Billy Talent

By paul

Paul: Hello! Who am I speaking to and what do you do in Billy Talent?
Aaron: My name is Aaron. I play drums in Billy Talent.

Paul: Where in the world are you and what are you doing today?
Aaron: I’m home in Toronto. I’m just about to start packing for a month on the road.

Paul: You guys have recently put the finishing touches to your third album with Brendan O’Brien at the helm. What was the recording process like this time around? How did it compare to the recording sessions for albums I and II? Have you approached things any differently this time around? What was Brendan like to work with?
Aaron: Brendan was really great to work with. I’ve never met anyone more musical then him in my life. His approach to recording is completely different then anything we’ve done in the past. I got to track all my drums while Ian and Jon were playing in the room with me. This gives the songs a really live feel and we’ve wanting an album that sounds like this for so long.

Paul: Which songs are you proudest of/happiest with and why?
Aaron: Dead Can’t Testify and Diamond on a Landmine with Veronika a close third. I can’t wait to play these songs live.

Paul: What can we expect from Billy Talent III? How does is compare musically and lyrically to the last two albums? What experiences have shaped the songs or influenced the song-writing this time around?
Aaron: We all grew up in the early 90’s listening to bands like Soundgarden, Chili Peppers, and Rage Against the Machine. Brendan has worked with all those bands and when we got word that he was on board to record III we were excited to continue writing songs that were strongly influenced by those bands. The stuff coming out of Ian was very classic rock, blues and grunge all mixed together which was to coolest shit ever.

Paul: Is there any particular reason why you never gave your albums ‘proper’ titles?
Aaron: These albums are part of a trilogy.

Paul: You’ve created the website so fans can have an exclusive insight into the production of the album. Whose idea was that and how did it all come about? What else will you be adding to the site over the coming weeks?
Aaron: We ended up getting a lot of photos and video with our friend Dustin from the recording sessions. We thought it would be a good idea to get a bunch of stuff up from the recording sessions and that’s how came about. We will constantly be adding footage from those days in LA and Atlanta.

Paul: You’re over here doing a couple of dates before the Download festival – one at the Underworld in Camden and the other at the Academy 2 in Newcastle. What can we expect from those shows?
Aaron: Madness.

Paul: How do small shows such as those compare to playing massive festivals? Do you approach or prepare for big festival sets in a different way to say, a club show?
Aaron: Small venues are the best. It’s where we grew up and feel the most comfortable. We didn’t start playing the big stages of massive festivals until a couple years ago. Those are great as well. We just try to kill every show we play.

Paul: You’re back in the UK to headline the Lock-Up Stage at Reading & Leeds later this year. You’ve come a long way since being the newcomers in the Carling Tent back in ’03. What are your best memories of the Reading & Leeds festivals?
Aaron: Ha. We sucked so bad in the Carling Tent ’03. It was our first time in the UK and our first time at the Kerrang Awards. The guys in Sum 41 got us completely trashed the night before the show. I’ve never barfed that much in my life. I’m just glad I made it out of the van in time. Two old ladies witnessed the whole thing outside our hotel. Ah memories.

Paul: In the meantime, you’re hitting the road in the States with Rise Against & Anti-Flag – a band you recently recorded a song with. How did ‘Turn Your Back’ come about?
Aaron: We had just finished recording a demo of that song and were playing it for a couple people at GIAN. Anti-Flag were there and we let them check out the song. They really liked the song and the lyrics so we asked them so sing on it. My favorite version of Turn Your Back by far.

Paul: You’re known for being a band with explosive, energetic live shows. Have any of you ever gotten a bit too into it and done any damage to yourselves on stage?
Aaron: 17 stitches in the top of my head and 3 above my skull care of the bottom of Ben’s mic stand breaking off and flying across the stage. Come and say hi and I’ll show you my scar.

Paul: Ok well best of luck with the album and all the various tours and festivals you’re playing the next couple of months! Anything you’d like to add?
Aaron: Come by and say hi and I’ll show you my scar. Did I say that already?

Try these three interviews

Interview: Greywind [Reading 2016]

Interview: Arcane Roots [Reading 2016]

Interview: Trash Boat [Reading 2016]