Before there was Nickelback or Metallica, there was Triumph.

The small three-member band from Mississauga, Ontario was among the first to use fire, lasers and pretty much any over-the-top effect you can think of at their concerts. It makes them a fitting addition to our series on Canada’s Biggest Band’s of the ’80s.

“Being a band is like being in a cult,”; says Triumph drummer Gil Moore. “Hopefully in the end you don’t decide to get into a thing and commit mass suicide.”;

“Yeah, it’s trial by fire,”; adds guitarist Rik Emmett.

Well, Triumph has definitely made it through the fire.

For 20 years, Rik was estranged from Gil and fellow bandmate, bassist Mike Levine. The rift began in 1988 when Rik left the band amidst tension over artistic direction and business decisions.

“If it was just Mike, Rik and Gil playing music in a room together having fun and it was that simple,”; explains Gil. “Nothing would have ever fouled it up.”;

The guys finally reconciled in 2007 when they were inducted into the Canadian Music Industry Hall of Fame.

“You have guilt and anger and frustration,”; Rik says. “And then when you finally decide, “Okay, let’s get rid of that,’ you think, “Why was I so stupid? Why was I carrying that stuff around for such a long time?'”;

The guys now get together a few times a year and even spend the holidays together.

“If we were touring, I’m sure we’d be arguing about something,”; says Gil. “But now when we get together, there’s nothing to argue about. We tell old stories, and there’s something to laugh about.”;

You could say Triumph’s triumphed in the biggest way possible. Minus the fire and lasers.