Cory Morton Never ones to shy away from politically charged tracks, Anti-Flag…
- Posted on Jul 29th 2011 4:00PM by Jesse Ship
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"Some bands feel they need to keep a wall between themselves and their fans but that doesn't really exist for us," he tells Spinner. "We were independent for the first nine years as a band and are used to crashing on our friends floors. It's allowed us to be really open to talking to fans, and I think that's why we've developed a cult following."
The Ontario rockers may have a cult following but it's certain that few fans were on hand last weekend in Toronto for HeavyTO, where the band was sandwiched on the bill between juggernauts Slayer and Rob Zombie. Thanks to a guerrilla Jägermeister ad campaign gone awry, concertgoers sent a strong message to Billy Talent with crude, makeshift signs displaying insults like "Billy Talentless" and "Top 10 Ways to Kill Billy Talent."
Speaking to Spinner onsite at HeavyTO, D'Sa admitted he had a hunch their set might not sit too well with the devil horn-thrusting audience. "We play all kinds of music festivals in Europe; we blend in with other bands there, and their take on harder metal-like music. But it's totally different in North America. There's a very purist mentality here that didn't exist in the early '90s with Lollapalooza-type bands like Faith No More. While it is kind of weird that we're on this bill, because we aren't metal, we're definitely happy to share the stage with all these great bands that we grew up on."
Though the incident in Toronto was certainly humbling, D'Sa and crew should have no problem bouncing back -- especially since their fans are so pumped to hear news of their forthcoming record, the first since 2009's 'Billy Talent III.' "Even my friends are asking me when it's coming and I'm like, 'Dude, we've been touring for the last year-and-a-half!'" the guitarist laughs. "That's a lot of touring."
On the plus side, being on the road when there's a new album on the books is bound to encourage ad-libbing as the guys tests out fresh ideas. "The more shows you play on tour, the better you get at transitions," says D'Sa. "Some songs could be heavier, some could be lighter, but it's really a mood kind of thing. I've written some songs that sound best on a blues guitar, but I can't put that on a Billy Talent record. However, it is something the rest of the band can grow from when we add different instrumentation."
When asked what fans can expect from their fourth disc, D'Sa remains vague. "The songs are a lot different than the last album, they're closer to our first self-titled album. We're opening up to new ideas and using piano on a few songs, but I've also been listening to a lot of old punk stuff I was into in high-school like OFF! and Black Flag."
D'Sa, who's also producing the disc, having worked with bands like Toronto's Die Mannequin in addition to co-producing 'Billy Talent II,' has high hopes for the next release (and likely can't bare the thought of actual fans hoisting "Billy Talentless" signs at future concerts). "Producing your own album is definitely more time-intensive, because not only am I trying to work on songs, but thinking about how it's going to sound sonically as well. It's definitely going to be a challenge. But I'm up for it."