we would feature on the night of the performance, also.   But Boiks recorded and mixed it, and tickles the synthetic ivories throughout.  Flagday and Cola had announced they needed to step back from the rock, and Von Boiko had the forsight and desire to record this (awesome) version of the band.  We were pretty well practiced-up already.  Plus, we even had a couple of new songs in latest version of the set.

(From my sketchbook–I think about Boiko too much)

Boiko and I work at a prestigious law firm in Manhattan.  Same office, even.  That’s where we met.  He’s probably the person I see more than any other.  We live in adjacent Brooklyn neighborhoods, so we’ll often be on the same train headed into the city in the morning, then 8 hours of office hijinks, and on the other side of the day, we’ll travel together home, talking about upcoming projects and whatnot.  I think we’re coming up with our own secret language, like identical twins.

I should have invited Von Boiko to be in the band a lot sooner than I did.  He’s been a godsend.   Boiko’s sonic presence makes us sound like I always wanted AM/UK to sound live.  But I didn’t know he was any good.  I knew he could drink, and that he was the most affable dude in the world, and even though he mentioned he could lay down some keys, I was suspicious of his abilities, I guess.  We had been palling around for a while, and he had seen AM/UK play at Southpaw way back in ’06, and after that, he started showing off some tracks that he had produced.  Hip hop.  Metal.  Carnival music.   Interesting stuff.  So we started working on a side project together and eventually, I wised up and asked him to play keys in the band.  He joined in the Zot/Early Cola days, and played at our Rocktronic release party, so in 2009.

Since then, he’s built up a nice studio in his apartment, and seems to bring a new toy on stage every time we play.

Besides working on AM/UK LIVE, he’s been staying busy otherwise, working on our aformentioned side project, along with co-writing and recording an EP that will be released alongside my graphic novel with artist Dennis Culver, titled Odd Schnozz and the Odd Squad,  from Oni Press (book) and Three If By Rock (music).  Boiko just produced and engineered an album by Chris Brown, aka, Emory Street, which saw release in early December.  And I recently had the pleasure of singing back-ups on his album Throwing Hands with his highschool band Forthright–which is a kickass, fun project:  hardcore metal and rap that only 17 year old kids from Jersey could pull off, reimagined over a decade later with better skills and tech.  It’s pretty rad.

(Forthright logo by Paul Ciaravino.)

Which brings our mutual friend Paul Ciaravino into the picture, who is the lead singer of Forthright, and Boiko’s childhood friend.  Because of Boiko, I met Paul, and Paul draws Americans UK the series–such that, Boiko first appeared in Americans UK the comic, before he was in the band!  We had a glimpse in to the future!!

(Art by Paul Ciaravino – see the resemblence to Boiks?)

Boiko was inexorably tied to the fate of Americans UK.  How could I have been so blind?

So there you go.  Another incomplete history.  You got a record to make?  Hit him up.  In the meantime, raise a glass on a job well done on AM/UK Live From Another Dimension.  Alright, on the count of three:  one, two, three–HAVE ANOTHER BEER, BOIKO!