Three Days Grace’s Brad Walst Talks New Album, Matt Walst’s Addition + More
Three Days Grace are preparing for the next stage of their career, officially naming Matt Walst as their new vocalist and splitting time between touring and recording their next album. Bassist Brad Walst recently took some time to speak with 'Loudwire Nights' host Full Metal Jackie about the band's recording, what it's like to be in a band with his brother and more. Check out the chat below.
Brad, what's been the benefit of releasing the singles so far ahead of an album release?
Well, we did a lot of touring the last couple of years as you know. We've been recording as we're touring so we thought it'd be kind of different as we're touring, to release singles. 'Painkiller' was one of the first songs we wrote together with Matt in the band and we thought, why not throw it out there? It's been different and people have been confused, asking if the single is going to be on the record, is 'Machine' going to be on the record? Yes, they'll definitely be on the record. We just thought we'd take a little bit of a different approach and just keep touring, writing and recording and releasing songs. It's been good!
You can't help being somewhat biased in wanting your brother to join your band, but in terms of what he does vocally, what specifically makes him the right singer for Three Days Grace?
He's got great range. He can sing super high and still have that grit. He has great control as a singer. In the studio he's been super quick with his takes. He's just an amazing singer. He's been singing for a long time and he's also a great frontman. He really gets -- he's also been around, he's been my brother, so he's been around Three Days Grace his whole life so he gets the dynamic and where we're coming from when we're writing. It's just been a great mix. The chemistry is awesome. That's a huge part of it, just gelling in the studio and onstage.
How has the way your brother Matt interprets older songs made them seem new and different without sacrificing their familiarity?
Like I said, he was around when we wrote all those old songs. He definitely knows our hardships and good times as well, so for him to interpret him it's been fairly easy to be honest. He knows exactly where those songs are coming from. The fans have been really receptive, I think just his passion. He has a great passion on stage and it really comes out live. He definitely has a great stage presence. I think that got our fans from day one.
Aside from your brother Matt, what's different about being in the studio this time? How has that affected the new songs?
We've kind of gone back to our old school sound. We have our original producer Gavin Brown working with us. That's been awesome. He's been around for a long time and we haven't really worked with him since 2004/05. He has a lot to do with 'One X,' the writing of it anyway. It's been awesome to go back to that old school Three Days Grace sound and kind of remember where we came from. That's the biggest difference for sure. Just having Matt around has been a great joy. It's been cool. It's taken a long time. We've been in the studio since last November or October, off and on. It's definitely feeling like a long time. But I think we're on our last leg here, we're hoping to wrap up in the next week or so. We're excited to get the music out to the people for sure.
What set the tone for you to move in a heavier direction that's reminiscent of the first few albums?
I think that's just our roots, that's where we came from. Music is a therapy for us, just writing about heavier topics and being around heavier music has always been a release for us. That's a huge part of it. Just going back to our roots and remembering why we started writing music in the first place. Sometimes as a band progresses through the years, we've been around for a long time. You definitely mature as people and sometimes that's good and sometimes you forget where you came from. I'm not saying we forgot where we came from, but I think just going back and remembering why we're here is a good thing for this band. I think the fans will relate to that.
Talking about the new record, which is coming in 2015, obviously your brother singing for your band now. Have you guys always talked about being in a band together?
Yeah, we joked about it. We were never really that serious about it because we always had our own thing going on. We always said, when he was finished with My Darkest Days and I'm done with Three Days Grace, maybe we'll do a family band. I never expected that would happen this soon, but it's been awesome. The chemistry thing, it's been amazing. It's been quite an easy transition. It's great to be up on stage with your brother, look over and there's 20,000 people in front of you rocking out. It's definitely something special for sure.
What can you tell us about the latest song, 'I Am Machine'?
That's a song about feeling numb and not really knowing if you're alive or if you're a machine. I think a lot of people go through day to day life doing the same old thing, the same routine and feeling that way. I definitely know I get like that, I'm sure everybody does. That's a song explaining that whole situation.
What can you tell us about what we can expect in 2015 in terms of touring, more music, anything you can share?
We're gearing up right now to do a huge 2015 tour. We definitely have a lot of American shows, we're hoping to do that over the summer. We're going to South America, we're going back to Russia which is where we just came from and it was a great experience. I think we're going to do a bunch of festivals in Germany this year which we're really excited about. I think a Canadian tour is on the go too, so, it's going to be a really busy year for us. We're excited, it's been a great ride so far. Really excited to see what the future brings.
With Matt now singing for the band, what can you tell us about what Matt brings to Three Days Grace?
Matt brings a lot of energy. He's a little bit younger than us, not by much, six years younger than me. He's definitely had a hard life and he's definitely paid his dues as a musician. I think he just brings a lot of piss and vinegar to this band. The first day he was with us, the first rehearsal he was doing flips and spins off the set carts and amps and stuff. We were like, 'Holy s--t. We gotta step up our game, this kid means business.' It's a new energy. It's a new fire. We definitely feel it, i think it's coming out in the new music. There's a lot of energy in the new music and a lot of emotion with content and musically, so. I'm super excited to be in this position right now and have my brother be there with me. It's awesome.
Thanks to Three Days Grace's Brad Walst for the interview. Look for new album from Three Days Grace expected in late March and keep an eye out for tour dates being revealed soon. Tune in to Loudwire Nights With Full Metal Jackie and Tony LaBrie’ Monday through Friday 7PM through midnight online or on the radio. To see which stations and websites air ‘Loudwire Nights,’ click here.