Killinger brings a new energy to a classic sound

Killinger (Left to right): Kevin Morin, Dave Williams, Chris Challice and Justin Craig. Photo by Kori Deby

By Pat Prince

Killinger are Canadian rockers who offer a modern spin on the popular genre of ‘80s melodic metal, and it shows all the way through their recently released, self-titled, debut album. Vocalist Dave Williams and guitarist Kevin Morin teamed up to create what both musicians term as a ‘big sound’ — anthem rock that is custom-made for an arena performance.

“I’ve got to say this first,” says Williams. “We are not KISS, but when we were doing this album and talking about it while in the studio, Pete Holmes (studio drummer on the album) said that the songs were on the verge of tearing your face off but not quite. And I said ‘That’s perfect. Now we’re exactly like the first KISS album!’ You know, you were kind of safe when putting on that album but when you went to see them live … you probably peed a little bit. We would like to take the same way about it. When you see us live we do it like a punch in the face. It’s loud. It’s huge. And the songs are more aggressive. We have that party rock, live feel. It’s very much arena. We are an arena band. I can’t see us doing anything else. Huge thing, huge crowds, that’s us. Really. I mean, I’m sure any band is going to say that. But really when you listen to the music it is nothing but arena-type anthems.”’

The notion of this type of arena rock has been in Williams’s blood since childhood. “I got my first KISS record when I was six years old and I saw my first KISS concert when I was eight. When I was seven years old my mother got me Alice Cooper’s “Killer.” So I’ve been f**ked up ever since. I like to blame stuff on her. ‘Oh, you’re an asshole.’ ‘Well, that’s my mom’s fault. KISS record at six years old!’

However, Williams does not want Killinger to be termed a throwback band, even though they emulate a classic sound. “I don’t really know what ‘throwback’ is,” he says. “I don’t understand the labeling system. I find it a little bit demeaning to artists. Like ‘Old School.’ I don’t understand ‘Old School.’ I mean, even in Rap. You play something by Young MC and people lose their mind. “Oh, it’s Old School!’ No, it’s not any school. It’s just good f***ing music. Why do we have to put a label on it? Are we a throwback? Sure, if that makes people feel safe by putting a label on us. If it’s for the good, so be it. If it’s for the bad, take it or leave it, you know. We aren’t gonna try to shove it in your face.”

Now that their debut album is out, Killinger is preparing to go on a grand tour. The band is ready to venture out of their Canadian confines to be greeted by new fans. “I’ve been training my liver for it,” laughs Williams. “I can’t wait to get out and meet new people. I am not trying to insult my country by any means — but as far as the music scene, I find myself a little sheltered here. And I feel like I don’t know what I really should know. Sometimes I talk to people who have been to the States or come over from Europe and they start naming off these new bands … I feel like a kid because I have no idea who these guys are. And I go on YouTube and I see that they have two million hits. Where the hell am I? So I feel a little sheltered. And, yeah, I’m ready to get out and go do the touring — life on the road, absolutely.”

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About Patrick Prince

Patrick Prince is the Editor of Goldmine

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