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Billy Talent: a 3-song Junos primer

Andrea Warner

Now with 11 acts and artists confirmed to perform so far (Feist was most recently announced for a tribute to Leonard Cohen), this year’s Junos broadcast on Sunday, April 2, promises to be one of the biggest in the award ceremony’s history.

From emerging artists like Ruth B to established acts like Sarah McLachlan and Billy Talent, there’s something for every music fan, and there are also a lot of great opportunities to discover exciting, new-to-you artists for your earbuds — to punch up your playlists or add to your record collection, or scope out for when their tours come to your hometown.

Think of the live Junos broadcast as an opportunity to survey just a little bit more of the country’s music scene, its depth and breadth, and then keep checking back daily as CBC Music posts its handy three-song primers for each artist and band to help deepen your appreciation of all these great musicians.

Billy Talent

These scrappy punks have real staying power. The Toronto-based friends formed a band in high school in 1993, and released their first and only record as Pezz in 1999. After a legal scrap with another American band with the same name, Canada’s Pezz was reborn as Billy Talent in 2001, and since then they’ve released five records, four of which have gone platinum, and embarked on countless tours all over the world.

The band has also won multiple Junos in its 16-years as Billy Talent, and they’re nominated again this year in the best rock album category for 2016’s Afraid of Heights. It’s perhaps a bittersweet nod, since it’s also Billy Talent’s first-ever record without drummer Aaron Solowoniuk, who is on hiatus while he recovers from a relapse of multiple sclerosis.

Below are three essential tracks that will help familiarize you with the enduring legacy of Billy Talent.

Song: ”Try Honesty”
Album: Billy Talent (2003)

Song: “Devil in a Midnight Mass”
Album: Billy Talent II (2006)

Song: ”Afraid of Heights”
Album: Afraid of Heights (2016)

Hang out with me on Twitter: @_AndreaWarner

More to explore: 

Sarah McLachlan: a 3-song Junos primer

Arkells: a 3-song Junos primer

July Talk: a 3-song Junos primer

A Tribe Called Red: a 3-song Junos primer

Alessa Cara: a 3-song primer