Interview with guitarist Tim Brown
Interview conducted by MetalMike
Date online: November 21, 2018
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada's Striker have been pumping out 80s-inspired Heavy Metal for nearly 10 years and show no signs of slowing down with album number six, 2018's Play to Win. They've been on the road much of the year supporting bands like Unleash the Archers and Skull Fist. Guitarist Tim Brown took a few moments to bring the readers of The Metal Crypt a brief history of the band and get us up to speed on Striker's current and future plans (watch out, Asia!)
MetalMike: Hails! I can see on your website that you guys have been doing quite a bit of touring this year. Where are you now and how are things?
Tim: We are currently in Europe doing a co-headline tour with Skull Fist! We just got off a co-headline tour with Unleash the Archers across North America three weeks ago. The tours have been awesome, wish they could last longer!
MetalMike: Why don't we start with a brief history of the band? How did you guys meet out in the plains of Alberta, Canada? What brought you together to form Striker?
Tim: We all played in different bands in the past and slowly but surely after Striker started, it just poached us all from our other bands and here we are! We had been playing shows together for years before Striker even started. We all just loved old school metal for whatever reason. Mutual love of shred!
MetalMike: Assuming you are originally from western Canada, what was it like growing up there and how did you "discover" Heavy Metal and once you did, "feed the habit" as it were?
Tim: As soon as I heard Kill 'Em All I ripped the sleeves off of all my t-shirts ha ha. We had this show called Power Hour on Much More Music, basically Canada's MTV but it played music at the time, and it was just old school metal. That's the first time I heard a ton of bands and we all learned about these awesome old school shredders. I picked up a guitar and started playing along.
MetalMike: What bands were your earliest Hard Rock and Heavy Metal influences? Were you ever able to see them live?
Tim: Judas Priest, Metallica, Iron Maiden, Megadeth, Scorpions, and a million more. We've seen a ton of bands live, and what's even cooler is we've been able to play with some too! We were direct support for Metallica for two shows in Edmonton when they filmed Through the Never and we are even in the special features! I also opened for Priest and Saxon in London in a different band. It's very cool to support your heroes!
MetalMike: Striker has been around for more than 10 years at this point and has released six full-length albums with 2018's Play to Win the most recent. That's some steady production there. How important is it for Striker to get new material out for the fans on a regular basis?
Tim: We just love making tunes! No real rush or pressure for us, we just like to do it. We run our own label, so we do what we want. If we want to put out an album, we'll do it.
MetalMike: How has the response been for Play to Win so far? "Position of Power" is my favorite track (as of right now, anyway!) but do any of the tracks stick out for you? Which songs have been going over the best live?
Tim: It's been great! People are digging the whole thing which is awesome. Different people like different tracks. Some people love the heavy shit like "Heart of Lies" or "Summoned", while others love the softer stuff like "Heavy is the Heart" or "Hands of Time". We were trying to branch out and do new things with this album. So far, we are only doing a few new songs, but we will be busting the rest out soon!
MetalMike: How does a Striker album come together? Is the writing a democratic process with everyone contributing or do you have a main songwriter or two? Are the band members close enough in terms of where you all live to practice together or do you have to use the Internet for sharing demos?
Tim: We sort of just sit down and go through all our ideas. We pick the best and get to work. Dan does most of the writing, and I do some also, but everyone contributes in some way.
MetalMike: You had a deal with one of the biggest Metal labels, Napalm Records, for albums Armed to the Teeth and City of Gold but with album four, Stand in the Fire, you formed your own record company, Record Breaking Records. Why the change and what is the benefit of having your own imprint? Are there any things you miss about being on a larger label?
Tim: Labels suck, no doubt about it. If I asked you to show me a band that has a good impression of their label, I bet you couldn't, and I've certainly never met one. Anything a label does, you can do for yourself. Go to any bank and you can get a better loan than any record deal. And you get to keep your rights.
MetalMike: 2018 has seen Striker play in many places in North America and Europe. Was this your first time in Europe? What were your favorite stops in 2018? Where haven't Striker played yet that are on the bucket list?
Tim: We've been in Europe something like 15 times over the past decade or so, we've been road dogs for years! I always love Germany and the Netherlands, just great venues, great beer and great fans! We are hoping to get to Asia with this album.
MetalMike: For someone hearing Striker for the first time, in your words, what should they expect? How would you describe Striker's sound?
Tim: We are party instigators. Put us on if you want to have a good time. The champagne of shred.
MetalMike: What's up next for Striker? More touring? A little R&R at some point? Is the next album written? 😊
Tim: We are booking our next tours for 2019! It's going to be a busy year for us. I'm sure we will start working on a new album too, can't ever stop!
MetalMike: Thank you for taking some time to answer a few questions for the readers of The Metal Crypt and for flying the flag of Heavy Metal! Any last thoughts to share with our readers before you go?
Tim: Thanks to all the supporters of heavy metal out there, we couldn't do it without you! Check out our website www.striker-metal.com for your Striker needs!
|Other information about Striker on this site|
|Review: Armed to the Teeth|
|Review: Armed to the Teeth|
|Review: City of Gold|
|Review: Stand in the Fire|
|Review: Play to Win|
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