Reading Festival 2012: Billy Talent
Published 23 Aug 2012 09:30 0 Comments
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THEY'VE GOT IT: BILLY TALENT Photo: Dustin Rabin
You might think that playing festivals is just how it goes when you're the lead singer of a punk band, but even after almost 20 years on the music scene, Billy Talent are tour stalwarts who never take a festival slot for granted.
Benjamin Kowalewicz, Billy Talent frontman, explains: "The thing that is so interesting from being Canadian is that we don't have festival culture in our country, so to be able to come to the UK, to Reading, Leeds etc. all the legendary events. To be part of that, to chisel our little name into that, is a dream come true for us. We're very proud to be playing."
He added: "We're really excited to see you and we promise to play the best f***ing show ever!"
After years of hard graft, the angst-
ridden four-piece are back on the road with stacks of energy and a slot on Saturday's much-coveted NME stage. Kowalewicz says: "We always have a weird, fun, cosmic day there. Anyone that goes to Reading knows what I'm talking about. We get to play with so many amazing bands, with all our friends. This year the line-up is amazing. We're really stoked as one of our favourite bands of all time, At The Drive In are also playing. We're floored."
"We're going to bring some new songs and a bad ass show. I rented all the gear from Muse... Just kidding! We love Muse, though, their live shows are amazing."
The band's catchy lyrics, enveloped in their trademark melancholy, pounding sounds, have had fans hook, line and sinker for years. Back with a new album, Dead Silence, a Rock Sound tour, and, perhaps, a more mature sound, Kowalewicz shared the secret to the band's enduring success: "We evolve, we adapt, we change, get inspired by different things. We are a little bit more focused. On the new album, there are a lot of different textures and they're really different to anything we've ever done. It's good to try different things. We wrote Surrender and I played it back and thought, it's a beautiful song but will people think it's too weird? It turned out to be one of the best songs we ever made. I never want to be a band where everything sounds the same. Each song is amazing but different."
Off stage, Kowalewicz says nowadays the band prefer a quiet life: "We are the biggest losers you'll ever meet, we're nerds! At the end of the day we're here to play rock'n'roll shows. The only people who would suffer are going to be the fans."
He added: "We signed a pact when we were young, there was an unconscious thing to be loyal to the four of us, the songs, the greater good and the sound. We get on stage and have a f***ing blast, we love playing together. All the other stuff doesn't count."
Billy Talent play the NME/Radio One stage on Saturday. For more information see www.readingfestival.com
This article appeared in Royal Borough Observer 23 Aug 12