The Band: Striker
The Man: Dan Cleary (vocals)
Interview by Vpower
Striker is a Canadian band with three albums in his handbag and a fourth coming next year, as Dan confirmed during the chat. They are the kind of band that delivers high quality Metal and lots of fun too, you can feel it and you can watch it in their videos. It’s worth to stop anything you are doing now and get some smiles on your face and even some laugh with Dan, satisfaction guaranteed.
Hi Dan, thank you very much for sharing a little of your time with us. Striker was formed in 2007, but until 2010 we didn’t get your first full album, since then all speed ahead. It seems as if you were shaping your sound and once you got it you were totally unleashed
Haha well it's probably more like we were being 19 year olds and spending all our money on beer and not on recording. We did record the EP "Road Warrior" in that time though, so yeah we were definitely figuring it out.
However, in my opinion there is an evolution in your music, and that’s good for me, you keep your music cool. For example, comparing “Armed to the teeth” and “City of gold”, I think the first is more melodic oriented while City of Gold is more in the Speed vein, rougher riffs and your voice is also a bit dirtier, more evil yeah, than before…
Totally, we have a lot of influences from all over the metal spectrum and I think when we were writing "Armed To The Teeth" we were listing to more NWOBHM and early speed metal type stuff, and during the writing of "City Of Gold" we were on more of a heavy thrash kick. I think that always shows up in the material sort of naturally.
It’s hard to say which one you like more, because all of them are great works, I personally prefer this last album, it delievers killing riffs and so much attitude, more aggressive, but what has been the response of the fans to City of Gold?
We have had tons of great response from the latest album. Some fans of course prefer the older material but that always happens. We went on tour pretty quickly after it came out and a lot of people were singing the words already, that was awesome.
I think there are new guys aboard Striker’s vessel, how are they doing?
Yeah man it's been kind of shitty lately I guess, being in a band is pretty time consuming and we aren't at the level yet where we can really make a living from it so it gets hard to grind out tour after tour and year after year, it's a labour of love in the end. We are still kind of feeling out the right members at the moment, but we have a new album coming out soon so we will have a solid line up.
You have just released a new video for the Second Attack track. I strongly recommend to watch it, especially if your boss is bullying you or you just found that the world is crazy, apart of the great music you will get some laughing, it’s a mix between Matrix, Terminator, Karate Kid and the Marx Brothers, I would say. Can you tell us a little about the making off?
We got $10,000 dollars from a Canadian phone company to make it, it was sick. Our buddy Lindsay Robinson masterminded the entire thing. We don't take the music videos that seriously so we just do stuff we think is cool and fucked up, like robots and power rangers and shit haha. It was a lot of work, we built all the sets and everything ourselves with the help of some really talented people here in Edmonton.
Hahaha really cool! Don’t miss it, just click the play… You guys seems are having great fun together, aren’t you? How important is that in your opinion?
Yeah dude we always have a blast. For us music is about having a good time, I think people notice that when we play live because everyone always says we look like we are having a good time on stage. We are always grateful to be able to do this so we don't waste it.
At the end of the year, in December, you are touring through Mexico and South America, you have a a legion of fans right there?
I think so? Haha, we aren't entirely sure what it will be like. SkullFist went down there a while back and it looked amazing, heavy metal is alive and well there so I think we'll have a great time. Although it will probably to hot for us Canadian boys.
Well, in my opnion South America is one of the hottest places when it comes to Metal, people are crazy for it, so I predict you a great tour. Dan, you are kind of a classical vocalist I would say. I mean you would fit perfectly in any 80’s Heavy Metal band, you were studying and dissecting some dvds at home, time after time, or you got a natural gift for it?
I'm not sure really, when I started singing it was just because no one else wanted to. I guess I had a bit of a knack for it, I spent a lot of time singing along to Vicious Rumors and Iron Maiden so that probably helped. I also watched and still do watch a lot of stuff on youtube, there are a lot of good tips and that kind of stuff on there so I'm always learning how to suck less all the time. The only problem with that is there is also a bunch of bullshit on there too so you have to sort through it.
How is the composition of an album in Striker’s cave?
I do most of the writing in my "home studio" aka just on my computer haha. I usually come up with the skeleton of the song and then we get together and fuck around with it a bit to get it to where we want it. A song usually evolves over months of tweaks and all that until its finally time to record it for real. The new new album that is coming out next year has a lot more collaboration with Tim, it turned out fucking great!
Can’t wait to listen to it! Tell us, three albums you would save in case the Earth were under alien attack and Striker were totally undisposed by a tequila hangover?
Hahaha well I think for sure Painkiller would be in there, maybe Van Halen 1984....and because it's what I'm listening to right now Power of the Night by Savatage.
Yeah, I buy it all, man! Favorite movie?
Point Break or Road House. Although the new Mad Max movie blew my mind.
Motley Crue's The Dirt, I know it's mostly bullshit but 16 year old me didn't know that.
Hahaha, crazy 16… Imagine you have been awarded the MTV award to the rock band of the year…, you would welcome it or you would blow the show up?
I'm waiting for the day I can show up drunk to an award show. Like the fucking Mastodon guys, modern day heroes.
Hahaha If you could choose a band to share stage with, from any time, it would be…?
Ha that's a hard one, probably Van Halen in their prime that would be sick. Or Iron Maiden/Judas Priest, I guess the list could go on and on but Van Halen used to party haaaaaard.
Well, I really see you with young crazy David Lee Roth, it would be such a show. When you listen to a band as Striker you have the temptation to think that all Canada is a gold mine for Metal, how true is that?
There is a lot of awesome metal from Canada, in the past and now. Our buddies in Unleash The Archers just signed with Napalm Records and are getting out there. And of course our buds SkullFist and Cauldron ect. There are lot's of great bands up here in the north.
Unleash The Archers , let me take note of it. Last year I was lucky enough to see you touring Portugal and Spain, with Cauldron together, your show is amazing, full of energy and joy. When are you coming back to Spain, guys?
Hopefully soon. We are going to be touring as much as we can in 2016 so we will try and get there, I'm sure we will! Spain has always been a special place for us, some of the best metal fans in the world.
You are thinking about new material for a new album in 2016 or it’s time to let the mind rest for a while?
Yeah dude! We have a new album done and ready to go, it will be out early 2016. We haven't done a real official statement about it but that’s coming soon. We are super stoked on it, I think everyone else will be too. We are still working out the time line and some final detail but expect it early 2016.
Great news! Thank you for your time Dan and wish a very successful tour in South America and Mexico
Cheers dude! Can't wait to come back to Spain!!! Keep an eye out for info on the new one too!