- Benjamin Kowalewicz - vocals
- Ian D'Sa - guitar, backing vocals
- Jonathan Gallant - bass, backing vocals
- Aaron Solowoniuk - drums
The band originated in Meadowvale and Streetsville, two neighbouring districts in Mississauga, a large city west of Toronto, Ontario. In 1993, Ben Kowalewicz and Jon Gallant were part of a band called "To Each His Own", where Gallant played bass, and Kowalewicz was on drums. Kowalewicz moved to vocals, and Aaron Solowoniuk was recruited in his place. They then met Ian D'Sa backstage at their high school talent show. The trio would then go on to merge with D'Sa, whose current band "Dragonflower" happened to be breaking up at the time. They originally started playing music which was a mix of grunge, and hip-hop. Their merging would bring on the name "The Other One" for a short time, and eventually Pezz.
Pezz began writing, performing songs, and gaining attention and credibility at first locally, and soon in Toronto's broader indie music scene. Their first recording was a cheap 4-track demo. It was recorded in Ian D'Sa's basement in July of 1994, and was named Demoluca, after a friend of the band named Jason Deluca had stopped by the house, banging on a basement window while the band was recording. Soon after, in January 1995, they all put in money to record another demo of better quality with engineer/producer Dave Tedesco at "Signal to Noise" studio which they called Dudebox. It wasn't until the band members maxed-out their credit cards, and collaborated with Juno-nominated music producer Brad Nelson, that they recorded their first full-length album, Watoosh!, in 1998 at a studio called "Great Big Music". While popular within Toronto's indie scene, it did not reach large mainstream sales levels.
edit] Billy Talent and mainstream success</H3>In 1999, Pezz ran into some legal trouble over their name. A punk band from Memphis, Tennessee used the same name, and had released their first record under that name in 1990 (however, their first full-length was not released until 1995). At first, the Canadian Pezz's management threatened a lawsuit and demanded $5,000 from BYO Records, the Los Angeles-based record company, at the time, for the American Pezz. In time, the band relented, and soon renamed themselves Billy Talent in 2001. The name was inspired by "Billy Tallent", the name of a guitarist in Hard Core Logo, the novel by Michael Turner and its film adaptation by Bruce McDonald.
As Billy Talent, their sound began to move in a more aggressive, punk rock direction. Their four song EP, Try Honesty, was released in September 2001, and the band became increasingly well known, and their live shows, noted for their high energy, more frequent.
In 2002, the band quickly attracted considerable interest from major record companies. In the end, the band signed with Atlantic Records and Warner Music Canada. In the fall of 2003, the band released their full-length self-titled album, Billy Talent. The album found considerable mainstream airplay and sales success. "Try Honesty" was a successful first single, and was followed by other singles into late 2003 and 2004. The band played sold-out shows in Canada and the United States and had success in Europe as well. The band received Juno and MuchMusic Video Award nominations and awards, and spent late 2004 and most of 2005 touring. As of June 2006, Billy Talent the album, has gone 3x Platinum in Canada. The album achieved minimal success in the United States, despite the band's participation in the Warped Tour 2006 festival.
 Billy Talent II</H3>Billy Talent's second album was mostly recorded at The Warehouse Studio in Vancouver B.C., again working closely with good friends Gavin Brown and Chris Lord-Alge. This time however Ian D'Sa got a chance to try his hand at producing. The band also recorded cover songs of John Lennon's "Cold Turkey" and the Buzzcocks "Ever Fallen in Love?" during these sessions.
Beginning in the fall of 2005, songs from the new album were purposely leaked by the band to gain publicity. A demo of "Red Flag" circulated across the internet, even though it had already appeared on the soundtracks to Burnout Revenge, Burnout Legends, SSX On Tour and EA Sports' NHL 06, and on the Atlantic Records compilation Black by Popular Demand. "Devil In A Midnight Mass" and "Surrender" were available for download on the official website exclusively on Christmas Day, 2005 and Valentine's Day, 2006, respectively.
The album hit the shelves on June 27, 2006. It fared very well in Canada in its debut week, landing in at number 1 on the Canadian charts with 48,000 copies sold. It also enjoyed significant success in Germany, where it debuted at No 1 in the Album charts and since was awarded with a golden record for 100 000 + shipped units. However the success didn't duplicate itself in the U.S., where the disk came in at #134, selling only 7,231 units in week 1.
The day after its debut, the band performed a Intimate & Interactive outdoor concert on MuchMusic in the CHUM-City Building parking lot in Toronto, Ontario. They were also interviewed by Much VJ Devon Soltendieck, and asked questions from viewers via telephone, e-mail, and videophone.
During the band's most recent UK tour, Ben was forced to return to Canada for family-related reasons. The band had to miss their Southampton show in Ben's absence. The whole band returned the following month to play the show.
On January 18, the band started their first Canadian arena tour with the bands Rise Against, Anti-Flag, and Moneen in Victoria, in which they toured the provinces of British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Quebec and ending off February 8 in London, Ontario.
The band's sold-out show at Brixton Academy on February 17 was filmed and will be released as a live DVD in the coming months.
On March 24, 2007, Billy Talent announced their first tour of Australia. The tour is to consist of one show in Brisbane (April 24), Melbourne (April 25), and Sydney (April 28). The tour will likely be a test of support in the region before possibly releasing singles and further tours in the future.
- 2004 Juno Awards: Won Best New Group Of The Year, Nominated for Rock Album Of The Year, Single Of The Year (for "Try Honesty")
- 2004 MuchMusic Video Awards: Won Best Rock Video (for "Try Honesty")
- 2004 Casby Awards: Won Favorite New Single (for "River Below"), Favorite New Album
- 2005 Juno Awards: Won Group Of The Year, Best Album Of The Year (for "Billy Talent"), Nominated for Single Of The Year (for "River Below")
- 2005 MuchMusic Video Awards: Won Best Video (for "River Below"), Best Rock Video (for "River Below")
- 2006 MuchMusic Video Awards: Nominated Best Video (for "Devil in a Midnight Mass"), Best Director - Sean Michael Turrell (for "Devil in a Midnight Mass"), Best Post-Production (for "Devil in a Midnight Mass"), Best Cinematography (for "Devil in a Midnight Mass"), Best Rock-Punk Video (for "Devil in a Midnight Mass")
- 2007 Juno Awards: Won Group of the year, Rock album of the year ("Billy Talent II"), Nominated for Group of the year, Punk album of the year ("Billy Talent II"), Video of the year ("Devil in a Midnight Mass"), Single of the year ("Devil in a Midnight Mass") and Album of the year ("Billy Talent II")
- 2007 ECHO Awards: Won Best Newcomer International and Best Punk/Alternative International
- http://youtube.com/w...7En9uIDdc50(red flag)
- in a midnight mass)