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Canadian band Striker have recently released a self-titled album. In order to promote it, they played in Portugal and Metal Imperium was so struck and inspired by their energy that it was mandatory to have a chat with them. 

M.I - "Stand in the Fire" was a kick-ass album and it was released last year. How does "Striker" stand out from your previous record and which were the main obstacles you had to face, considering, for instance, that the recording sessions must have been pretty close together, right?

Well, recording was pretty simple, actually. We recorded both albums by ourselves, so we learned a lot when we recorded “Stand in the Fire”, making recording the self-titled album relatively easy. We are sort of always writing music, so we always have a stack of tunes to work with. 

M.I - How is the music industry and the fans reacting to this brand new album?

So far so good! Fans really have been digging it, and people are singing along to the new songs so that’s always a good sign. As for the rest of the industry, we’ve been getting progressively bigger and better offers for all kinds of things! The music industry is very slow, many things are planned out over a year in advance, so, some of the things, you won’t see anything for some time. But, since announcing the new album, we played “70.000Tons of Metal Festival”, which was absolutely nuts, toured with Sonata Arctica in Europe and are now touring North America with Dark Tranquility. More fun stuff to come! 

M.I - This is sort of a default question, but, I'm curious: which were the main influences while writing "Striker"; what gave you guys the inspiration to make it turn out the way it did?

Well, our producer said we had been listening to too much Journey, ha-ha. I suppose our main focus has been melody, hooks, catchiness and the chorus, recently. Those types of things are often the center point to pop and “AOR” bands, like Journey, so, obviously, there’s that connection there, but we also have that thrash/speed influence. We are sort of “Journey meets Slayer”, I guess. 

M.I - If I were to show one single track of this new album to somebody who had never listened to the band Striker, which song should I pick; which, would you say, best represents who you are?

That’s a tough one! I’d go for “Former Glory”; it’s full of shred, catchy, old school and I think it is a good summary of what we are all about. I feel this album in particular is a good summary of our sound, so, if you were to ask what album to show someone, I’d say this one!

M.I - When you guys perform live, you always seem so happy, you're always smiling and that's super contagious. In fact, it is absolutely impossible for someone in the crowd not to feel the influence of your overflowing energy and good vibes. What's the trick, how do you keep that up even after being on the road day after day?

Well, playing music live in front of people is what makes us happy, it’s impossible to not have fun. I don’t know, how you could be any other way? There are other bands out there, where the members don’t seem to be having fun and that’s just lame. We are party instigators: if you aren’t having fun, we aren’t doing our job. Simple as that. 

M.I - Striker performed live in Portugal, on the 7th of March, alongside with Triosphere and Sonata Arctica. As a Portuguese Webzine, we'd love to know your true opinion on everything (namely, regarding the Portuguese concert hall "Lisboa ao Vivo", the old and new Portuguese fans, how the crowd reacted to your gig, etc.) and also, of course, we'd love to hear your thoughts on the tour itself.

Portugal was great! Every time Striker has played in Portugal it’s been awesome. The people are nice, the food is top notch, and of course the weather is way better than Canada! The concert was really good, the venue was actually really nice, I had heard that it was brand new and that was a nice change from some of the dingy old venues in the UK that we played, ha-ha. Would love to come back to Portugal soon!

M.I - Spoiler alert: will you be coming back to Portugal anytime soon? Are there any surprises ahead, for Striker’s Portuguese fans?

Well, I hope we can come back to Portugal soon! We are planning another European tour sometime this winter, so hopefully there’s a spot for Portugal on it.

M.I - Up to now, what do you consider to be the most defining moment of your career; in other words, which event strikes you as the most important as musicians and, particularly, as Striker so far?

I think that would have to be going independent. Running our own record label has been the best thing that ever happened to us, and has opened so many doors for us. I hope more bands can follow our route, so many bands that are stuck on labels that aren’t supporting their bands in the way they should be. The last year or two, on our own, has seen us do all kinds of crazy things, and it just keeps growing. Who knows what’ll happen in a year or two?

M.I - What is the next big step for Striker?

Well, we are looking to start working on our next album, so hopefully that is a big step there! We are also going on our first support tour in North America, playing with Dark Tranquility. That will be a big step for us as we’ve only done headlining gigs in North America mostly and this will open us up to a bunch of new fans.

M.I - Well, finally and this may come across as a tricky question, but it truly isn't: in your own words, tell me, who are Striker?

Striker is anyone listening to headbanging music, drinking a beer! Shred!

Interview by Evie