June 15, 2007
Jam
Music
      Artists A-Z
      Album Reviews
      Concert Reviews
      Concert Listings
      Pop Encyclopedia
      Music Blog

Movies
Television
Video
Theatre
Books
Country
Celebrities



Video Gallery
RSS Feed

SJP


75,000 sing Billy Talent
By -- For JAM! Music


Toronto rockers Billy Talent played an astounding set in Germany in front of 75,000 people singing along to their songs at the two-day rock festival Rock Am Ring earlier this month, and will continue on the European/U.K. festival circuit all summer, then the band plans to get working on album number three.

Here are just a few impressive stats on Billy Talent's accomplishments on this current album, 2006's "Billy Talent II," according to manager Pierre Tremblay of Vancouver's Nettwerk Management, which took on the band as clients in March of 2006.

"Since the release of the record, they've sold almost 700,000 records to date worldwide," Tremblay says. Two-hundred-and-fifteen thousand of those have been in Canada, according to Nielsen SoundScan.

"The first record [2003's 'Billy Talent,' which is triple platinum in Canada] has sold an additional 100,000 records worldwide since the release of the second record," he continues, "and we've done well over 6 million dollars in ticket grosses for touring worldwide on this album."

The band also won best rock/alternative international and best newcomer international at Germany's Echo Awards, the country's Juno equivalent. "Billy Talent II" debuted at No.1 on the German charts when it was released in June 2006 and was one of the 10 best-selling records in the country with platinum sales of more than 200,000 copies. Do a YouTube search for "Billy Talent live @ RaR" to witness the festival set. Truly amazing.

As for Canada, the band won two 2007 Juno Awards for group of the year and rock album. Steve Waxman, director of national publicity and video promotion at Warner Music Canada, supplied stats for this album's singles and videos. "Devil In A Midnight Mass" was No. 5 at rock radio; "Read Flag" was No. 4, and "Fallen Leaves" was No. 2. The newest single, "Surrender," is No. 10 and climbing. All four videos reached No. 1 at MuchMusic.

Tremblay notes how hard the band -- frontman Ben Kowalewicz, guitarist Ian D'Sa, bassist Jon Gallant and drummer Aaron Solowoniuk -- has been working the past year and doesn't know how much touring it will be doing after the summer.

"'Surrender' is the single that we're working right now and that will be the last single off this record," Tremblay says. "Chances are we're going to pull the guys off the road in early September and give them a bit of a break before they start working on the next record. Ideally, I want a record out next summer, but we'll see what happens."

Billy Talent has performed at huge festivals overseas before, but this tour, which began June 1 and runs until Sept. 3 with periodic refueling back home (they'll be at the MMVAs in Toronto this Sunday, and headline Toronto's Molson Amphitheatre July 13 and Festival Dete Quebec City July 14) is their first time playing Prague, Finland, Norway, Luxembourg, Belgium.

"They're going to all sorts of places they've never been to," says Tremblay. "They're mainstage for the most part and headlining some of them."

Geoff Meal in the London office of The Agency Group handles bookings for the band in the U.K. and Europe. Toronto's Ralph James of Toronto's The Agency Group takes care of Australia, Japan, and Canada, and Ron Opaleski of Los Angeles' William Morris Agency books the U.S.

In the States, Billy Talent hasn't taken off as it has at home and other parts of the world, but it's still early in the band's career. The guys toured the U.S. behind "Billy Talent II" first on the Vans Warped Tour last summer, then on a bill with Rise Against and Thursday, then their own headlining tour in March. In Canada, by comparison, the band sold out the Air Canada Centre right up to the rafters (not even Nelly Furtado did that).

"It just takes time," says Tremblay. "Breaking America is like breaking 50 different territories. Unfortunately, it doesn't have the sales base that it used to have, but it just takes time." The band is signed in the U.S. to Atlantic, which has a joint venture with Warner Music Canada.

The band recently went to Australia, where it played sold-out 800 to 1200 capacity shows in Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney and scored a coveted slot as performers on the MTV Awards. The first single over there is "Fallen Leaves."

"I got feedback from the label, the promoters, the MTV people and everybody just loved them," says Tremblay. "They were completely blown away by their live show. They loved their professionalism. They loved the fact that they are just nice guys. And fans went nuts. They basically knew the words to all the songs and the reaction was over the top."

Remaining Billy Talent dates:

Jun 22 Bilbao Live Bilbao, Spain

Jun 23 Metrorock Madrid, Spain

Jun 24 Rock A Field Festival Luxembourg

Jun 28 Festival Park Werchter Werchter, Belgium

Jun 30 Hove Festival Arendal, Norway

Jul 1 Pier Pressure Gothenburg, Sweden

Jul 4 Helsinki Tavastia Club Helsinki, Finland

Jul 6 RuisRock Festival Turku, Finland

Jul 13 Molson Amphitheatre Toronto

Jul 14 Festival D'ete De Quebec Quebec City

Aug 17 FM4 Frequency Festival Saltzburg, Austria

Aug 18 Highfield Festival Hohenfelden, Germany

Aug 19 Open Air Gampel Gampel, Switzerland

Aug 24 Leeds Festival Bramham Park, Leeds, UK

Aug 25 Area 4 Festival Ludinghausen, Germany

Aug 26 Reading Festival Reading, UK

Sept 1 Rock Am See Konstanz, Germany


More Lowdown stories



HOT MUSIC HEADLINES
Q & A with the Arctic Monkeys
Selena Gomez swears, storms off stage at Jingle Ball
R. Kelly: 'I met my match in Lady Gaga'
Rebecca Black debuts 'Friday' follow-up
Jay Z, Drake earn top Grammy nominations
Ed Sheeran paid his dues for singer-songwriter success
CD reviews: Bad Religion, Erasure and Nick Lowe top Christmas albums
Drake pulls out of Grammy's concert
How Christina Aguilera got her groove back
The most iconic '90s videos
More Headlines
Britney Spears ponders retirement after Las Vegas residency
Kanye West plays to half-empty arena in Kansas City
Our top Grammy nomination picks
Hilary Duff preparing for pop comeback
Gucci Mane faces gun charges
Lady Gaga announces Canadian tour
Katy Perry, John Mayer pose together in 'Who You Love' cover art
A semi ‘Orange is the New Black’ holiday special
Reggae legend Junior Murvin dies at 67
Rza pays tribute to Paul Walker through song


Who's coming and when
Want to know when your favourite band is coming to town? Check out Clive, JAM Music's extensive Canadian concert listings.

TV Listings
Wondering what's on tonight? Check out our TV listings for the complete schedule in your area.
Movie Listings
Find out what's playing at a theatre near you.








Do you think Kanye West should have the book thrown at him for fighting with a photographer?
Yes
No


Results | Story