Humanity constantly seeks connection. In fact, it’s almost as essential as breathing. Since first catapulting on to the scene in 2003, Three Days Grace consistently connected to audiences via hard-hitting, honest, and hypnotic anthems. The platinum-selling, chart-topping, record-setting quartet—Matt Walst [lead vocals], Barry Stock [lead guitar], Brad Walst [bass], and Neil Sanderson [drums, percussion, keyboards, programming]—once again continue that tradition on their fifth full-length album, HUMAN [RCA Records]. Their link to listeners is the most natural and human thing of all.
“When Matt joined the band last year, there was not a fleeting moment that we didn’t think we would forge ahead,” agrees Neil. “Life is all about chapters. Matt’s first show was in front of eight-thousand people on a co-headliner with Shinedown, and he came out guns blazing. He brought this fiery new energy to the band. We never looked back.”
“We didn’t give him a choice,” smiles Barry. “We hijacked him.”
With Matt as their new lead singer, the band continued barreling forward full steam ahead.In between touring throughout 2014, they reconnected with producer Gavin Brown who helmed the boards on their platinum-certified 2003 self-titled debut and enlisted the mixing talents of Chris Lord-Alge and Nick Raskulinecz. For the first time, Three Days Grace cut songs during short breaks from the road. They would retreat to a dark, uncomfortable rehearsal space and write everything on acoustic guitars, starkly tightening the melodies as much as possible.OnHUMAN, Three Days Grace comes full circle, yet they’re also newly energized with the addition of Matt (Brad’s brother). Closing that circle, Matt incidentally co-wrote two songs on the band’s debut album, also produced by Gavin Brown.
“In the past, we’d usually go through a traditional cycle of recording in the studio, releasing an album, and then touring,” says Barry. “It happened so quickly with Matt though. We were writing songs together from the jump. So, we’d go into the studio with Gavin when we got off the road. It was a different approach, but it worked so well.”
“We got the opportunity to really spend time with the songs,” adds Matt. “Right when we began writing, we instantly thought of Gavin. It felt right to go back to him and where Three Days Grace started.”
Seizing that signature spirit, the first two singles from HUMAN, “Painkiller” and “I Am Machine,” both shot to #1 at Active Rock Radio. They became the band’s 12th and 13th number ones and solidified them as the record-holder for “Most Number Ones at Active Rock.”
With its robust refrain and gnashing guitars, “Painkiller” didn’t simply reintroduce Three Days Grace; rather it reaffirmed their place at the forefront of 21st century hard rock.
About the song, Matt explains, “It’s told from the perspective of a drug or love that’s taunting you to come back to it. In the end, it kills you.”
Barry goes on, “These songs describe what we’re about right now. There’s a lot of inner struggle and loss on those record. ‘Painkiller’ illuminated what we were going for right out of the gate. Our goal was to be a little heavier and darker and reflect what we’ve gone through.”
“A lot of this record is pretty hard-edged confessional,” continues Neil. “That’s been apparent on all of our records. There’s the beauty, the rage, the numbness, and the escape. In modern society, we’ve all experienced numbing ourselves to avoid the harsh realities of daily living. Some of the songs are social commentary, while also throwing your hands up and saying, ‘I don’t want to be manipulated. I want to feel pain.’”
Meanwhile, “I Am Machine” matches the intensity of its riffs with haunting synths and programming just before another stadium-size chorus. Brad says, “That’s about feeling numb to the world. We all go through the same routines every day. You feel like a machine who goes through the same shit every day.”
The third single and album opener “Human Race,” illuminates the group’s fiery focus with incendiary instrumentation and a seismic hook. “It’s about trying to find your place,” asserts Barry. “Often, we’ll ask ourselves, ‘Where do I fit in here? I feel like I’m running the rat race sometimes. Where is my place?’ We all deal with that inner confusion.”
“We all get caught in this rat race,” explains Neil. “We’re chasing something at warp speed, and we never take a break to experience the moment.”
The Three Days Grace machine never stops. 2012’s Transit Of Venus earned the #1 spot on Billboard‘s Hard Rock Chart and went Top 5 on the Top 200, in addition to receiving a nomination for “Best Rock Album of the Year” at the Juno Awards. Both Three Days Grace  and One-X  went platinum, while Life Starts Now  reached gold status, bringing the band’s sales to over 6 million in the U.S. alone. Their catalog of number one hits encompasses smashes such as “Chalk Outline,” “The High Road,” “Misery Loves My Company,” “World So Cold,” “Good Life,” “Break,” “Never Too Late,” “Animal I Have Become,” “Pain,” “Just Like You,” and “Home.”
Ultimately, HUMAN sees Three Days Grace connect once again. “We want to help people through tough times with our music,” concludes Matt. “It’s therapy for us, and hopefully it’s the same for everybody listening.”
“We went back to our roots,” Neil leaves off. “We weren’t afraid to be blunt and tap into true emotion. We try not to write lyrics; we try to write conversations. These songs are what you would actually say to somebody. That’s why they resonate. The greatest thing in the world is making that connection to people.”