There was a lot of great music released from 2005-2010, but there’s a strong criticism of the music from that era. A lot of it sounds too formulaic. It sounds like it was manufactured. No matter how great some of the songs are, you can tear them apart and analyze them and see some manner of industrialization. A lot of people view that as a negative, and that’s understandable. It’s kind of like a loaf of bread. If you’re not worried about it, a standard loaf of bread from the grocery store works great. If you really want to enjoy it though, you go to the baker where there’s more care put into making your product. That’s what went wrong with a lot of rock music. We needed something special from the bakery but we were stuck with a plain loaf of bread in a plastic bag that had been mixed, baked, and cut by machines. Three Days Grace made music like this too, for better or for worse.
Times have changed for alternative and rock music. People are clamoring for more care to be put into songs they’ll buy and bands and artists are getting the time to be able to do this. With their latest album, Transit of Venus, Three Days Grace has detached itself from assembly line music making and teamed up with Don Gilmore to make what lead singer Adam Gontier says was their most fun record to make. In a recent interview with Alternative Addiction, Gontier spoke of the band’s shift to making an album this way, how their producer was to work with, and the significance of Earth’s sister planet in all of this.
“When we were making our last record there was a rumor that was spreading that we were going to call our record Venus,” said Gontier on the topic of why this album is called what it is. “We had no idea where it was coming from. This time around when we made this record, we had finished it around the beginning of June. June 5th the transit of Venus actually happened and it only happens once every two hundred and some odd years. So the name was one of those things where we just thought it worked.”
“We even looked at it a little bit deeper into the story behind Venus and what it used to be- it was a planet a lot like Earth. Because of its proximity to the sun, it basically shriveled up and died. It’s not like ours anymore. When we looked at the songs that we wrote on this record, it’s about moving forward and trying to evolve. We sort of relate the songs and relate the record to Venus in a sense that it’s a planet that tried to survive and basically couldn’t. There’s a lot of desperation on this record and I think that’s where it all fell in to place.”
Desperation when making an album is a tricky thing. Some bands need it; others need everything but that sense of anxiety. When Adam was asked where the desperation was coming into play when making this record, he said it had more to do with how the record was made and not what the band felt while they were making it.
“We’ve always been a rock band first and foremost,” said Gontier of where the band was at mentally when they were getting ready to make this record. “We’ve always written the way we write. We don’t think about outside sources. We don’t think about pressures. We don’t think about how we need to write this next record or what it needs to be about or what people are going to want to hear. It’s something that just comes naturally to us. We try not to think about anything aside from writing the best possible songs that we can.”
“The cool thing about this album is how it’s different from all of our previous records. With our previous stuff, we went in with the songs finished basically. We just walked into the studio, we recorded the songs, and we were done. This time around for the majority of the record, each song was about halfway done. We went into the studio wanting to take a different approach. We wanted to finish the writing while we were recording. Rather than getting everything done beforehand and getting in and getting out, we spent a long time in the studio writing and recording. We’ve always written with that sort of desperation, that’s never gone away. This time around when I talk about desperation it stems from us getting into the studio and trying to finish a record that’s not fully done. This time around it really worked for us and I truly believe this is our best record.”
After working with Howard Benson on their last album it was time for a change for the band, and they found that working with Don Gilmore. The producer’s resume has a huge number of amazing records and Three Days Grace fans can add Transit of Venus to that list. Gontier said working with Gilmore was another big change for the band.
“Working with Don was great. Obviously his track record speaks for itself. But he’s definitely a hands-on producer. There are a lot of producers out there that don’t do that. They walk in at the beginning of the session and they listen to the tones and they leave and you don’t see them for another month. Then they come in when the vocals are being recorded and they’re gone. With Don it was different. Don was a hands-on guy who was in the studio every single day. Don was the first one in and the last one to leave. He would pick up guitars and try to come up with different parts and lyrics. He brought a whole new approach to what this band was used to; that’s going through the motions of making a record in a factory-like setting. Don doesn’t do it that way. He puts his heart and soul into every record he makes. That’s what we do. The partnership we had with him making this record was perfect.”
There are lots of transformations with Three Days Grace for Transit of Venus. They wrote in the studio, they worked with a different producer, and they did things with more care and attention to detail. There are also some new sounds to go with the new album, there are more electronic elements thrown into this Three Days Grace music than any of the group’s records to date. That, and putting these songs together in the studio make this an album that’s different to interpret live for the band. Gontier however isn’t worried about how they’ll adjust. Everything comes back to what Three Days Grace is.
“We won’t ever veer away from that heavy rock guitar Three Days Grace signature sound,” said Gontier on bringing this new album to a live environment. “We just added more elements on this record. So it has been a little bit of a challenge and a curve for us to rehearse these. It’s one of those things where we worked on them a little longer so we could really play them live. But most of the record is heavy rock guitars; it’s not too far off the beaten path.”
Three Days Grace will take their new album on the road in the U.S. throughout October to introduce the new material to fans. If you go out and see the show you can expect to hear TDG songs that you’re used to hearing, but you can also anticipate hearing about half of the new album live. Something that’s worth checking out on the basis of the strong things Gontier has to say about their new music.
“It really worked out well for us because we had the right people in the studio to guide us. It turned out to be the best record that we’ve made. A lot of artists will say that when they have a new record coming out, but I fully-believe that this is the best Three Days Grace record we’ve ever made.”
Transit of Venus is available now. Three Days Grace will be out on the road in the U.S. promoting the release of the record throughout this month.
Three Days Grace October Tour Dates Oct 6 2012 Woodlands, TX Woodlands Pavilion (Buzzfest) Oct 7 2012 San Antonio, TX Sunken Garden Theatre Oct 8 2012 Dallas, TX Trees Oct 10 2012 St. Louis, MO The Firebird Oct 11 2012 Kansas City, MO The Midland Theatre Oct 12 2012 Minneapolis, MN Fine Line Music Café Oct 14 2012 Detroit, MI St. Andrew’s Hall Oct 15 2012 Columbus, OH A&R Bar Oct 16 2012 Washington, DC U Street Music Hall Oct 17 2012 Sayreville, NJ Starland Ballroom Oct 19 2012 Boston, MA Brighton Music Hall Oct 22 2012 New York, NY Highline Ballroom Oct 23 2012 Philadelphia, PA Theatre of the Living Arts Oct 24 2012 Baltimore, MD Baltimore Soundstage Oct 26 2012 Charlotte, NC Visulite Theatre Oct 27 2012 Myrtle Beach, SC House Of Blues Oct 28 2012 Nashville, TN Exit/In
Frank Turner recently took the time to talk with Alternative Addiction about working with Rich Costey and how people interpret music.
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