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Billy Talent Biography

Home > Music > B > Billy Talent > Biography

Birth Place: Mississauga, Ontario, Canada
Years Active: 1993–present
Genres: Alternative & Punk, Alternative Rock

Billy Talent is a Canadian melodic punk rock band from Toronto. They formed in 1993 with lead vocalist Ben Kowalewicz, lead guitarist Ian D'Sa, bassist Jon Gallant and drummer Aaron Solowoniuk. The members met and played in Our Lady of Mount Carmel Secondary School under the name Pezz and remained underground in Toronto's indie music scene until 2001. The band renamed itself Billy Talent after running into legal trouble with the old name.

“Watoosh!,” their debut album, was released in 1998 under their former name Pezz. They changed their band name in 1999 after an American band with the same name threatened to sue them. It was then that Kowalewicz's connection with an employee of Warner Music Canada's A&R department landed the band a record deal and launched them into mainstream success.

Their self-titled second album, “Billy Talent,” was issued in 2003. It reached #6 on the Canadian Albums chart and #11 on the Billboard Heatseekers Albums chart. “Billy Talent” was certified 3x platinum in Canada in January 2007. Recorded at The Factory in Vancouver, the album was nominated for Best Rock Album at 2004 Juno Awards.

“Billy Talent II,” their third studio album, was issued in 2006. It debuted at #1 on the Canadian Albums chart. The album was not as successful in the United States, where it peaked at #134 on the Billboard 200 Albums chart. In April 2007, the album won a Juno Award for Best Rock Album.

Once again debuting at #1 on the Canadian Albums chart, their fourth LP, “Billy Talent III,” was released in 2009. It was also their second consecutive album to win the Juno Award for Best Rock Album. In the U.S. the record reached #107 on the Billboard 200.

“Dead Silence,” their fifth studio album, was released in 2012. It was produced by the band's guitarist Ian D'Sa. The artwork for the album was created by popular poster artist, Ken Taylor.