Hailing from Mississauga, Ontario, Billy Talent is one of the most popular bands in Canada. Forming in 1993, The group has enjoyed the same lineup over the years that includes Benjamin Kowalewicz on lead vocals, Jon Gallant on bass, Ian D’Sar on lead guitar, and Aaron Solowoniuk on drums, although Aaron has recently been sidelined flare-ups of multiple sclerosis (MS). Currently, Jordan Hastings is filling in for Aaron on drums when Billy Talent is touring.
Billy Talent Rise to Prominence
The band originally met at the Our Lady of Mount Carmel Secondary School and formed under the name of Pezz. From their inception in 1993 until 2001, Pezz was a big player in Toronto’s underground indie music circuit, but they found little success outside. When it was discovered that another band had rights to the name “Pezz”, they changed their band name to “Billy Talent”.
At that point, Kowalewicz made a fortuitous connection with Warner Music Canada thanks to an employee in their A&R department. Billy Talent quickly landed a record deal helped launch their success. Their first album, the self-titled “Billy Talent” showed off the more aggressive, punk-oriented direction the band was taking and the result was a big hit. The album sported the hit singles, “Try Honesty”, “River Below”, “The Ex”, and “Nothing to Lose”.
In 2005, “Billy Talent II” was released and featured a less aggressive stance, but it still was a substantial hit in Europe and Canada where it made its debut at number one. The band subsequently went on a 20-month tour around the world as the group performed with other punk and hard rock bands. The long tour managed to help the band write enough new songs for the 2009 release of “Billy Talent III”. At this point, the MS which was affecting Aaron Solowoniuk was not at the stage where it hurt his performing skills. The band went out on another long tour in support of their third release.
It was not until August of 2012 that the band released their fourth album, “Dead Silence” which broke from the self-titled numbered approach of the past. The album spawned significant singles, “Viking Death March” and “Surprise” and was naturally followed by another tour. In 2014, Billy Talent released a greatest hits collection called “Hits” which included two new songs, one of which was “Kingdom of Zod” that garnered considerable attention.
Billy Talent Current Tours
Billy Talent has recently released Afraid of Heights along with the eponymous single from the album. Recently, they were tagged recently to be the opening band for the current Guns ‘n Roses tour when it made their one stop in Canada. Billy Talent is now touring Australia and Japan on their own without drummer Aaron Solowoniuk who is suffering from MS.
The unique, hard-driving sound of Billy Talent has made them huge stars in Canada. Today, the band has made five studio albums along with a collection of greatest hits. While they have yet to experience that type of success in the US, they are still pushing themselves to reach new frontiers.
Billy Talent in Niagara Falls
Billy Talent will be coming to the Rapids Theatre in Niagara Falls New York for one evening only, September 9th 2016. While in town for the concert stay at the #1 rated TripAdvisor Fallsview Hotel, the Marriott Fallsview Hotel & Spa. For our best rates view our: