Canadian Musician - May / June 2018 - Page 37

(L-R) MATT WALST, BRAD WALST, NEIL SANDERSON & BARRY STOCK with Aerosmith, Van Halen, My Chemical Romance, and countless other hard rock acts. Three Days Grace had previously worked with Plotnikoff on their second and third albums, One-X and Life Starts Now, respectively. “He’s an amazing engineer and once we got the tones all together and everything came together, I knew that it was going to be something special,” says Brad. “He’d wake up, play golf every day, and then make the best sounding sounds that we’ve ever heard,” Sanderson enthuses. “I re- member at a couple moments, he’s so tuned into the speakers and everything, and then that moment where he kind of turns around and looks at us and says, ‘I think we have the sound of the record.’ ‘Right Left Wrong’ was the song, too. Once we got that, we basically took that as the sort of benchmark for what we wanted the record to sound like.” Rounding out the team on Outsider were co-producers Gavin Brown and Howard Benson. Brown, as mentioned, worked on Three Days Grace’s 2013 self-titled debut record and again on their last album, Human, in 2015. Similarly, Benson was a past collabo- rator on One-X and Life Starts Now. “Gavin helps us dig deep within our own psyche. He’s like us; he can be a little neurotic at times and very passionate about the art and he’s a fun guy to be around,” says Brad. “So I think sometimes it’s just digging deep and getting that material out of you that’s going to spark the creativity because it’s real. Even if it’s a heavy subject and, I mean, Three Days Grace, we’ve never shied away from writing about the heaviness of loss and dependence and all the daily strug- gles that go with all that kind of stuff. He helps get that out of us. He’s a great cheer- leader in the trenches with us.” “For us, it seems like a winding journey that we’re on and it’s got different chapters and you don’t quite know what’s around the corner. You make a record of a time in our lives and that’s how I’ve kind of perceived our career,” says Sanderson as drinks gets finished. As that journey keeps winding, the band has passed numerous milestones. One, which Billboard announced on March 28 th , a few weeks after Canadian Musician met up with the band, exemplified their outstanding success. That week, “The Mountain” reached number one on the Mainstream Rock Charts. It was Three Days Grace’s 13 th single to do so, tying a two-decade-old record held by Van Halen. To be going strong after 15 years de- spite whatever trends the music culture goes through and still have a dedicated global audience is an enviable position. “For us, it’s like a journey that fans are on with us,” Sand- erson adds. “It keeps it really exciting for us and we’re not afraid to kind of do something different on this record and do something different on that record because for us, it’s a continuous path.” Michael Raine is the Senior Editor of Canadian Musician C A N A D I A N M U S I C I A N • 37