First off let the people know who you are and what you do in Striker. How are you doing right now as well?
Tim : I’m Tim from Striker, I play guitar! I’m doing great, we have a day off in Marseille today on our European tour with Sonata Arctica, so just having a few beers and finishing some work up!
Striker released their self titled album this year, how has the reception been for it so far? How have crowds been reacting to the songs live as well?
Tim : So far so good! Everyone has been really receptive of the new album, and it’s been getting the best reviews of any album we’ve done so far. Crowds have been jumping around quite a bit for the new songs, can’t wait to add more to the set list!
The album cover for the self titled is very unique in the sense that it doesn’t attempt to go all out and insane as many others try to. Who did the art work and where did the idea come from?
Tim : The artwork was done by a guy named Rizky Putranto. We’ve had the idea for the image for quite a while, and finally got it done for the album cover. We wanted something that was simplified but at the same time very detailed and unique, which is what we tried to do with the music for this album. The same artist has actually recently done a bunch of our shirt artwork too and it’s really great!
Compared to the previous 4 albums, what was the writing and recording of the self titled like compared to the others. Do you feel that as time as passed it has become smoother for the band to make and record an album?
Tim : This writing for this album was great, we’ve been doing this for so long that we feel like we are starting to finally get the hang of writing a proper song! We always try to learn as much as possible, and we feel that for this album, we have finally gotten to a place where composing music is comfortable and comes naturally… for the most part. It was a very similar process as Stand in the Fire, so I think at least for me, those 2 albums have a lot of similarities.
Having wrapped up US shows lately in your continued constant touring schedule, how did those shows go? What are some of your favorite places across the US to play and what makes them the most memorable?
Tim : The US is always great to play! Our favorite places are definitely Texas and the West Coast. We are basically just a bunch of fatso’s so we like to eat all the local food and so far those have been some of our favorite places to eat! BBQ in Texas and surprise vegan food on the west coast… who knew?
You are currently doing an EU with Sonata Arctica. How have those shows been going. With a diverse lineup how have crowds been reacting to the thrashing you’ve been giving them?
Tim : The shows have been great! There are a lot of ballads going on after we play ha ha, so I’m not sure the crowd is necessarily ready for heavy thrash, but we have a lot of music in our catalogue now and it’s nice to be able to play our more melodic tunes for a set. People always come up to us after the set and tell us that it was their first time seeing us and they had lots of fun, so it can’t be going too bad!
Any touring plans for later 2017? Any places you have yet to hit that you’d like to?
Tim : Yea we have lots of plans but nothing we can announce yet! Hoping to hit Asia and South America this year!
You had the chance to recently play the 70,000 Tons Of Metal Cruise. What the atmosphere like on the cruise and how did your set go? For those unaware give an insight of what the cruise is like.
Tim : The cruise is amazing! If you have the opportunity to go, you need to take it! Our sets were great, there were tons of people at each set, which was surprising since we played the main stage at 5am on the 3rd day! But people are up thrashing 24/7. It’s really cool because there is nowhere for anyone to hide, you can eat lunch next to Anthrax and dinner beside Testament, which is something that happened to me!
What can fans expect from your live show currently?
Tim : We are party instigators. If you aren’t having a good time, we aren’t doing our jobs!
Having just put out a new album, with it being so easy for fans to either pirate or stream the music (to where you, the musician, gets little money) how do you feel the current state of music is? Do you feel like people just don’t buy physical music (with the exception of vinyl) anymore? What would you change about how streaming is set up as well? Possibly make it to where musicians could actually make a steady decent amount of money from streams.
Tim : It’s a shame that music is so undervalued these days, you hear it literally everywhere you go, it’s hard to find a public place to doesn’t have music of some kind these days. The flip side to this is that there is such a high supply of music, anyone can make music these days and put it out and market it. There are no barriers. In that sense it’s really exciting because there is lot’s of new things happening and you don’t need a label to push your art, but on the other hand it’s never been harder to get someone’s attention. The reality is that making music costs money. It sucks but if you like an artist, and you aren’t buying their music or going and seeing them live, they simply won’t be able to make new music. If you like an artist and want to hear new music, you need to support them. Streaming is good in that anyone can experience your music, and it’s easy to make new fans, but it will never pay the studio bills! You will be lucky if you could buy a 6 pack with your streaming royalties.
Do you feel like for a band to make money and continue being relevant it is almost necessary to have to constantly tour?
Tim : Touring is definitely important. It’s the one experience you can never replace. Orchestras, Opera, live theater, etc, have all been around for hundreds of years and live metal is a continuation of that history. Live music will never go away, and in there will always be people that want to experience it because that is the best way to listen to music. Live and direct from the source. You also can’t pirate live shows ha ha! Touring has been important for every kind of live show for decades, and I don’t think that trend will ever stop.
Who are some of your influences that made you want to get into music and be in a band? Are they the same influences that go into making music for Striker as well?
Tim : We have a huge love of classic 80’s metal! I think it’s pretty obvious ha ha. Our main influences are bands like Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, Metallica, Megadeth, etc. Basically if someone was shredding sick guitar solos at any point we were into it.
Being from Canada but having played the US and EU, what are the differences you have noticed in the music scenes between all 3 countries.
Tim : Well I think Europe has the most appreciation for art as a profession. In Europe, most venues have showers, good beer, food for bands, etc, some even have washer and dryer and even over night accommodation! In North America, you are lucky if you get McDonalds. I think you can also see the difference in live music festivals. It’s a night and day difference in festivals, all of the biggest rock/metal festivals are in Europe, and there are hundreds of them and they all bring thousands of people. In North America, there are only a handful of festivals, and rarely are they ever successful or stick around. That being said there are tons of fans everywhere!
Before I let you go is there any last thing you’d like to say?
Tim : Big thank you to all our fans that have supported us over the years! We couldn’t do it without you and we hope to shred your faces off live! And check out our new self titled album out now!
Just wanted to thank you again for taking the time to chat and I wish you all the best in 2017.