Billy Talent, Monster Truck, The Dirty Nil To Blitz Canada

One of the biggest rock 'n roll tours in Canada this winter kicks off at the Abbotsford Centre in BC on Feb. 16, closing out at Scotiabank Centre in Halifax on March 6.

Headlined by Billy Talent, and hitting such arenas as Toronto's ACC and Montréal's Bell Centre, the tour also features Monster Truck and The Dirty Nil, two other bands who are also making a real impact around the globe, thanks to a seemingly never-ending tour schedule.

All three bands have already been out on tour together recently, playing a bunch of European shows in November and December. German reviews we've seen were highly positive, with the often sold-out shows drawing up to 7,500 people a night.

On Tuesday, FYI caught up with members of Billy Talent and The Dirty Nil at the Juno Awards nomination press conference in Toronto. You could say the bands are at opposite ends of the Juno spectrum. Over a career spanning more than two decades, Billy Talent have notched the very impressive total of 21 Juno nominations and seven wins. This year they're up for Group of the Year and Rock Album of the Year (Afraid Of Heights), while group member Ian D'Sa is also nominated as Jack Richardson Producer of the Year.

The Dirty Nil earn their very first nomination, in the Breakthrough Group of the Year category. Not to be outdone, Monster Truck also grabbed a Juno nomination, in the Rock Album of the Year category, for Sittin' Heavy.

Though clearly pleased as punch at the Juno honour, Luke Bentham and Kyle Fisher of the Dirty Nil sounded as if they couldn't wait to start the Canadian tour. "It has been a phenomenal few months and we’re excited to keep it going," says Bentham. "It's great to be out with Billy Talent and Monster Truck again, after playing in Europe with them. It's a triple header of Canadian rock 'n roll."

Fisher adds that "We absolutely thrive on touring. We’re a travelling rock n' roll band and we’re never stopping. If you stop you die!"

Just after the European tour, The Dirty Nil toured Australia, opening for another major Canadian hard rock band, Alexisonfire and playing a few headline club gigs. "Australia was awesome," says Bentham. "It was hot and we got sunburned immediately, crispy fried. And there's a lot of bats there!"

Jonathan Gallant, bassist in Billy Talent, told FYI that "our European tour was a good way to get excited for the Canadian tour. We toured for nearly two months, and Europe has been awesome for us. We spend a lot of time touring over there and it has really paid off." Billy Talent will head back to Europe for the summer festival season, playing 13 fests in July and August.

Guitarist Ian D'Sa chuckles that "we should maybe be touring in Australia this time of year, but it seems like playing Canada in winter is the way it goes!"

Monster Truck has also been touring at a very intense rate, opening huge shows in the UK and Europe for Nickelback, prior to joining up with Billy Talent there. A week after the Canadian tour ends, they jet across the Atlantic again, playing 20 dates in the UK and Europe.

All three bands on the bill for the upcoming Canadian tour are represented by UTA (United Talent Agency). Adam Kreeft handles The Dirty Nil, while Ralph James is the primary agent for both Monster Truck and Billy Talent.

Both The Dirty Nil and Monster Truck are signed to Dine Alone Records, while Billy Talent is with Warner Music Canada.

See the full Canadian tour itinerary here




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