By Chyrisse Tabone, Tampa Correspondent
Members: Dan Cleary-lead vocals, Tim Brown-lead/rhythm guitar, Trent Halliwell-lead/rhythm guitar, Adam Brown-drums, William Wallace-bass
Canadian heavy metal band Striker recently launched their first U.S. tour as support for Danish metal legend Artillery. The tour, which initiated in Los Angeles on April 10th. is making a dizzying, zigzag path through the west, southeast, and north, and later terminates in Utah on April 27th. I was lucky enough to catch up with them in Tampa, Florida on April 19th.
Striker was formed in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada in 2007 and has produced three full albums and one EP. Looking at the 88K+ hits on Facebook, one knows they are immensely popular. Striker has made several tours throughout Europe and will be heading there for the Summer, playing several metal fests, including Devilstone 2015 in Lithuania. Speaking with the band, they noted that heavy metal in Europe never really waned in the 1980s and 1990s like here in the U.S. when other genres gained popularity.
During the conversation, I noted that Canada seems to be known for hockey and rock music. One member said, “There’s nothing else to do! It’s too cold to go out or you’ll die!” That makes total sense.
I had an interesting conversation with the Striker boys (you can listen below) who were looking a little pink and sunburnt when we met. A couple of the guys spent the day before at Disneyworld and the others at Clearwater Beach. I admit I haven’t been to either places in ages and guess I take it for granted. They explained it was 30 degrees when they left the Great White North. Yikes! It is almost May!
I do have to say that Canada produces a wealth of quality rock bands, and I now put Striker in this category, especially after seeing their live act. Even though it was a Sunday night, the crowd gathered intently at the stage, and was completely fixated on their performance, which was worthy of a large arena. It was totally polished. Honestly, they kicked major ass with their leaping, backs arched, legs spread, hair-twirling, and tongues wagging. I wondered if they would get whiplash from all the hair whipping in unison!
It was not just the live performance that captured my heart. It was the music. The band cannot even define the style but I can hear the influences from their favorite old-school metal artists, such as Judas Priest, Metallica, Megadeath, and Iron Maiden. The band even draws inspiration from Artillery, which they admitted was “an honor to support.” Striker’s music includes piercing vocal harmonies, dual guitar riffs, and heavy power chords, but is not “flower metal” (a new term I learned that evening). It definitely has punch.
If you have not seen Striker, check out their videos on YouTube. They are well-made, humorous, and worthy of MTV. Quality all the way! There are even guitar lesson videos so you may play hits like “City of Gold” or “Fight for your Life.”
Also, you can hear 15-minutes of the interview below in which the band discusses their tour, influences, why it took them so long to come to the U.S., and the gear they use. I hope they do not wait too long to return!
LISTEN TO THE INTERVIEW BELOW:
FIGHT FOR YOUR LIFE
CITY OF GOLD
City of Gold (CD-2014)
Armed to the Teeth (CD 2012)
Eyes in the Night (CD-2010)
Road Warrior (EP-2009)
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