Artists Unamped with Biff K’narly and the Reptilians

Cover album of recent single “Take Me Under” with Biff and his bandmates. Art by Myles McGrady.

Cover album of recent single “Take Me Under” with Biff and his bandmates. Art by Myles McGrady.

Meet Michael, aka Biff, the cat dad, vocalist, musician, inspiring rock god, future founder of Rock 101 and the current over-ruler of Biff K’narly and the Reptilians. He welcomed me into his home to let me pick his brain and dive into his childhood. We started at 7-year-old Michael's first concert, Billy Ray Cyrus, whose achy breaky heart reached out to his, thus beginning his love for music.

Five years later, Nirvana entered his soul, encouraging him to pick up his first guitar. Unfortunately, traditional ways of learning are boring and bloody fingers will pissed him off. After a two year on-and-off relationship, he put the guitar in his arms again, falling back in love. This time, he searched inside to find a teacher within himself, experimenting and exploring notes.

The next chapter truly began when he became a creator.
As we watched his 14-year-old self, he said. “I can remember the feeling of creating your first melody, it’s mind-blowing.”

Plugging in the amp sent him breaking through the next level. Advancing with the music, we found ourselves at his old high school where he played in Rock Offs. Oh, so obviously named, Cock Offs. Blasting his sick nasty tunes earned him the name Biff K’narly, the myth, the man, the legend.

Art by Myles McGrady.

Art by Myles McGrady.

Biff then continued to follow his dreams. "I just always wanted to take a van and adventure around and see where life took me," he said. Sure enough, it brought him to southern California in 2011, where he realized that his passion for playing music could be a carrier for him — profitable enough for him to live off. Playing on the Cali streets could bring him $200 a night, which he did for about a year.

Now, back in Alton, Ill., he dreams of one day teaching a music class for children, introducing them to the basics to use for their own liking, like Rock 101; and yes, you can imagine it just like “School of Rock.”

By his own will to influence his life toward his goals and determination, I know Biff will make dreams a reality once again, proving that dreams really do come true. When you believe in the power within you, you reach beyond just simply believing in yourself. You begin to understand the acceptance that you are your own higher power of your life, and I believe that when you start to use that theory, you begin to open many doors that never existed before.

After shooting the shit for a couple of hours, I realized not only how incredibly talented and passionate he is for music, but also how in touch he is with his own visions. His love and determination flows into the music he creates. Listeners are able to hear his emotions in each cord as he shares his soul.

By Elizabeth Ames