Billy Talent singer Ben Kowalewicz reports that drummer Aaron Solowoniuk is starting to “feel brighter” after his MS relapse.
The sticksman has been living with multiple sclerosis for 15 years but stepped back from playing with the band in January, saying he had to focus on his health.
But vocalist Kowalewicz says that while Solowoniuk won’t be back behind the kit any time soon, the drummer is working towards a return.
He tells Canoe: “It’s been the oddest thing in the entire world that he wasn’t able to play live and on the record. He has a team with people literally working with him right now whose goal is to get him back playing the drums.
“He was obviously depressed and dark for a while just because of the reality of the situation, but I think as of now he’s starting to feel brighter and be optimistic and hopeful again.
“I can’t say he’ll be playing in the foreseeable future but he’s definitely working towards it, whether it be a year or two years, who knows?”
The band brought in Jordan Hastings from Say Yes and Alexisonfire to play live with them, and he also appears on Billy Talent’s fifth album Afraid Of Heights, which was released last month. And Kowalewicz reveals the drummer was initially reluctant to join as he’s good friends with Solowoniuk.
Kowalewicz continues: “The unanimous choice was our friend Jordan Hastings because he’s really good friends with Aaron and good friends with the band. We’ve toured together for many, many years.
“When we asked Jordan, he didn’t want to do it because of the situation, but graciously donated his time and energy and talent to play on the record.”
Billy Talent will start a run of dates across Australia later this week. They’ll then play shows in Japan and the US before returning to Europe in October.
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Billy Talent tour dates 2016
Aug 11: Brisbane Max Watt’s, Australia
Aug 13: Sydney Metro Theatre, Australia
Aug 14: Melbourne 170 Russell, Australia
Aug 16: Adelaide Fowlers Live, Australia
Aug 17: Perth Capitol, Australia
Aug 20: Tokyo Summer Sonic, Japan
Aug 21: Osaka Summer Sonic, Japan
Sep 02: Chicago Douglas Park, IL
Oct 12: Norwich UAE, UK
Oct 13: Bristol O2 Academy, UK
Oct 15: Manchester Academy, UK
Oct 16: Glasgow O2 ABC, UK
Oct 17: Newcastle O2 Academy, UK
Oct 19: Birmingham O2 Institute, UK
Oct 20: Leeds O2 Academy, UK
Oct 22: Nottingham Rock City, UK
Oct 23: London Roundhouse, UK
Oct 24: Cardiff Tramshed, UK
Oct 26: Southampton O2 Guildhall, UK
Oct 27: Paris Elysee Montmarte, France
Oct 28: Antwerp Trix, Belgium
Oct 30: Amsterdam Melkweg, Netherlands
Nov 01: Luxembourg Rockhal, Luzembourg
Nov 02: Copenhagen Pumehuset, Denmark
Nov 03: Stockholm Fryhuset, Sweden
Nov 05: Turku Logomo Club, Finland
Nov 06: Helsinki Circus, Finland
Nov 19: Madrid Teatro Barcelo, Spain
Nov 20: Barcelona Sala Barts, Spain
Nov 22: Zurich Volkshaus, Switzerland
Nov 23: Lausanne Docks, Switzerland
Nov 29: Munich Zenith, Germany
Nov 30: Stuttgart Schleierhalle, Germany
Dec 02: Hannover Swiss Life Hall, Germany
Dec 03: Dusseldorf Mitsubishi Electrica Hall, Germany
Dec 04: Frankfurt Festhalle, Germany
Dec 06: Hamburg Sporthalle, Germany
Dec 07: Leipzig Haus Auensee, Germany
Dec 09: Berlin Max Scmeling Halle, Germany
Dec 10: Lingen Emsland Arena, Germany
Dec 12: Poznan Eskulap, Poland
Dec 13: Warsaw Progresja, Poland