Neil Sanderson Details Three Days Grace’s Recording Process for New Album
Guest blogger Neil Sanderson of Three Days Grace checks in each month with an exclusive column for Loudwire. In this piece, the drummer offers an overview of the band’s recording process for their forthcoming album, expresses his excitement for some upcoming shows and talks about his love of the outdoors. In addition, he has provided us with a behind-the-scenes video of 3DG in the studio. Check out Neil Sanderson’ latest blog, along with the accompanying video, below:
For Three Days Grace, spring 2014 has been a balance of touring, fly-in shows in the U.S. and Canada, and rehearsing downtown in our cement box beside Lake Ontario (same box since ’03).
Now we’re back in the studio. We’ve moved into a place called Noble St. in Toronto. It’s our second home. Initially, we came to this studio to record ‘Painkiller’ late last year, but knew right away we’d be finishing the record here. We’re actually tracking as I speak (and watching hockey playoffs), then we fly out in a few days for shows in Illinois and Arkansas.
I love switching gears between writing, recording and playing live. We hang out together and pass acoustic guitars around; and in the studio we lay down those new ideas all day and night for a couple weeks. Then for a moment we’re able to relax the ears and just take the brush off the canvas. Sleep on the idea for a minute. By the time we’ve all had a few days on our own listening to rough mixes, we’re all in a better headspace to get together again and hash it out. A lot of the time the “hashing-it-out” happens at airport departure gates.
Lots of new ideas are born at sound check, as well. During the day, it’s an empty venue, and onstage we can sort out a lot of details on new material. We like to hear new songs through the PA in the venue. That’s important to us. Our favorite songs to play are always the ones where the crowd is craziest … it has to be electrifying when we play it live. If not, it doesn’t make the record. I’m sure our road crew loves it when we decide to soundcheck for 3 hours. But working out the details outside of the studio allows us to experiment more when we’re in there. For example, the other day we decided to record drums on an old Studer 2-inch tape machine. (We did that on the first record, as well). The end results were classic punchy sounding drums that you just can’t achieve in the digital world. Turned out very cool!
We have few upcoming shows that we are beyond excited about. We’re playing with Metallica at Heavy Montreal 2014 on Aug. 9. This is a big one for us, as we’ve been major Metallica fans pretty much our whole lives. Plus the fact that Montreal knows how to party like no other! Also, we’re headed to Alaska in late August. It’s the only state we haven’t played. If we have some downtime while we’re there, I’ll most definitely be taking in the wilderness.
Speaking of downtime (which is few and far between these days), I try to spend as much of it as possible in the country. I’m an outdoorsman at heart. In fact we all are in 3DG. I think the more we travel to big cities, the more we appreciate just being able to chill at the end of a dock with acoustic guitars after a day of being on the water. I’m also that guy who doesn’t hesitate to put my buddies to work when they come over to my place on the weekend. There’s always a tree to cut, or something to build, or fix or wreck.
Over the next few months, when our lives aren’t all about being in the studio or on tour, this is what we’re gonna be into: Mosquitos, Camping, Boats, Beer, Wakeboarding, Golf, Fishing, Wasps, Chainsaws, Bonfires, Blackflies, & Music. Lots and lots of music.
Check Out Three Days Grace’s Video Studio Update:
Our thanks to Neil Sanderson for contributing his latest column to Loudwire. If you haven’t already picked up the band’s new single, ‘Painkiller,’ visit iTunes to purchase the song. Follow Three Days Grace on Facebook and Twitter.