Five & Five: Art of Dying
With the second installment of the Five & Five, I had the awesome opportunity the other night to interview Greg Bradley, the guitarist from Art of Dying. Let me just say that I am a huge fan of this band and getting the chance to interview them was pretty amazing.
Art of Dying is:
Jonny Hetherington – vocals
Greg Bradley ““ guitar
Tavis Stanley ““ guitar/vocals
Cale Gontier ““ bass/vocals
Jeff Brown ““ drums
M: How did you come up with the band name?
AoD: When we were picking out names for the band everyone in the band just all came up with names and one of the guys had it on his list and we kinda just gravitated to it, it just seemed to pop up as the one the was really intriguing to us. So we just started talking about what Art of Dying really means to us personally and we just realized that’s the name of the band, and you know Art of Dying sounds kind of dark and grim but when we started to talk about it Art of Dying is just how you really live your life. You know you are going to die eventually and the art is how you live it. It seemed to tie into some of the songs we were writing at the time like “Get Through This” and “Die Trying”, just songs of personal struggles and thats part of life as well and it all just kind of ties nicely in together. When we saw the name and started talking about it we really knew that this was the name.
M: What artists/bands/songs/albums influenced you?
AoD: A lot of the grunge period bands really influenced us like Pearl Jam and Alice in Chains specifically, also like Led Zepplin is my all time favorite band as well as Travis’s. Aerosmith is another big influence as well. The bands that have kind of a timeless feel to them as a rock band that we all collectively agree on and i think you can kind of here some of them in a lot of our writing.
M: What are you listening to right now?
AoD: Everybody seems to be gravitating to this Australian artist called Gotye, it seems to be playing on the bus all the time. The past 4 months we have been on the road we have just been going constantly so i haven’t been actively searching out new artists like i used to. There is so much coming out right now and that’s a great thing, in a day and age when its more difficult then ever to get a deal and to go out and tour there are still a lot of people out there creating music and trying to get things going. Thats a healthy, strong scene when that stuff is still going on. I personally still love the new Alice in Chains album Black Gives Way To Blue. It’s a great album and I was very impressed with how William, the new singer, has filled the shoes of Layne Staley.
M: What’s your favorite show/performance been as a band?
AoD: Recently we opened up for Alice in Chains in Winnipeg as part of the Rock on the Range Canadian version and that was a big thrill for me personally because im a big Alice in Chains fan. We got to hang out with the guys a little bit after and watch their show from the side of the stage. Sharing the stage with them and seeing all of their road cases was a big thrill for me. It was in an arena in Winnipeg where their NHL team plays so that was a real thrill because there was probably 10,000 people there and that was pretty awesome. I would say that ones my highlight show for the year.
M: If I want people to remember one song from our band, it would be…
AoD: I would have to say “Die Trying” you know that song hit #4 on the active rock charts in America and every night when we play it everybody just sings it at the top of their lungs. Im just really proud that we were able to get into the top 5 and to have people all over America sing it to us every night is pretty special. That is definitely the one i want people to remember from us.
M: You guys went from barely touring in the States before your record deal to regularly getting airplay and touring in the US. Is the experience any different from your canadian tours?
AoD: Yeah, when we were touring in Canada we were relatively unknown even though we are Canadian its still a real battle to get people to come out to the shows. Now that we have a song in the top 5 and our current single “Get Through This” is charting now its starting to draw people out and that’s a good sign. Its different for that fact, there is actually a lot more recognition down here then what we had in Canada.
M: Any experiences that stand out on the Adelitas Way tour?
AoD: I think being really close to those guys, like watching their set and them watching our set, you learn something from every band you play with. They have some really cool, heavy tunes and they have been doing really well on the radio to, it was just a really good match up because the music was somewhat in the same vein so we were almost competing with each other in a healthy way. Thats a really great thing to do when you are out with different bands, push each other a little farther.
M: You guys have been getting really good radio play in North America with Die Trying and Get Through This. Any future singles that you’re planning to put out for this record?
AoD: We are planning on putting out a third single, I cant announce it yet because we aren’t 100% sure on what song its going to be, but yeah we will be putting out a third single most likely in February or March after “get Through This” has a little more of a run.
M: What are your future plans for touring/recording/etc?
AoD: We are hoping to find out about a tour in March or April but I can’t let the cat out of the bag on that one yet either. In the meantime we are always writing songs and we would like to be able to go into the studio and record another record right away but we still have a lot of gas left on this record so we are just slowly cultivating new songs and getting ready for the next album but i think it will be a while before we get to making the next record.
M: Members of Disturbed signed you to their Imprint and you also worked with Adam Gontier on a collaberation on Vices and Virtues. Before that, you collaberated with Shaun Morgan on a version of Die Trying. Is there another artist that you’re planning to collaborate with in the future?
AoD: We haven’t really talked about that, its interesting you ask that. With Shaun Morgan we toured with those guys a couple months before we had him come to the studio and collaborate on “Die Trying”, he just happened to be in our hometown of Vancouver when we were recording an acoustic version of that song, so we just asked him to come in and sing on it and he agreed and it was great. It’s not actually officially released yet anywhere, its more of an underground hit. With Adam Gontier, he’s actually our bass player’s cousin, they grew up together so its pretty easy to get a hold of him. We did the same thing with them, he was in our hometown and we had the track recorded, and we had a local friend of ours that’s a really good engineer and producer and we just called him up and had him record Adam over our track and it came out pretty easily and his voice is fantastic. We haven’t really talked about any future collaborations yet but im sure we will talk about it when the time is right and see who makes the most sense then. Its really cool to be able to have a couple guys at that level available if needed.
M: Most of the bands we work with here at EMURG are unknown, unsigned bands. We see Art of Dying as a perfect example of what can be done in this industry. Do you have any words of advice that you can give to these bands?
AoD: Never give up. When i was a kid trying to learn how to play i was always seeking out advice from anyone that was already playing and one guy specifically said just don’t give up, keep going. That’s always kind of resonated with me to help me persevere through the obstacles and the difficult challenges you face when you are in a band and trying to work your way up the ladder. “Die Trying” really reflects a lot of that too, it has a universal appeal if you are in a band or you are trying to do anything just don’t give up.