Ben Katzman's DeGreaser Premieres New Video for "Kool Is the Rool"

Quick, what do shredding, the Surfside Publix, tacos, and Wynwood have in common? If you answered “the new video from Ben Katzman's DeGreaser, silly,” you'd be right on the money. For those seeking a heady dose of fist-pumping garage jams, look no further than this fuzzed-out ode to stickin' to your guns, soulfully delivered by South Florida native Katzman himself.

For the uninitiated, Katzman runs his own rock label, BUFU Records, from head to toe. That means he's a curator, show booker, social-media expert, and record distributor – and, oh yeah, he's been known to write a gnarly riff or two. When he's not putting out records by the likes of Japanther, Tall Juan, or the Lemons, he's shredding and wailing for his own amp-melting garage-glam outfit, DeGreaser.

Katzman recently spent the summer holed up writing a new record, Venus in Pisces. It's about, in his words, “the journey from sad boy to bad boy.” And he gave us the exclusive premiere of the video for his new single, “Kool Is the Rool."
Asked to describe his label's vision, Katzman fires up immediately. “It's like the rock soundtrack to '90s Nickelodeon,” he says. Suddenly, the zany, weirdly fun records he puts out start to fall into context. His own project slots up nicely with the laid-back attitude he's crafted at BUFU. As he puts it, “DeGreaser is like the basement-glam version of Grease.”

One look at the new video should solidify that notion in everyone's minds. In it, a jean-jacket-clad Katzman pushes his amp around Wynwood, chills hard in various East Coast locales, and joins his band to jam nonchalantly by the beach. Shot by Andrew Gibson, veteran videographer for Allston Pudding (a popular Boston music blog), there's sunny scenery and good vibes in abundance. “Kool is the rool/hey baby, you just gotta be you,” Katzman emotes on the chorus. The track's freewheeling attitude is contagious.

But the genesis of Venus in Pisces wasn't always so cheery. The new record is the result of a breakup and the necessary struggle Katzman went through to rid himself of the toxic baggage that ensued. He recorded the album in his hometown of Miami during the transitional period that followed. The resultant work is more of an opus than anything DeGreaser has put out yet. “I've never really spent a whole year writing a record like that,” he says. “I realized the only way to get over it was to shred my feelings.”

If you want to link up with Katzman in person, you'd do well to find yourself at DeGreaser's next Miami gig at the Suite 206 warehouse in Wynwood. DeGreaser will take the stage alongside Viceroi and local faves Bruiser and the Gun Hoes to belt out its cathartic, chill tunes.

How would Katzman himself describe the shindig? “It's gonna be like kiss spelled backwards – ssik.”

Ben Katzman's DeGreaser with Viceroi, Bruiser,  and the Gun Hoes. 10 p.m. Friday, November 27, at Suite 206, 164 NW 20th St., Miami. Admission is free.
KEEP MIAMI NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started Miami New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Miami, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
David Bennett