On The Road… with Three Days Grace and Finger Eleven


Now is a great time to be a fan of American Rock Music, which we haven’t really seen in a few years. After a real drought of new music or exciting bands the last few years, leave it to a pair of seasoned veterans acts to show the kids how it’s done. Three Days Grace is stronger than ever behind the power of their new album Human (RCA) and new singer Matt Walst. The band is killing it live and playing a career spanning set list of new tracks and fan favorites. They are tight as hell live, and bring a lot of energy live, especially Walst and guitarist Barry Stock. Having seen the band a few times recently, they are as on point as they have ever been, for the naysayers who have been lined up to diss since Walst joined the fold. Their friends and nearby neighbors (both bands are from Ontario, CAN) Finger Eleven also have a recent album out, the excellent Five Crooked Lines (The Bicycle Music Group). No strangers to consistent performances after years of touring, the band is remarkable in how they switch up their set from year to year and that’s a testament to their deep albums. Singer Scott Anderson works the crowd like a boxer; pacing himself and the band as the crowd gets increasingly amped up as the night goes on. Captured here at The Palladium in Worcester MA by Evil Robb Photography, you see two bands perfectly matched on a bill, and hungry to impress. See this tour if it comes to your town, or live to regret it.


Three Days Grace, by Evil Robb Photography

Three Days Grace, by Evil Robb Photography

Three Days Grace, by Evil Robb Photography

Three Days Grace, by Evil Robb Photography

Three Days Grace, by Evil Robb Photography

Three Days Grace, by Evil Robb Photography


Three Days Grace, by Evil Robb Photography 2015 (1)

Three Days Grace, by Evil Robb Photography


Three Days Grace, by Evil Robb Photography 2015 (1)

Three Days Grace, by Evil Robb Photography

Finger Eleven, by Evil Robb Photography

Finger Eleven, by Evil Robb Photography

Finger Eleven, by Evil Robb Photography

Finger Eleven, by Evil Robb Photography

Finger Eleven, by Evil Robb Photography

Finger Eleven, by Evil Robb Photography

Finger Eleven, by Evil Robb Photography

Finger Eleven, by Evil Robb Photography

[slideshow_deploy id=’33847′]


Bring Me The Horizon – That’s The Spirit


If life is a journey, Bring Me The Horizon are living one helluva good one. From hated deathcore upstarts, bottled and attacked when playing support shows, to the slick, progressive metalcore of their breakthrough album Sempiternal (RCA/Epitaph), their career has been one of continuous upwards movement, both creatively but also commercially, a trend that is perpetuated by their excellent fifth album That’s The Spirit (RCA/Columbia).

While BMTH are no longer a “metal” band (while they haven’t been for a while, they’ve truly stepped outside those bounds now) their continued exploration of a poppier, slicker sound unreservedly suits them. Leaving behind the trappings of scenes metalcore and deathcore, That’s The Spirit takes the band into unchartered territories of song-writing and production to create an excellent modern rock album.

Starting the album with the subdued build of ‘Doomed’, the tone is set for something special as the reflective piece resets expectations, all subtle electronica and disseminated guitars. Partner in crime ‘Happy Song’ picks things up, utilizing a child vocal hook much like Faith No More’s ‘Be Aggressive’ before a lurching, thick riff courtesy of Lee Malia, who really shines as a diverse and clever player across the spectrum of the album, backs up the songs eponymous hook.

Smartly, …Horizon have continued their evolution, replacing the frenetic punkcore style of There Is A Hell… (Visible Noise), via Sempiternal, with a more controlled, dynamic and poppier approach; an approach that has led to a thousand-fold improvement in their song-writing. Whatever you do, don’t confuse replacing aggression with control as a sign of weakness – there is a powerful energy throughout.

They always had an x-factor, now they have refinement and intelligence and know how to channel that spark into top quality songs. Tracks like ‘Avalanche’ are enhanced by the full integration of keyboard player Jordan Fish adding strings, synth motifs and subtle electronica to back up a beast that swirls from down to upbeat, and another strong chorus, led by the excellent Oli Sykes.

BMTH_Press Hi-res.jpg Only the sedate ‘Follow You’ shows a slight dip in quality and there are highlights throughout; no less than ‘Throne’ with its poppy synth intro and Linkin Park trappings, a truly uplifting pop metal anthem. ‘True Friends’ and ‘Blasphemy’ BMTH show they’ve lost none of their cynicism, but more than that, they demonstrate the progression of Sykes from screamer to genuine lead singer, with powerful throaty moments leading to sweeping choruses, and he combines the two on the rockier catchy ‘What You Need’, a track fuelled by a juddering stadium-filling death rock bass line. ‘Drown’, initially released a year ago to prepare the way for the new BMTH sound, is an expertly crafted modern alternative rock song. Final track ‘Oh No’ closes the circle, a reflective yet upbeat poppy piece, reminiscent of the best moments of 30 Seconds To Mars, with Woah-ohs and dance synths closing things off with a smile.

Kudos must also go to Fish and Sykes for a stunning production job, with all the touches and trappings of the best pop productions balled up into huge rock sound. Influences may have switched from Norma Jean and At The Gates, but by moving beyond their contemporaries in quality, style and songwriting, BMTH now stand in class of one; truly at the top of the mountain.


If Suicide Season (Visible Noise/Epitaph) was their rebirth, There Is A Hell… the teenage ruttings of a band truly finding themselves and Sempiternal their coming of age album, That’s The Spirit is Horizon maturing into a fine young adult, confident, strong and secure in themselves and the knowledge that they are now master craftsmen.

Successfully combining every good aspect of alternative rock and metal of the last fifteen years, That’s The Spirit is Bring Me The Horizon’s “Black Album” moment.




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.



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

Saint Asonia on Facebook
Saint Asonia on Twitter
Saint Asonia on Instagram
Saint Asonia on YouTube

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

Saint Asonia on Twitter
Saint Asonia on Facebook
Saint Asonia on Instagram


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).

Saint Asonia on Twitter
Saint Asonia on Facebook
Saint Asonia on Instagram


Video: Saint Asonia Release Making Of Album Webisode, Single Out Now

saint asonia band

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 on Twitter
Saint Asonia on Facebook
Saint Asonia on Instagram

saint asonia better place




Saint Asonia Releasing First Single Better Place

saint asonia band

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).

Saint Asonia on Twitter
Saint Asonia on Facebook
Saint Asonia on Instagram

saint asonia better place

Three Days Grace Releasing Human on March 31st

Three Days Grace_back_cover_photo_R1_Small

Three Days Grace will be releasing their new album Human on March 31, 2015 via RCA. The album is their first with new singer Matt Walst. Stream “Painkiller” here and their current single “I Am Machine” here, produced by Gavin Brown and mixed by Chris Lord-Alge.

three Day Grace LOGO_Small

Watch lyrics videos for “I Am Machine” here and “Painkiller” here.

three days grace i am machine es3hqr The band is rounded out by Neil Sanderson (drums, piano, backing vocals), Brad Walst (bass) and Barry Stock (lead guitar).

The band has upcoming show dates posted below.

Mar 21: Lollapolooza Argentina – Buenos Aires, ARG
Mar 22: Lollapolooza Argentina – Buenos Aires, ARG
Mar 28: Lollapolooza Brazil – Sao Paulo, BRA
Mar 29: Lollapolooza Brazil – Sao Paulo, BRA
Apr 09: X103.9 Spring Break Luau – Riverside, CA
Apr 10: House of Blues – San Diego, CA
Apr 11: UFest @ Quail Run Sports Complex – Mesa, AZ
Apr 13: Knitting Factory – Reno, NV
Apr 14: The Fillmore – San Francisco, CA
Apr 16: Blazefest – Fresno, CA
Apr 17: The Joint At Hard Rock & Casino – Las Vegas, NV
Apr 18: KFMA Day – Tucson, AZ
Apr 19: 34th Annual FMX Birthday Bash – Lubbock, TX
Apr 21: Rock 108 Birthday Bash – Abilene, TX
Apr 22: Caliente At The Siesta Lot – San Antonio, TX
Apr 23: Bomb Factory – Dallas, TX
May 09: Northern Invasion – Somerset, WI
May 10: WJJO Mayday Maylay – Madison, WI
Jun 04: Rock In Vienna – Vienna, AUS
Jun 05: Rock For People – Hradel Kralove, CZ
Jun 06: Rock Am Ring 2015 – Mendig, DE
Jun 07: Rock Im Park 2015 – Nuremburg, DE
Jun 12: Orange Warsaw Festival – Warsaw, PL
Jun 20: Burlington Steamboat Days – Burlington, IA