CHRIS KEE STRIKES METAPHORICAL GOLD WITH CANADA’S STRIKER
For high-energy, melodic speed metal, look no further than Canada’s Striker. Chris Kee gets the details from vocalist Dan Cleary.
Having announced themselves to the world with their Road Warrior EP and Eyes In The Night debut album, Striker are about to unleash Armed To The Teeth, an explosive follow-up which should take things for the band to the next level. Unsurprisingly, Dan is delighted with the results of all the band’s hard work. “Yeah, we’re really stoked on how it turned out,” he grins. “And so far, everyone we’ve showed the album to has really dug it, as well. I’m personally most excited about the guitar-playing on this album; there are just so many really killer solos by Ian [Sandercock] and Chris [Segger].” There’s definitely some undeniably great guitar-work all over Armed To The Teeth, and it’s unsurprising to hear that guitarists Ian and Chris take their cues from some of the finest shredders around… “I think the actual first people to make them pick up the guitar could be a bit embarrassing,” says Dan with a laugh, “growing up as they did in the ‘90s and the early ‘00s. I think the guitar-players who made them want to become better players and really practice were, for Chris, Adrian Smith, and for Ian, Marty Friedman and Jason Becker. As for their current inspirations, well…Paul Gilbert and Yngwie Malmsteen are definitely up there.”
Despite the skills of the Striker guitar-team, it’s Dan himself who comes up with the core ideas for the band’s searing songs. “I usually write the skeleton of the song,” he confirms, “the main riffs and melodies. I have a bit of a home studio, so I can record ideas beforehand and present them to the band as a complete song. Ian and Chris then add all the lead guitar-parts and away we go.” As for the lyrics, Dan has a pretty laidback attitude to what he likes to sing about: “The lyrics are all over the place on this album – I just write about whatever I want, really. Write a song about Point Break? Fuck yeah. How about a song about a gang of wolves? Yeah, why not!” In a real coup for the young band, the new Striker album has been produced by legendary producer Michael Wagner, a man who has worked with the likes of Alice Cooper, Ozzy Osbourne, and countless others. “Recording with Michael was a blast,” Dan reports, “totally relaxed with an awesome vibe. The only difficulties we had to overcome were our studio beer-guts!”