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Status: Freedom Fighter
Joined: Apr 2006
Re: 3 days grace fans
Yeah, definitely, definitely. You know, he's influenced by lots of different stuff. We're influenced by Nirvana and the Seattle music scene, and a whole bunch of different things like The Beatles and whatever else. And Barry's influenced by, definitely, classic rock bands from the 70's, the 80's. And he brings a different element to the band, for sure. It's great. It works really well. It meshes really well with what we do. He just has a great ear for music and he's a great guitar player. So yeah, he's definitely brought his thing to this new record, which is really cool.
Talking about the new record, lyrically the sentiments are pretty dark. They are about isolation, loneliness, and various things. At the end of the day when I finish listening to this record, how am I supposed to feel or what am I supposed to take away lyrically?
I'll start here - the last couple of years when we were touring for our last record - you know, being on the road for so long, it takes its toll on you. For me, I started to become a different person. I changed. I think I became a selfish person, you know? And when we got off the road, I had realized what kind of person I had actually become and I wanted to change that. So the timing was perfect, where we came off the road and I kind of felt alone. I felt like I had a lot of things that I had to deal with. And I wasn't sure if anybody really understood me in my personal life, in my job with the band, everything. I didn't know if anybody understood me. So lyrically, when we got off the road and we were writing this record, it was perfect timing. Because everything I was writing basically came out on this new record. You know, if you listen to the record from front to back, you almost get a story out of the record. At the beginning of the record, I'm sort of talking about how I've felt, how I've changed, and how I've become somebody else. And in the middle of the record, I'm sort of asking for help, trying to realize who I could become or I'm asking somebody else to help me with changing. And the very last song on the record, "One X," is actually, it's a hopeful song about realizing that there are people that feel the same way that you do, that might feel alone and isolated and not really feel like anybody else understands them. So the very last song on the record wraps it up and sort of says there are people that relate to you and feel the same way that you do. So I think this record is more about relating to, you know, feeling a certain way, feeling like you're alone. When you're done listening to the record, I think you have a glimmer of hope from that realizing that you're not the only one.
Without sounding glib, someone would look at you and say, "This guy is in a band, these guys are on the road, his video is on MTV and he's making money - what is it that he really has to be so overwhelmed about?"
Well, let me ask you something - being a music journalist and being fairly successful and that sort of thing, do you have any sort of problems in your life? Do you have issues that you have to deal with? Are there times when you feel at all upset about anything? That's sort of what it comes down to. It comes down to, no matter how good your life looks like from the outside or no matter how great it seems to be, there's always something in your life. I don't care if you're the president of America or if you're homeless and you're in skid row in L. A., you've got things in your life that you have to deal with. And everybody deals with them a certain way. And there was a point, like I kind of said before, when we got off the road, I had felt very alone. When you're touring and you're on the road for so long, you're around people that pretend like they know you that they think they know you. They act like they've known you for years. And you're putting on a show for people that you don't know every single day. You've basically left your family, your friends, everybody that you've cared about, everybody that you loved. You've left them at home. And now you're dealing with people in an industry that's all about money. So I think other bands would definitely relate to the feeling, sort of isolated on the road. That's something that I think a lot of people feel. But for me, I had inner demons that basically over two years of touring, took a hold of me. And I had become somebody completely different. So that's what the record is about. The record is about being somebody that I don't want to be and feeling alone at the very same time.
"Barry came up with tons of great little licks that went perfectly over the rhythmic stuff that I was writing."
Jumping to the musical side, the new record starts with "It's All Over," and those big guitars. Can you describe how a track like that would be created?
Well, you know what? For the majority of this record, a lot of the music was written when we sat in our rehearsal space in Toronto when we got off the road. We came up with - you know, everybody had different riffs, different melodies, different ideas for songs that had been sort of accumulating over the last few years of touring. So when we got home, it was a matter of us coming together and putting those parts together. So each song on the record has something different from every single member of the band. And basically, about half the record was written in Toronto in our rehearsal space. And then the other half was written, we went to northern Ontario, Canada, and we went to a cottage and we just basically secluded ourselves. We sat with acoustic guitars and we'd come up with ideas, and we put them all together. Neil sits with a hand drum while me and Barry play riffs. I start singing the melody over the top of different riffs. So each song, I think came together in different ways with different input from all the guys.
In general, can you run down some of the guitars and amps that you were using on the new record?
Yeah, we used a couple different Diezel heads. Diezel makes great amps and great-sounding gear, so we wanted that. When we were in L. A., when were at the studio, we ended up pulling in an old 69 Marshall head that had been modified. And actually, System of a Down had used it on the newest record just before we got into the studio. So we actually pulled the same head right from System of a Down's studio and started using it on our record. For amps, we used that - the old 69 Marshall - and a couple of Diezel heads. We had tons of heads sitting in the studio, so there was tons of gear. But guitars, we used a bunch of old Gibson Les Pauls. Barry used a couple Ibanez guitars. I use Paul Reed Smith and Schecter guitars. We basically had a wide variety of all sorts of different guitar in the studio. You know, we wanted to just experiment with different sounds so we tried to load the studio up with tons of different gear.
Some people are like slinkys; they don't really have a purpose, but they still bring a smile to your face when you push them down the stairs.