Striking a Chord
Metal band talks about working independently with a unique sound
Bigoa Machar, Arts Editor
With the power of the internet making it easier to record and upload music, more and more people are making music these days, whether it be in a band or a solo act. Edmonton’s own Striker is trying to do the same, but with a twist.
Striker is a metal band that brings a different style of the genre to the table. Tim Brown, the band’s guitarist, says this style helps their product stand out.
“The big thing with Striker was that we came together because we liked this style of music and we wanted to hear a band play it. There weren’t many bands playing the style of music that we were,” says Brown.
“When we started 10 years ago, almost every other band in Edmonton was either a death metal band or a black metal band. We really wanted to return to the style of melodic vocals and guitar solos. Melody, hooks and really making things sound catchy.”
Brown also says that this style of music was set-aside for a while in favour of other types of metal. In addition to striving for a unique sound, Brown says one of the things that keep the band unique is the fact that Striker is completely independent.
“We talked about going independent a long time ago and this was really the perfect time for us to go ahead and do it,” says Brown. “I think the big thing is that the traditional labels were the way to go. You write music, you sell it to a label, and then that label goes ahead and resells that.”
With new technology easy to use and access, Brown says the band has all the tools they need on their own to create good music.
“You can record a great sounding album in your basement with your laptop. You don’t need super expensive studios anymore,” says Brown. “Not to say that they don’t work well, but you can definitely get great content on your own and that’s what we want to do.”
Brown goes on to say that while some label’s have good intentions, they’re not always carried out that way.
“Every single band that I’ve ever talked to that’s been with a label always has a horror story about labels. The nature of the business is when you’re on a label, you don’t make money off album sales. You’re always in debt with them and it’s really unfortunate that this is how it works.”
Working independently has proven to be the right choice for the band, as they have been able to strengthen their bond with their fans as a result.
“When we were with a label, to get vinyl was very expensive. To get that for a high price and then sell that to our fans was even more expensive, which I don’t think is fair,” says Brown. “We want the price of our music to be fair and worth it. We don’t want to rip anyone off.”
Brown says this control over the band’s assets allows them who they really want to be.
“Being independent is a big step towards that for us. We can sell our vinyl and our CDs for way cheaper and have other cool stuff like digital download cards. We’re really in control over what we do now. The label didn’t let us have control over anything.”
One of the things the band also gets to control on their own is their tour schedule. Currently on tour across with metal giants Primal Fear, Brown says it’s a great opportunity to extend Striker’s reach.
“It’s going to be our biggest tour yet. I’ve been listening to Primal Fear since I really got into metal. They’re a great band,” says Brown.
While he may be excited, Brown says the preparation for this tour has been no joke.
“With this tour, we dropped down to a four piece. We’re working with two different session players, so we’ve been working twice as hard,” says Brown. We have one session player for our European tour and another for our South American tour.”
As the band continues to get more and more popular, Brown says that one day he hopes that him and his band mates can give their undivided attention to music, bringing Striker more and more into the mainstream.
“We would love to pursue music full-time. All of us would love to come home from tour and head off to work the next day. There’s a huge difference in being a full-time musician and a part-time musician. The amount of time and the amount of resources you can put into music is so much better. Imagine if you could put 40 hours a week into practicing guitar or drums. Being able to pay the bills with music is the dream.”