Belushi Speed Ball's Tony Hazelip Talks New Album, Upcoming Shows, And The Dangers Of 'Serious' String

The band plays May 11 at Headliners Music Hall

May 8, 2024 at 12:05 pm
Belushi Speed Ball
Belushi Speed Ball Courtesy of BSP

Louisville’s own Belushi Speed Ball. Originally founded in 2013 as a studio project by singer and chief songwriter Vinny Castellano, the band shifted from the studio to the stage shortly thereafter. But it wasn’t until they teamed up with their mouthwash-swilling hapless manager Señor Diablo, (filmmaker and Louisville music scene documentarian Beau Kaelin), that the band went in a whole new direction by incorporating props and audience participation into their live shows.

Their brand of crossover thrash metal, which is influenced as much by old-school bands like Anthrax and GWAR as it is newer throwback bands like Toxic Holocaust and Municipal Waste, has been dubbed “pizza thrash” and was accurately described by MetalSucks as “a freakshow of blistering thrash dedicated to laughing its ass off at blistering thrash.”

Their live shows are legendary; each individually themed and has included everything from the band playing out of a Mad Max-esque moving van, a Terminator-inspired 300-person Nerf gun fight, to audience members wrestling in a baby pool filled with creamed corn. Known for throwing “trash” at the audience from the stage, (cardboard boxes, toilet paper, random thrift-store found items, etc), the band has developed a reputation for both trashing venues and meticulously cleaning them up after each performance. And their merch — which has included releasing entire albums on N64, SNES, and Gameboy Advanced game systems, reprogrammed Teddy Ruxpin and Furby that sing and dance along to their music, and singles literally released on Dunkaroos and slices of pizza — are far more creative, off-the-wall, and ultimately hilarious than any other band has ever thought to release. LEO recently caught up with bassist Tony Hazelip for a chat about their upcoming release Stellkira, album release show at Headliners Music Hall, and all things BSB.

LEO: So how did you get hooked up with Belushi Speed Ball?

Tony Hazelip: I met Vinny after the Louisville Is Dead fest in 2018 and asked if he wanted to jam. The other members of Speed Ball decided to move on to other projects, so instead of starting a new band, Vinny said we will just do Speed Ball 2. We wrote some stuff together, some of which ended up on Belushi Speed Ball Part 2 : The Frank Castle Picnic. I had to step out [of the band], but stayed close by in an unofficial capacity; being a goon sometimes and just a general rabble rouser until I started playing bass last year. 

What can we expect from the new album, Stellkira?

Ohhhhh boy, it’s a banger from top to bottom! There are some heavy duty tracks on it, and we finally got Jamison [Land - Belushi Speed Ball’s guitarist and former GWAR bassist] on there! 

What are some of your favorite songs on the new album, and what songs are you most looking forward to playing live for the first time?

“The Accountant’s Due (Stab the Katana),” that song slams sooooooo hard! “Griffith Did Literally Everything Wrong,” that song slaaaaaaaays! I can’t wait for Louisville to hear these tracks live May 11th at Headliners! 

What can we expect at the album release show?

We’re at home playing one of our favorite places to all of our favorite people...expect everything! 

What have been some of your favorite Belushi Speed Ball shows?

I loved the Kaiju days; packing into the back room and making the walls sweat. Once, BSB did a Groundhog Day show and played three of my favorite songs three times in a row! 

Have there ever been any items you’ve given out at a show that you all instantly regretted?

[Laughs] Yes, the serious string show was rough! This was a few years ago during what I call the Kaiju days when Speed Ball played there a lot, and they really would push the limits on some things. I forget what the theme was, but Kaiju said no silly string, so BSB brought out big balls of actual string and called it serious string. The show turned into a nightmare because everyone got tangled up and we were falling all over the place, and at that time the Speed Ball shows were already pretty chaotic. And we played Indy last October and went on late. It was the weekend before Halloween, so there was already fake blood on shit from the previous band Republikan Sexblanket. We threw out candy corn, which got smashed into the floor and was a biiiiiiitch to clean up! We had to scrape it off the floor. 

What piece of Belushi Speed Ball merch has been your favorite so far?

The pizza single — Vinny loves making them! 

Is there any piece of merch that you’re surprised actually sold?

[Laughs] The pizza single! 

I noticed you all are playing the Milwaukee Metalfest on the same day as Municipal Waste. If you get Municipal Waste to join you all on stage for “Ripping Off Municipal Waste”, would you still be, in fact, ripping off Municipal Waste at that point?

Yep, right to their face! [Laughs] Honestly, the feedback we’ve heard come down the line from Municipal Waste has been positive. We’d love for them to come up though! 

You’ve also got a show at the Obscene Extreme Festival in the Czech Republic in July, how did that come about, and will there be a European tour?

Vinny’s constant networking got us that one. As far as I know, it’s just gonna be that one show. 

How big are you all looking to make Belushi Speed Ball? Do you all want to keep it as kind of a weekend gig/short tour kind of thing, or are you all looking to make this a full-time, months on the road at a time kind of thing?


You’re also working on a new band, Facilitate. Tell us about that.

It started last summer when Vern [the singer] asked me to start a band. My response was “Do you have a drummer?” It was a yes, and we’ve been plugging away ever since. We have a show at Spinelli’s Downtown on June 6! It’s gonna be a baaaaanger! 

You’ve also been doing The Savage Wholigan podcast for quite a few years now, tell us about that.

I started the podcast with my best friend Adam Fish. After he passed away in 2022, I put it on hold until I felt like I could go it alone. Now I’m back, baby! So all you bands, artists and general weirdos beware; I wanna interview you! 

Finally, what kinds of plans does Belushi Speed Ball have coming up?

New Album out May 11 and shows, shows, shows! We’re hustling like never before — visiting new places and playing new festivals. Follow us on Spotify for the tunes and all the socials for tour updates, merch, and all things Belushi Speed Ball! 

Belushi Speed Ball’s new album “Stellkira” drops Friday, May 10 on all streaming platforms, and the album release show happens Saturday, May 11 at Headliners Music Hall. To purchase the new album and merch, check out For show information, check