Rarely does a supergroup team with a super-producer and have it result in a finished product that lives up to expectations, but rarely does not equal never… When I first got word last year that former Columbia Recording artist Chris Shy (Aurora Sky/Fear The Clown) would be teaming with Lo-Pro/Ultraspank frontman Pete Murray, I was cautiously optimistic, as we’ve seen these things crash and burn before with even the greatest of musicians. But there was something different about this pairing, having known Shy‘s penchant for hearing things that take most others a second listen to grasp I was confident that Murray would be the man to take this thing to the next level. Little did I know that the two would be adding the talents of bassist John Fahnestock(Snot/Amen) and drummer extraordinaire Will Hunt(Evanescence/Device) to the fold, and converging on the famed EastWest Studios to add the final piece of the puzzle in GRAMMY-Winning super-producer Ben Grosse(just about every great artist under the sun); the spawn of this musical marriage becoming White Noise Owl.
Bandmembers often say that their band is their family, now I ask you to picture never meeting your family until you were about to be introduced, as a whole, to a worldwide audience. Sound crazy? Well as crazy as it sounds, all of this mastery was created by a group of guys who, for the most part, had never even met until they were in the studio! We always hear of “the band that never was”, in a sense, White Noise Owl is really “the band that never wasn’t”!
Needless to say, I had been eagerly awaiting the final product, and it was well worth the wait! From the opening chords of “Feed”, we can begin to see what this band is about, a perfect conjugation of early Filter-meets-STP. Thought we had that already? Think again! This would be what we’d get if Army of Anyone had a “do over”. Murray‘s vocals, combined with an ingenious riff that would make the DeLeo brothers quiver are all you need to beg for them to “Feed” you more! An appetite that is further prompted with the second track “Bomber”, another rocker that displays the mighty talents of these four, all the while wondering if Ben Grosse is having flashbacks to his “Title of Record” sessions.
Enter “End Over End” and “Are You Breathing”, the final tracks off the EP and one is left with two questions, How the fuck did I not realize what a great set of pipes Pete Murray has until now? And when does the full length album come out?!
As I said before, rare does not equal never; rare is reserved for things like perfect scores on album reviews, happy neighbors of Justin Bieber, and Blue Moons, and it’s only appropriate this Blue Moon has an owl sitting under it, a White Noise Owl! Mark your calendars for March 11, 2014, the Day of the Owl.
The first annual 96 K-ROCK presents Rockwave Festival–to be held Saturday, September 21 at JetBlue Park in Fort Myers, Florida–is offering a special ”Revolver 4 Pack” ticket package. A limited number of “Revolver 4 Pack” packages are now available for $135. Each “Revolver 4 Pack” includes 4 general admission tickets to Rockwave, along with a single one-year subscription to Revolver Magazine. Visit www.rockwavefest.com for more info, or click here to purchase tickets.
96 K-ROCK presents Rockwave will feature seminal alternative rock bands Jane’s Addiction and Stone Temple Pilots with Chester Bennington, along with performances from newly announced addition Chevelle, as well as Filter, Anberlin, and Beware Of Darkness performing on the Monster Main Stage.
The festival is also offering a special discounted ticket pre-sale from July 16-18 at www.rockwavefest.com. During the pre-sale, a limited number of discounted general admission tickets will be available for purchase for the following prices (plus fees):
Tuesday, July 16: $19.50 Wednesday, July 17: $24.99 Thursday, July 18: $34.99
Regularly priced general admission and VIP tickets go on sale Friday, July 19 at 10:00 AM Eastern Time at www.rockwavefest.com, Ticketmaster.com, and at all Ticketmaster outlets. Beginning July 19, General Admission tickets will be $45.00 (plus fees) and VIP tickets will be $89.50 (plus fees). Doors open at 1:00 PM.
VIP tickets include: a VIP entrance to venue; access to VIP lounge area featuring dedicated bar, beverage and food service; viewing of main stage (seated and standing areas); seated area with shade for dining and private restroom facilities; and a VIP guest laminate.
July 8, 2013–The first annual 96 K-ROCK presents Rockwave Festival will be held Saturday, September 21 at JetBlue Park in Fort Myers, Florida.
Rockwave will feature seminal alternative rock bands Jane’s Addiction and Stone Temple Pilots with Chester Bennington, along with performances from Filter, Anberlin, Beware Of Darkness, and an opening band TBA performing on the Monster Main Stage.
A special discounted ticket pre-sale for Rockwave Festival will take place from July 16-18 at www.rockwavefest.com. During the pre-sale, a limited number of discounted general admission tickets will be available for purchase for the following prices (plus fees):
Tuesday, July 16: $19.50 Wednesday, July 17: $24.99 Thursday, July 18: $34.99
“I’m super excited to help launch the new 96 K-ROCK radio station in Ft. Myers, with Jane’s Addiction and Stone Temple Pilots, Filter, Anberlin and one of my new favorite acts Beware Of Darkness,” says festival creator/producer Danny Wimmer of Danny Wimmer Presents. “What a great party it’s going to be to close out the summer.”
Regularly priced general admission and VIP tickets go on sale Friday, July 19 at 10:00 AM Eastern Time at www.rockwavefest.com, Ticketmaster.com and at all Ticketmaster outlets. Beginning July 19, General Admission tickets will be $45.00 (plus fees) and VIP tickets will be $89.50 (plus fees). Doors open at 1:00 PM.
VIP tickets include: a VIP entrance to venue; access to VIP lounge area featuring dedicated bar, beverage and food service; viewing of main stage (seated and standing areas); seated area with shade for dining and private restroom facilities; and a VIP guest laminate.
96 K-ROCK presents Rockwave Festival is produced by Danny Wimmer Presents and AEG Live, part of the team that produces the massively successful Rock On The Range, Carolina Rebellion, Welcome To Rockville, and Fort Myers’ own Fort Rock festival. 96 K-ROCK presents Rockwave Festival is fueled by Monster Energy.
JetBlue Park is the spring training home of the Boston Red Sox and is located at 11500 Fenway South Drive in Fort Myers, Florida. It’s also the home to the Fort Rock music festival, which debuted April 14, 2013.
Eagle Rock Entertainment, the world’s leader in visual music, will run a huge sale from August 29 – September 11 on hundreds of its long-form concert videos by such artists as The Rolling Stones, ZZ Top, Peter Gabriel, Black Crowes, Marilyn Manson, Jeff Beck, Stone Temple Pilots, Counting Crows, Duran Duran, Eminem, Yes, Alice Cooper, Run DMC, Queen, Staind and many more.
Eagle has been known for years for its “Live At Montreux” and “Classic Albums” series but that’s just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Visual Music. From its jazz and blues to Classic Rock and heavy metal, Eagle has provided visual (and aural) thrills for generations. The list of artists that have performed on these dvds represents an incredible array of talent, literally a who’s who of the entertainment industry. These concerts being available for the first time at such a low price is a tremendous opportunity for consumers.
Eagle Rock Entertainment is the largest producer and distributor of music programming for DVD, Blu-Ray, TV, Audio and Digital Media in the world. Eagle works directly alongside talent to produce top quality, High Definition and 3D programs, both concerts and documentaries, including The Rolling Stones, Pink Floyd, The Who, Queen, The Doors, Jeff Beck, U2, Peter Gabriel, Paul McCartney and Ozzy Osbourne. Eagle is a Grammy Award winning company and has received over 30 multi-platinum, over 50 platinum and over 90 gold discs, worldwide. Eagle Rock Entertainment has offices in London, New York, Toronto, Paris and Hamburg.
I have never been a big Stone Temple Pilots Fan. Their first album that came out, Core, had couple of good songs on it but after that they turned into a pop rock act it seemed to me.
Imagine my shock when I received a DVD in the mail of a 2010 concert of theirs. Who knew they were still around?
The press release states that Alive In The Windy City is the first official authorized by the band for commercial video release. So I don’t know if a previous label screwed them over and released a concert video in the past, or if this just happens to be the first time anyone wanted a live DVD from STP.
Judging by the quality of Scott Weiland’s singing I’m assuming that whoever thought this endeavor was a good idea, has since rethought the idea, and is now rethinking their career path and choices.
The show kicks off with Vasoline. It is the first song of the show. The show opens and Vasoline is playing. Is that clear to you? We are on the first song of the set and Scott‘s voice is crap. Almost painful. The band is fine, and if I cared about their music I might have enjoyed their playing more. But alas, I don’t, and couldn’t.
Just watching Scott Weiland strut around the stage like a chicken annoyed the shit out of me.
All of the big STP ‘hits’ are here. Vasoline, Wicked Garden, Big Empty, Sour Girl, Creep, Plush, Interstate Love Song, Sex Type Thing… you get the idea. Sour Girl was atrocious. It just sounded like a train wreck to me. And every song starts off with the drummer counting out the song, a shot from behind him as he is doing it. It’s fucking annoying. Creep should never be performed live. It sounds like a dirge that should only be played during failed abortions. Absolutely no life in the song, the band, or the crowd.
Speaking of the crowd, the mix on the crowd noise has got to be canned. It can’t be from the crowd in that venue for that show. The venue is too small to have a crowd noise sounding like 15,000 people yelling at once. The artwork exclaims the show is sold out. Hell the Riviera Theater only holds 2,500 people. It had better be sold out if you are going to film it. And there’s no way that 2,500 people sound like 15,000.
So, the show lasts 92 minutes. I lasted 15 minutes. There were interviews at the end too, but I’d rather slam my dick on broken glass than listen to Scott Weiland talk about… well… anything.
I gave the DVD a 1 out of 10 because it was at least mixed well. I mean imagine trying to make a turd sound good. How do you do that? Well whoever mixed this DVD did just that. Maybe they should have gotten more than 1 for that magic trick; however I don’t know the dude’s name and don’t want to give the band too much credit here.
Enjoy at your risk, or don’t. You’ll thank me later.
The first annual Monster Energy Aftershock Festival, presented by California’s Rock Station – 98 Rock, is set for Sunday, September 23 at Discovery Park in downtown Sacramento, CA. The initial lineup for the full-day rock festival includes Stone Temple Pilots, Deftones, Bush, Chevelle, Hollywood Undead, Theory of a Deadman, Oleander, Escape the Fate, Otherwise, Gemini Syndrome and more.
General admission tickets for Monster Energy Aftershock Festival are available for as low as $49.50 plus fees and VIP tickets can be purchased for $99.50 plus fees. VIP tickets include: VIP entrance to venue; access to VIP lounge area featuring dedicated bar, beverage and food service; viewing of main stage (seated and standing areas); seated area with shade for dining and private restroom facilities; and a VIP guest laminate. Please visit www.AftershockConcert.com for more information.
Eagle Rock Entertainment is proud to announce the June 26 release of Alive In The Windy City, the first-ever Stone Temple Pilots concert to be authorized by the band for commercial video release.
Filmed in state-of-the-art high-definition, recorded in DTS-HD Master Audio and LPCM Stereo, Stone Temple Pilots performed a high-octane show at the sold-out Riviera Theatre in Chicago, IL. This March 2010 concert blended new songs from their self-titled sixth album with classic hits from the inception of their career. Vocalist Scott Weiland, bassist Robert DeLeo, guitarist Dean DeLeo and drummer Eric Kretz erupted with a stop-on-a-dime tight, blistering set that included “Interstate Love Song” “Plush” “Vasoline” “Creep” “Sex Type Thing” and “Big Empty.” The 18-song show is complemented with bonus exclusive band member interviews — Total running time is 92 minutes.
Stone Temple Pilots were conceived in 1992 San Diego, successfully melding alternative rock, hard rock, melodic pop, and garage rock into a swirl of post-punk attitude with a hint of glam. Their first two albums—Core and Purple—immediately established them as one of the more adventurous of the American guitar bands. The raw, sonic energy of their songs and live shows propelled two decades worth of success. Amidst numerous break-ups and the four musicians coming and going in different bands, STP has never had a personnel change. Alive In The Windy City documents the strength and live prowess of this 20-year heavy-hitting rock collective.
TRACK LISTING: 1) Vasoline
3) Wicked Garden
4) Hollywood Bitch
5) Between The Lines
6) Hickory Dichotomy
7) Big Empty
8) Sour Girl
11) Interstate Love Song
13) Huckleberry Crumble
14) Sex Type Thing
15) Dead And Bloated
16) Lounge Fly
17) Piece Of Pie
18) Trippin’ On A Hole In A Paper Heart
8/18/12 – Pontiac, MI – Pontiac Silverdome
8/22/12 – Bethel, NY – Bethel Woods Center For The Arts
8/24/12 – Atlantic City, NJ – Revel Resorts/Ovation Hall
8/25/12 – Mashantucket, CT – MGM Grand Theatre at Foxwoods
8/27/12 & 8/29/12 – Huntington, NY – The Paramount
8/31/12 – Gilford, NH – Meadowbrook U.S. Cellular Pavilion
9/1/12 – Hershey, PA – Hershey Stadium
9/4/12 – Chicago, IL – Riviera Theatre
9/6/12 – Thunder Bay, ONT – Thunder Bay Community Auditorium
9/7/12 – St. Paul, MN – Myth
9/9/12 – Winnipeg, MB – Winnipeg Convention Center
9/11/12 – Calgary, AB – Big 4 Building
9/12/12 – Edmonton, AB – Shaw Convention Centre
9/20/12 – Las Vegas, NV – The Pearl at The Palms
9/22/12 – Irvine, CA – Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre
9/23/12 – Sacramento, CA – Discovery Park
One year, one major label debut album, countless festival dates, one cutting edge video, and three hit singles that are taking America by storm… what have YOU done this year? The aforementioned is just the status quo for Cale Gontier and the boys from Art of Dying. The Canadian quintet first infiltrated our borders and burst onto the scene in early 2011, and has played the part of Rock n’ Roll’s Pied Piper leaving a trail of followers all across the States. Recently, this lemming had the chance to catch up with bassist Cale Gontier to get the forecast for this musical monsoon. So sit back, relax, and grab a cold one as we touch on everything from AOD-to-ESP-to- another Canadian weather phenomenon that involves Leafs that blow year round.
AWAY-TEAM: Congratulations on the tremendous success of Vices and Virtues. It’s definitely well-deserved…
CALE GONTIER: Thank you so much man, appreciate that!
AWAY-TEAM: Now, it’s well documented that the band takes it’s name from part of an even longer phrase, ‘The art of dying is my life to live…’, but where did that phrase actually originate?
CALE GONTIER: Ya know man, I think that whole phrase just kinda, it’s kinda how we roll as a band. It’s just about enjoying your time, and making the best of your time realizing that you’re not gonna be around forever, and just having fun. Day to day having fun, and doing what you wanna be doing, and that’s what we do as a band. I think that’s how we all came together, and it’s just sort of our motto.
AWAY-TEAM: The current single, ‘Sorry’, your third off the album, has probably the coolest, most well done lyric video I’ve seen in a long time. Where did the idea come from for such an artistic lyric video?
CALE GONTIER: Yeah, that lyric video has taken off. It’s almost gone viral online, it’s getting tons of hits on YouTube and stuff. Usually all the videos that we’ve done in the past, the band’s been involved in, and the lyric videos have been fairly simple, but with this one we decided to go down a bit of a different road. We got a couple of actors from L.A., who did a great job, and the people at Warner Brothers had alot of input on it, and it turned out really cool. It tells the story of the song within that three minute lyric video, and it was just really well done, and I think that alot of people can really relate to that song in one way or another. Just needing to apologize for something, whatever that may be, it doesn’t necessarily have to be the relationship like it is in the video. But yeah, we actually just recorded an acoustic version of the song in Chicago with Dan Donegan from Disturbed, who produced it. We’re doing this really cool thing on Facebook where, Jonny our singer started this thing after that lyric video, the last scene in the video is where the girl holds up a piece of paper that says “Sorry” on it, she’s apologizing to the dude, so we’re doing this cool online thing where all of our fans and followers online have been changing their profile pictures to a picture of them saying “Sorry” in one way or another. Most of the time it’s them holding up a piece of paper that says “Sorry”, or they’ve written it on their arm, or gotten creative with it, and that’s kinda taken off online as well. So what we’re gonna do is choose the coolest pictures, and they’re actually gonna be in the new video for the acoustic version of the song. We’re actually in the process of doing that right now, and I’m looking forward to seeing how that turns out as well.
AWAY-TEAM: Yeah, I noticed that myself. That was actually gonna be my next question. But getting back to the lyric video, I wanted to ask, being that music videos are now mostly relegated to the web, do you think videos such as the one you’ve just put out are the wave of the future?
CALE GONTIER: Yeah, I kinda think so man. We were just experimenting a little bit, but I think with alot of the Fuse, MTV, and MuchMusic it seems like videos are getting less and less air time. For that same reason, people are spending less and less money on them, and I think Facebook and YouTube is where it’s at right now. That’s where it’s gonna get seen, so if you can do something that is creative, and that is cool, and is different, and spread the word online, kinda like what happened with that lyric video, I think that’s the new way to go. It’s not like we spent a ton of money on it or anything, it’s just it was something cool and creative, and people were digging it, and they can be a part of it with these profile pictures and all that, so it does seem to me that that’s happening more and more for sure.
AWAY-TEAM: When you joined the band, you had been playing with Thornley at the time, how did you end up in Art of Dying? And more importantly, I’m gonna make an assumption here, how did a Leafs fan end up in a band with a bunch of Canuck fans? (laughs)
CALE GONTIER: (laughs) That’s a great assumption! (laughs) You know what man, we are all hockey fans by the way, but I don’t wanna talk about the Leafs too much, they let me down this year! But as far as how we all came together, I guess the conduit was our drummer Jeffy Brown, he is from Guelph, Ontario, and he used to play in a band with my older brother in Guelph. He ended up moving to Vancouver, and he hooked up with Jonny and Greg, and they started playing together. Me and Tavis were living in Toronto, playing in a bunch of different bands, we were playing with Thornley/Big Wreck for like five years… and even how that came about, my cousin Adam sings in Three Days Grace, and on their first album I was on the road with Three Days as a guitar tech, even though I had no idea what I was doing, I was just helping out and having fun with Adam, and I went to high school with all the other guys too. So I was out with them, and Thornley opened for Three Days, after a little while I befriended Tavis and Ian (Thornley). A year later when that tour was done, Ian was looking for a bass player, and Adam suggested that he give me a call. He did, and I started playing with them, and that’s how I got super tight with those guys. We played for five years, and me and Tavis are best buddies. Then the original Art of Dying, with Jeffy playing drums, came to Toronto to play Canadian Music Week, which is kind of like Canada’s SXSW, and I put the guys up at my place for like 7 or 10 days. They just crashed on couches and floors at my place, and we just really hit it off as friends. Everyone was super cool, and we had a good time as friends first, we’d just go out and have some drinks and have a good time, and the idea of Tavis and I going out on a little Canadian tour they had booked came up one night, and we thought maybe it was crazy enough that we could pull this off. So Tavis and I cancelled a few things, the first time we ever played together was during a sound check at the first show at the University of Calgary, for like eight people! (laughs)
CALE GONTIER: But, once we started playing together on that little Canadian run, we were already good friends, and musically we just really connected. One of our things, Tavis and I sang our asses off in Thornley for a bunch of years, and we just love singing harmonies, so we just jumped in singing three-parts on all of the Art of Dying songs. Then we started writing new songs, and we just felt that we had something special all of a sudden. That’s so hard to come by, and that’s the most important thing, in my opinion, being in a band, you gotta live with these people ten months a year when you’re touring. When you get something special like that, you really better lock it in, so that’s what we did. Everybody dropped everything basically, and we decided to solidify Art of Dying. That was about five years ago, and it didn’t take long after that. We started to get on some better tours, Disturbed took us out a couple times, and at that time we didn’t even realize that Dan and David from Disturbed even had a record label. We just thought they were buddies, and digging our music, but they were watching from the front of the house every night, at our sound checks every day, and in hindsight the couple of tours that we did with Disturbed were actually showcases for their label, Intoxication. Then they flew us down to Chicago, and said they wanted to sign us. We were super stoked, and everything’s been moving pretty fast, and going great since then.
AWAY-TEAM: I gotta tell you man, you’re pretty good, this is the second “next question” that you already answered for me! (laughs)
CALE GONTIER: (laughs) I keep doing that, shit! (laughs)
AWAY-TEAM: (laughs) No that’s good, you’re making my job easier! (laughs) You mentioned writing new songs, I understand that the writing sessions for this record involved getting together in some weird locations. Tell me about some of those locations, and what place was the most inspirational, or productive?
CALE GONTIER: Well, because we live on different sides of the country, when we’re not on the road we’re not all together as a band. Jeffy, Jonny, and Greg all live in Vancouver, I live in Toronto, 3,000 miles away, and Tavis just kinda floats around wherever, he’s a gypsy when we’re not touring. (laughs) So when we do an intentional writing trip, we always try to go somewhere cool, somewhere inspirational, like you said. But we’ve done a few different ones, like we met up at our buddy’s house in the interior British Columbia. This kinda small ski town, just outside Colona, and we just set up shop there for a few weeks. Set up our gear in the basement, it was just a good vibe, we were barbecuing for ourselves every night. Most of our songs come from just sitting around with an acoustic, just bouncing ideas off each other. When we do get together for a little writing trip like that, we’ve all been writing on our own, so we just bounce ideas off each other; and they get better and better, once everyone puts their own twist on it. Jonny‘s just sick, and comes up with good melodies, and stuff like that. So that was a good one, when we went to Colona for a few weeks, got alot of good stuff done there. Another one, we went to Chicago, which Chicago is like our second home now with our connection with Disturbed, and we ended up doing half of Vices and Virtues there. Dan Donegan produced, and we went to a studio called Groovemaster, Johnny K’s studio in Chicago, that’s just a super cool old building that Al Capone used to own, and just good things always seem to come when we put ourselves in a situation like that, ya know.
AWAY-TEAM: You mentioned Dan producing, what’s he like in the studio? Is he more of a demanding hands-on type? Or is he more of a “Do what you do, and we’ll tweak it later” type?
CALE GONTIER: Danny is really more of a hands-on guy. He’s obviously a super talented musician, and he’s got great input. He’s not always diving in, or getting in there too much, he’ll sit back… but he’s not shy, and usually when he does jump in and say something he’s got a great idea, ya know what I mean. He’s great, and a super hard worker, we’ll start at 10 a.m. and we’ll go ’til midnight, so we’re not messing around. We’ll get alot of work done, and he spends 3 hours a day on his hands and knees dialing knobs on the guitar heads to get these sick tones, and he’s got a bunch of cool little tricks. I think he really respects us, and likes our songwriting, and likes our band, which is probably why they signed us in the first place, so. He doesn’t dive in too much, he sits back and lets us do our own thing, but when he does get in there he’s got some really sick ideas.
AWAY-TEAM: You guys have been touring your asses off, as a matter of fact, you just mentioned Chicago, you just played there last night…
CALE GONTIER: Yeah, it was great! We opened for Shinedown at the House of Blues, and it was off the hook. It was a good show.
AWAY-TEAM: When can we expect to see you back in the studio recording the next studio album?
CALE GONTIER: That’s a good question man. We are ready to go, whenever the time is right. We’re writing on the road, and we’re always writing when we’re at home, so we feel like we’re ready to go whenever the time is right. But at the same time, we didn’t wanna rush into anything. We’re super excited about Vices and Virtues, and we’re really proud of that record. We have been touring it hard, we’re on our third single now, but “Sorry” is doing really well at the moment. It’s in the Top 20, and still picking up steam, so we’ll see how far we can take that. Then I’m pretty sure we’ll get to another single after that, so I think there’s alot of different factors involved. We’ve got a bunch of different tours lined up, we finish this little run at Rocklahoma on the 27th, and then we go home for a few weeks, then we’re coming back out at the end of June. We’re gonna be going pretty hard again, as of then, so. Ya know, we wanna be on the road supporting Vices and Virtues as long as we can. So we’ll see what happens. My best guess is that we’ll tour Vices and Virtues until December-ish, and then we’ll take a look at it then. Maybe even get out early next year on Vices and Virtues, and then think about the studio, or maybe once we take a break at the end of this year, maybe that will be the time. I think we’ll just have to see what’s going on with the singles, and what kind of tours we’ve got lined up, and all that. We are ready to go, and I’m pretty sure the second album is gonna be a step up from the last one.
AWAY-TEAM: Speaking of touring, and the next single, alot of bands have that, for lack of a better word, that “B-Side” that they’ll break out. A song that might not have been released as a single, but the crowd goes nuts for it. What’s your “B-Side”? And does crowd response ever factor into the selection of a new single?
CALE GONTIER: Yeah, absolutely man. I guess for us, right now, a song that is on Vices and Virtues and hasn’t been released as a single, but people really seem to be stoked about, and always ask for is “Best I Can”. Which is kinda one of the mellower tracks on the record, but it’s a really special song for us. To be honest, it’s one of my favorites on the record, and alot of people seem to be into that song. It’s tough when we’re out on all these opening festivals, you only usually get like 30-35 minute sets, 40 if we’re lucky, so we gotta be really selective. Often we’ll only get to play six songs, so we can’t sneak in a song like that. People are hitting us up on Facebook the next day, saying “Great set, but I really wanted to hear ‘Best I Can’” It is, I guess a bit of a ballad, for lack of a better word. But people really seem to dig that song. I don’t know if it’s because they can relate to it, it seems to be a special song for alot of people. We’ve actually had some really cool moments with it live. Like, we were playing on the Uproar Festival last summer, and one of our more special moments was when there was a huge mosh pit in the middle from the song before, and we kicked into “Best I Can”, and at the back of this mosh pit all of these shirtless dudes fucking picked up this dude in a wheelchair and passed him 80 feet through the crowd, up and over the barricade where the security grabbed him. That was while we were playing “Best I Can”, that’s the first time I’ve ever seen anything like that, I was blown away! That was a pretty special moment.
AWAY-TEAM: Now, you mentioned this earlier, but you actually have two major label recording artists in your family, which is a bit of a rare feat, especially when it’s not a sibling, or someone in the same band. Who inspired yourself and Adam to become musicians? Do you come from a musical family?
CALE GONTIER: Yup. Absolutely man. I think our biggest influence would be my older brother, Josh, he’s 3 1/2 years older than me. He taught me and Adam, both to play guitar when we were twelve or thirteen. Josh is a monster guitar player, and he’s a great singer. Everybody in our family is quite musical, ya know. Josh plays music for a living, he’s not signed to a major, but he plays five nights a week in clubs around our hometown of Peterborough, which is just outside of Toronto. My mom sings and plays guitar. Adam’s mom is like a lounge piano player/jazz player, she plays for a living. Their brother, my Uncle Tom is a monster musician, as well. So we definitely come from a musical family. But Josh taught us to play and it just kinda snowballed from there. Once we were old enough, we moved from Peterborough, up to Toronto. I was crashing on Adam’s couch, and we were hosting open stages and stuff like that, playing acoustic, and singing harmonies for $40 and free drinks, and just having fun with it. That kinda spawned the Three Days Grace thing, and I touched on that story a little bit before. Adam and I are super tight, we’re pretty much brothers, our moms are sisters, and our dads are brothers, and we’re two months apart in age. Ya know, we’ve just grown up together, and he’s my best friend, we talk every day. It is pretty special, it’s pretty cool to look at now, I just wish we could tour together more. (laughs) To be honest. We did that Uproar Festival last summer, like I said, and Three Days was direct support for Avenged Sevenfold, we were on the second stage in the afternoon, but it was cool to be on a big two month run like that. Every morning I’d walk up to the main stage area and have coffees with Adam on his bus, and every afternoon he’d come out on our stage during our set and sing “Raining” with us…
AWAY-TEAM: God damn! Three times! (laughs) That’s the third one Cale! (laughs)
CALE GONTIER: That’s the third time? (laughs) I’m sorry man, I’m stealing your thunder! (laughs)
AWAY-TEAM: (laughs) No man, like I said, you’re making my job easier! (laughs)
CALE GONTIER: (laughs) No but, that was super special for me. To be able to do that every day, and have Adam up with us every night. Yeah it’s awesome man, really cool.
AWAY-TEAM: That is cool. We recently lost MCA of the Beastie Boys who, alot of people look at him as an MC but he was actually under-appreciated as a bass player. Name the top three bass players that you appreciate for having an impact on the way you play.
CALE GONTIER: I think probably my biggest influence is Mr. (Robert) DeLeo from Stone Temple Pilots. I think he’s a monster bass player, and he’s also a great guitar player, and he writes alot of their songs acoustically, which I try to do. I play alot of guitar, and I’m always writing on the acoustic as well. But I think his bass lines are the tastiest, they’re not too much, they’re just perfect. I don’t know what it is, but he seems to have a knack for putting the perfect bass line in there, ya know. So he’d definitely be my number one. John Paul Jones, of course, he blows my mind. If I could ever get to a level like that, I’d be surprised. (laughs)
CALE GONTIER: He’s a monster. Besides that man, I think just a couple of my friends. I think Brad Walsh from Three Days, he plays Ernie Ball Manta just like me, he plays it down just like me, nothing too flashy, but tasty little pieces here and there. Just a good solid player. One of my other best friends, Tommy Gardner, he plays in a band called Before The Curtain, from my hometown of Peterborough, and actually Adam just signed them to his record label called Sludge Factory Records. But those two dudes are a couple of my oldest and best friends, and they’re super solid bass players, so I definitely put them on that list.
AWAY-TEAM: At Coachella this year they brought back another deceased artist, in Tupac, as a hologram. There’s been rumblings of perhaps bringing back Freddie Mercury to play with Queen; which Roger Taylor, the drummer, said he’d have no part of. What are your thoughts on that concept? Is it good or bad for the industry?
CALE GONTIER: Wow, umm, it’s a pretty crazy idea. A hologram of somebody that’s passed away? I don’t know. I don’t know if I really feel it man. I think that it’s definitely gonna be like actually seeing them perform live, it’ll be a different experience. I haven’t thought about it too much, but I think my initial reaction is that I’d rather see them just leave it be, and not mess with a great thing, ya know?
AWAY-TEAM: Right. My thought is that it might water down the concert experience. They might come around and say, Art of Dying is playing in San Francisco, but if you wanna see them in Chicago here’s your hologram, ya know. I don’t know…
CALE GONTIER: (laughs) Yeah. It’s a strange idea. But yeah, my initial reaction, I don’t really like it. I like the idea of an old school rock show. When the band comes to your town, get your ticket, if you wanna get up to the front get in line early and work your way to the front. I think there’s something special about that whole concept.
AWAY-TEAM: Absolutely! Okay, last but not least, we touched on this a bit, but being from Peterborough you’re probably just as big a hockey fan as I am, so who’s winning the Cup?
CALE GONTIER: Ooh, tough one! It’s been a crazy year in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, that’s for sure. I think right now, I’m putting my money on L.A. I’m not specifically a Kings fan or whatever, but I think once they knocked off the Canucks… Jonathan Quick is a guy that could stand on his head and get them there, it just seems to me they’re playing real well, and with alot of confidence. I think they’re gonna be tough to beat now.
AWAY-TEAM: That’s where I’m at. I’m a Pens fan myself, and was a little disappointed, but I have a good buddy who’s a huge Rangers fan, and he already beat me with his damn Giants in the Super Bowl, so I don’t wanna see that happen twice.
CALE GONTIER: (laughs)
AWAY-TEAM: Plus Jonathan Quick went to UMass, and I’m from that area, so.
CALE GONTIER: Yeah, it was pretty crazy to see L.A. knock off the Canucks in the first round like that. It was a bit of a disappointment for all the Vancouver fans on the bus here. (laughs)
AWAY-TEAM: (laughs) Yeah, that must have been a quiet ride! (laughs)
CALE GONTIER: (laughs) Win the President’s Trophy, and get knocked out in the first round, that’s kind of a tough pill to swallow. But maybe since L.A. knocked them out, maybe that’s why I keep pulling for them. (laughs) It feels a little better! (laughs)
AWAY-TEAM: (laughs) Well at least there wasn’t any riots this year! (laughs)
CALE GONTIER: (laughs) Yeah exactly, right? Thank God. That was pretty silly that whole thing.
AWAY-TEAM: Yeah it was. Well, hey man, thank you so much for your time. Best of luck in everything you do, and I look forward to catching up with you when you get back here to Florida.
CALE GONTIER: I hope so man. My pleasure. Thank you so much for doing this.
AWAY-TEAM: The pleasure is all mine. Appreciate it.
CALE GONTIER: Alright Jay, take care man.
AWAY-TEAM: You too. Bye.
For more Art of Dying, including tour dates and to purchase merchandise visit the band’s official website here.
Special thanks go out to Cale Gontier for so graciously giving me his time, and to Andrew Steinthal and TJ Tauriello at Warner Bros. Records for making it all happen.
Upon the release of “Core” in 1992, I, like most of the rest of the world, instantly was a Stone Temple Pilots fan; needless to say, I was quite disappointed when the quartet broke up in 2003 (or as guitarist Dean DeLeo once put it “took a respite”). I was elated to see them back together and touring in 2009, and hungry for a new album to sink my teeth into. After nine years, and a couple of stints in rehab, the newly reunited STP is back in a big way. The new self-titled offering from the quartet is easily the best since 1996′s “Tiny Music…”, and quite possibly their best effort to date.
The album gets things going with “Between the Lines”, an ode to Scott Weiland’s ex-wife, and it’s just a warm-up for what is about to be unleashed unto your eardrums. This album is full of classic rock influence from some of the greatest of all-time. This stylistic influence rears it’s head early on, in Track #3 “Huckleberry Crumble”, a song that easily could’ve been a long lost “B-side” from Aerosmith’s “Toys in the Attic”. The artistic influence continues to shine in “Dare if you Dare”, which mixes a Beatles type sound with the Mott the Hoople classic “All the Young Dudes”. Perhaps the most commonly recurring influence on the album, however, is David Bowie (who wrote“All the Young Dudes”). We hear this first on the psuedo-British “Cinnamon”, which sounds like it’s being done by an Oasis/Bowie supergroup. But the flashback hits it’s climax with the Bowie inspired “First Kiss on Mars”; when I first heard this track I had to check the liner notes, because I swore David Bowie was making a guest appearance.
Despite all of the classic rock influences, STP still manage to give us a couple of killer classic STP songs, in “Fast as I Can” , “Bagman”, and “Hazy Daze”, which are all undoubtedly inspired by Weiland’s battle with addiction. This album is a must have, and I expect to see you all lining up at your local record store (for your sake) when the album is released this Tuesday (May 25th). They could throw ten more shitty songs on this album, and it would still be worth every penny. Very highly recommended. One of this years best.