Oyo Ellis and Greg Mairs were in their first hardcore band together, Battered Citizens, way back in the mid-'80s. Their latest band, Killer of Sheep, makes its official debut at the Smiling Moose Saturday -- but Ellis admits it's not exactly the same.
"I'm not even angry," Ellis says. "Anger isn't even a real thing to me anymore; it's just wasted emotion, something you feel because you don't know how to figure shit out for yourself."
That's not to say Killer of Sheep plays the sounds of resignation, though. The band, the lineup of which is rounded out by scene veterans Ollie McClellen and Keith Smallwood, plays aggressive, simple, classic hardcore.
"We'll destroy shit on stage," Ellis says. "We all put 100 percent into what we're doing.
"And people's phobias are gonna come out," he adds with a laugh. "You'll have several imposing black men yelling at you from the stage."
While Saturday's show with Acrassicauda is Killer of Sheep's first official show, the band's first record -- a 7-inch single called "Out of Time" -- is already sold out. (Sort of: Ellis notes that some of the presales are from distibutors.)
But that's how it goes when a band's members have been in some of the most notable punk and hardcore bands in Pittsburgh, from Battered Citizens through Submachine, Caustic Christ, Jumbo and Cast Out. Folks know what to expect -- in the best possible way.
Ellis says the band hopes to have two more singles released by the end of the year. And then?
"This is a youth culture, man. I'm old! I can't picture doing this for too long. I want to play this music, hopefully have an effect on some children out there, and get back out. Go back to being a father."