Interview: Three Days Grace
Wed, 20 Jan 2010 15:05:27
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For Three Days Grace, life really starts once they hit the road.
The multi-platinum rockers recently embarked on a States-wide run with Breaking Benjamin and Flyleaf, and they couldn't be more stoked. Walking around backstage of the jaunt's first date in Peoria, vocalist and guitarist Adam Gontier smiles, "It's a busy day, trying to get everything to work right, but it's so fun."
Three Days Grace will definitely have a blast on this co-headline jaunt, especially since their latest offering, Life Starts Now, continues to grab more and more fans by the ears daily. Life Starts Now is a swirling, epic hard rock record that's raw at all the right times and poignantly vulnerable. It's everything you want from a modern rock album…
Adam Gontier sat down with Dolor author and ARTISTdirect.com editor Rick Florino to uncover the story behind Life Starts Now, talk touring with Breaking Benjamin and discuss parallels between Three Days Grace and Rock IV in this exclusive interview.
Life Starts Now definitely tells a lot of stories. Did you consciously aim to amp up that storytelling when you went into the studio?
For us, it just seemed like a natural progression. We're evolving as songwriters, and we wanted to take a bit of a different approach this time around when we went into the studio. We wanted to change it up a bit and make the music feel more raw and real. A lot of records these days are pretty layered, shiny and mechanical. We wanted to stay away from that, so we definitely took a different approach. It is what it is.
Was that change in approach more centered on the writing or recording?
It was more about the recording process. We went into the Warehouse studio in Vancouver, and there's a really great live room in there. It's a world-class studio, and the live room is really amazing. We wanted to make it sound like you're in the room with the band when you're listening to the record. As for the lyrics, it's just the next step.
Was there anything in particular that encouraged you lyrically?
Yeah, there's a lot. Over the last couple of years before we actually made this record, we all went through an awful lot in our personal lives. We dealt with family members getting ill, people passing away—it all made us look at life a little bit differently. That's what we wrote this record about.
There's a lot of reflection going on in these songs, and that resonates.
I've always written from that personal place. Different things happen in life, but it's the same as it's always been—just different situations.
The title track stands out. What's the story behind that song?
It's pretty simple and straightforward; it's just about not really giving up on life. We've been through an awful lot. For me, "Life Starts Now" is truly about not giving up.
It's a positive note to end the record on. "Break" and "Bitter Taste" show a different side of the band.
Absolutely, there's a little bit more hope on this record than there was on the previous couple of albums.
The album truly has that "live" feel. In the studio, were you really vibing well?
It was a bit different for us this time around. We wanted the music to feel very raw and real. We sat in the live room together. It was just bass, drums and guitar, man. We rocked out in the live room. We took the drum sounds from us rehearsing in the room, so it was more about us sitting in a room, vibing off each other and actually jamming rather than just laying down tracks and layering things.
Life Starts Now has a clear continuity, almost like a film. If you were to compare it to a movie, what would you compare it to?
[Laughs] That's a tough one…The Godfather. It's one of my favorite movies. I'm just going to say The Godfather because I like it [Laughs]. It's got bad language, killing, love, family—it's got everything. I like the first Godfather better than the second. Actually, I might have to change that answer. I might compare our record to Rock IV, where Rocky fights the Russian. You know what I mean?
Life Starts when you get in the ring…
Yeah, life starts when you get in the ring or when you start working out in five feet of snow in Russia.
Is there any time to work out in five feet of snow in Canada?
Oh yeah, we just did! We spent three weeks in Canada. We were in some snow and some serious cold weather.
How did the Breaking Benjamin tour come together?
We did a co-headlining tour with Breaking Benjamin about two years ago now, and it went really well. It was a really great tour. They're great guys, and they put on a great show! This time around, we wanted to hit a few cities that we didn't necessarily hit on that last tour, and there were a lot of people that wanted to see that show again. So it all came together very nicely. They're great guys, and they put on a great show, so it works really well.
Are you always writing?
I've got a book with me where I'm writing ideas down. By the time, we actually sit down as a band to put songs together and get ideas together. In most cases, I've got a bunch of lyrical ideas ready to go. It goes from there. It just depends on what kind of music we're writing that day. I've got lyrics from ten years ago that are still sitting in the book, but one day we might use them depending on where the music's going. When we sit down a record, it's really different every time.
Check out Rick Florino's new novel Dolor available now for FREE here…