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Billy Talent Interview

Right after this band's stellar set at the Kevin Says stage of the Warped Tour Chicago stop I was able to interview Benjamin, the lead singer and Ian, the guitarist.

Billy Talent Interview

Question: How were you asked to join the Buzzcocks and Sum 41 tours?

The sum 41 guys have always been supporters of ours. Mutual people that work for us work for them. It was just a natural progression. Then the Buzzcocks....we just kind of lucked out with that one.

Question: What kind of equipment do you use?

(Ian) I play a broken Fender Strat and I use Stevenson Custom Amps made by a guy in Vancouver. I prefer it to Gibsons because they are a bit slinky and stretchy. (Ben) I just use whatever is onstage.

Question:Was it quite a surprise to be invited onto the Area:2 date?

Oh yes. Definitely. That was amazing. It happened at the last minute and we replaced Busta Rhymes set on the mainstage. We played the mainstage like on act before David Bowie. (Ben) I met Bowie. (Ian). He met Bowie. (Ben) I saw Moby eating some nice vegan food in the cafeteria.

Question: Your bio states, "everything started happening when we simply accepted what we are." What do you consider yourselves to be?

Most bands try to make the mistake of trying to imitate other bands instead of accepting what comes out of them naturally. (Ian) I am influenced by many guitar players but I wouldn't try to imitate any other guitar player. Don't listen to the radio...Unless our song is on, then turn it up.

Question:Where did you get the name "Billy Talent" from?

There is an author named Michael Turner who wrote a book about a fictional band that gets back together for one last tour across Canada and the guitar players name was Billy Talent. It was turned into a film as well. We loved the movie and the book.

Question: What have been fans reactions with the Sum 41 and Buzzcocks tours?

The Buzzcocks dates are a weird demographic because there is the group of younger fans that just got into them and the older fans. Some people love us and some people hate us. Some people throw beer cans and hamburgers at us.

Question: (To Ian) Does anyone ever mistake you for Dave Brownsound when you are on the Sum 41 tour?

All the time. Since we are touring with them a lot of kids will come up to me and say "Hey Brownsound, can I get your autograph?" So I started signing these autographs with "Brownsound."

Question: Are you doing anything to prep for the big festival dates in Europe at the end of the summer?

Not really. You have just got to take every show the same. We just got added to Lollapalooza as well. We are doing 10 shows of that as well.

Question: What kind of response has their been to your set on this tour?

It's hit and miss. There are a lot of people that dig it and there are a lot of people that don't understand it quite yet. There are no in-between with our band. There are people that hate it and are very vocal about it and throw things at the stage and there are people that really love it. No one says "Yeah those guys are alright."