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Interview with Blaine Walker
What got you into music, and if you had not gotten into music what would you be doing today?
I was always into music, but if I really try to think back to when I was a kid, I think Michael Jackson was the first artist I ever really got into. It was during his "Dangerous" period, and I must have been around 8. The first rock band I remember being really into was Aerosmith when I was 11 or 12.
I've always been into creative endeavours. I write pretty much every single day of my life. I pride myself in being a great writer and feel I articulate myself very well. I always thought I'd be able to write a book if I put my mind to it, and have considered writing for blogs as well. I love the solitude of writing. It definitely suits my personality.
Ultra-luxury real estate is also something I'm very much into. I think I've watched pretty much every single mansion tour there is on YouTube and am a big fan of iconic architectural designer, builder and artist Ferris Rafauli. I love shows like "Million Dollar Listing" and things like that, so the thought of being a luxury real estate agent has definitely crossed my mind as well.
I've also always been into psychology and personal development type things and have entertained the idea of being a motivational speaker like Tony Robbins in the past as well. I really have always been interested in how super successful people became that way and like to study the way they think which led them to where they are.
What do you like to do when you are not playing music and how does that influence your creativity?
I'm an introvert so I like to spend a lot of time alone. I like to go for walks, I like to write a lot, listen to music, read personal development books, watch a lot of YouTube videos on things that interest me. Videos about space and the universe, the law of attraction, and I'm really into watching near death experience videos too. I also love luxury real estate as I just mentioned and am always watching mansion tours. All that stuff inspires me. I'm most creative when I can just be left alone and don't have a bunch of obligations or people bothering me.
How long have you been making music?
I started playing guitar when I was 12 and I've been writing songs since I was a teenager. The first song I ever started recording professionally though was in 2010.
Where are you based out of and how did that influence your music?
I was born and raised in Toronto, and that definitely influenced my latest single "Party in the 6ix," which is all about Toronto. I wanted to write an anthem that celebrates everything that’s great about our city, like our iconic skyline and championship sports teams. You look at places like New York for example that have multiple songs written about it, but Toronto never had an anthem to celebrate it like other cities around the world have. I wanted to write a song that could be played at all of our sports teams’ home games, and a song that could be used to represent our city in the 2026 World Cup at BMO Field. Our battle cry. Our call to arms. Our theme song. I wanted to do something special. Something that would become synonymous with Toronto. A song that would hype up both the players and the fans, and a song that you could dance and party to in the clubs and bars. It's my tribute to one of the greatest cities on Earth. My homage to the 6ix, meant to unite everyone that lives here. I am PROUD to live here and wanted to give back to the city that I love so much. I wanted to write Toronto's song, and I never would have written it if I didn't live here. It's an incredible place, full of all kinds of talent, and I can't help but be influenced by all the amazing artists that have come out of this city and all the inspiration that walking these streets provides.
Tell me about your most memorable shows, if you haven’t played live what is your vision for a live show?
"Party in the 6ix" is my debut single, so I haven't played any solo shows yet, but in my old band Hollywood Sins, where I was the lead guitarist, we had the privilege of playing a lot of really cool venues. We’ve played at The Mod Club, The Opera House, The Sound Academy, Canada’s Wonderland, The Bovine Sex Club, Lee’s Palace, The Velvet Underground, The Rockpile West, The Rockpile East, Nocturne, The Hard Luck, The El Mocambo, Revival, Le National in Montreal and the Hard Rock Cafe's at Yonge & Dundas and Niagara Falls, New York! We also played at someone's Toga party once, which was a unique experience lol
I’ve loved playing at all the aforementioned places, but the first two shows were the most memorable for me. They say you never forget your first, and such was the case with the Mod Club show. This was in April of 2013 and was the first time I’d been on stage since my Metal Fuse days in high school. I was both very nervous and excited for it. The amount of people that came out was overwhelming and mind blowing. I had so many emotions going on that night stemming from seeing people I hadn’t seen in years and rekindling old friendships, to anticipating how the show would go and what people’s reactions to us would be. It couldn’t have gone better, and that show will always be special to me. I was on stage playing music for people with my best friend Danny, doing what I loved and living my dream. What more could you want in life?
Our second show at the Opera House was a continuation of the first show except on an even bigger scale. This time we had even more people out than the first show and the place was filled to capacity. I remember looking out at the audience from the stage and thinking to myself "if this is how it's going to be from here on out, I think we're about to make it." I felt like a rock star that night. I’ve never had so many people I didn’t know coming up to me and telling me how amazing we were. To date, that has been the biggest crowd I've ever played to. I'll never forget that show.
The first time we played the Bovine was also a very special and meaningful show for me as well. When I first turned 19 and could finally get into bars, that’s where I’d be every single weekend. I grew up at the Bovine and used to love going to see my favourite local bands play there. Most notably Robin Black. He had a huge influence on me and my singer Danny in high school and really inspired us to want to be in a band. I always had a blast at his shows and always dreamed of playing the Bovine one day. It’s a legendary dive bar. Pure rock ’n’roll!!! That was also the first show I ever got paid. Up until that point I’d been playing guitar for 16 years and had never made a single penny off of music. The night we played the Bovine we got paid $45. Split between 4 guys that’s $11.25 each, and you know what? That actually made my night! That marked the very first time I EVER got paid to play music. That was a milestone in my books!!!
What is your favorite venue to play at, and do you have any places you want to play that you have not already?
I had a lot of good times at The Rockpile. Out of all the venues we used to play, we played The Rockpile the most. I think 8 times at least. We opened for Faster Pussycat twice, Wednesday 13 twice and John Corabi from Mötley Crüe as well. I live in Etobicoke so that was always the local hangout. It's the same owners that used to run The Big Bop at Queen and Bathurst. That big purple building that housed the Kathedral, the Reverb and Holy Joe's. I used to play the Kathedral with my high school band Metal Fuse when I was 18 or 19, and Danny was the singer of that band too. We go back a long way. I really miss that place. It's a furniture store now, but that was THE place to be back in the day.
Places that I want to play that I have not already? Of course, The Rogers Centre, The Scotiabank Arena, Budweiser Stage and BMO Field.
If you could play any show with any lineup, who would be on the ticket?
Ever since I first wrote "Party in the 6ix" I've played out this fantasy in my head of getting Drake on an alternate version of the song. Then I started thinking, what if I got both Drake AND The Weeknd on it? All three of us are from Toronto, and this is a song about Toronto, so how perfect would that be? All three of us playing at BMO Field for the 2026 World Cup when Toronto hosts, or even during a celebration when one of our teams wins a championship. Whatever the occasion, I’m in!
I'd also love to play with my heroes in KISS. They are the reason I started writing songs in the first place and even aside from music they have really shaped my outlook on life as well as my personality, so I really owe everything to them.
What is some advice that you would give to someone who is just getting into making music and some advice that you would give to your younger self?
To not listen to anyone's advice! Everybody thinks they know what's best for you, or what you are or aren't capable of and what you should or shouldn't do. That places limitations on yourself. I've always had delusions of grandeur and aspired to the highest level possible. Who is anyone else to tell you what you can or cannot do? Seriously, if your dream is to play stadiums then shoot for that dream. If your dream is to get rich, then shoot for that dream. If your dream is to win Grammys and break every record there is, then who is anyone to tell you that you can't? Records are meant to be broken and things are only impossible until someone does it. You only live once. Dream big and go for it. That's what your imagination is for. Dream up the most ridiculously unrealistic and impossible thing you can possibly think of and then move in that direction. That's what Elon Musk did. That's what Nikola Tesla did. That's what Steve Jobs did. The movers and shakers of the world were not practical or realistic people. They were visionaries. Everything that has ever been accomplished in this world has first started out as a thought in someone's mind. There's a way to do anything. Live for yourself and forget about other people's opinions of you. The only opinion that matters is the opinion you have of yourself.
Of your songs which one means the most to you and why?
Although "Party in the 6ix" is my first official solo single, I've written a lot of songs, both with Hollywood Sins and a bunch of solo songs that I have yet to record. They all mean different things to me. I listen to "Party in the 6ix" multiple times a day, almost every day. Not just cause I wrote it, but because it's such a great song and something that I genuinely love listening to. I never get tired of listening to it. I've probably listened to it several hundred, if not thousands of times at this point. I've also got this song called "All The Way" which sums up everything I'm about in a nutshell. It's really my mission statement and is about believing in yourself, overcoming obstacles and following your dreams. It's about living life to the fullest, looking your fear in the eye and going after what you want in spite of that fear. Those are the types of messages I want to put out there into the world. Positivity, inspiration and empowerment. My goal is to uplift people.
Which songs are your favorite to play and which get requested the most?
In Hollywood Sins we always ended our set with a song called "Sick N' Twisted." I think that was probably my favourite song to play live. It was our heaviest song and had an incredible amount of energy and badassness to it. It's just pure metal testosterone with a shredding guitar solo and Eddie Van Halen/Dimebag Darrell whammy bar antics and a chanting chorus, with Danny summoning Satan reciting the "Hail Mary" prayer in Latin and all that lol. You either love it or hate it. I love it. It kicks ass. You can check all the Hollywood Sins stuff on soundcloud.com/hollywoodsins. I'm not singing on that. Danny Quatrale is, but I'm playing all the rhythm and lead guitars.
What is your creative process, and what inspires you to write your music?
I just write whenever inspiration strikes. You never know when that's going to be. I don't like forcing anything. Sometimes I'll get inspired by an idea, like with "Party in the 6ix." I started thinking about writing an anthem about Toronto that could be played at sporting events and I wrote the song with that in mind, and it basically wrote itself. I actually wrote it in my head at work one day and had to keep repeating the chorus over and over again for like 3 hours until I could get to my phone and make a video lol
Not too long ago I was listening to the radio and the DJ came on and said something like "get your daily dose of dopamine from" whatever station it was, and I thought "hmmm...dopamine. That would be a cool name for a song." And then I went home and wrote it. Other times I'll come up with something I like on guitar and write lyrics to the music, or vice versa.
Recently I wrote a song called "Saturday Night" to a beat that my good friend Joe De Simone came up with. He's a DJ, producer, remixer and engineer who founded Sub Level Music and specializes in house, electronic, dance and hip hop music. He had this instrumental track that he titled "Saturday Night" and I just took the title and wrote a song to his beat. It's my first venture away from rock music and is really a club banger. I'm excited to see what happens with that one and I'm also considering doing a second rock version of it as well, so there might be two versions. There really is no one set process. Anything goes. I pull inspiration from everywhere.
Do you have messages that you like to get across in your music, if so please tell me about them?
I really try to go for positive and uplifting themes. I like writing inspiring, high energy songs that pump you up and make you want to take on the world and chase your dreams. Stuff about believing in yourself and getting up after you fall, living life to the fullest and having a good time. Music to me is an escape from the mediocrity and drudgery of everyday life. Most people spend the majority of their time working jobs they don't like and feeling like a slave to the grind. Music is the escape we all need to forget about all those things, and for me every time I put on my headphones or pick up my guitar, it instantly transports me to an alternate reality. A reality where all things are possible. That's the reality I want to live in. I listen to songs that empower me, and that's what I try to do with my own music. I want to empower and inspire people much like bands like KISS did for me growing up. If I can make a kid believe in themselves the way Paul Stanley made me believe in myself then I've done my job.
What are your plans for the future, and do you have anything that you want to spotlight that is coming up?
Right now I'm just having fun recording songs again after Hollywood Sins went on an indefinite hiatus in 2015. I've got a lot of songs I've written over the years, and I plan on just releasing singles as I record them. I've got two other songs in the works right now, which I plan to release next. "Saturday Night" and "All The Way," and I'm also getting ready to film a music video for "Party in the 6ix" as well. It's going to highlight Toronto and everything that's great about this city. My ultimate goal as I said, is to have the song played as a staple at all of our sports teams’ home games, so I'm doing everything in my power to make that happen now. I've always believed in this song and think it's just a matter of time until it happens.
How can your fans best keep up to date with you, any socials you want people to check out?