Canadian punk rock band Billy Talent have just release their 4th full length album, titled ‘III’ via Warner Bros. Lead singer Benjamin Kowalewicz was kind enough to answer a few questions for me via email…
You guys just released III, after 3 years, what was the recording/writing process like since being on the road for that long?
We toured for 18 months on the second record and we needed to take a little bit of time off to recharge the batteries…we never rush the writing process…we believe it takes as long as it takes and we don’t try to force it…you want to write songs from the heart and to fit corporate deadlines
III was leaked onto the internet a few weeks before the actual release date (July 14th), how do you guys feel about that/downloading as a whole?
I’m on the fence about it…I think for new bands that are just starting out it’s a very good tool to get your name out but I think it has it’s downfalls when like in our situation that someone takes it upon themselves to leak and it ruins the surprise to the fans
What kind of bands influenced you growing up as a kid?
Nirvana, Chilli Peppers, Pearl Jam, Rage, The Police, Rancid
I first heard about you guys when I was in Canada and I was watching the Much Music awards back in 2004, since then I’ve been a pretty big fan and enjoyed everything you’ve put out, I’d always sing the words without knowing them and they’d be a bunch of grumbled words. 2 years ago you released 666 Live, which was a DVD/CD release with a live set from Dusseldorf and two shows from Rock am Ring and The Brixton Academy, what was the experience like doing those two huge shows in front of thousands of people?
It’s better than any drug in the world
Do you enjoy the larger shows more than the small shows in clubs?
I like both…the big festivals are great because you get to play outside in fresh air with a ton of other bands that you may love or want to see but small clubs are fun when it’s hot and down and dirty!
Back to touring, what has been your favourite band to play with and your most memorable moment over the years?
Too many to chose from…we’re currently on tour with Rise Against and Rancid and it’s pretty amazing!
You guys are known for having a pretty unique vocal style and a pretty heavy stage presence, knowing that more often you’d be critiqued by how you sound and how you act on stage, how have you been able to keep a level head about what people say about you as a band?
We play music to play music…some people like us and some people don’t we play for the ones that do!
You’re currently on the III tour, which goes until the end of August, what are your plans after the tour finishes?
We are going across the States in Sept then off to Europe in October.
Can we expect to see you back on our soil?
Yes hopefully sooner than later…I miss OZ already.
Finally, 5 quick questions…
Iron Maiden or Metallica?
Tim Hortons or Starbucks?
Favourite bands to play with live?
Favourite way to kill time on tour?
Ipod – movies.
Any parting words?
Don’t eat yellow snow
Billy Talent‘s new album ‘III‘ is out now via Warner Bros. For more info on the band head to their Myspace page.