Adelitas Wayhas always been an above average band. Solid albums, big shows, and a few high-profile hits (WWE/NFL/TV shows) to build houses on and get some occasional bottle service at the club now and then. Live is where the band has thrived, playing big tours and festivals, often upstaging their peers. They have always had the big hooks and catchy songs, no problem. I had always felt what was holding the band back from being truly great was that their albums didn’t sound “live enough”. The best rock albums have a loose feel with big sounding driving tunes. Adelitas Way may finally have hit this 1-2 combo correctly with their new album Getaway (The Vegas Syn/The Fuel Music).
From the sway of the of lead single ‘Bad Reputation’, there is a breezy quality along with the bad boy brooding that you can feel. Always a band to bring monster chorus parts, Getaway has plenty of ear-worm moments. But what it does best musically is sizzle like bacon in bridges and pre-chorus parts that builds the tension. The title track is badass little declaration. Singer Rick DeJesus could basically sing the phone book and it would rule, but seems out to prove something on this one. ‘The Good Die Young’ is one of their best songs to date. A hard rock anthem that is powerful, bluesy, and deep all at once. ‘Low’ has as another good groove and a hummable melody made for summer time.
‘Put You In Place’ has a great bunch of riffs. Robert Zakaryan doesn’t get mentioned often enough with the big name riffers, but this guy has the chops. ‘Filthy Heart’ is another rager. It’s been out for about year since it was the best track on the Deserve This EP, along with a few other tunes that popped up on this album too.
Some tracks go a bit flat-out alt rock on us, but it’s a fine line for the band who sometimes would rather jangle more than crush, guitar-wise. Overall Getaway is the most satisfying album the band has made. Props to the band for their perseverance with the material and Johnny K for working that magic on the tracks.
New York rock outfit Cilver is streaming their new single “I’m America,” off of their forthcoming album Not The End Of The World, due out March 18, 2016 via Entertainment One Music, here. Guitarist Leon Lyazidi from the band produced the album with Johnny K serving as executive producer at Groovemaster Studios in Chicago, IL.
Commented vocalist Uliana Preotu:
“This is the perfect time to release this record. A time where America is angry, frustrated, lost, but hopeful. The songs are honest and biographical to the point that every lyric made me cry as it transported me to important and memorable moments of my life. Moments of loss and hope, moments that every citizen and immigrant can relate to.”
01: Break Free 02: I’m America 03: Headstone 04: Razorblade 05: Afterlife 06: Frozen 07: It’s My Life 08: Bleed For You 09: In My Head 10: Behind These Eyes 11: Not Afraid
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).
“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)
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.”
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.”
Saint Asonia has their first single “Better Place,” off of their forthcoming untitled debut album, produced by Johnny K (Sevendust, Disturbed, Megadeth), and out this summer via RCA, available via iTunes and Spotify.
The band features lead singer Adam Gontier (ex-Three Days Grace), guitarist Mike Mushok (Staind), drummer Rich Beddoe (ex-Finger Eleven) and bassist/vocalist Corey Lowery (Dark New Day, Stereomud, Eye Empire).
Michigan metallers Upon Wings are streaming their music video for “You Are My Weapon,” off of their recently released Afterlife EP. It features guest vocals and production by Brett Hestla (Dark New Day, former Creed), guitars and production by Kevin Jardine and drums by Peter Tzaferis. Kid Rock recording engineer and Grammy-nominated mixing engineer Glenn Brown mastered the EP, while Corey Lowery of Eye Empire mixed “You Are My Weapon.” Recording sessions for the EP took place at Johnny K‘s Groovemaster Studios in Chicago, Jardine’s Uplift Productions in Canada and beyond.
Michigan symphonic metallers Upon Wings has released their latest single “You Are My Weapon,” which is streamed here.
This follows their last single “Afterlife,” produced by Brett Hestla (ex-Creed, Dark New Day) and recorded at Johnny K’s legendary Groovemaster Studios in Chicago, where Disturbed, Staind and more have recorded.
“You Are My Weapon” was mastered by Glenn Brown (Kid Rock), produced by Kevin Jardine (Uplift Productions) and mixed by Corey Lowery (Eye Empire). The track features vocals by Anne Autumn Erickson, guitars by Kevin Jardine, and drums by Peter Tzaferis. The song appears on the band’s “Afterlife” EP, with the new version remixed and remastered. The stunning cover art for “You Are My Weapon” was crafted by Steve Pierce of Balefire Art, who has worked with Motionless in White, A Day to Remember, Pierce the Veil, Blessthefall and more. Soli Deo gloria.