At Saint Asonia’s show at the Starland Ballroom, we had a chance to sit down with lead singer Adam Gontier, former singer of Three Days Grace.
New England Music Blog: How did you come up with your band name?
Adam Gontier: We didn’t actually… I mean the word asonia was flying around for a while now, it’s just a word I found somewhere and that word means to be tone-deaf and I thought it was funny and ironic, just kicking around that word. I think somebody just put “saint” in front of it and said it and gave it a positive spin or something. It sounded good and it wasn’t like we didn’t go for some really deep meaningful name. So it just happened…
NEMB: What is your song writing process like? Has it changed or developed since your time with Three Days Grace to now?
AG: Yeah, for sure, it has changed. For this record, it was really easy, I had a lot of songs, Mike [Mushok] had a lot of music and basically he would give me some music and we changed parts of it, write melodies, and in the studio, tweak lyrics a little bit. I think it’s more organic and a little bit more raw than it used to be. Before it was always going through a bunch of different filters, sort of format it to the record. This time ‘round there’s no filter, it was just… “here it is.”
AG: I don’t know, it’s a tough one. I’ve listened to everything; I grew up listening to a ton of different stuff. When I started writing music, it was mainly a lot of the Seattle music team, like Pearl Jam and stuff. But yeah I grew up with The Beatles and Bob Dylan and all sorts of stuff. And now it’s just bands like the Deftones and classic rock bands…it’s all over the place, really.
NEMB: What are your thoughts on the music industry today?
AG: Well, it’s different for sure. I think it’s pretty hard to make money nowadays, if that’s what you’re into, if that’s what you want do is just make money in the business, it’s tough to do that. But it’s also at the same time in pretty good shape if you’re a new band and you want to get your music out there, there’s lots of ways to do that. See, I guess selling records and paying back the label is tough to do, but getting out there and getting your music to anybody in the world is a lot easier so yeah, not much money to be made. You got to tour a lot, play a lot of shows, sell a lot of tickets, t-shirts, but other than that, I think it’s great though, there’s a lot of music out there now that you probably would never have heard before.
NEMB: What advice would you give to up and coming bands?
AG: Just to network, just consistently play and meet people… just to talk to as many people as you can, try to get your music to as many people as you can, and not really give up. It takes a long time, it takes the right time anyway, maybe not necessarily a long time… if you love it and want to do it for a living, just not to give up because eventually something will happen for you.
NEMB: What’s your favorite part about touring?
AG: Definitely the shows, definitely playing the shows… it’s kind of why we tour, why we do it. We sit around for like 22 hours of the day then we get on stage for an hour and a half out of those 24 hours in the day, and an hour and a half to get up on stage and do what you love to do. So that’s the best part.
NEMB: What’s your favorite venue to play in?
AG: I don’t know, it’s hard to pick a favorite, an actual place, I mean we’re doing these clubs right now. The clubs are really cool because it’s very intimate, the crowd is right there, it’s small, you vibe off the crowd. I think I prefer playing clubs to venues… I mean you play arenas, you’re playing to a lot of people, it’s just a different vibe than a club. The club shows are pretty awesome.
NEMB: What do you do during your days off?
AG: Usually, I just sit in a hotel and play a guitar, writing, maybe go to a movie, maybe go to a mall somewhere and walk around. Just try to be normal for a day.