BoftD Interview (2006)
For a band like Billy Talent, the sophomore jinx is something that’s anything but real. Their second album, simply entitled “II”, was released on June 27th and has been receiving almost nothing but acclaim from fans and critics alike. On Canada Day, the band headlined this year’s Foxfest here in Vancouver where Band of the Day met guitarist Ian D’Sa and bassist Jon Gallant for a quick…
10 Questions with Billy Talent- by Mattias and Dave-Os -
1. Your band has won a lot of awards, including some Juno’s and MMVA’s. What do you think has been your biggest accomplishment as Billy Talent?
J: For me, it’s just the fact that we get to do this all the time. It’s our life now.
I: One of the biggest accomplishments, for me? We just played a MuchMusic Intimate & Interactive in their parking lot and we all lived in Toronto at one point. When I was younger, I used to live downtown and used to go see I&I when they had them in the parking lot. It kind of hit home. It was really cool to be able to play in the parking lot that I used to walk by everyday to go to school.
2. Your new album was leaked on the internet a week before it was released. How do you guys feel about that?
I: It’s bound to happen, and we really don’t care about it.
J: Yeah, we were pretty happy that it lasted into June.
I: If it was like two months earlier, it would be a different story. But even then, fans that we haven’t made yet probably [would] hear those songs and maybe they’d liked them and go out and get the album.
3. On Intimate & Interactive, someone in the crowd mentioned how Aaron looked like Kevin Bacon…
J: …That guy who asked that question is actually a friend of ours from home and snuck in. Somehow he was able to ask a question so they gave him a pre-approved one, and in the end he just made that question up and then sent us that email.
Mattias: As a twist, what’s your favourite Kevin Smith movie?
J: I like the next one: Mallrats.
4. Your album just came out on Tuesday and it’s been getting pretty good reviews. How do you feel about the response you’ve been getting from the fans and the media?
I: It’s been great so far. We’ve had really positive response except for one I think. One guy got really upset by one of the songs and gave it a 0/5.
Dave-os: Which song?
I: “Where’s the Line”. I think he was offended because he was an urban indie rock hipster.
J: I guess he didn’t appreciate the artwork.
I: You lose all your journalistic rep when you give a band a 0/5. If he had given us a one, maybe it would’ve been more credible, but the fact that he gave us a zero is funny.
J: It shows his anger.
5. Your song “Standing in the Rain” was thought up in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. Ben was saying that he didn’t think a place like that existed in North America. What’s your guys’ take on Vancouver?
J: We love Vancouver and that’s why we keep coming back here to record. [But] even just reading The Province the other day on the plane, they were complaining about how [the poverty problem] is getting out hand.
I: It’s stemming beyond Hastings and Gastown. We’re talking about the West End now. It’s kind of sad. Every city has its problems; we just see it amplified by hundred here for some reason.
J: As far as the hard drug problem, it seems like it’s a little bit of a problem now.
I: It seems a bit out of control.
6. You guys all met backstage at a high school talent show. What other non-musical talents do you have?
I: Well I used to be an animator, so I guess art. Digital art.
J: I can flip my eyelids. That’s talent.
7. What are some of your worst ex-girlfriend stories?
J: I don’t have an ex-girlfriend. I actually married my first girlfriend. I had a two-month relationship or something but that’s not really anything.
I: I got dumped the day I got laser eye surgery. I was in pain and I couldn’t see anything. I’m wearing these crazy glasses, and my girlfriend literally walked out of the apartment that day and broke up with me.
J: “I can’t take you in those glasses! This is over!”
Mattias: Did it have to do with the laser eye surgery?
I: No. I think I was just argumentative because my eyes were burning for the whole day. We’d been having loads of trouble anyway so it was bound to happen around that time. It just happened to be that day.
8. Ian, you have really cool hair. What other famous person do you consider has the best hair?
I: Best hair? Cedric from The Mars Volta.
Mattias: How do you get your hair like that?
I: Just hairspray and a blow dryer. Some guy just wrecked it too.
9. If you could be any mythical figure, what/who would you be?
J: I’d be Zeus because he’s the top dog, right? Throw lightning bolts.
I: I’d be Conan. Did he have powers?
J: No, he was just fierce.
I: I think I’d want to be good with a sword. Maybe have a sword named Excalibur.
J: Was that King Arthur?
Dave-os: I always thought he was real.
J: Yeah, I think there was a King Arthur who was real, but Excalibur…
I: Excalibur’s the name of the sword.
Dave-os: So you’d be Excalibur?
J: You’d be the sword?
I: No, I’d be the knight who had Excalibur.
10. Who would you like to see next on Band of the Day?
J: Eagles of Death Metal.
I: Gogol Bordello.
An obvious thank you goes out to Jon and Ian for the interview. We forgot to ask Ian if the laser eye surgery was to fix his eyes or to give him the ability to shoot lasers out of them. Anyways, we’ll see you again next time, folks.
The BotD Team
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