Billy Talent hits the road

Jess Buick, Contributor Ω

Once again Billy Talent is hitting the road. With Sept. 11, 2012 marking the release of new album Dead Silence the band begun touring to support it and is currently on the final Canadian leg of the 11-month Dead Silence Tour.

When Billy Talent takes the stage in Kamloops on March 16, Sum 41, Hollerado and Indian Handcrafts will be backing them up. Essentially this will be a “Canadian pride” tour.

Ian D’sa, Billy Talent’s guitarist, spoke about the tour and Dead Silence, which he produced.

“We really try to bring out great bands on tour with us,” D’Sa said. “We feel that bringing out up-and-coming bands with us on tour, we help further their careers as musicians.”

Sum 41 took Billy Talent on tour 10 years ago when the band was just starting out and building a reputation.

“The bands that tour with us are all people we have met and bonded with in the past and it makes touring more fun,” D’Sa said.

It’s been a while since Billy Talent has hit the road and the group is looking forward to lighting up audiences with the new album.

“We’re so excited to be hitting the road in Canada once again,” D’Sa said.

The decision to call this album Dead Silence was mutually agreed upon by the band as they wanted to move away from the previous three album titles which were simply Billy Talent, Billy Talent II and Billy Talent III. “Dead Silence” is also the last track on the album and the band felt it went with the theme of the album artwork, which was created by artist Ken Styles. The cover features an underwater city and circling sharks with a man in a telephone booth in the centre, inspiring hope.

D’Sa also produced this record and said it’s always an interesting and new approach to making a record. The band can collaborate more and find a specific sound to stick to.

“With this record we moved away from the sound of III, which was a little more dark,” D’Sa said. “We went back to more of a punk sound on Dead Silence.”

Billy Talent took time to make this album, criss-crossing Canada to record the 14-song album, making this the longest Billy Talent album (by number of songs and length of time).

“We got a chance to do our own thing,” D’Sa said. “We did the recording on the drums at the Armoury studio in Vancouver, bass and guitar at Noble Street Studio in Toronto and did vocals in our own studio.”

Started in 1993, Billy Talent has been going strong for almost 20 years, originally known as Pezz. The group changed its name to Billy Talent in 1999 and gained success with its first full-length album, Billy Talent, in 2003. As Billy Talent, the band has become incredibly successful with 17 Juno Award nominations and seven wins.

“We have a mutual respect for one another,” D’Sa said of his band mates. “We’ve become brothers and we have a common love for making music.”

During this 20-stop tour, the guys will be hitting some smaller towns around Canada such as Red Deer and Moncton.

“When the first record came out, we only hit major cities and now that we’ve established more of a name and more people know about us, we like to go to smaller cities like Dawson Creek and Fort McMurray because it gives our fans a chance to see us in a place that doesn’t necessarily get any big shows,” D’Sa said.