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Billy Talent Celebrate Two Milestones with Canadian Shows

Jag Gundu, Getty Images

Canadian rock band Billy Talent are celebrating a couple of milestones in Canada. The childhood friends, who normally headline arenas in Canada, are performing a handful of smaller shows to celebrate their 20th anniversary as a band and 10th anniversary of the release of their multi-platinum debut album, ‘Billy Talent.’

The shows kick off on Oct. 12 at the Sound Academy in Toronto followed by dates in Quebec City, Montreal, Vancouver and Calgary.

Frontman Ben Kowalewicz, guitarist Ian D’Sa, drummer Aaron Solowoniuk and bassist Jon Gallant first joined forces as a band in 1993, choosing the name Pezz while students at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Secondary School in Mississauga, Ont., part of the Greater Toronto Area. They only released one studio recording, 1998’s ‘Watoosh!’ (it was later reissued by Atlantic in 2005) before selecting a new name when they discovered an American band had the international rights to Pezz.

Changing it to Billy Talent — after a fictional character in the acclaimed Canadian rock ‘n’ roll film ‘Hard Core Logo’ (originally a character in Michael Turner’s book) by director Bruce McDonald — the foursome also underwent a new direction in sound, intense driving rock ‘n’ roll featuring Kowalewicz’ unique melodic nasal but aggressive voice.

Speaking about the bond that’s kept them together 20 years, Kowalewicz recently told us, “The only way I can describe it is — you can go out and buy any pair of shoes or any jacket but you always have that one that fits the best at the back of the closet. You just put it on and it feels right, that’s the only way I can describe it, I’ve been with these guys for so long, it just feels right. I don’t know myself as a singer without these guys. They are the only thing that’s ever remained consistent in my life and hopefully will continue to do so.”

For those in Canada who only get the chance to see them play in hockey arenas — although the band has been known to play one-off bar gigs in spots such as the Bovine and the Horseshoe where they got their start — playing these sizeable, but still far smaller than arena venues is a cool opportunity.

Billy Talent 2013 Tour Dates

10/12 — Toronto, Ontario — Sound Academy
10/16 — Quebec City, Quebec — Imperial Theatre
10/18 — Montreal, Quebec — Metropolis
10/29 — Vancouver, British Columbia — Commodore Ballroom
11/2 — Calgary, Alberta — Flames Central

Next: Read More of Our Interview With Billy Talent's Ben Kowalewicz

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