Three Days Grace Talk "Transit of Venus"
Wed, 17 Oct 2012 11:29:35
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On Transit of Venus, Three Days Grace blast off to a new plateau.
Their signature sound remains intact, but they infuse ethereal elements that expand the sonic landscape immensely. As a result, Transit of Venus stands out as truly spacey hard rock with big hooks and intriguing instrumentation unlike anything out there. Moreover, it's the band's best yet and one of the year's best…
In this exclusive interview with ARTISTdirect.com editor in chief Rick Florino, Three Days Grace singer and guitarist Adam Gontier discusses the vision behind Transit of Venus, movies, and the possibility of an acoustic EP down the line.
Did you approach Transit of Venus with one vision or vibe in mind?
It was different this time around because we went into the studio with songs that weren't really finished yet. In the past, we'd basically go into the studio with songs we had polished and only spend a month in the studio, record the songs, and be out of there. This time around, we went into the studio with pieces of songs. We spent about three-and-a-half months in the studio working, writing, and experimenting with different things. We didn't know exactly where it was going to go. Working with Don Gilmore, he brought some elements to the table as well.
What's the story behind "Unbreakable Heart"?
It ended up being a great song to finish the record on. We weren't really sure where it was going to go in sequence on the album until the last minute when we decided. Throughout the record, there's some angst-y material and darker stuff. That song is a little more positive. It wraps up the album on a positive note. It's definitely one of my favorites. Through the whole record, there was this whole idea of how the Transit of Venus happens once every 200 years or whatever. You see a little speck that crosses. In relation to the record, we write with that kind of vibe. The songs really come down to the fact that we're really just a little speck as well. To wrap it up, "Unbreakable Heart" is a song about trying to stay strong and get through every day, taking it one day at a time.
Where did "Happiness" come from?
Back when we did One-X was a dark period in my life. For me when we play that song, "Happiness" is a reminder of where I was at one point in my life and where I don't want to be again. It comes from that. I always have to remember where I was and where I don't want to be again.
Is it important for you to paint pictures with the songs?
Yeah, that's the cool thing about making music and any art for that matter. People can interpret it any way they want to. Fortunately, we're able to make music and people can listen to it and relate it to their own lives and situations. It's pretty cool when that happens.
Is there one song that really speaks to you from Transit of Venus?
"Give Me a Reason" is definitely one that stands out for me. It's probably the most personal song on the record. It deals with my family life. I've had family problems and issues over the last couple of years. That song is about that. It's one of the tracks that's closest to me.
If you were to compare Transit of Venus to a movie or a combination of movies, what would you compare it to?
Maybe Rocky IV [Laughs]…it's funny because the response we got from Life Starts Now was very back-and-forth. A lot of people loved it. A lot of people didn't like it, and it didn't get the response we'd hoped for. We were going in a different direction. On this record, I feel like we've really topped ourselves. We got back up and, hopefully, we're fighting our way back to the top with this record.
Was it important for you to expand instrumentally?
That was one of the things we wanted to do. With every record, you want to evolve. You want your next record to be better than your last. We wanted to evolve and introduce some new elements. There are so many rock bands that record albums and layer guitar after guitar. It's basically really polished and shiny. We wanted to stay away from that. On this record, we literally only laid down one guitar track. We added some heavy synth, key, and piano sounds. That's the way it went down.
What inspired the spacey visuals?
We're not scientists by any means. We didn't want to get too deep into the Transit of Venus thing. Nothing in particular space-wise influenced it, but we wanted it to fall into place and make sense.
Have you ever thought of doing an acoustic EP like Jar of Flies or Sap?
We've thought about that for sure. We grew up in a really small town. All there was to do was sit around campfires with guitars. We always play songs acoustic—our own stuff and other people's. It's something we've always thought about. I imagine we will do something like that.
What's your favorite Three Days Grace song?
See our review of the album here!