Home > The next legend > Billy Talent’s war on Guitar Hero

Billy Talent’s war on Guitar Hero


Billy Talent singer Ben Kowalewicz says the band’s recent special-edition album was a direct dig at plastic-stick games like Guitar Hero and Rock Band.

The summer release of Billy Talent III was accompanied by an edition called Guitar Villain, which featured the entire album but with the guitar tracks removed.

And Kowalewicz says the idea came up after a friend of the band discussed how much he enjoyed guitarist Ian D’Sa’s playing.

Villains: Billy Talent

Villains: Billy Talent

The Canadian frontman tells AltPress: “It was this whimsical idea of doing our own version of Guitar Hero. I think it’s really cool on a couple of levels.

“It encourages people to pick up a guitar and play – as opposed to picking up something with five buttons and pretending to play.

“It’s been a really interesting approach and people are gravitating towards it. It was a bit of a risk, but that’s what life’s about, right?”

If anything, Kowalewicz wishes they could have gone further with the idea. “We wanted to do it where everything was available. You’d get the chance to sing along or play drums or whatever.

“Unfortunately, time-wise and expense-wise, it wasn’t really possible. But who knows what the future holds?”

The band are currently on tour in the USA with Poison The Well, whose van was stolen at the start of the trek. They’ve continued with new equipment and Kowalewicz says: “It was on the first show – they went to their hotel and woke up and their stuff was gone. It was awful – but they’re troopers and stuck through it, and they’re still out. They pulled through.”

Billy Talent are touring the UK later this month:

19/10 Leeds Academy

20/10 Nottingham Rock City

21/10 Sheffield Academy

23/10 Glasgow Barrowlands

25/10 Dublin Olympia

26/10 Manchester Academy

27/10 Birmingham Academy

29/10 Southampton Guildhall

30/10 Norwich UEA

01/11 London Brixton Academy

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