THREE DAYS GRACE drummer Neil Sanderson was recently interviewed on "Whiplash", the KLOS radio show hosted by Full Metal Jackie. The full conversation can be streamed below. A few excerpts follow (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).
On THREE DAYS GRACE's ability to tour with a wide-ranging group of artists:
Neil: "I think in 2019, people are more open-minded to different genres. People actually kind of like the notion of going to a rock show, but having different styles or different eras. People are just very open-minded to even discovering new music. We're very fortunate to be able to share a lot of the same fans as a lot of different bands that aren't necessarily in the same category of rock as us, but I think that's a cool sign that fans are not narrow-minded and are very open to listening to all kinds of different stuff."
On vocalist Matt Walst, who joined the band in 2013:
Neil: "We were just humbled by the fact that he was really, really embraced by the fans. Looking back over the last six years, it's incredible. It's amazing to see how many THREE DAYS GRACE fans are on this journey with us, because that's what we consider it to be. I think on the last record, 'Outsider', Matt's performance in the studio and on the microphone demonstrates his level of confidence and the fact that he's really taken ownership and artistically really contributed to this record, and just kind of owned it on the microphone. That level of confidence, definitely I think you can hear it in the music. We got lucky when it first all went down [with former vocalist Adam Gontier] in 2013. We had a tour that was already on sale — we were doing a co-headliner with SHINEDOWN, [and] it was, like, 30 arenas already booked — so it came as a surprise when it all went down. We just kind of forged ahead. While we were on that tour, as Matt was just starting out, we wrote the songs 'Painkiller' and 'I Am Machine' on that tour. We played it for our management, and they were just, like, 'Just go record those two songs. Let's just put it out on the radio. Who cares if we don't have a record?' That's what we did, and when both of those songs went No. 1, that was very surprising to us. It was a shock to the system — like, 'This is the way. This is the direction we're going, and we're going full-on.' To see those two songs rise to the top right of the gates, we were fortunate to have that happen. It was an indicator that everything was good and that we were going in the right direction."
On the band's creative process:
Neil: "We're definitely small-town Canadian guys, so for us to come off a tour where we're in major metropolises everywhere — airports and people and planes, trains and automobiles and constant chaos. For us, the polar opposite of that is cracking a beer on a dock, or jumping in the boat and going for a cruise, or just hanging out in the woods. We like to ride dirt-bikes and stuff like that — just kind of outdoorsy, country-type stuff. That's definitely where we found our creativity to write 'Outsider'. We had just come off a world tour... We wanted to get to work on the record, but we knew right away that we didn't want to drive in rush-hour traffic to downtown Toronto to try to be creative in a studio. That just wasn't going to happen for us. I've got a little farm out in the middle of nowhere with some dirt bikes, snowmobiles and stuff, and we went there and just kind of hung out as friends, and had a lot of laughs and had some campfires and beers. That's where we decided to stay, and that's where wanted to sit and be creative and pass the guitars around."
On the fact that THREE DAYS GRACE now has more No. 1 rock radio hits than VAN HALEN:
Neil: "It's pretty surreal. I think what resonates the most is really the big picture — the reason for why we're lucky enough to have those statistics — is because we have these passionate fans. I think the biggest thing that affects us most s when a fan comes up to us if we're on tour or at a meet-and-greet and says, 'This song literally changed my life. I listened to this song, and I saw my life in those lyrics and I realized that I wasn't the only person feeling that. It completely changed my life.' That, as an artist, is an extremely gratifying thing to hear, and it reminds us of why we have the passion for doing what we do — to be able to sit and make something that comes from your heart and from your head and from your psyche and from your craziness, and put it down and share it to the world. [To] put it down and share it with the world and then people can relate their reality to it, it's such a huge connection between a band and their fans. That's what we feel the most, but the statistics and the VAN HALEN stuff, that's a product of having all these fans. We've stayed true to ourselves and [have] written from the heart and written from our own experiences — struggle and loss and addiction and anxiety, real-life stuff that we feel. We've got that powerful connection that it becomes real to other people, so they want to hear the songs, so then they get played on the radio, and then the industry supports us. All of that, we're humbled by it. We don't take it for granted, because we're lucky to be in that position."
THREE DAYS GRACE — which has amassed over a billion streams on Spotify — recently extended its record for the most No. 1s in the 38-year history of Billboard's Mainstream Rock Songs airplay chart, when "Right Left Wrong" became its 15th single to reach No. 1. With this latest achievement, the band pushed further ahead of runners-up SHINEDOWN and VAN HALEN, who each topped the chart 13 times.
THREE DAYS GRACE will tour this summer with BREAKING BENJAMIN, CHEVELLE, DOROTHY and DIAMANTE.