It’s been 20 years since Billy Talent began knocking out punk rock in Toronto basements and garages.

Previously performing under the name Pezz, bandmates Ben Kowalewicz, Ian D'Sa, Aaron Solowoniuk and Jon Gallant have stayed together and, these days, are just as likely to play big arenas as intimate nightclubs.

Kowalewicz spoke to CBC’s Q cultural affairs show about the ups and downs of remaining together in a band for 20 years and reflected on the group's massive following in Germany.

Billy Talent's fourth studio album, Dead Silence, was released in September to a warm reception by critics, who welcomed its alt-rock sensibility and punk riffs.

As they were recording it, however, the group faced a major hurdle when Solowoniuk revealed to the band that he would require open heart surgery.

Diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2006, Solowoniuk was told by his doctors that the physical exertion involved in drumming was aggravating the heart defect with which he was born. He eventually had surgery to replace an aortic heart valve.

"The Viking Death March video was four months after heart surgery," Solowoniuk told Q. "My health is great now."