Rockers Halestorm are currently on tour in the USA with In This Moment and New Years Day. The band just released a virtual reality clip (VR) of live performances of ‘Black Vultures’ And ‘Vicious’. The clip was created this summer at a show at the Mohegan Sun Casino and Resort in Uncasville, Connecticut, was shot with a multi-rig VR camera system with director Craig Ziogas and producers Mike Mushok (Staind, Saint Asonia) and Charlie Callahan. Both tracks come from taken from Halestorm’s recent album, Vicious, which was released on July 27 via Atlantic Records. The disc was recorded last year at Nashville, Tennessee’s Rock Falcon studio with producer Nick Raskulinecz.
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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
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).
Saint Asonia have released a “Making Of” webisode, their first in a series detailing the formation of the super-group and the creation of their forthcoming début album due this summer. You can watch the teaser at this link or below:
Due for release this summer on RCA, 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). The released their first single ‘Better Place’ on May 16th made their live début at last month’s Rock on the Range.
‘Better Place’ lyric video
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).
A teaser video has been posted for Saint Asonia, a new group featuring guitarist Mike Mushok (Staind, Newsted, etc), vocalist Adam Gontier (ex-Three Days Grace), bassist Corey Lowery (Stereomud, Stuck Mojo) and drummer Rich Beddoe (Finger Eleven). More information is expected on May 16, 2015.