By Karee Vann 1st Block Final Project BILLY TALENT
Who is Billy Talent? NAME: Billy Talent (as of 2001) GENRE: Punk Rock/Canadian Rock/Post-Hardcore/Rock BAND MEMBERS: Benjamin Kowalewicz (vocals) Ian D’Sa (guitar) Jon Gallant (bass) Aaron Solowoniuk (drums) BAND ORIGINS: Between Meadowvale and Streetsville of Mississauga, Ontario, Canada. CURRENT ALBUM: Billy Talent III (2009) INFLUENCES: Influences include The Clash, Buzzcocks, Jane’s Addiction, Rage against the Machine, Fugazi, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Refused, and At the Drive-In. SIMILAR ARTISTS: Include Harvey Danger, Senses Fail, From First to Last, The Living End, Saosin, The Offspring, Thursday, Sum 41, Good Charlotte, Rise Against, The Gamits, My Chemical Romance, Reuben, Inward Eye, and Social Code. FOLLOWERS: Include The Explicits.
How Did they Come Together? Kowalewicz and Gallant were part of the band “To Each His Own” at first, Kowalewicz, who eventually moved up to vocals, on drums and Gallant, who later replaced Kowalewicz on the drums, on bass. After joining up with Solowoniuk, they applied for their school’s talent show, where they met D’Sa, currently part of the band “Dragonflower”, back stage. They band together for a short while under the name “The Other One”, eventually changing the name to “Pezz”, who they came to be known as. Until 1999.
BAND MEMBERINFORMATION Name: Benjamin Ian Kowalewicz Role in the Band: Lead Vocals Birthday: December 16, 1974 Instruments: Can play Drums and Guitar. Education: Our Lady of Mount Carmel Secondary School Relationship Status: In a relationship Children?: None Band History: To Each His Own, The Other One, Pezz, Billy Talent
BAND MEMBERINFORMATION Name: Jonathan Eric Gallant Role in the Band: Bass, back up Vocals Birthday: July 23, 1976 Instruments: Bass, Guitar Education: Our Lady of Mount Carmel Secondary School, Humber College Relationship Status: Married Children?: Yes, son, Xavier Jeffrey Gallant Band History: To Each His Own, The Other One, Pezz, Billy Talent
BAND MEMBERINFORMATION Name: Ian Michael D’Sa Role in the Band: Guitar, back up Vocals Birthday: October 30, 1975 Instruments: Guitar Education: Our Lady of Mount Carmel Secondary School Relationship Status: In a relationship Children?: None Band History: Dragonflower, The Other One, Pezz, Billy Talent
BAND MEMBERINFORMATION Name: Aaron Solowoniuk Role in the Band: Drums Birthday: November 21, 1973 Instruments: drums, percussion, Pearl ‘Masters’, Sabian Education: Our Lady of Mount Carmel Secondary School Relationship Status: Married Children?: Yes, daughter named Willow Band History: To Each His Own, The Other One, Pezz, Billy Talent
The Canadian PEZZ “Pezz” lasted them until 1999, which, during the time they were called such, they had released one album and two demos. The first demo, Demoluca released in July of 1994, their second soon after, Dudebox, in January of 1995, and then their first full-length album, “Watoosh!” in 1998. “Canadian Pezz” ended in 1999 due to legal trouble with the Memphis Tennessee Punk Band. “American Pezz” had released their first recording under that name in 1990, and their first full-length in 1995. Management for “Canadian Pezz” threatened a lawsuit and sued $5000 from BYO Records in Los Angeles from the American Pezz. Lawsuit was dropped and in 2001, the Canadian “Canadian Pezz” dubbed themselves “Billy Talent”.
DEMOLUCA Released in July of 1994 Tracks included: “Free At Last” and “Just A Thought” Called such after a friend, Jason Deluca. Released in January of 1995 Tracks included: “Dudebox” and “Turner” Called such after a friend, Dave Tedesco, had stopped by during recording. DUDEBOX
FIRST ALBUM!!! WATOOSH!, recorded at Great Big Music, was released in 1998. Didn’t reach mainstream sells due to Canadian Pezz’s popularity in Toronto’s independent record scene. Tracks included: “M&M”, “Fairytale”, “Nita”, “Mother’s Native Instrument”, “Bird In Basement”, “Recap”, “When I Was A Little Girl”, “Warmth of Windows”, “Square Root Of Me”, “Absorbed”, and “New Orleans Is Sinking”.
WATOOSH! MUSIC SAMPLE SONG: “NITA” GENRE: PUNK ROCK/ CANADIAN ROCK ARTIST: PEZZ YEAR: 1998
Where Did The Name “Billy Talent” Come From? After ending their journey as “Pezz”, Kowalewicz and friends dubbed themselves “Billy Talent” in 2001, the name coming from the guitarist in the book Hard Core Logo by Michael Turner. They have released four albums to date under that name: Billy Talent, Billy Talent II, Billy Talent III, and Billy Talent: 666 Live, along with two deluxe albums: Billy Talent III Deluxe Edition and Billy Talent: 666 Live Deluxe.
BILLY TALENT Music Sample SONG: “TRY HONESTY” ALBUM: BILLY TALENT GENRE: PUNK ROCK/ CANADIAN ROCK ARTIST: BILLY TALENT YEAR: 2003
Discography Demoluca (Demo) – Unknown – 1994 Dudebox (Demo) – Unknown – 1995 Watoosh! – Atlantic – 1998 Try Honesty EP – Self Released – 2001 Try Honesty / Living In The Shadows (Single) – Atlantic – 2003 Billy Talent – Atlantic – 2003 The Ex (Single) – Atlantic – 2003 River Below (Single) – Atlantic – 2004 Devil In A Midnight Mass (Single) – Atlantic – 2006 Red Flag (Single) – Atlantic – 2006 Fallen Leaves (Single) – Atlantic – 2006 Billy Talent II – Atlantic – 2006 Surrender (Single Promo) – Atlantic – 2007 Billy Talent 666 Live – WEA, WEA – 2007 Surrender (Single Promo) – Atlantic – 2007 Billy Talent III – Warner Music Canada – 2009 Devil On My Shoulder (Single, Promo) – Warner Music Canada – 2009 Rusted From The Rain (Single, Promo) – WEA - 2009
Works Cited Information was taken from the following websites: Discogs.com TrueKnowledge.com Auth.Grolier.Com Infotrac.galegroup.com Infoweb.newsbank.com BillyTalent.com FaceBook.com [their OFFICIAL pages] Answers.com Thetabworld.com