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Three days grace – Biography

Posted: June 12, 2011 in Biography





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Three Days Grace is a Canadian rock band, formed in Norwood, Ontario, Canada in 1992, originally under the name Groundswell. After a breakup in late 1997, the band regrouped in the same year under its current name and with a line-up consisting of guitarist and lead vocalist Adam Gontier, drummer and backing vocalist Neil Sanderson, and bassist Brad Walst. In 2003, Barry Stock was recruited as the band’s lead guitarist. The band is based in Toronto.

After signing to Jive Records, Three Days Grace has released three studio albums: Three Days Grace in 2003, One-X in 2006, and Life Starts Now in 2009. The albums have been certified platinum, double platinum, and gold, respectively, in the United States.



Independent years

Three Days Grace, which was originally called Groundswell, was a post-grunge band that formed in 1992 in Norwood, Ontario. They released one full-length album called Wave of Popular Feeling. At that time, the line-up consisted of vocalist Adam Gontier, drummer Neil Sanderson, bassist Brad Walst, lead guitarist Phil Crowe, and secondary guitarist Joe Grant. Most of the members were attending high school when the band initially formed.[1][2]

By the fall of 1995, Phil Crowe and Joe Grant had left Groundswell. That same year, Gontier, Sanderson, and Walst regrouped and changed the band name to “Three Days Grace”. According to Gontier, the name stands for a sense of urgency with the question being: if you had three days to change something in your life could you do it?[3] Once in Toronto, the band became acquainted with local producer Gavin Brown. The band gave him several years of material that they had created since forming, and he “picked out what he called ‘the golden nuggets’, according to Gontier.[4] Brown and the band polished the songs into a demo album which they gave to EMI Music Publishing Canada. The record label wanted to hear more material, and with Brown producing, the band created the song, “I Hate Everything About You”, which attracted the interest of several record labels.[4] The band was soon signed to Jive Records after being sought out by the company’s president.[1]

Three Days Grace (2003–2005)

After being signed to Jive, the band moved to Long View Farm, a studio in North Brookfield, Massachusetts to record their debut album.[4] The self-titled album was finished in Woodstock, New York and released on July 22, 2003.[1] It was met with generally mixed to favorable reviews. Dave Doray of IGN said of the album, “Mistakes? There’s not many.”[5] Allmusic reviewer Heather Phares said that on Three Days Grace, “the band’s focus and adherence to alt-metal’s formulas — coupled with tight songwriting and some unexpectedly pretty choruses — results in a strong tracks that are more memorable than the work of many of their peers”.[6] She did criticize the album for its simplicity, concluding, “Three Days Grace are definitely one of the most accessible alt-metal bands of the 2000s; they just need to add some more distinctiveness to their sound.”[6]

To support the eponymous album, in 2003 Three Days Grace released its first single, “I Hate Everything About You”, the song whose demo had gotten the band its record deal.[4] The song received heavy airplay and rapidly became a widely recognizable song.[7][8][9] being labeled as the band’s “breakout hit”.[10] After acquiring lead guitarist Barry Stock in late 2003,[2] Three Days Grace toured continuously and extensively for nearly two years in support of their major label debut.[1] The album peaked at number nine on the Canadian Albums Chart[11] and number 69 on the Billboard 200[12] and was certified platinum in the US by the RIAA in December 2004[13] and double platinum in Canada by the CRIA.[14]

One-X (2006–2008)

Around the time the band’s first album became a mainstream success with the release of their first single, “I Hate Everything About You” followed by two more singles, “Just Like You” and “Home”, lead singer Adam Gontier developed an addiction to the prescription pain killer, OxyContin. After finishing touring for their first album, the band knew they could not continue with the condition Adam was in, so in 2005, with the support of his family, friends and band members, Adam Gontier checked himself into CAMH (Centre for Addiction and Mental Health). While in treatment, Gontier, sad and discouraged, began writing lyrics for songs regarding how he felt and what he went through in rehabillitation.[15][16] Adam Gontier successfully completed treatment at CAMH; he and the band members felt that peace and tranquility would be required in order to record a successful second album. The band found just the place in Northern Ontario, Canada in a cottage by themselves where they experimented, tested, and practiced songs. After three months at the cottage, they had about finished what would be on their second album. Of the songs they would decide to include, were from lyrics that Gontier had scribbled in Rehab. The first single on One-X was titled “Animal I Have Become” were lyrics Adam had written while getting sober. The second album contained at least four more songs which contain lyrics Adam wrote while in rehab. Songs such as “Over and Over”,”Gone Forever” and two more hit singles, “Pain” and “Never too Late”. In a 2006 interview, Gontier said that the album’s material was more personal to him than the band’s previous work because the material had come out of his experiences with despondence, drug abuse, and rehab that had constituted the past two years of his life.[16][17] The album, titled One-X, was then released on June 13, 2006,[17] and was guitarist Barry Stock’s recorded debut.[1] Adam Gontier has even done solo live performances at various rehabilitation centres as a “Thank you” to the people who helped him get through his addiction. In these performances, he would play songs like “Pain”, “Animal I have become” and “Never Too Late” to encourage and motivate other people under treatment to push forward and get over their addiction.


One-X was met with generally mixed reviews. The Toronto Star complimented the album with a review title of “One CD worth buying…” and focused on its lyrics, saying, “The lyrics really speak out to you, especially if you’re going through a tough time in your life.”[18] Allmusic reviewer Corey Apar praised the music, saying it “remains catchy despite its lyrical darkness”.[19] The album did receive some negative criticism. Apar pointed out that Three Days Grace is “hardly innovative” in their approach to writing music and that “further distinctive qualities” would help the band separate itself “from their alt-metal peers”.[19]

One-X peaked at number two on the Canadian album chart[11] and at number five on the Billboard 200,[1] selling 78,000 copies in the US in its first week of release.[20] Its first single, “Animal I Have Become”, was Three Days Grace’s most successful, becoming 2006’s most played rock song in Canada,[18] and the album helped propel Three Days Grace to become the number one rock artist in airplay in the US and Canada in 2007, with Billboard ranking them as the number one rock artist of the year in 2007.[21] One-X was certified platinum by the RIAA in the US on August 30, 2007,[13] and double platinum by the CRIA in Canada in July 2007.[21][22] Three Days Grace toured the US and Canada throughout the second half of 2006 and all of 2007 in support of One-X.[23] In early 2008, they toured alongside Seether and Breaking Benjamin across the US.[8][24]


Life Starts Now (2009-present)

From March to August 2008, to January to April 2009, Three Days Grace recorded their third album at The Warehouse Studio in Vancouver, British Columbia, and Los Angeles, with producer Howard Benson, who had worked with them on their previous releases.[21][25][26] The album, entitled Life Starts Now, was released on September 22, 2009. Critics as well as band members have noted the album’s departure from the angry tone of the band’s previous releases into a lyrical style that comes off as more optimistic.[27] According to guitarist Barry Stock, the album’s theme centers around “a new sense of freshness” and the idea that “you don’t have to be stuck in whatever it is you’re dealing with. Whether it’s good or bad, it’s your choice to make a change.”[25]

Life Starts Now debuted at number three on the Billboard 200, Three Days Grace’s highest chart position, and sold 79,000 copies in its first week.[28] The album was met with mixed reviews. Ben Rayner of the Toronto Star gave the album a negative review, saying it possesses “no sound of its own, just a shallow range between Linkin Park and Nickelback”.[29] According to Allmusic reviewer James Christopher Monger, who gave the album three out of five stars, Life Starts Now continues the theme of One-X, Gontier’s personal demons, but with a “hint of sunlight”.[27] He compliments the album, saying it “treats the well-worn metal themes of anger, isolation, heartache, and redemption with the kind of begrudging respect they deserve, pumping out a competent flurry of fist-bump anthems and world-weary, midtempo rockers”.[27] Harsher negative reviews came from Ben Czajkowski from as he described the album as “Boring, bland, trite, tired, tried, and true are all words that I would use to describe Life Starts Now, the latest from Three Days Grace”.[30]

The first single from the album, “Break”, was released on September 1, 2009.[21] Three Days Grace embarked on a 20-date Canadian tour lasting through November and December 2009.[31] They will be co-headlining a January–February 2010 tour of the US with Breaking Benjamin and Flyleaf.[32]

They embarked on a US headlining tour with support from Chevelle, and Adelitas Way starting on March 26, 2010 in Grand Rapids, Michigan and ending on April 16, 2010 in Springfield, Massachusetts.

The album was nominated for Best Rock Album at the 2010 Juno awards.[33] but lost to Billy Talent III.

On May 9, it was announced that Three Days Grace would be at Rocklahoma 2010.

In April 2010, it was announced that the band would be the headlining tour for Pointfest 2010 in St.Louis, MO. They are along side bands like Hollywood Undead and Seether.

In July 2010, it was announced that Three Days Grace will be going on tour with Nickelback and Buckcherry on the Dark Horse Fall 2010 Tour.

On January 23rd, it was announced on the Three Days Grace fanclub website that they will be touring with My Darkest Days this Spring starting March 23rd in Seattle, Washington. [34]

Three Days Grace is joining Avenged Sevenfold on the “Welcome To The Family” Spring Tour in 2011.

Three Days Grace is going to be joining Avenged Sevenfold and 17 others on May 7th for the Carolina Rebellion. [35]

On May 17,2011 it was announced that Three Days Grace will be joining Avenged Sevenfold on the second annual Uproar Festival.

Musical style and influences

Three Days Grace’s musical style has generally been described by critics as alternative metal[6][16] and hard rock[2][36] throughout the band’s career. Heather Phares of Allmusic, in a review of the band’s debut album, compared them to rock bands Chevelle and Helmet.[6] Dave Doray of IGN described Three Days Grace as “heavy and catchy, with chewy chunks of assurance and fury thrown in for added measure.”[5] Allmusic’s Corey Apar said One-X brings an “accessible alt-metal attack of blunt lyrics and crunching rhythms” that retains the melodic sound despite its lyrical darkness”.[19]

The band has listed numerous influences in their music. Gontier has mentioned such bands as Sunny Day Real Estate, Kyuss, Korn, Nine Inch Nails, and Alice in Chains as influences for the band’s music.[37] Julie Garisto of the St. Petersburg Times has claimed that Three Days Grace’s influences also include the grunge band Nirvana and the heavy metal outfit Black Sabbath.[10] According to Gontier, the lyrics for Three Days Grace songs have mostly been influenced by the Seattle music scene. He summarized about the band’s influences in an interview, “Musically there’s a lot of different influences, but lyrically it’s hard to have different influences because you just write.”[38]


Three Days Grace have been recognized for their musical efforts through several awards and nominations. In 2007, the band was ranked by Mediabase as the top artist in airplay across all rock formats in the US and Canada,[21] and Billboard named them Rock Artist of the Year.[21] Three Days Grace has been nominated for four Juno Awards. In 2004, the band was nominated for New Group of the Year.[39] “I Hate Everything About You” was nominated for Best Rock Video and People’s Choice: Favourite Canadian Group at Much Music Awards.[40] In 2007, they were nominated for Best Group of the Year, and their album One-X was nominated for Album of the Year.[41] The band’s first single from One-X, “Animal I Have Become”, was Canada’s most played rock song in 2006[18] and won that year’s Mediabase award for the most played rock song on radio.[42] “Never Too Late” was nominated for Best Video and Best Rock Video and “Pain” was nominated for Best International Video by a Canadian and People’s Choice: Favorite Canadian Group at Much Music Awards.[43] In 2010 Life Starts Now was nominated for best Rock Album at the Juno awards but lost to Billy Talent III.In 2010, “Break” was nominated for Best Post Production Video and Best Rock Video of the year at Much Music Awards.On, The Good Life is in a poll for “Best Summer Hit”. In 2010 “Break” and “Life Starts Now” were Nominated for “Best Single” and “Best Album” at the Casby Awards and “Life Starts Now” won Best Album.

Band members

Current members
  • Adam Gontier – lead vocals, rhythm guitar (1997–present)
  • Neil Sanderson – drums, percussion, piano, backing vocals (1997–present)
  • Brad Walst – bass guitar, backing vocals (1997–present)
  • Barry Stock – lead guitar (2003–present)


Main article: Three Days Grace discography
Studio albums
  • Three Days Grace (2003)
  • One-X (2006)
  • Life Starts Now (2009)