Three Days Grace Biography
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Adam Gontier - vocals, guitar
Brad Walst - bass, vocals
Neil Sanderson - drums, vocals
There's something a little creepy about growing up in a town so small, you can bear witness to indiscretions and trace the causes and effects on people's lives. On the self-titled Jive debut from Three Days Grace, the Toronto-based trio originally from Norwood, Ontario, Canada, has produced a potent hard-edged rock album, filled with melodic choruses and lyrics that explore the darker side of human behavior.
From the first single, "(I Hate) Everything About You," which deals with love-hate relationships; to confronting and fighting for your individuality in "Just Like You," Three Days Grace writes songs of inner struggle and the desire, in a way, for freedom. Musically, there's a range from the eerie "Let You Down," with its near demented vocal to the progressive "Burn" with its intricate rhythms, to a more straight ahead rocker such as "Home."
"We saw a lot of crazy things growing up and a lot of our material comes from that," says drummer Neil Sanderson, the more garrulous of the three.
"I don't find it easy to write about happy shit," admits lead singer-guitarist Adam, somberly. "You don't need a release when you're happy."
Adam and Brad grew up in Norwood, a town of 1500 people, just one set of streetlights, but a city's worth of drama. "You get a different perspective on people," explains Brad. "Everyone knows each other and you can't hide anything. Maybe that's why we can see through the façade that many people hide behind."
Neil hails from Peterborough, just 25 minutes away, a bigger city, which has spawned model/actress Estella Warren and rocker Sebastian Bach. When the band first formed a rock group (under a different name with a different repertoire) in high school, Adam isn't exaggerating when he says, "all 1500 people in Norwood were supporting the band."
The guys didn't strategize about how to get their faces on MTV or land a coveted record deal. They just loved playing live, anywhere. "We opened for a movie once," Neil points out. "We used to cruise up to the Muskokas (Ontario cottage country) in my K car with a tent trailer on the back and play three hour sets at the local bars."
While they always threw in a couple of original songs into their set, it wasn't until they relocated to Toronto in 1997 and adopted the band name Three Days Grace that they really came out hammering as an original act. "Like any small community, you get to a certain age, and you feel like you have three options. It's either sports, drugs or, for us, it was music. It was a way to get out," Adam explains.
Once settled in Toronto, they hooked up temporarily with an old manager, who introduced them to local musician, songwriter and producer Gavin Brown. "We played him years of material and he picked out what he called 'the golden nuggets,'" Adam recalls of the 90-minute set they performed for him at their rehearsal space.
Together, they sorted through the songs and pulled them apart, improving on them enough for the first set of demos. EMI Music Publishing Canada president Mike McCarty wanted to hear more. The band spent more time with Gavin and came up with "(I Hate) Everything About You," the potential chart-buster that landed 3DG its publishing deal with EMI (Feb./02) and would eventually become the first single from its Jive debut.
"There's a perspective that Gavin has that's really effective. We've learned a lot working with him," Neil says of songwriting. "We're influenced by bands like Kyuss and Sunny Day Real Estate, but Gavin really respects the Beatles and their songwriting standards. He taught us that every part has to be amazing and only then are your songs good enough to matter to others."
Armed with the second set of demos, 3DG's attorney quietly shopped them to record companies. A few came to Toronto to see the band perform, but it was "the Jive crew," as Neil calls them, that made the guys look no further. It started when the label execs made a daring trip in a Canadian snowstorm to see the band perform at Peterborough's Gordon Best Theatre "where we'd played a million times," says Neil. "It's a loyal crowd, a good environment."
The clincher was 3DG's trip to meet with Jive in New York. "We were drinking wine with the president Barry Weiss and he was talking about our music as if he hadn't stopped listening to it for weeks," Neil recounts.
"Having the president of the company involved in that sort of way is a big sign of how the company works," adds Adam.
In no time, 3DG had convinced the A&R team that to make the best possible recording, it would have to stick with its strong system -- Mr. Gavin Brown, even though few in America had heard of the Canadian musician who did time in the platinum-selling Canadian rock act Big Sugar and played with cool upstarts Danko Jones. He also produced fellow EMI Publishing act Billy Talent, another recent Canadian signing to a different U.S. label.
So in good hands, 3DG and Brown left Canada for greener pastures, literally, to Long View Farms, a live-in studio just outside of Boston. "In the months leading up to Long View, we started to do pre-production for the rest of the record, so by the time we went into Long View we had the whole record pretty well written, except for some minor stuff."
Among the material was "Let You Down," about deception, as well as the self-explanatory "Scared." "Some of the songs took years to write; others were put together in a few days," says Brad. "Overrated," the album's closer, he adds, "was written in one day."
Ignoring the temptation to ride the horses at the ranch-style facility, the band buckled down for half the record, before relocating to Bearsville, in Woodstock, NY. Both studios proved to be the perfect environment for these small-town boys easily distracted by big cities. With nothing to do but work, the three got into a creative zone mentally. Bearsville - at which one of Adam's favorite albums was recorded, Jeff Buckley's Grace - was still an isolated studio, but this time on a huge estate. While there were no horses, there were hoards of deer everywhere.
From Gavin's goading of Adam in order to get the most impassioned vocal take (he jumped up and down, banged on the glass or told the singer he sucked) to the ingenious idea of dumping pennies on a guitar to make it sound like a raging fire (check out the album intro), the result is an uncompromising rock release that gets the listener to think. Maybe then, big city folks will find that what makes a small town tick isn't so very different after all.
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My favorite band. | Reviewer: Ashley | 1/15/13
I love three days grace. I heard that Adam left the band and now they have a new singer from my darkest days. I listened to my darkest days maybe once or twice. I really hope their new change doesn't let me down. I was upset to hear about the break up. I don't think Matt will every be as good as Adam but you never know. I love all of their songs. Honestly I could listen their albums all day long. Another band I would recommend is Shinedown. Those two are my favorite. My brother had me listening to them since I was nine. Now I'm 14 though. I love their new song "chalk outline". It's very nice.
Thank | Reviewer: Lost forever | 5/24/12
Three days grace has been there for me unknowingly for as long as I can remember. Each and every album and song have brought me this much closer to inner freedom. Most of all I believe it's Adam who has inspired me. I'll never back down from the struggle for freedom that I fight myself for each and every day.
the best band in history!!!!!!!!! TDG FOREVA | Reviewer: crystal | 5/23/12
all of the band members of three days grace inspire me to do so much more and excel at everything that jsut do the best i can i should go above and beyond thx TDG i <3 the band and thx for everything and i wish you could come to ingleside luv guys and p.s. ive been listening to your music since i was 7 and now im 13 but anyway you get the point good luck with all your recordings
It changed my life... | Reviewer: Emma | 4/15/12
I've loved 3DG's music scince i was 3, i'm 13 now and i don't know what i would do with out them. i started liking them as soon as my mum and dad divorced and i know it sounds sad (the "sad" as in lonley...sorta) but until my mum married again, my best friend growing up was a 3DG C.D. And I'm not joking. >_>
No offense chloe but... | Reviewer: Lauren | 10/23/11
Why would you joke about almost commiting suicide?! I almost did barely a week ago. And to eventually say jk, well i don't think it's right. Let someone else tell a story like that. Someone who it really happened to. I don't find it entertaining that you made it up. I really don't. Why and how would you bring yourself to post that? Is attention really that important to you?
Wow! | Reviewer: Lauren | 10/22/11
I've found another breaking benjamin and three days grace fan! Unfortunately, breaking benjamin broke up. I can't say i hope ben burnley will find a new band because the line-up worked. For both the bands sound and image. But on to three days grace. I am going through a phase of where music is my life. At least my mom thinks it's a phase. But i've experimented with different genres and found alternative rock as the best choice. I really enjoy the lead singer's voice. He uses it in every way he can. And the band seems to enjoy what they do. I'm hoping they don't turn out like breaking benjamin, and that they have a long, achieving career together as a band. I'm only 11, but a small voice can make a large impact.
three days grace | Reviewer: tina | 9/7/11
i seen three days grace, breakin benjamin, and flyleaf in lexington, ky in february of 2010. I loved it was one od the best concert i have seen in years. Would love to see them back at rupp arena with breakin benjamin they r my 2 very favorite bands. Keep up the great work guys and i really hope both bands come back soon. I love you guys great music . Couldn't make a better match then these 2 bands. Was like a very extremely good mixed drink. love love ur music.
<3 | Reviewer: diondrah | 6/17/11
i'm into hip hop and crap but when i first listened to 3 days grace i tought " wow they sure know how to rock this world" their songs arent that happy but hey, at least theres something to listen to when i'm mad instead of banging furniture and breaking a million pencils! hip hop doesnt make me feel any better thanks to 3 days grace i could have died of suicide and i give many thanks to them for inspiring me to move on and continue with my life. life is sweet and u only get one shot to it. i'm a hip hop fan but i'm also a 3 days grace band. thanks 3 days grace! u guys are my heroes! :D ^_^ i will never forget that i thought twice because of u!
three days grace 4ever...i love you guys | Reviewer: yumari | 5/7/11
omg.....three days grace is the best band ever ..i love all their songs specially i hate everything about you, pain, animal i have become, and it's never too late.oh and adam you totally rocked those songs...love you guys keep rocking my heart.
Best Band the Universe has ever seen or heard | Reviewer: Chloe | 4/8/11
Three days grace turned my life around and I dont know what I would do without them!! They are the reason I didnt comit suwaside... I was going to comit suwaside but I heard three days grace and they changed my life and make me want to live! They understand me!!!!!!!
JK! :) But it is the truth that they changed my life, But of coarse I wouldnt comit suwasied!!!! I dont even know how to spell it!!!!!!!!!! LOL!!!!!!!!!!!!
bestest band EVUUURRR!!! <3 | Reviewer: I <3 3DG!!! | 1/8/11
omg!!! i freaking LOVEEEE three days grace! i listen 2 them almost everyday on my comp! i freaking looovee adam!! u b awesome adam gontier!!! I <3 U!!!! i wants them 2 come 2 roseville so i can see them live!!! the first three days grace song i heard was home. but i didnt no that it was three days grace!! lol! the first 3DG song i heard that i noed it was them was break. and i listened 2 more stuff and realized i was already a fan! i had heard almost all the songs b4!! alot of thier song really speak 2 me. like: Just Like You, Home, I Hate Everything About You, Not Too Late, Animal I have Become, etc. I LOVE YOU 4EVERRR THREE DAYS GRACE!!! NEVER STOP DOING WHAT YOU DO, OR BEING WHO U R!!! P.S. Canadians rule!!! lol. :)))
this is where it's at!!!! | Reviewer: kirkalicious | 7/21/10
Three days grace=amazing! all of u kno it! the first song by three days grace i ever heard was i hate everything bout u and after hearing that song i fell in love wit the music this band brings to life. as i started to listen to more 3DG i noticed the song over and over is quite similar to i hate everything bout u and that it also has really good music. this was another song i fell in love wit. i love every song i have heard from this band so far and i have heard bout 35 of their songs. thats saying a bit there. if u don't kno three days grace but ur looking for a band that rocks this fucking world, plays great music, has great lyrics and actually have a meaning to each and every one of their songs, three days grace is definately the band ur looking for. btw, great review! rock on 3DG and dont stop playing!! keep making all those great songs we all kno and love!
wow! they are a great band and this is a wonderful review ! | Reviewer: kelsey marshall | 5/28/10
i had a project i had to do for one of my teachers and this had helped me soo much!! i didnt really have to use any other wensites!
thanks for the help,
My opinion | Reviewer: Cody | 2/26/10
First off, Three Days Grace is the best band alive. I agree with most of the comments on here, in the fact that, i had a passion for music, but not the way i did after i heard three days grace. And secondly, i think that Three Days Grace's music is emo, but since i hate that word, ill say emotional. The band is not emotional, but the songs are. These songs have so much emotion in them. Just think of all the feelings these songs give you while listening. When you listen to these songs, you feel amazing.
three days grace | Reviewer: nimety | 2/14/10
ok first off adam has a awesome voice and i love thier songs. the drums in hate everything about you is realy great and i love the lyrics in pain. The song one-x is great i realy love the lyrics to it. I realy wish they would come back to johson city because the last time they did i didnt get to go and it sucks. But three is great. You barely find any cd of any band that every song is great but the one-x cd is realy great. not one of the songs on that cd get old or make me want to skip to the next one. my sisters agree with me. so great job keep it up.
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