We’re having an election here in Ontario this month. And whenever I’m feeling political, there’s just one band I want to hear: Billy Talent.
Making a comparison like this feels like a disservice to the band, but if you’re not familiar with them, Billy Talent could be viewed as a Canadian version of Rage Against the Machine. They’re loud, they’re angry, and they’re quick to attack the injustices of our society.
Aside from their politics, my favourite thing about Billy Talent is their singer, Ben Kowalewicz. Part of the reason I don’t often listen to louder music like punk or metal is that the singers always seem to me as if they’re simply screaming, but Ben has the fairly unique talent to be very loud and very intense in his singing while still producing a sound that’s melodic and pleasing to the ear.
He’s a pretty good guy, too, based on the interviews I’ve heard with him. While his music may be filled with rage and aggression, off-stage he’s the living stereotype of a Canadian: humble, soft-spoken, polite, and fond of hockey.
There’s no shortage of good Billy Talent songs I could have picked for this post, but I went with the absurdly titled “Kingdom of Zod,” which was inspired in part by Toronto’s infamous “crack mayor” Rob Ford, whose equally troglodytic brother is now at serious risk of becoming Ontario’s premier.
Fair warning: This is a loud, intense song with lots of screaming and NSFW language.
If any longtime readers are still unclear as to my political leanings, this song should make things clear.