Category Archives: Samuel Stevens

North American Crusade 2020: Black Label Society, Obituary, & Lord Dying

By Samuel Stevens

North American Crusade 2020 featuring, Black Label Society, Obituary, & Lord Dying

March 10, 2020

Burton Cummings Theatre

Lord Dying - Erik Olson
Lord Dying. Photos by Samuel Stevens Photography.
Obituary - John Tardy
Obituary. Photos by Samuel Stevens Photography.
Black Label Society - Jeff Fabb
Black Label Society. Photos by Samuel Stevens Photography.

Q&A With Saint Asonia Front Man, Adam Gontier

By Kyle Erickson & Samuel Stevens

PR BROWN / UNIVERSAL MUSIC GROUP

So, you guys [Saint Asonia] just released Flawed Design, which is awesome. You also just announced you’re doing the headlining Ontario shows with The Standstills before going out on tour later this year. What made you choose The Standstills?

They’re friends of ours. We’ve played a few shows with them in the past. Last year I did a Canadian Music Week thing at The Horseshoe in Toronto and they were a part of that. They’re just a great band. They’re super great people and we get along with them really well. When we were booking these shows their name came up and it was pretty easy and great to have them open up these shows, for sure.

You guys just wanted to start off at home before going out to the U.S. I assume?

Yeah, that’s right. I mean we were originally trying to do something a little bit bigger in Canada, at least in Ontario to do a few more shows sort of starting up here, but yeah we have the three shows in Toronto, Ottawa, and Peterborough. We stopped it there and it seemed to be a good few shows to get started, get our feet wet because we haven’t really been out for awhile. It made sense to do all that at home too, to keep it a little bit easier with friends and crew, yeah.

In May you’re going out with Black Stone Cherry and Alterbridge. That should be a really kick ass tour.

Yeah, that’s going to be great, man. We are really looking forward to that. Alterbridge is awesome, Black Stone is awesome as well. I mean, we’ve done a lot of tours with them. I’ve done a lot of tours with them in the past. Yeah, really, really good bands. It’s going to be a great tour. We’re stoked for that.

Apart from the new album, you guys also have some new members. How does it feel finally having Cale in the same band?

It feels great man. I mean it’s been along time coming. You know we grew up together and we played music together growing up. Our plan was always to be in a band together or something like that. It just made sense, you know. At the same time our original bass player, Corey, started working with Seether full time, so it just kinda made sense. I asked Cale if he wanted to be a part of it. Yeah, it was a no brainer all away around, you know, and made really good sense. It feels great now that we’re actually doing it. It’s been a great time so far and looking forward to touring together, for sure.

Did you guys get Cody through Cale, or how did that work out?

Yeah, I mean Cody plays drums in Art of Dying, you know. Cody and him are band mates in that band and aside from that we’ve been really good friends with Cody, he’s from our hometown of Norwood in Peterborough. We’ve known him for years and years and Art of Dying isn’t, at this point, doing all that much. All the guys are doing separate things. So yeah, with Sal from Staind being our drummer, there were some conflicting tour dates and that sort of thing. It just made sense for us to get Cody to jump in full time because Sal has a lot on his plate.

Cody hasn’t done any live shows with Saint Asonia yet, correct?

That’s right, yeah. We did do an acoustic thing in Massachusetts in Foxborough a couple months ago, but that’s just about it.

So it will be awesome getting you out on the road with you guys then.

Yeah, oh yeah, for sure.

Is there a song off Flawed Design that you’re looking forward to playing live?

I mean we’re kinda working our set out right now for these Ontario shows. They’re headlining sets so they’re pretty long. We’ve been trying to figure out what songs from the new record we want to play. I mean one song we’re all excited to play live eventually is “Ghost.” A lot of us feel like it’s our favourite one to play. Once we get some sort of steady, long headlining sets, we’ll probably put “Ghost” in there.

Ghost” is one of my favourites off the album. You wrote with Dustin Bates from Starset on that one, right?

For sure! Yeah, Dustin and Keith Wallen from Breaking Benjamin.

Oh, Keith wrote on “Ghost” as well?

That’s right, yeah. He wrote on “Ghost” as well as on “Beast.”

I think Keith Wallen is one of the underrated songwriters out there, so I’m glad he was able to be featured on Flawed Design. How did that collaboration come about?

You know, same type of deal. We know Keith really well because of Breaking Benjamin and that sort of thing. When we were putting songs together for this record, writing songs, we wanted to branch out and co-write with different guys and there was just a handful of guys names that came up and Keith was one of them. A lot of the time you get messages from different guys saying “Hey, it would be great to sit down and write some tunes together,” and it’s not all the time you are able to follow up on that. I think I got a message from Keith to co-write, that was pretty much it when we started writing the record. We flew out to L.A. where he was and sat down in the studio and wrote a couple of tunes.

I’m really glad that collaboration worked out. “Ghost” and “This August Day” are probably my two favourite songs off the album.

Thanks man. Yeah, “This August Day” is a really fun one to play too. It’s a bit of a different vibe for it and that’s what we were trying to basically accomplish, you know by writing with others like Dustin.

Was there anybody you wanted to work with that maybe the timing didn’t work out or just really didn’t end up coming of it?

You know what, not really. I mean there was a handful of guys I really wanted to write with and fortunately I was lucky enough that I was able to write with them. I sat down and wrote a song with Raine Maida from Our Lady Peace and I’ve always been a big Our Lady Peace fan. So that was really cool and you know, it was really fortunate to be able to co-write with guys like that and be able to reach out and make something happen. So we wrote a song, it’s actually not on this record, but we’ll end up using it for something down the road.

I’m really looking forward to hearing that song with Raine. “The Hunted” with Sully Erna of Godsmack had quite awhile to get released, so I’m sure this one will be great as well.

Yeah, that was awesome. I mean that song has been around for a long time and we kinda tweaked it, that sorta thing with a new producer. Yeah, really cool to have Sully on the album.

After your done your tour with Alterbridge and Black Stone Cherry, Staind is going to be on tour in the Summer with Disturbed. Should we expect a big Saint Asonia tour in the fall?

The plan is to go out, actually we’re announcing a big tour tomorrow [March 3, 2020], so yeah we’re pretty close to announcing that and that’s gonna put us out for July, August, and September as well for three months. Yeah, that’s going to be great. Staind is going to be out with Disturbed, that’s right. So I think when Mike goes out with Staind we will have somebody basically fill in for him. We’ve always pretty much assumed at some point he was going to go back out. Mike and I have had lots of talks about that. It’s great to see him going back out and I’m glad he’s doing that kinda thing, but he’s always a part of this band, for sure.

There’s a couple of festivals coming up this Summer like Sonic Temple and Rock Fest in Cadot. Would Mike be doing double duty on those sets or would you still perform with a touring guitarist?

I think we will have our other guy filling in for him, but at the same time we have talked about having Mike come up to do a couple here and there. Playing on the same day, you know [Laughs], it will be a little bit tough for him. Those days are going to be long as he puts a lot into that set, but yeah, he will get up with us, for sure.

It was a real pleasure talking to you Adam! I look forward to seeing you guys on tour later this Summer and I hope you have a great year!

Right on, thanks man! I appreciate it! Take care!