Schon komisch – der zweite Beitrag in diesem Blog war meine Rezension zum Album „II“ von Billy Talent. Seitdem sind über zehn Jahre vergangen – und „plötzlich“ kann ich die Kanadier interviewen. Okay, nicht alle und „nur“ per Mail (mag ich aber eh lieber, zumindest, was das Nacharbeiten angeht), aber dafür eben Jonathan Gallant.
Der Bassist spricht (oder schreibt) mit mir über das Problem, das Rockmusik heutzutage hat, die musikalische Entwicklung der Band und diesen komischen neuen US-Präsidenten…
Billy Talent Interview
So which one of you is afraid of heights? Or what are your biggest fears?
I don’t like heights but the „Afraid of Heights“ album name is a metaphor for being afraid of being the best person you could be.
2003, 2006, 2009 and 2012 – since you renamed your band to „Billy Talent“ you did come up with a new studio album every three years. With „Afraid of Heights“ you did break this pattern. Are the four years waiting time result of your first greatest hits-record „Hits“ which fell in between (2014) or did you have a different way of working with the new album?
The Hits album did take some time and was the main reason we were delayed. We also had a set back due to the advancement of Aaron’s MS. This took us time to figure out how we would/could proceed.
How is Aaron and when is he aiming to come back on stage (or in the studio) with you guys?
Aaron is good. He’s working hard everyday to get back behind the kit. He’s not there yet; but we are feeling good about his improvements.
There are lots of up-tempo tracks and quick parts on it, but „Afraid of Heights“ seems to be less aggressive and intense, a little more solid and abeyance then your previous album „Dead Silence“. Would you agree?
I feel like it’s a great follow to Dead Silence. It’s a bigger album with more depth. I think it’s as heavy too.
With „Louder Than The DJ“ you make a tribute of some sort to Rock’n’Roll as a cultural artifact and Ian once said in an interview that „rock is at an all time low“ – (how) has rock music changed over the last years?
Rock is in a confused state these days. There doesn’t seem to be much anger or protest in today’s rock content. It’s fluffy, despite the turbulent and troubled times we live in now.
In the middle of „Ghost Ship Of Cannibal Rats“ Ben changes his voice to a very dark and „rumbling“ tone – what was the idea behind this?
Sounded cool and appropriate for what the song represents.
You’re on tour right now. Does it (still) happen, that you write a song, put it on the album and kind of have expectations for how it will feel and be approved by the audience when you play it live – and then everything turn out to be different?
I haven’t really experienced that. We have an amazing audience who always seem responsive to our music in a positive way. Some slower tracks may hold the crowds energy back a bit… but the singing is always loud.
Ben once told SRF Virus that he hates Donald Trump (this comes right after people not washing their hands after having been on the toilet) – how happy are you to be Canadian?
Very happy. Trump is an asshole and I’m very disappointed that there are that many people that could look past his many dangerous faults and vote for him. I get the feeling of disenfranchisement; but come on? This guy?
Brexit, presidential elections in the US, social media flooding instead of real communication – a whole new generation, lasting on decisions of the „old“ and making their unnecessary first world problems on their own. Is this „our war“ you are singing about? Or what are we „fighting“ against in modern society?
Today’s society is based on the „me“ and in general people don’t seem to care or think about others. It’s very easy to deflect away from a worldly problem – like global warming as an example – you can just divert to the internet for an entertaining distraction and forget about things. It’s sad; but it’s human nature to swerve and avoid and now we have the ultimate tools to do that. That’s a problem with modern society.
Like artists did in the 80s you put a reprise version (a bit like a selfmade remix) of the title track „Afraid of Heights“ on the record. Who would you like to remix one (specific?) song of yours?
I don’t have any desires to have the songs remixed. The reprise version of AOF was created by Ian after he had finished the rock version. We didn’t know what version sounded better and loved them both so we put them both on the album… and you’re right about the 80’s thing because it was „The Police“ that made us feel like it was ok to do.
Skrillex would be cool though.
Do we have to wait five years for the next album to be released and what do you have in mind for the future sound of Billy Talent?
I can’t answer any of that. We are focused on what we’re doing now on tour.
Always my last question, as of „LangweileDich.net“ meaning something like „BeBored.not“: What do you do when you feel bored?
Thank you for the interview!
Billy Talent Afraid of Heights Tour 2016
07.12.2016 – Leipzig | Haus Auensee
09.12.2016 – Berlin | Max-Schmeling Halle
10.12.2016 – Lingen | Emsland Arena