‘Batteries Not Included’ (a.k.a. ‘B.N.I.’) have been around since 1993 or so. The band started off as a more metal orientated band with original drummer Tyrone with whom they recorded their first demo cassette ‘Unsolved’ in 1996 However, after guitarist Miguel (a.k.a. ‘Kinnie’) and bassist Malcolm (a.k.a. ‘Mammal’) came across a live version of Sham 69’s ‘If The Kids Are United’ they decided to cover it and, being impressed by the rawness and energy of the song’s style, decided that THIS was the way forward and immersed themselves in the history of punk rock. They, in fact, were the first Maltese punks to do this full time and launched a scene that survives and thrives until today.
From then on, driven solely by a strong urge for creating fun, fast and loud music, a kind of crossbreed between old school British punk and more recent styles, the band has been going steady.
B.N.I.’s music reflects a certain angst that is peculiarly Maltese, and has a musical and lyrical content that is not too serious or politically oriented. On the other hand, the band has tried to tackle (in its own way) the reality of everyday situations.
The well organised but wild gigs at ‘Dempsey’s Bar’, and the opening of ‘The Edge’ rock bar in Bugibba (Malta) helped them (and a number of other bands) gain further energy, which they let loose in the recording of their first album entitled ‘Native Tongue / Ilsien Pajjizi’
Apart from the release of this album and the demo cassette the band’s main achievement was one small innovation which is still gaining ground in the musical interests of today’s Maltese Punk bands: Punk Rock with Maltese lyrics. This was mainly down to the then drummer (‘Fish’) not speaking a word of English. ‘Fish’ later ‘found God’ and left the band. He began selling trinkets to the tourists in the Valletta town square. He then 'lost God', became good friends with Dave Goodman (Sex Pistols, The Professionals, etc.) who had moved to Malta and recorded a couple of albums of ravey, funky disco (!) until Goodman’s death in 2002.
In the meantime, since Fish had left B.N.I., all of the band’s recordings from then on were to be recorded in the more universally accepted English language.
Following the re-release of the ‘Native Tongue / Ilsien Pajjizi’ album (by Malta based Reciprocal Records) B.N.I. released a second album by the title of ‘Force Majeur’ in which they still put a strong emphasis on their crossover style Punk while fusing it with various Ska and Reggae elements. Recorded during April 2004 at Temple Studios and released 4 months later, this album gives off something of a more centred and honed style of Punk, thanks also to the arrival of a new drummer called 'John Doe' who didn’t stay the distance and now does time on a slab somewhere.
The next product of B.N.I.’s tireless efforts in the scene was their third album aptly named ‘On and On…’ which sports the rawness and energy of their first album mixed with the more polished song-writing style of ‘Force Majeur’. Recorded during June 2006 at Temple Studios, ‘On and on…’ is as loud as it gets, with Reggae and Ska still plainly leaving their influence on the band. This album was released on 1st December 2006 in some interesting and fun packaging that makes it look like a 7” vinyl sleeve. Since its release, Steve ‘Lombardo’ Attard has become the band’s new, excellent and hard-hitting drummer. With Steve, the band achieved a long held dream in performing gigs in the U.K. in April 2007 (at the Concrete Jungle festival) and September 2007 (the first U.K. Tour). They now plan, with help from Rockula (the band’s English manager) to have a second UK tour although current financial situations make this one 'up in the air' for the moment.
The guys are currently working on some new recordings towards the 4th album due this year (2009) and some 'dub' remixes of thier reggae stuff.
The lads are also planning a CD of re-recordings of some of the old songs with Steve now there to improve the drum sound and add some new dimensions to the mix.