Ian D'Sa

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Ian D'Sa
Ian D'Sa.jpg
D'Sa at 2010 Festival d'été de Québec in Québec City, Canada.
Background information
Birth name Ian Michael D'Sa
Genres Post-hardcore, alternative rock, punk rock
Occupations Musician, songwriter, guitarist, singer, producer
Instruments Guitar, piano, vocals
Years active 1993–present
Labels Atlantic, Warner Music Canada
Associated acts Billy Talent (formerly "Pezz"), Die Mannequin, Alexisonfire, Operation M.D.
Notable instruments
Fender Stratocaster Fat Strat Deluxe

Ian Michael D'Sa is the guitarist for the Canadian band Billy Talent.

Early life and career[edit]

Ian was born in the suburb of Ealing, in west London, UK. His family moved to Canada when he was 3 years old. He is of Goan descent and grew up in Mississauga, Ontario learning guitar at the age of 13. While attending Our Lady of Mount Carmel Secondary School in 1991, he formed a band named Dragonflower with some fellow schoolmates. After Dragonflower broke up he formed another band named Soluble Fish and recorded a five song demo entitled Nugget Sauces. He eventually met Benjamin Kowalewicz, Jonathan Gallant and Aaron Solowoniuk in 1993 at the highschool talent show. While playing in Soluble Fish, he started a new band with them named Pezz (later to become "Billy Talent") in which both bands played shows together until Soluble Fish broke up in 1996. Still playing with Pezz, D'Sa went to Sheridan College where he got his degree in classical animation and has worked on the TV shows Angela Anaconda, Birdz, and the film Adventures in 3-D IMAX as a character animator. Pezz changed their name to Billy Talent a few years later in 1998.[1]

Billy Talent[edit]

In 1998 Pezz changed their name to Billy Talent after the fictional character in Micheal Turner's Hard Core Logo book (latter adapted to film by Bruce McDonald). D'Sa co-produced Billy Talent II with Gavin Brown. He also did art direction and package design on the Billy Talent II album. He received co-direction credit for the video "Fallen Leaves", for which the band was awarded Best Video and Best Rock Video at the 2007 MuchMusic Video Awards.

Released in September 2012, the fourth album of the band, Dead Silence, is entirely produced by the guitarist Ian D'Sa.

D'Sa produced first two singles on Die Mannequin's EP Slaughter Daughter, the songs being "Do it or Die" and "Saved By Strangers". He played guitar on Sarah Slean's song "Lucky Me". He makes a cameo in The Operation M.D.'s single "Sayonara" as a doctor pushing Stevo in a wheelchair. He also makes a brief cameo as a year book photo in the K-OS video for ELEctrik HeaT – The Seekwill. He also sung guest vocals with Alexisonfire during a few live shows.

Ian is known for his unexpected appearances at fellow bands live shows. He is known to guest many times as vocalist in some random shows of Alexisonfire. He has also joined Sum 41 as a guest guitarist for a one-off performance of their popular encore song "Pain for Pleasure". He also performed as a guest in one show with UK band Reuben in 2006, while the band supported Billy Talent.

Ian produced the first single "Buried at Sea" from The Operation M.D.'s second studio album Birds + Bee Stings, which was released on June 29, 2010.

D'Sa has been involved with Song for Africa since 2007, a project to connect Canada's youth to the AIDS pandemic, playing guitar on the song and in the video and single. In July 2007 he traveled to Kenya, Africa for 10 days to be part of the Song for Africa Documentary film. Ian also wrote and recorded the song "Land of a Thousand Hills" for the benefit album Song for Africa - Rwanda: Rises Up! in which he sings lead vocals and plays guitar with Canadian punk rock band Noble Blood.

In November 2012, D'Sa contributed a guitar solo to the song "Toast to Freedom" recorded by Anti-Flag for Amnesty International as a benefit single. He plays the solo in the video for the song.

Musical equipment[edit]

When playing live shows, D'Sa plays an Olympic White Fender Stratocaster Fat Strat Deluxe with a black pickguard loaded with Fender Atomic pickups. He also plays a Montego Black Stratocaster Fat Strat Deluxe with a red pickguard loaded with Fender Hot Rod pickups. When recording in the studio, his favorite guitars are a '52 Fender Telecaster Reissue (nicknamed "Crispy Chicken"), a '72 Fender Telecaster Deluxe, a '57 Gibson Les Paul Junior Reissue and several other vintage guitars. D'sa has said that "Crispy Chicken" is one of his main recording guitars, and has been used on all four Billy Talent albums, with other guitars, such as his '57 Junior, for overdubs. He also owns a three colour sunburst stratocaster with a white pick guard, which is shown in the "Devil in a Midnight Mass" music video.

He previously used a 1991 Peavey 5150 head until he received a 60 watt head custom made for him by Mark Stephenson of Stephenson Amplification in 2002 – 2003. His other main amplifiers for recordings are the Diezel VH4, Komet Amplification Concorde, and a '62 Fender Tremolux. When playing live, D'sa uses two Stephenson heads (one as a backup), each running into a Bogner 4x12, his Diezel VH4 running into a Diezel 4x12, and his Komet Concorde.

In songs that require a fuzz pedal, such as "Devil in a Midnight Mass", he uses a Z.Vex Woolly Mammoth bass fuzz, and a Big John Hairy Balls bass fuzz on "Surprise Surprise." He also uses other pedals such as a Boss RV-5 Reverb, Tech 21 CompTortion compressor/distortion, Electro-Harmonix POG, Fulltone Clyde Wah Pedal, and a VL Effects Bullitt Booster M-Tone and Od-oNe Pro. He also used a Klon Centaur on a lot of the guitar tracks of Dead Silence. When playing live, he uses an effects rig designed by Bob Bradshaw of Custom Audio Electronics.[2]


For a more comprehensive list, see Billy Talent discography.
Album appearances


  1. ^ The Ongoing History of New Music. "Before They Were Famous" Original Broadcast date: 13-11-05 on CFNY.
  2. ^ //www.youtube.com/watch?v=yuiMWUaU4MA

External links[edit]