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Although they are often described as having punk rock roots, the band claims that they have no bands that they have drawn inspiration from; they did not "emulate popular bands at the time." The sound is original and unique, something different that they recognized when they first started playing together.
“Music for us depends on the individuals you are playing with, and individually we are all at our best in the context of this band. Our collaboration and chemistry work. For years we tried to find our sound, but everything started happening when we simply accepted what we are. When you find your voice, everything else follows suit.”
—Benjamin Kowalewicz, MuchMusic interview
The band existed for almost a decade before hitting mainstream success. The members met and played in high school under the name Pezz and remained underground in Toronto's indie music scene until 2001. The band renamed itself Billy Talent after running into legal trouble with the old name. It was then that Kowalewicz's connection with a worker in Warner Music Canada's A&R landed the band a record deal and launched them into mainstream success. Since then, Billy Talent has made two multi-platinum records in Canada, and continues to expand their success overseas. As of September 11, 2007, the band has completed sixteen months of touring, and they have returned to Canada for a rest before beginning work on a new album.