Aaron Solowoniuk from Ontario Band Billy Talent Has Heart Surgery

Benjamin Kowalewicz.jpg

Billy Talent drummer Aaron Solowoniuk is recovering from heart surgery. The multi-platinum-selling Ontario band has pulled out of Belgium's Groezrock Festival in April to give him time to recuperate.

Solowoniuk, 37, who suffers from multiple sclerosis, posted this message on Billy Talent's website. "I never thought I would have to write another letter like this. In March of 2006, I wrote a letter telling you all I have MS. Now I am writing to tell you that I have a problem with my heart that needed to be fixed."

"On February 2nd, I had open heart surgery to repair a leaky aortic valve. It's going to take a couple of months before I started feeling normal again. In the meantime, Jonny Gallant, Ben Kowalewicz and Ian D'S will be putting the finishing touches on our new record. I finished all of my drums in December so I am going to take the next few months to get better."
Billy Talent (formerly known as Pezz) is a Canadian punk rock band from Streetsville, ON. They formed in 1993 with Ben Kowalewicz as the lead vocalist, Ian D'Sa on lead guitar, bassist Jon Gallant and drummer Aaron Solowoniuk

The band existed for almost a decade before mainstream success. The members met and played in high school under the name Pezz and remained underground in Toronto's indie music scene until 2001. The band renamed itself Billy Talent after running into legal trouble with the old name. It was then that Kowalewicz's connection with an employee of Warner Music Canada's A&R department landed the band a record deal and launched them into mainstream success.[1]

Since then, Billy Talent has made two multi-platinum records in Canada, and continues to expand their success overseas, which has included touring for 20 months supporting their third album.

They released their fourth album Billy Talent 111 on July 14, 2009.

Billy Talent has received a significant amount of recognition at home, winning 9 awards from 29 nominations at the Much Music Video Awards and 7 Juno awards from 17 nominations. The band has also been nominated at the Much Music Video Awards every year since 2004. Overall, Billy Talent has received 16 awards from 46 nominations in Canada. The band also had the number 1 rock song of 2009" Devil on my Shoulder" on Much Music's holiday wrap, along with the number five song" Fallen Leaves" for Much Music's 99 best music videos. They are also the most nominated band in Much Music Video Award history.

Billy Talent's fourth studio album is scheduled for release sometime this Spring. Solowoniuk says, "The surgery went perfect but healing takes awhile."

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