| September 25, 2012 | Comments (3,694)

I recently did a phone interview with Barry Stock, the guitarist for Three Days Grace. We spoke much about their upcoming album, Transit of Venus, which will be released on October 2nd. He spoke to me about the album, and the changes that they are making for their tour for this album. Keep an eye out later this week for my review of the album!



Erin: Hi Barry, how’s it going?

Barry: Good, thanks.


Erin: You have a new album, ‘Transit of Venus’ is due to drop in a couple of weeks.  How are you feeling about that?

Barry: Oh man, we’re really excited.  We’ve been really busy lately, just gettin’ ready, you know, we hired a new guy for a live keyboard player, and he sings a bit and everything, too, so we’ve been doin’ that for the last two weeks, just playin’ all new stuff.  I mean it’s great, cause you know, when you have singles out, you haven’t played those songs in a long time, so it’s great, y’know, it’s always refreshing when you do a new record, and you get the opportunity to play new stuff, so you know, we’re really excited.

Erin: Awesome.  I just had a listen a few minutes ago, and it sounds pretty good, so in your words, what kind of sounds can we expect for this album?

Barry: What kind of sounds?  Uh well, you know, we use a little bit more keyboard, this time around, got some cool, subby-bass sounds, we add in with guitars, and the way we recorded the record this time was very different, you know, we used our own sounds, we went for a real simple, but good guitar tones and things, we used all our own sounds, we wanted to add a texture with the guitar, still remaining heavy at times, but y’know, with this new texture, and again, that’s why we hired Danny, and this time around it’s easier for us to reproduce this record live than it has been in the past, just for the fact that, again, the way we recorded it, you know, we used all our own instruments, our own gear, and we went for a more simplified overall tone, and stuff.  And to play it live, well, it’s just like it, so it’s a lot of fun.


Erin: Oh, that’s pretty awesome.  How do you feel about the process of integrating another musician into your live show?

Barry: Oh, we’ve been havin’ a blast with it.  We weren’t sure what to expect in the beginning, but the cool thing about it with us is not just of the new stuff, you know, being able to reproduce everything that’s on the new record, but a lot of the older stuff, you know, there’s been a lot of music in the past when there’s little keys underneath, or simple things, or like… in the middle of Pain, there’s it’s a mellotron break down, where Adam sings, and you know, in the past, when we played it live, I would actually play the breakdown on the guitar, so now, it’s real cool to have those things from the past even come into play.  So, all of a sudden, live now, there are all these textures that were on the record, but we wouldn’t do, because, you know, we’re not a band that runs tracks, and a lot of bands do that, and it’s just not our thing.  So there were little things here and there and we just wouldn’t play them, whereas now, we go back and we’ll play the old stuff, and we get all those little things that were on the record, so yeah, it’s awesome playing with the new guy.


Erin: Yeah, sounds exciting.  Is there anything on the new record that you’re particularly excited for the fans to hear?

Barry: Um…well… I guess I want them to hear it all.  It’s a tough choice for us even playing the stuff, cause y’know, there’s some songs that like…y’know… we’re like… well what do you wanna play in the set, and we can only play so many, y’know in the new show, we still play a certain amount of old material that people still want to hear, and then you’re gonna try and fit in all this new stuff, and it’s funny you know, we’ve played through the whole record, we’ve played everything, it’s just so fun to play, like we play all the different songs, so it’s really hard to make a choice as to what would be the favorite to play, like we are playing about seven new songs in the show, it’s a lot harder to weed out, cause I like a lot of the songs for different reasons.  And I think it’s slightly more progressive this time around for us, so there’s solos and stuff, like in Chalk, there’s a good solo, and Misery has a bit of a burn and solo, a little more musicality goin’ on in parts.  It’ll be part to pull that stuff off live.


Erin: Definitely.  So, you announced the album on the day of Venus’ transit across the sun, and named the album as such.  Can you tell me why you guys decided to do this?

Barry: Um, well, the whole thing… we started to hear about all this Venus talk and the Transit of Venus was comin’ up, and this’ll be the last time in our lifetime, and we started to hear about all that, and Venus was once a planet that was alive, with living things, but now it’s a dead planet.  Yet, we’re on Earth and it’s very similar, and yet, we’re full of life, and I think that in our contents, and a lot of stuff, we sing about that kind of thing, you know, taking advantage of what we got goin’ on around us, and you know, it all just seemed to line up, and we thought that this is comin’ up, and we have a topic that talked about life and death, and living and dying, and that sort of thing, and we thought, how appropriate to do this, and it was kind of a once in a lifetime thing that was goin’ on, and it kind of just all connected.


Erin: Absolutely, that’s very interesting and pretty cool.  Fabulous stuff.  So, just last year, your previous label was disbanded by RCA, how did those changes affect you?  How did those changes affect how you were releasing the new album?

Barry:  Well, actually, y’know, when it all went down, it was one of those things, you know, you’re not really sure what you’re going to be going up against, you’re going to be dealing with a new label, and new people, and in a bunch of cases…. Well, we were really worried at first, cause we didn’t know what to expect, and having said that, you know, our label up until now has been fabulous, and there was a great relationship going on, they were really behind the project, you know, they had tonnes of ideas too, but it was almost a great thing, because you know, it’s like a new family, they’re just as excited about what you’re doing as you are, and y’know, like I said, at the beginning it was a little iffy, you know, it’s the unsure.  But no, they’ve been fabulous.  I think that it’s just helped overall, y’know, everyone’s been really positive around us, y’know, the producer, Don Gilmore, everything that we did this time around just seemed to connect, and it was a really good feeling.


Erin: Definitely.  So, you’ve been talking a bit about your upcoming tour for this album, where are you planning on going for the tour?

Barry: Well, we’re gonna be doin’ a promo run, we have a bunch of festival dates, we’re gonna go out to Vancouver, we’re flying out to Vancouver, and that will start off next week, and uh, we’re doin’ an acoustic show, and this time around, I was tellin’ you, the last two weeks, we were doing rehearsals, and we were actually rehearsing three different shows in one tour, uh, this next tour comin’ up, so one is the big show, y’know, cause we’re doing a bunch of festivals, headlining festivals and such, and then we’re doing clubs, as well, a little more of an intimate setting, so yeah, we’ve been rehearsing that show, and we’re doing acoustic stuff as well, so we’re doin’ a bunch of songs and breakin’ ‘em down acoustically, so doin’ that.  So, essentially, we’re rehearsing three different shows.  So, this time around, yeah, we’re goin’ to Vancouver, we’re doin Seattle, we’re gonna come back up to Toronto, we have a few things goin’ on around there, and then we immediately head to New York, and we just work our way south, y’know, down in through Texas there, and then, we’ll be back at the end of October.


Erin: So how is that – rehearsing three different shows, that’s gotta be difficult, do you find it difficult, or does it keep things fresh in rehearsals?

Barry: Well, it keeps it really interesting, yeah, it’s different, I mean, when we’re rehearsing between the big show, and the smaller rock shows, you know, it’s just different, you know, your stage set up is not quite as big, or as modern, and that stuff, so you just sort of have to adjust, and that kinda stuff, so it’s cool, y’know, like doin’ acoustic, you get to play your songs, but in completely different versions, so it’s a complete blast, y’know, when it works, you pick all the right songs and they kinda come together.  And then again, talking about Danny now, who we hired to play, it’s cool now when we’re doin’ an  acoustic breakdown, and he’ll play the piano, so yeah, it gives us a lot of texture there,  too, in the acoustic stuff, so it’s cool to be able to do the different kind of shows, cause you know, you’re playin’ the same songs n stuff, but different versions of ‘em, it’s a blast to be able to do that.


Erin: For sure.  I guess that probably helps keep you all sharp as musicians, as well. 

Barry: Yeah!  Cause you’re figurin’ out different ways to play things, especially, like, acoustically.  And one thing that was funny, you know, we thought… well… Chalk.  Chalk Outline, when we were talking about that, we didn’t know about doing that acoustically, because on the record, you know, it’s got a fair amount of electronica goin’ on in it, right?  And so we were kinda wonderin’, like, how is that gonna turn out acoustically?  And it ended up bein’ really cool!


Erin: Oh, nice!

Barry: Yeah!  We broke that down into an acoustic verse, and so we broke that down into a way that we could actually play piano with it, with some electronic sounds, it sounded really cool, a completely different vibe, but, it worked really well, I was really surprised, I must say.


Erin: I bet!  So where are your favorite places to go on tour?

Barry: Well, I like touring America in general, y’know, America, Canada, the States… y’know, all the familiarity, you know.  Uh, to date, though, I would still say that my most memorable would have been… uh… Brazil.  I love Brazil, I love goin’ there.  But yeah, like North America first, I love touring North America in general, for the familiarity, but Brazil was just an experience that I just thought was just… it will stick in my memory forever, y’know, between the landscape, the different culture, y’know, when it was our first time, and the success was just coming, the crowd there was just amazing, so yeah, that was a really memorable thing.


Erin: Excellent!  So, in your opinion, who or what do you think would you consider to be the biggest inspiration for your album?  Was it any musicians or anything in particular?

Barry: Well, I mean, I myself grew up with a much older brother, so I, myself, grew up on a lot of 70’s music, I grew up listening to what they listen to, so yeah, I’m a big fan of a lot of music from the 70’s, y’know, I like Black Sabbath, but um, doing this record, I don’t think we were really, or well, I would say for myself, I wasn’t really inspired from musicians, I think you are in your subconscious, y’know, but I think it was more of what we were dealing with in life, with the kind of topics that we were dealing with and stuff.  We get more inspired by that kind of thing, by like, life, what is going on around us, or things that get to us, or we’ve always used music as a venting kind of thing, a way to express yourself about something, that topic will come up, and uh, that’s a cool topic, we should write that, and uh, yeah, so I think a lot of it wasn’t really musician inspired, so much, if it is I would say subconscious for sure.


Erin: Awesome.  You guys have enjoyed a lot of success in the past nine years?  What have been the highlights of your career thus far?

Barry: Uh, highlights?  Just the fact that we’re playing to all those fans, I think we have amazing fans.  Y’know adoring fans, they’re so great, and just to be able to continue to do that, to continue it, and people still come out, and they still come out in even bigger crowds, I would just say that, in general, y’know, that’s always been memorable, that kinda thing.  So to be able to play live, that’s what makes everything worthwhile, all the work that we do, to be able and go and express that with fans, that sing songs back to you, and be a part of what you are doing, that’s my favorite thing that we do, is that interaction with your fans, and see that everyone’s having a good time, I mean like, that’s unbelievable, right?  I’ll always be thankful for that.


Erin: Aw, lovely.  So that’s really the last question I have, but I just have one more quick question – do you have any words of wisdom for our readers?

Barry: Words of wisdom?  Haha!  Well… uh… don’t smoke in bed.  Haha, I’m just kidding about that one… uh… music related?  Or otherwise?


Erin: Anything!  Anything at all!  Just a last chance for you to say anything your heart desires!

Barry: Words of wisdom… well… nope, not really.  I can’t really think of anything.


Erin: Oh, that’s ok!  I kind of put you on the spot there.  Well, thanks so much for taking the time to chat with me today!

Barry: No problem, thanks Erin.

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Category: Interviews