Striker is a speed metal band from Edmonton, Canada who recently played in Lisbon with Triosphere and Sonata Arctica. The Black Planet Zine had the amazing opportunity to interview the guitarist Tim and get to know a little bit more about this smashing band.
TBP – Hey Tim, first of all we appreciate that you have accepted this interview. Can you tell us a little bit about Striker’s history?
Well we have been shredding around the world for the last 7 or 8 years, kicking ass and drinking beers with whoever is ready to have a good time! We just released our 5th album, Striker, on our own label back in February. We have done lots of great tours and shows with bands like Metallica, Primal Fear, Sonata Arctica, Annihilator, and many others.
TBP – After the release of “City of Gold” by Napalm Records you became independent, what were the biggest difficulties you faced and what were the benefits of that decision?
The biggest difficulty I would say is that people don’t take you seriously until you have proven success. Being on Napalm gave us some legitimacy and helped us crawl out of the underground, and once we went independent some people were a little hesitant to work with us at first because we just started a new company from scratch and they didn’t know how it might go. 2 albums later, we have proven that we are a well-oiled machine and are one of the fastest growing music businesses in Canada. Going independent was the best decision we’ve ever made and I hope others can follow in our footsteps; it’s basically the only way young bands are going to survive in the modern music industry. Getting signed these days basically just means you will never see another dollar from music again in your life, which makes it impossible to tour or record new music, and essentially kills your band.
I’ve seen lots of our peers break up their bands because they can’t make it work on a label and they are stuck.
TBP – In February 2016 you released “Stand in the Fire” and one year later you released a new album, Did the album get well accepted with such a short time between releases?
Yea both albums have been incredibly well received! We’ve had so many amazing opportunities from these albums, from tours with Primal Fear, Sonata Arctica, Dark Tranquility, to playing monster festivals like 70,000 tons of metal, people have been really enjoying our albums and it shows in the opportunities we are getting. Our fan base is growing and I think that is the best thing you could ask for.
TBP– Where do you find your inspiration for lyrics and how is the creation process?
Dan does basically all the lyric writing. He mostly draws on real life experiences, and doesn’t dabble too much in the fantasy/death lyrics that are so prevalent in metal. Typically we get an idea, and kind of work the song all around that idea. From the riffs to the lyrics, we try to match them up in order to a fast heavy song will probably have darker more serious lyrics, while our lighter material is more about having fun.
TBP – What ideas are behind your album? And why did you select an artwork totally different from your previous work?
We wanted our self-titled album to be totally different from all our previous work. We sort of wanted a rebirth if you will. We want to break away from the “throwback” label we are constantly branded with. We also thought it was a good representation of the music, stripped down but extremely detailed and well thought out.
TBP – Why did you guys decided to release an album with your name?
Metallica did it! This album is also a perfect summary of our career, so if you are new to Striker, start here.
TBP – Striker’s live performance was incredible, and was defined by an explosive and positive energy… just like the same feeling that can be found in your records. Where do you get all this joy?
We just love playing music! That’s the only reason to be in a band. If you aren’t having fun you fucked up.
TBP- What do you think of the Portuguese audience and their reaction on your last concert?
Portugal rules! I love the food, it was definitely one of the highlights of the tour. The crowd was great too, they really got into it, very passionate!
TBP – Of all your work to date, which are your favorite songs?
I always like performing the songs with the most backup vocals, playing guitar and singing is a lot of fun… So newer songs like Pass Me By, Former Glory, Shadows in the Light, as well as older songs like Too Late and Second Attack are tons of fun and I love playing them. Plus they are full of shredding.
TBP – In the fureu, which bands would you like to perform next to?
If we could perform with Megadeth, Iron Maiden, and Helloween, I think that would be some of the final remaining major influences for us! We have played with a lot of our influences, just like when we played with Metallica here at home for 2 sold out shows. So if we keep going I’m sure the opportunity will come someday! Also H.E.A.T.!
TBP – The Striker’s formula since Armed to the Teeth, the band is described as a unique sound with melting melodies with heavy and fast speed metal blasting on all cylinders. What direction do you intend to take in your next album?
We try to experiment with new things all the time and I think our core sound is well developed, we take interesting new influences and jam them in there. Especially recently, I think we are opening up a lot in terms of diversity. We take a lot of influence from old school metal, but we really like new stuff like modern hardcore too and you hear those influences everywhere even if you maybe don’t realize it. After recording a song, everything goes through the Striker machine and ends up sounding like Striker. Sometimes we have demos that we think are too heavy or too soft or whatever, and by the time we finish it on the album it ends up just sounding like Striker!
TBP – Thank you for having the time to answer our questions. Do you want leave a message to the The Black Planet readers and your Portuguese fans?
Portugal! We love you! Hope to be back soon!
Interview by: Melissa Poseyydon
Special thanks to: Striker