new album release Sept 22nd
Billy Talent III
from the album - Rusted From The Rain
YouTube - Billy Talent Rusted from the Rain Official Video HQ
Billy Talent (formerly known as Pezz) are a Juno award-winning Canadian band formed in 1993 in Streetsville, Ontario. The band consists of Ben Kowalewicz (lead vocals), Ian D'Sa (lead guitar and backing vocals), Jon Gallant (bass guitar and backing vocalist) and Aaron Solowoniuk (drums and percussion).
The band existed for almost a decade before mainstream success. The members met and played in high school under the name Pezz and remained underground in Toronto's indie music scene until 2001. The band renamed itself Billy Talent after running into legal trouble with the old name. It was then that Kowalewicz's connection with a worker in Warner Music Canada's A&R landed the band a record deal and launched them into mainstream success. Since then, Billy Talent has made two multi-platinum records in Canada, and continues to expand their success overseas, this included touring for 20 months supporting their third album. They released their fourth album Billy Talent III on July 14, 2009.
Musical style and influences
Watoosh! saw the band mixing multiple genres and making diverse songs on the same album, stretching from hip hop to indie and ska. However, this evolved into a more collected sound that was a mix of fewer genres on their second album, Billy Talent. The result of this has been described by the band as a their defining sound and that it was something that appeared to them after experimenting with different styles. Although they intended not to draw any inspiration from other bands, their new sound had similarities to the music of Refused, Rage Against the Machine, Jane's Addiction and Fugazi, bands that they have said they have great respect for. The similarities were especially related to a lighter post-hardcore genre and the music of Refused and At the Drive-In, but also the anger and hard rock from Rage Against the Machine as well as punk rock and the "Johnny Rotten-esque" stage presence and howls by the vocalist, Ben Kowalewicz. This, as well as the use of fast drum beats, ongoing guitar and bass riffs and a sound that has been described as "in-your-face" and "fist-in-the-air rock 'n roll", have made the critics address them as punk rock revivalists.
“ We were really influenced by punk rock, rock and roll, hip hop and reggae, and punk bands like The Clash, the Pistols, the Buzzcocks and later on Fugazi. There has definitely been some punk bands that have influenced us. ”
—Benjamin Kowalewicz, interview on Norwegian radio program, Pyro
Although there are faint similarities to their music, their mix and innovation of genres have made them unique and pioneering in the modern music scene. There are raw and frequent backup vocals heavily collaborated by main vocals, quick changes between loud and quiet, tempo changes and Kowalewicz's characteristic vocals which are the key elements that emphasize that assertion. In addition to this, they are known for their significant usage of the dropped D tuning (DADGBe), and a vast majority of their songs are in the D Minor Key.
On Billy Talent II, the band altered their sound yet again, based on more mid-tempo and emotional compositions; a bit more collected than their previous work. It was also based on far less angst and aggression behind the production, something that was known factors behind their debut. While this change was apparent on many of the songs, they kept the hints of hard rock, but with less screaming and more singing by Ben. "This Suffering" in particular shows the alteration because of its reminiscence of their previous album and difference from the other songs on the album.
As they grew on to be a mainstream rock band in several countries, played songs with intense vocals and emotional lyrics, often wore black clothes and grew a fanbase as such, they've been said to be related to the emo music scene, but this has never been convincingly reasoned for. The band has commented on this issue, stating that this characterization is ridiculous and that they have no connection whatsoever to the typical emo scene.
Benjamin Kowalewicz - lead vocals (1993–present)
Ian D'Sa - lead guitar, vocals (1993–present)
Jonathan Gallant - bass guitar, backing vocals (1993–present)
Aaron Solowoniuk - drums, percussion (1993–present)
Billy Talent has received a significant amount of recognition in Canada, winning six awards from 25 nominations at the MuchMusic Video Awards and six awards from twelve nominations at the Juno Awards. The band has also been nominated at the MuchMusic Video Awards every year since 2004. Overall, Billy Talent has received sixteen awards from 42 nominations.
Billy Talent (2003)
Billy Talent II (2006)
666 Live (2007)
Billy Talent III (2009)