Illyrian – Interview

Interview with Pete Devine of Pete’s Rock News and Views (

PD:  How would you describe yourself as an artist?

Illyrian: We consider ourselves a death-thrash metal band who like to have a good time!


PD: Can you tell us briefly about your background – i.e. where you’re from, how you came to make music, etc.

IL: We are based out of Calgary, Alberta, Canada, which is where we all met through the scene. Most of us have played in several bands before Illyrian, though for our guitarist, Kelly, this is her first project! Darren, our drummer, and myself (Jeff, singer and bassist) come from primarily a punk background, and certainly in our older stuff, when we first joined on, you can hear that punk influence in the rhythm section.


PD: Who and what inspires you to make music, both in terms of musical and other influences? What do you like to write about in your songs?

IL: One of our cornerstones is we don’t tackle anything socio-political, nor do we stray much into overly emotional or personal territory. We write about things that have brought us a lot of joy in escapism, be it books or video games or movies – things that are fun to us. We put a lot of stock in a fun stage show, so it didn’t make sense for us to be pushing an agenda or screaming our woes out to the crowd in that kind of performance. As far as influences go, The Black Dahlia Murder and Revocation are probably top two, but there are other non-metal ones like Michael Jackson too.


PD: What are your aspirations as an artist?

IL: To create music that we enjoy performing.


PD: What is the proudest moment in your music career so far?

IL: We won a YYC Music Award in 2020 for “Metal Recording of the Year” – that was a pretty proud moment for us! Nice to have our work be appreciated and celebrated by a legitimate arts council.


PD: Promoting one’s music is such a challenge these days, especially with so many new artists emerging from bedrooms in the day of the home studio. How is that going?

IL: It’s definitely an online-focused game these days, but that’s the nature of a lot of business. It’s got its challenges, and there’s always an element of luck to it, but I think we’ve done okay for ourselves. We do these small, almost skit-like videos for content, and we get a lot of positive feedback on those. We often joke that if we don’t make it as musicians, we’ll try our hand at skit comedy instead.


PD: And how do you book and promote your live shows and tours? Any performances coming up?

IL: Locally we often put on shows ourselves, though we know and have a good relationship with all the promoters. Out of town is trickier, and that’s more about networking through contacts and getting in touch with the right people. We had our EP release show in Calgary on Oct 22nd, and due to a few members departing, that will likely be our last show for a little while. Scott and I are still continuing ahead though, so stay tuned for what’s next!


PD: What do you think about downloading music online? What about streaming sites like Spotify?

IL: I personally have no qualms with it. I digest a lot of different music, sites like Spotify make that process a lot less laborious than it used to be.


PD: What song do you wish you’d written and why?

IL: *Googles “what song has made the most money”*… Happy Birthday.


PD: Is there anything you don’t like about the music industry, which you would change if you could?

IL: It would be nice if it was easier to make a comfortable living doing music full time, that’s for sure. See previous question haha.


PD: So, what are you working on at the moment?

IL: We’ll be auditioning for a new drummer and a new guitarist by the end of the month. For now, Scott and I are taking a little break – we’ve put a lot into this EP release and want to take a few weeks to relax before we get back to it. Our next release will be a full-length album, and we’re about 4 songs deep into it already.


PD: Where can we learn more about you and buy your music online?

IL: You can follow us on all the usual social channels (Facebook, Instagram, etc.), or check out our website at

Illyrian links:
Band/Artist location – Calgary, Canada
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