Canadian (Edmonton) power metallers STRIKER, will be kicking off their Canadian tour in Toronto on June 9th at The Garrison. I took a quick look at their online presence and was impressed by how busy they’ve been. STRIKER has also been nominated for a Western Canadian Music Award for ‘Metal/Hard Rock Artist of The Year’, the results of which will be announced in October, 2016.
GET TO THE GARRISON! https://www.facebook.com/events/1139997849396057
If you’ve been reading my past articles, you’ll have seen that I’m not easily impressed with indie musicians. I search and search for something new and exciting and occasionally I find something, but more often I’m disappointed. Listening to STRIKER initially had me shaking my head thinking to myself, wow, they are just copying hair metal from the 80’s, but I listened for longer than 30 seconds and it raised my eyebrows. These guys have my attention.
I found their entire new album ‘Stand In The Fire’ on Youtube (posted by a fan, which can’t be good for music sales) and listened to the whole thing. I often complain about a band not having “found their voice” and having a lack of originality, but STRIKER has certainly found their voice. Bands often say “we are unapologetic” (gawd I get tired of reading that), but those bands don’t know what unapologetic means. What it really means is, when you play from your heart and soul and you’re real and don’t hestitate, than there’s nothing to apologize for. STRIKER’s got that. They play smooth. They are not posing. They’ve obviously played long and hard together because they’re tight and together as a unit. There’s a ton of energy in their music. An energy that, sometimes, is a little hard for the ear to take in the way this particular album is produced, but I can tell that they will be amazing live in Toronto on June 9th.
STRIKER says they are inspired by legendary bands like Iron Maiden. Their Facebook page says they are a “New Wave of Heavy Metal”, and I believe them. They are new. There is something next generation about them. It sounds like hair metal, but then there is the double pedal on the drums. It’s more hardcore. Then they throw in a saxophone, just to confuse you. I love these guys.
I liked them so much, I brought them to the attention of musician/filmmaker Aaron Peters, who has started a new “thing” at his production studio in Winnipeg called ‘Drum Rides’. Peters makes videos of drummers playing on a riser that spins. The video affect is pretty cool and the drummers have a riot making them. The video creates some fun content for Facebook. I told Peters he should check out STRIKER. After they play in Toronto (June 9th), they’ll be in Ottawa (11th), Montreal (12th), Quebec City (13th), Sudbury (15th), Thunder Bay (16th) and will land in Winnipeg on June 17th before returning to their home town Edmonton (24th). I suggested Peters invite them for a Drum Ride during their stop in Winnipeg.
Peters listened to the album posted on Youtube that I shared with him and initially didn’t seem very impressed. Then he listened longer, and by the end of the album, had this to say about STRIKER,
“At the risk of sounding like an old bastard, I’d like to say that it would be super killer to hear STRIKER recorded in a way that harkened back to analog. Or at least an approximated approach to that sound. STRIKER kick all kinds of ass. I highly recommend this band and any recording they put out. I am actually proud that STRIKER are a Canadian band. They do us proud by carrying the metal flag like this.” Aaron Peters
I kid you not, that’s what he wrote to me. I was astonished. I like STRIKER, too, but never expected that response from a seasoned rock musician.
Peters has invited STRIKER to his studio during their stop in Winnipeg. There will be a ‘drum ride’ video to follow.
The band; Dan Clearly (vocals) Tim Brown (lead/rhythm guitars) William Wallace (bass) Adam Brown (drums) recorded the album themselves with the help of Randy Black (who filled in on drums while Adam was away. Frederik Nordstrom (Bring Me The Horizon, In Flames, Opeth) mixed the album.