Staind Reunites For Three Songs At Aaron Lewis’s Charity Benefit

Members of multi-platinum selling rock group Staind, who have been on hiatus since 2012, reunited last night at Aaron Lewis’ charity benefit show. The show which also included Corey Taylor (Stone Sour/Slipknot) and Sully Erna (Godsmack) and had tributes to both recently deceased artists Chris Cornell and Chester Bennington. Continue reading

Aaron Lewis, Corey Taylor And Adam Gontier To Perform At Charity Concert And Golf Tournament This Weekend

Former Staind frontman Aaron Lewis will host his 6th Annual Aaron Lewis Invitational Charity Golf Tournament And Concert this weekend at Crumpin-Fox Golf Course in Bernardston, Massachusetts. Lewis will be joined in concert by his friends such as Slipknot/Stone Sour frontman Corey Taylor and Saint Asonia (ex-Three Days Grace) singer Adam Gontier. Full lineup and details below. Continue reading

Food Truck and Rock Carnival: Day 2 – Live in Clark NJ

Food Truck and Rock Carnival 2015 full lineup poster

We arrived at Day Two of the Food Truck and Rock Carnival a bit tired, but amped up for a full day of bands. With more time to explore the fest this day, we checked out the awesome fair food in the main concert area such as corn dogs and deep-fried Oreo’s as well as some of more interesting choices on the Food Truck side too.

Like A Storm, by Keith Chachkes

Like A Storm, by Keith Chachkes

Doing a reverse of yesterday, we took in the bands first, followed by some Carnie fun, and then more bands. Up and coming New Zealand rockers Like A Storm were the first band we saw and they were insanely good. With several rock hits at satellite radio, they had their own fans in the house. They seemed to make a lot of new converts too with a fiery show. Crobot was next on the other main stage. If you have never seen them, they are a fierce piece of psych rock explosiveness! They whipped the crowd into a frenzy with their over the top antics.

Crobot, by Keith Chachkes

Crobot, by Keith Chachkes

 

Anthrax, by Keith Chachkes

Anthrax, by Keith Chachkes

After I headed back stage to conduct some band interviews we headed back out the now full festival grounds. It was really impressive to see this for a first time fest. Especially after the performance of the next band I caught: Anthrax. The band has been touring like crazy leading up to their new album For All Kings (Megaforce) due this winter. The band had a short set so they dispensed with the pleasantries and commenced the ass kicking. In addition to their typical hits, they played the rarely ever heard live ‘Lone Justice’ as a tribute to Eddie Trunk. The band was on fire too, especially drummer Charlie Benante and singer Joey Belladonna.

 

Nighttime fell on the fest and lights from the stages and the carnival lit up the sky and you just felt everyone’s collective energy was high. Following the model of some European fests the two areas in front of the main stages was cut into a big “Y” shape with an enormous VIP area. This also helped security with crowd control, but at the same time made it a chore to see both stages easily. This was the only weakness of the weekend to me. At the same time the two stages also created an awesome VIP Cabana area between them, that for the came with tons of amenities including private wait staff services, a private viewing area of the stage, a private VIP meet and greet sesh, free beers and up close access to the bands and the main stages other fans did not have. The fan in me was a little bit jelly and some of the patrons I talked to were over the moon about the experience.

Clutch, by Keith Chachkes

Clutch, by Keith Chachkes

The perfect band to bring in the spirit of rock revivalism to the darkened skies was Clutch who happened to be up next. They played a lot of songs from their new album ‘Psychic Warfare’ (Weathermaker Music) and no one complained. Neil Fallon gesticulated wildly all over the stage, tending to his flock. The band was tight as hell and just jammed it out for an hour straight. Late in the set brought the hits fans wanted to hear like ‘Spacegrass’ and ‘The Mob Goes Wild’.

Schism, by Keith Chachkes

Schism, by Keith Chachkes

Tucked away in the far corner of the fest, the carnival area was the last stage, and by all accounts had been decently attended all day with locals and some bands paying tribute to rock and metal heroes. Two of the most prominent tribute bands in the nation closed the stage each night: RATM2, he Rage Against the Machine Tribute and Schism, the première Tool tribute band. I managed to catch some of Schism’s set, and having been a Tool-o-phile from back n the day and seeing the band as many times as I have, they are the real deal. If you have never seen the enigmatic gods of art rock, Schism is a fair stand in both sonically and visually. Next year this stage ought to be closer to the main stages.

Chester Bennington with Stone Temple Pilots, by Keith Chachkes

Chester Bennington with Stone Temple Pilots, by Keith Chachkes

Godsmack and Stone Temple Pilots closed the main stages respectively on this night with a lots of bravado from each. STP featuring Chester Bennington (Linkin Park) for one of the last times, played all the songs that made them of the première alt rock bands of the 90s. Chester is spot on vocally, and a star in every way imaginable. Fans have commented that his copying Scott Weiland is unflattering to the band and off-putting, and I have to say it isn’t necessary at all. Chester can hang with anyone vocally and to me was a great fit with STP, end of story. 

Crowd at The Rock Carnival, by Keith Chachkes

Crowd at The Rock Carnival, by Keith Chachkes

Godsmack opened up with a montage film that recapped their last few years touring and intercut shots of iconic Boston sports people such as Tom Brady, Rob Gronkowski, members of the Boston Bruins and David Ortiz. Curious choices in New Jersey, the land of many Jets and Yankees fans, but oh well. The band came out fired up and played all their big radio friendly tracks. They were a worthy closer on this night. Drummer Shannon Larkin always stands out a lot to me. He is one of the most talented drummers you will ever see live worth watching. Sully Erna flipped back and forth between playing guitar and running around with a wireless microphone, and seemed to really relish performing for such an enthusiastic crowd.

Godsmack, by Keith Chachkes

Godsmack, by Keith Chachkes

 

 

Godsmack, by Keith Chachkes

Godsmack, by Keith Chachkes

 

Godsmack, by Keith Chachkes

Godsmack, by Keith Chachkes

I made it a point each day to hang a lot at the Birch Hill Stage towards the end of each day. It seemed that a lot of industry types were gathering there, and it was awesome to see my brethren from the world of music journalism and publicity. Plus the beer garden was right there. The final bands trifecta of LA Guns, Lita Ford, and Slaughter was a great way to cap off the weekend. LA Guns was solid, Lita was excellent, but Slaughter was downright special. After all these years it’s a amazing how little Slaughter has changed. They were a thing to behold, especial Mark Slaughter’s stratospheric singing voice. Of course they closed the weekend with ‘Fly To The Angels’ and ‘Up All Night’ performed to a crowd feeling a mix of jubilation and satisfaction that comes from a having a great time. I held my BFF tight and raised up those horns one last time for the night. Food Truck and Rock Carnival, do us a solid and comeback next year twice as baddass!

Slaughter, by Keith Chachkes

Slaughter, by Keith Chachkes

 

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DAY 1 OF THE FOOD TRUCK AND ROCK CARNIVAL

WORDS AND PHOTOS BY KEITH CHACHKES

 

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Food Truck and Rock Carnival: Day 1 – Live in Clark, NJ

Food Truck and Rock Carnival 2015 full lineup poster

Throngs of people descended on Southern New Jersey for the first annual Food Truck and Rock Carnival to enjoy the sites, tastes and sounds that they had to offer. Although New Jersey may not be the first place you think of for a destination music festival, to paraphrase a line from the movie Dogma: never underestimate the staggering appeal of “The Garden State”. In the post Hurricane Sandy reality for residents here, including many of the vendors I spoke with, it was great is spend some time and money down here and support this community.

 

The lay of the land was on the vast side: with two main stages, plus several smaller stages, one hosting a lot of glam rock notables and another with local bands and tribute acts. One entire area was scoped out for the free carnival full of rides, traditional attractions, wrestling matches, notable entertainment personalities speaking, music industry lecturers, comedy shows, merch and a bunch of amazing food trucks. The rides and games were non-stop Some had the typical fair food while others were unique and were like catnip to the foodie souls. Although it was impossible to try them all as the formed a perimeter around the entire carnival area, we did sample a few. Among the best were my personal favorites Fork in The Road, followed by The Angry Crab, Amanda Banana, Dark Side of The Moo, Empanada Guy, Nooch’s Mac Truck, and So Jersey.

Then there was the music. Day 1 featured a bevy of cool bands from across the rock and metal world. Early day entrants from the rock world such as Bad Case For Big Mouth, Fit For Rivals, Otherwise and rising superstars Pop Evil were greeted to a large early crowd and enthusiastic fans. Their recent new album Up (eOne) they are supporting, and the bands high-profile tours and car commercials are starting to bear fruit that can be seen in their sizzling live performances.

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Sevendust, by OJC Pics/OmarCordy

Skid Row continues to plow ahead with new singer Tony Harnell. They played a set heavy on the hits, and sounded refreshed. It’s been a minute since I heard this many people screaming along to ’18 And Life’, ‘Monkey Business’, and ‘Youth Gone Wild’. The world needs more of this on a regular basis. Puddle Of Mudd has been road tripping themselves ls a lot of late at similar festivals. Choppy at times as a live band, they leaned on their hits like ‘Blurry’ and their closer ‘She Hates Me’. Next Sevendust was bringing the crowd to their feet in praise for their about to be released (out now), album Kill The Flaw (7Bros) They played some heavy hits and one deep cut, ‘Shine’, that had me and other fans besides ourselves. This band always brings live.

BLS-8

Zakk Wylde of Black Label Society, by OJC Pics/OmarCordy

As the warm up to the headliners, Zakk Wylde and his Black Label Society played a crushing set of heavy tracks. Wylde of course is the main attraction for shred nerds, Ozzy fanatics, MC crew types. Not only was the band tight, and he played his customary extended guitar solo in the set. Highlights for me included ‘The Beginning… At Last’, ‘Funeral Bell’, ‘Bleed For Me’, ‘Suicide Messiah’, and ‘Stillborn’.

KX

Eddie Trunk of That Metal Show introduces King’s X, by OJC Pics/OmarCordy

In between bands all day I tried to catch some of the talent at the Birch Hill Stage, named for the old Birch Hill Nightclub, the stuff of Jersey legend and special venue to me. Among the acts we caught some or all of were Gilby Clarke (Gun ‘N Roses), Faster Pussycat, Stephen Percy of Ratt fame and King’s X. We saw all of their set and it was terrific. Hanging out with fans and singing every word in the set from the crowd was LaJon of Sevendust, who also gave the band a shout out earlier in the day too.

3DG-3

Three Days Grace, by OJC Pics/OmarCordy

 

3DG-15

Three Days Grace, by OJC Pics/OmarCordy

Back to the main stage, it has been a big year for Three Days Grace and Ghost Cult has been there for a lot of it. Playing the fest in a run of headline dates, the band leaned heavily on their greatest hits and their new album Human (RCA). Lead singer Matt Walst has won over most of the hold out fans who wanted Adam Gontier (Saint Asonia) back and he is a great replacement for Adam.

Slash closed out night one with his mates Miles Kennedy And The Conspirators and just blazed through a set of his own material and of course, a lot of GNR stuff too. It felt like an epic happening, as Slash is a one of a kind showman, beloved blues jammer and icon. Myles and crew are total pros and deliver song after song all night. It was a fine end to a long day of fun.

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FOOD TRUCK AND ROCK CARNIVAL DAY 2 COVERAGE

WORDS BY KEITH CHACHKES

PHOTOS BY OJC PICS/OMAR CORDYhttp://www.twitter.com/Ojayy666

Three Days Grace Talks Band History, Reaching New Fans

Three Days Grace_back_cover_photo_R1_Small

Canadian rockers Three Days Grace have released their fifth and latest album Human earlier in the year. This marks their first album without longtime vocalist Adam Gontier (replaced by Matt Walst), and their first lineup change in the band’s 12 year history.

The first record came out in 2003. The other guys met when they were kids in Grade 9. I think they were all playing together. It’s probably around 1994 when they originally hooked up with each other. In 1997, they became a band,” explained guitarist Barry Stock, about the band’s history. Stock joined the band in 2003 as the band’s lead guitarist during the release of their debut self titled album.

three days grace human

While the band has scored multiple platinum status albums over the years, they have never let their past success affect how they approach their present status.

We don’t take anything for granted,” he said, about what they went through over the past couple of years. “We’re all kind of workaholics and work really hard at what we do. We love what we do. I couldn’t imagine doing anything else. I don’t know what else we would do.

We’re always thrilled that we’re still relevant and people still love what we do. We hear from people all the time [about] how we’ve changed their lives and made things better through our lyrics. That’s really important to us. Just like I said, we don’t over think it but we keep working really hard at songwriting and we do the best we could do. We’re going to carry on as long as the fans gonna accept it.

three days grace live 2015

At the time of the interview, the band had just completed a run of dates in South America. Stock talked about the experience and reaching new fans.

We’re in New York City tonight, but we just got back from South America the other night. It was our first little tour on this record. We hadn’t been to Argentina. We went there and it was amazing. Originally we were like the record’s not out…should we play the new ones or play the singles? Once we got there, we thought let’s just play half a dozen new songs. So we did that. So far in South America, we played six new songs in the set. It’s been greatly received. People are digging it, even though they haven’t had a chance to hear some of the other ones. It was really cool to be able to play some of them live, even if people haven’t heard them yet. For a band, you play the same music over and over, it’s always fun when you do a new record. We were looking forward to that. The coolest part is to get out-of-town and to play a bunch of new stuff for people.

Since their earlier releases, Three Days Grace had not toured extensively internationally. While they have had high-profile records across North America, their focus has now switched over towards the overseas route and Stock and the band are excited to perform for new fans.

This time around, on this record we’ve thought ‘you know, we pounded it out so hard in North America for years and years, and we’ll continue to do so. We didn’t hit a lot of places. We have so many fans all over the world who have been hounding us for years and years to play. We just didn’t make it happen. So that’s definitely our goal on this new record is to reach out to places we’ve never been, or we haven’t been to in a long time. We were in Russia in the fall. That was our first time there. It was overwhelmingly amazing. We were super accepted. It was a cool one for us. Now we just got back from Argentina and Brazil, where we haven’t been back to since 2004. The fans are just going crazy.

Like I said, that’s our goal. We’re constantly, between us and management, trying to find new places and reaching out to these places. That’s what we’re going to do for the next two years, and obviously continue what we’re doing here. We’re going to Europe in June. We have a bunch of the festivals we’re doing over there, and a whole bunch of countries again we’ve never been to. We’re excited about trying to reach out to as many of these fans that have never been able to see us live. Live is our most favorite thing to do. We love to do it and we love to share that with people. To us there’s nothing greater than having your fans sing and having a great time with you. We need to reach out to all of those people. That’s our goal this time.

By Rei Nishimoto

Only Human: Barry Stock of Three Days Grace

Three Days Grace_back_cover_photo_R1_Small

New beginnings can be a blessing for many, and in the case of Canadian rockers Three Days Grace, they have spent the past couple of years regrouping following the departure of their longtime frontman Adam Gontier, who left in 2013 (and now in Saint Asonia). The remaining members began working on new material with their new frontman (and brother of bassist Brad Walst), Matt Walst, on their new album titled Human.

Guitarist Barry Stock explained how their first lineup change since the band’s formation in 1997 became a reflection on themselves and a time to refocus.

Obviously with what’s going on and with our singer, it’s been an exciting time. We went through all emotions in the last two years, many ups and downs for obvious reasons, but for us this record’s been super exciting for us. It’s been a long process for us.

Generally when we write a record, we don’t write too much on the road. We get off the road and we all get together and put the record together. This time when we did this record, when we started touring with Matt [Walst], we started writing right away. It was almost two years ago.

‘Painkiller’ was one of our very first ideas. Matt had this idea and we’re like ‘oh cool – let’s write that!’ Then we wrote a few others, as opposed to waiting like we normally do, we thought this is really exciting. Let’s get into the studio and see how this goes. We went into the studio and then knocked out ‘Painkiller’ and a couple others. When ‘Painkiller’ was done, we thought wow. What a bad ass song. We still have to get this out and that’s why we didn’t wait for a record release to release the single. We thought people need to hear this. We were really excited and moving forward, how it was going, somebody wanted to get that out right away and that’s why it came out so early.

Barry Stock of Three Days Grace. Photo Credit: Melinda Oswandel (via Facebook)

Barry Stock of Three Days Grace. Photo Credit: Melinda Oswandel (via Facebook)

The band looked within their immediately band family for their new frontman. They looked to a familiar personality to sing when their previous one was on the outs with them.

It kind of worked out perfect at the time. When we got the news when it all went down, Matt happened to have some free time. He wasn’t touring or anything himself. He happened to be Brad’s [Walst, bass] brother and happened to be with him when we got the news. I think they were having sushi together. Brad got off the phone and just said to Matt, ‘what are you doing for the next six months, or two years?’ Matt was like ‘let’s do this.’ He was really cool about it too.

We didn’t seem to audition anyone. Matt seemed to be a great choice. He’s a great guy and great singer. Matt’s been there since Day One and being Brad’s brother. Matt co-wrote on the first record (2003’s Three Days Grace) and on the last record (2012’s Transit of Venus). He’s been there all along. He also knows, being a family member, when we sing all the songs we sing, he knows exactly where they come from in our lives and what they were written about. He has a great understanding of the songs themselves, so it seemed perfect. So he shares the same passion that we do. He lives the same stories that we live. He’s lived it too. It seemed to be perfect. It seemed to fall into place.

With the new frontman in place, they still worked as a group on the songwriting. Despite the new band member, Stock claims their writing approach have not changed much.

With Three Days Grace, we do everything the same we’ve always done it. Three Days Grace has never been about one person. It’s always been a group of us – we’re all songwriters and musicians. Everyone can play multi-instruments and we all write lyrics and music. That’s how we’ve always since day one with Three Days Grace. We all collectively write when we write songs. There’s no one person comes in with a whole song.

We all come up with ideas and we all collectively get together to throw ideas out there. We’ll pick and choose what ideas we want to go with. But like I said, we always sit down and wrote together, generally with acoustic guitars and we’ll hash out a song. We’ve always kept that approach. Matt being around since day one and as Brad’s brother, he understood how we worked as well. When Matt came into play, he became like one of us. This is how we do it. It’s not about one person. We all leave our egos at the door when we come in the room and it’s always about what’s best for Three Days Grace. Still to this day, we approach that same thing and Matt blended in perfect. He’s got great ideas and he’s a great contributor as well. So nothing’s really changed when it comes to the songwriting.

three days grace human

Stock was vague on the subject of his former singer and his parting from Three Days Grace. Despite leaving for personal reasons, he wished him well and felt both parties were in better positions now.

We kind of went our separate ways,” he said. “Just the way it went down wasn’t great. Looking back it seemed terrible back then, but we’re all over that too. It seems like everybody’s in a happier place. We have mutual friends and Adam does too, so we hear what’s going on. It seems like he’s in a happier place. What seemed so disastrous back then, being able to look back now everybody overall is in a better place and happier. That’s what’s most important. Life is very short and we don’t have time to be dwelling on past things.

There’s been some contact, like I said between mutual friends. You’re going to bump into each other. It’s going to be ok on both sides.

By Rei Nishimoto

Saint Asonia – Saint Asonia

saint asonia

Super groups, as we have discussed in this space many times are a) sprouting up everywhere, and b) are a risky proposition for the bands and fans. Saint Asonia has all the makings of a “big deal” new band in an age of shrinking headline acts. With Adam Gontier, formerly of Three Days Grace and Mike Mushok of Staind, the collective radio hits and platinum records sold between just the two of them, that is impressive for any era, but especially this one. Added to the mix are Rich Beddoe (ex-Finger Eleven) and bassist Corey Lowery (Eye Empire, Stuck Mojo, Stereomud), and you have enough talent and power to create an impressive beast of a band. On Saint Asonia (RCA) the band has certainly made a good first impression. Let’s see if they answered the hype bell, or not.

First single ‘Better Place’ has been everywhere this summer and rightfully so, since it rocks. It’s great to hear Gontier’s voice wailing again. Especially with the full use of his dynamic vocal range, his thoughtful lyrics hit you hard. The song also features a terrific shreddy and soulful guitar solo from Mushok, which is cool, since he did almost none of that with Staind. Best of all this track is heavy and catchy, which is definitely the secret sauce for this band. Second track ‘Blow Me Wide Open’ is a strong, sensual track that is rough enough to please. These two songs are indicative of confident modern album rock writing at its finest. Third track ‘Let Me Live My Life’ might be the best track on the entire album. With an ear-worm for a chorus so hummable, the marketing boys ought to hashtag that title!

Where Saint Asonia has all of the members former bands’ beat is in the heavy rock department, some of the ballads prove to be a possible Achilles heel. ‘Even Though I Say’ is fairly solid, but it’s not special. ‘Fairytale’ roars back in next, wakes you up and cements the fact that this groups’ best musical moments are when they just scream out and let it fly.

The second half of the album has more arena-ready ragers such as ‘King of Nothing’ and ‘Happy Tragedy’. Rich Beddoe’s drumming stands out a lot on these songs, providing some fierce beats when needed to match the riffage. ‘Dying Slowly’, ‘Trying to Catch Up’ and the folksy ‘Leaving Minnesota’ have might some legs at radio, but also could be stronger. It’s hard not to imagine the many hits Mushok has had a hand in crafting and Gontier’s ability to deliver a penetrating impassioned verse, you wish there was a little bit more of that on here. Still, credit goes to both for not regurgitating old sounds either. The potential is definitely all there in this band to be enormous.

saint asonia band 2015

 

Despite their lineage, Saint Asonia has much more in common with Alice In Chains and Sevendust in terms of melody, grooves, and bringing the feels. Get used to seeing them at a lot of festivals in the coming years.

7.0/10

KEITH CHACHKES

Being In A Better Place- Adam Gontier of Saint Asonia

saint asonia album cover 2015

When the news dropped in May 2015 about “25 Top Ten Rock Singles” were shared between each member of the newly formed rock outfit Saint Asonia, 17 of which are number ones, and teasing the band’s first single “Better Place,” along with their band logo, word and interest spread amongst the mainstream rock community about who exactly this band would be.

It was later unveiled that Saint Asonia features vocalist Adam Gontier (ex-Three Days Grace), guitarist Mike Mushok (Staind, Newsted), drummer Rich Beddoe (ex-Finger Eleven) and bassist Corey Lowery (Eye Empire, Stuck Mojo, Stereomud).

Their début self titled full length drops on July 31, 2015 (via RCA) and they made their live début at this past Rock On The Range Festival in Columbus, OH as the surprise main stage act.

It wasn’t really planned. For a long time, it was one of those things that came up. We got offered a slot to be a special guest as the first band on the main stage on Saturday. It is such a great festival and so many great bands. It is one of the biggest festivals and we’re in the perfect spot. Things went down and it was great. Being the first band on we weren’t too sure how many people were going to be there. It ended up being 10 to 15,000 people were there. It was really great,” said Gontier, about their live début.

Saint Asonia at Rock On The Range. Photo Credit: Mike Bruton (via Facebook)

Saint Asonia at Rock On The Range. Photo Credit: Mike Bruton (via Facebook)

Gontier explained how Mushok reached out to him about writing songs, following his own departure from Three Days Grace, and which later morphed into what is now known today as Saint Asonia.

It was about a year and a half ago when Mike and I started working together. He was the one that reached out to me after I left Three Days Grace. He had some music and he wanted to know if I wanted to help him out with it. We got down to writing and the process went really well and now here we are. We wrote ten songs and it sounded pretty cool to us so we decided to go into the studio and make a record.

Saint Asonia was produced by veteran producer Johnny K (Disturbed, Sevendust) in Chicago, IL and both Gontier and Mushok wrote the bulk of the material together.

With the writing process, it was me and Mike. He had a lot of riffs and parts, so we wrote melodies over what he had. The recording process when we were in the studio, Rich Beddoe, our drummer has been a friend of mine forever so he was always a part of things. He came in and played drums on the record. My uncle Tom Duffy played bass on those songs on the record. We all recorded on the record for sure. We got Corey Lowery after the recording of the album was done.

Gontier talked about the creative process behind this band and how not having expectations helped relieve the tensions of writing this entire record. Plus he shared how writing in this band differed from how he worked in his previous band.

There’s a big difference but the main difference is everyone in Three Days Grace, when we’re writing a record, everybody definitely wanted to be part of the writing, which is fine but for me, it came to the point where there were too many people and it became kind of a circus. We had to go down to Nashville to co-write songs with country songwriters. For me, that’s not why I got into music.

This time around, there’s no real filter so I didn’t have to run my lyrics by anyone and have them tweaked and dissected. That’s still the biggest difference. Then what ended up happening was a real raw heart filled record from front to back.

saint asonia

Aside from Gontier’s lyrics, Mushok got to shine as a guitarist as a different side of his playing came through on this record. While his playing is somewhat conservative on Staind albums, he got to play around with heavier tones and occasional soloing on a couple songs, which even surprised Gontier during the writing process.

I was almost surprised by almost everything that he brought in. He’s a monster. I think we both on this project had a lot of creative freedom on there. If he wanted to lay down a solo in certain songs, then he would do it if the song called for it. Mike never ceases to amaze me or anybody for that matter, like when he does a solo like he does or anything that he does. I think he did a lot of things that wasn’t doing with Staind and brought it to this project. I did things I wasn’t doing in Three Days Grace that I brought into this project. That itself lent itself into a very unique sounding record. It’s definitely something different. It definitely stands out over other records out there.

He shared his lyrical inspirations behind this album, where many may speculate was a reflection of his life from the past few years off from the music life. But he had compiled lyrics over time and incorporated them into Saint Asonia songs.

Half of the songs were songs that I had already written. Most of the lyrics were already done. The other half were written in the studio while we were doing the recording. We went through a pre-production phase, which we went through for a couple of weeks working on lyrics and melodies and trying to tweak everything. We jumped right into the studio and recording the music. I went into the vocal booth and wrote some songs on the fly and wrote what came to me at the time. Like I said, that was a different process for me. It was nice having that creative freedom.

In terms of how specifically his lyrics tie into real life experiences, he was somewhat vague about what they were about, but he did admit they were reflections of moments he experienced at some point in his life. “I can’t try to write about something I didn’t experience. That’s what the majority of the record is about – the past few years of my life and the few things I’ve gone through and my whole in the old day sort of thing. No song is specifically directed towards one certain kind of scenario or thing. It’s all about the past few years for sure.

Where did the band name come from? “Me and Mike were looking at different names. I know the word asonia sound cool. The definition basically means tone deaf. The word asonia has been around for a long time, and it kind of made sense to put [the word] saint in front of it,” he explained.

For me it’s basically over the past few years I’ve had a lot of bad influences from people, trying to tell me what direction to go to and what direction to not go to. To me, one of the things Saint Asonia is here as a reminder to go with my own way and not committing to downsizing so much.

The word supergroup gets thrown around the band name a lot, and Gontier shared his thoughts on having that tag thrown upon them. “It’s nerving (sic) to be called a super group because it was never planned. The timing was good for everyone in the group. None of us have ever used the term super group. We never considered ourselves that. We don’t wear caps when we play live or anything. We’re planning on being around for more than that. It’s a weird thing how it happened. None of it was planned. Nobody searches out for who you’ll get together with. It’s our band and it’s also a new band. We’re not taking it for granted that’s for sure.

Lastly, Staind has been on a hiatus recently but in terms of his status with them would ever affect Saint Asonia if they were to become active again. Gontier reiterated that Saint Asonia is a long term band and that would not affect things. “I think if there is a point that it came to that and get back together to do a record, I’m pretty sure Mike would be able to able to double up. This is definitely a band where we’re not here to do one record and go our separate ways. That’s what happens to a lot of ‘super groups’. That’s not what we’re doing at all. We’re in this for the long haul, that’s for sure.

By Rei Nishimoto

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Saint Asonia Books First Tour, Album Release Soon

Saint Asonia, photo courtesy of RCA records

New rock supergroup Saint Asonia today announced their first tour, to be sponsored by Lagunitas Brewing Company. Taking flight in Oklahoma city on August 14th, ticket pre-sales, including VIP packages, take place tomorrow, July 8th at 10 AM local time. VIP includes meet & greet with band, collectible merchandise, early entry and more. Tickets can be purchased from the bands website at www.saintasonia.com

Comprised of Adam Gontier (formerly of Three Days Grace) and Mike Mushok (of Staind), along with band mates Corey Lowery (Stuck Mojo) and Rich Beddoe (Finger Eleven), the band promised to play a headline set of originals from their forthcoming self-titled album, as well as hits from Three Days Grace and Staind. Saint Asonia comes out on July 31st from RCA records.

Saint Asonia tour dates

Aug 14: Zooo Amphitheater KATTfest – Oklahoma City, OK

Aug 15: Pop’s- St. Louis, MO

Aug 16: Majestic Theatre- Madison, WI

Aug 18: Varsity Theater- Minneapolis, MN

Aug 19: Boondock’s- Springfield, IL

Aug 21: The Machine Shop- Flint, MI

Aug 22: WIIL Rock Fest Fransville Memorial Park- Franksville, WI

Aug 24: Bogart’s- Cincinnati, OH

Aug 25: Newport Music Hall – Columbus, OH

Aug 26: Mercy Lounge- Nashville, TN

Aug 28: Starland Ballroom – Sayreville, NJ

Aug 29: Upstate Concert Hall – Clifton Park, NY

Aug 30: Baltimore Sound Stage- Baltimore, MD

‘Better Place’ lyric video: http://smarturl.it/BetterPlaceLV

‘Blow Me Wide Open’ lyric video: http://smarturl.it/BMWOlv

Pre-order Saint Asonia debut album:

iTunes Pre-Order: http://smarturl.it/saintasoniai

Amazon Pre-Order: http://smarturl.it/saintasoniag

Google Play Pre-Order: http://smarturl.it/saintasoniaa

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Saint Asonia Album Officially Due Out July 31st

saint asonia better place

 

Saint Asonia, comprised of former members of Three Days Grace, Staind, Finger Eleven, and Stuck Mojo have announced their début self titled album will drop on July 31st. Pre-Orders are live and you can get the first single ‘Better Place’ as an immediate download when you buy.

 

‘Better Place’ lyric video

 

Gontier, who left Three Days Grace in 2012 commented on the making of the album:

“The experience of making this music was a chance for me to freely express myself without any filters for the first time… It’s different from anything either of us have done in the past. It’s something that I think rock music needs right now. It’s raw, real, and straight from our hearts.”

Saint Asonia track listing:

01. Better Place
02. Blow Me Wide Open
03. Live My Life
04. Even Though I Say
05. Fairy Tale
06. King Of Nothing
07. Waste My Time
08. Dying Slowly
09. Trying To Catch Up With The World
10. Happy Tragedy
11. Leaving Minnesota

 

Coming from the RCA label, the Johnny K (Disturbed, 3 Doors Down, Nonpoint, Megadeth, Sevendust) self-titled record brings together former Three Days Grace singer Adam Gontier and Staind guitarist Mike Mushok. Saint Asonia also features the rhythm section of Corey Lowery (Stuck Mojo, Eye Empire) and Richard Beddoe (Finger Eleven). 

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