The first single from the Canadian punk rock band's fifth album, Afraid of Heights, captures the topic of fright throughout the whole record. Ben Kowalewicz told us why they named the album after this tune.
"The reason why is as Ian [D'Sa] and I were working on the songs, we were talking one day and noticed that there was an overall theme throughout the record of fear: Our fear of progression as people, our fear of our relationship with the earth, within our communities, within us as a part of this planet politically," he said. "A fear of progress I guess would be the operative term, and what we mean by that is it's a turbulent time right now on the Earth."
He goes on to explain their ultimate goal for the album. "I guess the overall thing that we want people to walk away with from this record is that there's hope. With love, compassion, tolerance, and listening, we hopefully as a species and a creature on this planet will progress, and everyone will come out better on the other side."
Billy Talent's bassist, Jon Gallant, explained in an interview with Bob Willette of the Toronto radio station 94.9 The Rock why there are two different arrangements and versions of the song on the record. "'Afraid of Heights,' the first single, was one of the first songs Ian [D'Sa] started working on when we started writing this album," he said. "It goes way back from three years ago. I remember him showing me the riff at the start of the song on the bus when we were going to Warped Tour. So it took a really long time for the song to develop. We went through so many different variations and then we were stumbling upon the rock version. We had an arrangement we weren't too happy with, and especially Ian wasn't too happy with. He's always in the studio working. One day I open my email and he goes, 'Listen to this, guys! I kind of slowed down the chord progression and put piano on it and it sounds different.' Basically, he sent us a demo that sounds almost like the finished copy. The solo is actually from that original demo. It just sounded so good. We then continued to work on the other rock version and we got that into a place that sounded incredible and we didn't know what to do."