Louder than the DJ

Album: Afraid of Heights (2016)

Songfacts®:

  • "Louder than the DJ" from Billy Talent's fifth album, Afraid of Heights, addresses the significance of rock music. In our interview with lead singer Ben Kowalewicz, he insisted that the song is not a diss toward EDM. "We're friends with some reputable DJs in the world and I love hip-hop. It's what I listen to the most in my life and I always have, so it's not against the DJs," he said. "But it's more or less just saying that rock and roll is important and it saved our lives. When we were kids, I remember going to see bands like Rage Against the Machine. I remember being 15 or 16 years old watching them play and just having an epiphany like, 'That's what I want to do. I have to do that!' If it wasn't for us going to all of these shows and meeting other bands and starting a community, then we wouldn't be here."

    He went on to encourage others to follow their musical dreams because one never knows where it could lead. "I also think it's important to note that for anybody that wants to pick up a guitar or sit behind a drum set or have the courage to stand behind a microphone to follow that, because you don't know. So I guess what we wanted to express is that it could not only change your life, but it could also change a lot of other people's lives."
  • During a radio interview with Jon Williams on 91.3 The Zone, Kowalewicz explained the actual process of writing the tune. "Ian [D'Sa] had the 'louder than the DJ' chorus line and we really didn't know what that meant or where to go with it. So we had one version of it, but it just didn't work. What we were talking about and how we were trying to put it together, it just wasn't vibing," he said. "So as we do sometimes, we're like, 'let's just put it to rest. Maybe if it presents itself again, we'll re-evaluate it.' Literally a year later, we played it for a person that we work with who wanted to hear what we were up to. We had a whole bunch of demos and he loved all of it and was so excited. He was like, 'Is there anything else?' Ian was like, 'Well, we have this one kind of song.' We played it for him and he was like, 'That's amazing!' He loved it and encouraged us to re-look at it and to work on it."

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