What started out as a writing collaboration with Staind’s Mike Mushok ended up turning into a brand new project for former Three Days Grace vocalist Adam Gontier. Their new band, Saint Asonia, has been touted as rock’s newest supergroup although Gontier himself doesn’t put much stock into titles preferring the band and the music to speak for itself. We had the chance to catch up with Adam and find out about their debut album and upcoming tour. Please joins us as we chat with Adam Gontier.
KE: Hello Adam. How are you?
AG: Good, I’m good. How are you?
KE: I’m great thanks and thank you for taking the time to call in and talk with us today.
AG: Oh, no problem at all.
KE: Let’s talk about your brand new band Saint Asonia. How did this new band come about and how did you first get together with Mike?
AG: Well, went I quit Three Days Grace Mike was one of the first guys to reach out and he kept in touch. We stayed in touch and eventually we got together to do some writing. Not really with the intention of necessarily getting a band or even making a record but we just started out writing and it turned out really well. I think we ended up writing ten or eleven songs together so we jumped in the studio and recorded the songs and next thing you know we put a band together. It all happened and it’s going very well.
KE: Can you tell us a little about the name Saint Asonia? I don’t recall that name from all my years growing up Catholic (laughter). What’s the meaning behind it?
AG: (laughter) yeah, The word asonia just kind of means basically being tone deaf. It’s pretty simple but the word asonia to me is just a reminder to go with my own gut instincts you know rather than other people’s views. That’s the long answer anyway.
KE: You all come from successful bands and everyone is running with the term “supergroup” to describe the band. What are your thoughts on that? Do you put much stock into that at all?
AG: No. I mean we’ve never thought of it as a quote – unquote supergroup at all. Like when I quite Three Days Grace, Rich Beddoe he was done with Finger Eleven at the time and he did some shows with me and he was always around and then when Mike reached out he was on hiatus from Staind so it just all made sense. There was no putting it together, there’s no labels. We just put a band together. It was nobody’s idea, we didn’t plan it. It just sort of happened.
KE: The first single “Better Place” has been out for a while now. It comes across as a real personal statement of where you’re at in life, moving on with this new chapter. Personally and professionally, do you feel like you’re in a better place now?
AG: Absolutely. I feel now, I feel the best I’ve ever felt. In my personal life absolutely and in my career musically. I definitely feel like this is the best place I’ve ever been in and I’m thankful for it.
KE: Terrific. The record has a real heavy feel to it with songs like “Let Me Live My Life” with that killer opening riff and”Fairy Tale.” Your producer, Johnny K, has worked with some heavier bands and I know Mike has worked with him before. Did he really help bring that out and what was the overall vibe like in the studio?
AG: Oh, for sure yeah. We didn’t really do pre-production on this record. Mike and I wrote all the songs and we just went into the studio and just basically did everything in the studio. It wasn’t like we had two weeks of pre-production to make sure everything was perfect or anything like that. So it’s a different process in that sense, for sure. I had a lot of freedom too. I mean all the lyrics, they didn’t have to be filtered by a label or anything. It was just a really great experience and it’s just the way I want to make music. It’s not trying too hard you know. Everything is just from the heart on this record.
KE: I know for this record it was you and Mike writing together. Will the other band members be involved in the writing process in the future?
AG: I would think yes, definitely in the future. On this record, Mike and I did all the writing and Johnny brought definitely a heavier element, and we both liked it. But, yeah I could see maybe the next record out it will be all of us writing it. We’re not concerned with being the only songwriters on the record. We just want to make the best record we can. So sure, next record we’ll all write it together.
KE: Right, now you’ve talked before about not liking the direction that Three Days Grace was headed creatively before you left the band with more of a focus on money and the business side of things. How has the experience with Saint Asonia differed creatively without all that pressure to pump out four hit singles right out of the gate?
AG: Yeah, it definitely made for a great experience recording for sure without a lot of pressure. But you know every time you put a record out for a record label, you definitely don’t want to disappoint them. But this time it’s all me with the songs and it’s great.
KE: Now Saint Asonia made their live debut this past May at Rock on the Range. What was the fan reaction to the band?
AG: It was great. It actually took a couple songs before people actually knew who we were. We didn’t really expect there to be 10,000 for us but I think half way through the set people started to get into it.
KE: You have a tour that was just announced for this summer. Can you tell us a few details on that?
AG: Yeah, we’re looking forward to it. It’s basically our first tour as Saint Asonia so it’s gonna be great. We’re gonna hit different cities and we’re just excited to get out and start playing, start working. We’re all about playing live. That’s what we love to do.
KE: At Rock on the Range, you did perform a Three Days Grace song as well as a Staind song. Will you be incorporating any of those songs on this upcoming tour?
AG: Yeah I think so. I think we will. I know a lot of people will want to hear a couple Three Days Grace songs and a couple Staind songs, so yeah, we’ll do a couple for sure.
KE: Great, the fans will love that. Now after having reached such a high level of success with Three Days Grace, has it been difficult to kind of start all over again with Saint Asonia?
AG: No, I’m looking forward to it more than anything. It’s definitely a fresh start. You know none of us, we’re all veterans in the industry but we’re all excited to get this going.
KE: A lot of”supergroups” for lack of a better term, don’t stick around for long, they’re kind of a one album and out type thing. Do you feel that Saint Asonia will be a long term project for you guys?
AG: Oh yes, absolutely yes. All of us we basically consider this our new band, and we want to put out four, five, six records, as many records as we can as long as we can.
KE: Awesome. Thank you so much for taking the time to talk with us again and best of luck with the new album.
AG: Thank you. I appreciate it as well.
We would like to thank Kymm Britton from 60 Cycle Media for setting up the interview with Adam. For more information on Saint Asonia including their self title CD, please go to: Saint Asonia.