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To any rock fan this band does not need an introduction. The band has gone through a drastic line-up change recently and have just released a new record titled “Human” on the 31st of March 2015.
Three Days Grace is a Canadian rock band formed in Norwood, Ontario in 1992. Originally the band was called Groundswell and they suffered a breakup in late 1995, when Phil Crowe and Joe Grant decided to leave. Most of the band members were attending High School when the band was originally formed. Groundswell released one full-length album “Wave of Popular Feeling”. The band regrouped in 1997 under their current name, the line-up consisting of guitarist and lead singer Adam Gontier, drummer and backing-vocalist Neil Sanderson and bassist Brad Walst.
In 2003, Barry Stock joined the band as their lead guitarist. Adam Gontier explained the meaning behind the name of the band as a sense of urgency and the concept of changing something in one’s life if you only had three days to do so. In Toronto the band became acquainted with local producer Gavin Brown. TDG offered up years of material to the producer and he chose what Adam describes as “the golden nuggets” to work with. Through teamwork TDG and Gavin polished the songs into a demo album which they gave to EMI Music Publishing Canada. The record label wanted to hear some more material and the band created the song “I Hate Everything About You” which attracted the attention of several record labels. The band was sought out by Jive Records’ President and was soon signed to the label. After TDG signed to Jive Records, they moved to Long View Farm, a studio in North Brookfield, Massachusetts to record their debut album. They completed the self-titled album in Woodstock, New York and the album was released on the 22nd of July 2003. It was met with mixed to favourable reviews. To support the album TDG released its first single “I Hate Everything About You”, the song which ultimately lead to the band being signed. The song received heavy airplay and became a widely recognizable song becoming the band’s “breakout hit”. After Barry Stock joined the band in late 2003, TDG toured extensively for nearly two years in support of their major label debut release. The album peaked at number 9 on the Canadian Albums Chart, number 69 on the Billboard 200, certified in the US by RIAA in December 2004 and double platinum in Canada by the CRIA. Two more singles from the band’s debut album released namely “Just Like You” and “Home”.
Adam Gontier started developing an addiction to the prescription narcotic analgesic OxyContin. After the band finished their tour in support of their first album they knew they could not continue considering the condition in which Adam was in. In 2005 with the support of his family, friends and band members Adam checked into the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH).
While in treatment Adam continued to write songs documenting his feelings and emotions. Adam Gontier successfully completed his rehab program at CAMH. The band found a suitable place in the form of a cottage in Northern Ontario where they could experiment, practice and write new material. After three months at the cottage, they had almost wrapped up writing on their second album. The first single from their second album titled “One-X” , called “Animal I Have Become” Adam wrote while getting sober. There are four more songs from the second album that found their origins in the same way, namely “Over and Over”, “Gone Forever”, “Pain” and “Never Too Late”. According to an interview conducted in 2006 with Adam Gontier he said that the second album was much more personal to him because the material originated from his experiences with despondence, drug abuse, and rehab which summed up the past two years of his life.
One-X was released on the 13th of June 2006. Adam performed live at various rehabilitation centres as a “thank-you” gesture to the people who helped him get through his addiction and to serve as an inspiration to others. These performances were solo-acoustic performances called the “Three Days to Change” tour and it took place during the same time when the band was touring in support of their second album. In November 2006 Adam performed with the band at CAMH in Toronto where he went for his own rehab. The audience of about 250 people, included patients, radio contest winners, family and friends of the band and representatives from the band’s label.
One-X received mostly positive reviews with reviewers commenting that they could do more to set themselves apart from their peers. One-X peaked at number 2 on the Canadian album chart. and at number 5 on the Billboard 200, selling 78, 000 copies in the US in its first week of release. Its first single “Animal I Have Become” was the band’s most successful song, becoming 2006’s most played rock song in Canada. The album helped Three Days Grace to become the number one rock artist in airplay in the US and Canada in 2007 with Billboard ranking them as the number one rock artist of 2007. One-X was certified platinum by the RIAA in the US on the 30th of August 2007 and double platinum by the CRIA in Canada in July 2007. Three Days Grace toured the US and Canada throughout the second half of 2006 and 2007 in support of One-X. In early 2008, they toured with Seether and Breaking Benjamin across the US.
From March to August 2008 and again from January to April 2009, Three Days Grace recorded their third album at The Warehouse Studio in Vancouver, British Columbia and Los Angeles with producer Howard Benson who contributed to their earlier releases. The album titled “Life Starts Now” released on the 22nd of September 2009. According to guitarist Barry Stock the theme of the album centered around “a fresh start” and a more optimistic approach.
The album debuted at number 3 on the Billboard 200 chart, the band’s highest chart position and sold 79, 000 copies in its first week. The album was met with mixed reviews. The first single from the album called “Break” was released on the 1st of September 2009. Three Days Grace embarked on a 20 date Canadian tour that lasted from November to December 2009. They co-headlined a tour of the US from January to February 2010 with Breaking Benjamin and Flyleaf. Three Days Grace headlined a US tour with support from Chevelle and Adelitas Way from March to April 2010. The band joined Nickelback and Buckcherry on the Dark Horse Fall 2010 tour. In March of 2011 the band toured with My Darkest Days and later joined Avenged Sevenfold on their “Welcome To The Family” tour in 2011.
RCA Music Group announced on the 7th of October 2011 that it was disbanding Jive Records along with Arista Records and J Records moving all the artists signed to these labels to the RCA Records brand which included Three Days Grace. On the 5th of June 2012 TDG announced that their fourth studio album “Transit of Venus” was expected to drop on the second of October 2012. The first single from the album was called “Chalk Outline” and it released on the 14th of August.
On the 9th of January 2013 it was announced, citing health issues that Adam Gontier was retiring from the band. Brad Walst’s brother Matt Walst (My Darkest Days) would act as the replacement as lead vocalist for the upcoming tour. Three Days Grace commenced their 2013 tour Moline, IL along with Shinedown and P.O.D with Matt as touring lead singer. Matt was a touring member of the band up until a post went up on the band’s official website on the 28th March of 2014 confirming Matt Walst as the official lead singer of the band.
On the 16th of January 2013 the band described Adam’s departure as sudden and unexplained. According to the band they received a letter from Adam’s lawyer on the 21st of December 2012 which stated, “Please be advised effective immediately Adam is terminating his involvement with the band, Three Days Grace. According to this letter Adam had wrestled with a health issue which was outlined in an attached Doctor’s letter (dated 14 December) which would have prevented him from touring with the band in 2013 and wanted the band to continue moving forward in a way that they see fit while not holding them back. TDG added that Gontier made no mention of any health issues during a brief December tour. Brad Walst tried to reach out to Adam via text to find out if his decision was permanent and Adam replied “My decision is 100 percent. My relationship with Three Days Grace is over.”
Later Adam explained that he was ready to start a new chapter in his life after being in an evolving band for twenty years, it has inspired him to move on, on his own terms. Since his departure Adam begun his solo career with a series of gigs called “Adam Gontier Solo Tour” with shows on the Ink Life tour and acoustic sets in venues such as Revolver’s E-Cig Lounge in Ohio. In 2015 it was revealed that Adam had joined a new band called Saint Astonia which could be described as a rock supergroup. The members are Adam Gontier (vocalist), Mike Mushok (guitarist), Rich Beddoe (drummer) and Corey Lowery (bassist). On the 16th of May 2015 the band released their first single titled “Better Place”.
During an interview with 99.9 KISW in Seattle with Neil Sanderson he confirmed that they are working hard on their new album and they have already recorded half of it. He stated that the new album has got a new energy, it is more aggressive, heavier and has a fresh feel to it. On the 1st of April 2014 TDG released their new single titled “Painkiller” on the iTunes Store. On the 6th of June 2014 “Painkiller” reached number 1 on the Mainstream Rock Charts making it the eleventh number one single that the band has released. Their second single “I Am Machine” released on the 30th of September 2014. On the 26th of January 2015 it was revealed that the new album will be titled “Human”. On the 23rd of March “Human Race” released as the third single. The album “Human” became available for purchase on the 31st of March 2015. The captivating music video for “Human Race” was released on May 14, 2015. It was directed by Mark Pellington. I love this music video, because it is thought-provoking, creative and raw. Take a look:
Three Days Grace has a long history in the music industry and they have permanently etched their mark on rock music. I feel that the negative comments made about Matt Walst as the latest band member is unfair. I listened to My Darkest Days before Matt joined TDG and I loved their debut album. When I heard that Adam had resigned I thought that the band would never survive past their upcoming tour. I knew that Matt was a talented vocalist, but I had some doubts about how he would fit in with Three Days Grace. After hearing the new material from the band after Matt became an official member, my opinion is that the band has evolved. Their sound is fresh, aggressive and slick. Fans have to accept the fact that Adam resigned and the band was forced to continue with a new member or cancel their tour. The comparisons are inevitable, but unnecessary. Fans may have a preference, but extremely negative comments are best left unsaid. After the release of “Human” I believe that TDG are here to stay and I can’t wait to hear more!
Follow the band members on Twitter:
Matt Walst: https://twitter.com/MattJPWalst
Barry Stock: https://twitter.com/barrystock
Brad Walst: https://twitter.com/BradWalst
Three Days Grace: https://twitter.com/threedaysgrace