Rat Piss guitarist Brayden Conrad plays heavy chords while Rat Piss drummer Portugal keeps the fast-paced tempo of the song going at their final show. (Photo by Adin Parks)

Local rock band Rat Piss rebirths as Black Forces

Guitar riffs and screams filled the Molotov Skateshop garage as it hosted the final send-off for Bowling Green punk rock band, Rat Piss, before the band changed its name to Black Forces. Its first show under their new name will be this month at Portal in Louisville.

Black Forces’ members include drummer and Molotov Shop owner Michael Portugal; guitarist and freelance musician Brayden Conrad; bassist and barista Matt McNally; and lyricist, vocalist and mixed martial arts fighter Derik Overstreet. Following the name change, guitarist and Music Production Centre player Dallas Hurst joined the band. 

Rat Piss performs their final show to a packed out house on Saturday, Oct. 14 at Molotov Skateshop in Bowling Green. The band chose to rename themselves after adding another member to the collective, thus ending the era of Rat Piss and embracing a new beginning as Black Forces. (Photo by Adin Parks)

Rat Piss was originally formed when Overstreet and Portugal met at a local protest organized by Bowling Green For Peace. Through these events, Portugal and Overstreet decided to start a band. 


The band first performed in early 2022. Since then, Rat Piss has put on shows in cities such as Paducah, Lexington and Louisville.

Their final concert at Molotov Skateshop featured performances from Dismal, Super Shotgun and Dru Drifter. It included songs from their 2022 album, “It Only Gets Worse”.

“It Only Gets Worse” features songs like “Friends” and “Flag Waiver”. Conrad said that Rat Piss’ musical sound was instrumental, and the band experimented with heavy vocals.

Nathaniel, the lead singer for the Lexington band Dismal, screams into the microphone in tribute to Rat Piss’ last show at Molotov Skateshop on Saturday, Oct. 14. Dismal was one of three bands that opened for Rat Piss and put on a show for the packed house. (Photo by Adin Parks)
The lead singer of the band Super Shotgun hands off the mic to the crowd before getting into the mosh pit during Rat Piss’ final concert at Molotov Skateshop on Saturday, Oct. 14. Super Shotgun was one of three openers for Rat Piss, paying homage to the band that made history in Bowling Green. (Photo by Adin Parks)

However, the band members decided their branding needed to change. Overstreet felt that under the name “Rat Piss,” the band wasn’t being taken seriously. 

“I talk about some heavy topics in my lyrics,” Overstreet said. “I feel like the overall message was being lost.” 

The band has created a community that takes a creative stand for human rights in America. “Friends” and “Flag Waiver” discuss topics such as race, sexuality and politics.

When it comes to what human rights the band stands for, Portugal said it would be easier to describe what they don’t stand for.

“We live in the South. It’s riddled with racism, bigots, homophobia and a lot of injustice,” Portugal said.

A woman dances in the mosh pit to the band Dismal’s heavy beats during Rat Piss’ final show at Molotov Skateshop on Saturday, Oct. 14. Many people joined in the mosh pit throughout the night in tribute to Rat Piss. (Photo by Adin Parks)

Portugal said attendees and visitors will not find this behavior when they come to a concert or to the Molotov Skateshop. Portugal said they are looking forward to hosting more live shows at Molotov Skateshop and in different cities. 

“I care way more about the live shows than anything we put out recording wise,” Overstreet said. 


Rat Piss’ music inspired concert attendees to sing along and join in mosh pits, where dancers moshed, an extreme style of dancing where dancers push or slam into each other. At the October show, band members frequently joined in the pit, creating an interactive experience for concertgoers.

Chaos erupts in the mosh pit as Rat Piss guitarist Brayden Conrad hits a heavy note in a chorus of their final show. The collective urged everyone to join the mosh pit to celebrate the death of the band, which caused people to fall down, but they were instantly helped up by the people around them. (Photo by Adin Parks)

Despite renaming, Portugal said they will continue to make music that reflects their stance on human rights. When asked if the sound of the music is changing, Overstreet described that it will focus more on “powerviolence.” 

“Rat Piss had a lot more doom sound, like a lot more buildup,” Conrad said. “Black Forces just doesn’t have that.”  

Overstreet said that powerviolence takes the more directly abrasive and dissonant aspects of heavy punk and isolates them. He said that they want their music to reflect the message in the songs. 

“We’re switching from upset to anger,” Overstreet said. “Because if you can’t have anger, then you can’t have action.”

Derik Overstreet, the lead singer of Rat Piss, screams into the mic to pump energy into the mosh pit to continue the final show of the band’s career on Saturday, Oct. 14 at Molotov Skateshop in Bowling Green. (Photo by Adin Parks)

Overstreet said that he did not expect Rat Piss to end up like this. When it comes to having advice for people wanting to start a band, Overstreet said to just do it. 

“You gotta be prepared to suck at something,” Conrad said. “It doesn’t matter where you start at; it matters how good you get.”

Newly formed band Black Forces, formerly Rat Piss, poses outside the venue Molotov Skateshop after ending their era with a final show as “Rat Piss” on Saturday, Oct. 14. (Photo by Adin Parks)

Black Forces will hold a concert at Portal in Louisville on Friday, Nov. 17.