Three Days Grace, Shinedown

Three Days Grace

Shinedown

P.O.D.

Wed, February 20, 2013

7:00 pm

Tsongas Center at UMass Lowell

Lowell, MA

$23 adv. / $38.50 day

Three Days Grace
Three Days Grace
here's something a little creepy about growing up in a town so small, you can bear witness to indiscretions and trace the causes and effects on people's lives. On the self-titled Jive debut from Three Days Grace, the Toronto-based trio originally from Norwood, Ontario, Canada, has produced a potent hard-edged rock album, filled with melodic choruses and lyrics that explore the darker side of human behavior.

From the first single, "(I Hate) Everything About You," which deals with love-hate relationships; to confronting and fighting for your individuality in "Just Like You," Three Days Grace writes songs of inner struggle and the desire, in a way, for freedom.  Musically, there's a range from the eerie "Let You Down," with its near demented vocal to the progressive "Burn" with its intricate rhythms, to a more straight ahead rocker such as "Home."

"We saw a lot of crazy things growing up and a lot of our material comes from that," says drummer Neil Sanderson, the more garrulous of the three.

"I don't find it easy to write about happy shit," admits lead singer-guitarist Adam, somberly. "You don't need a release when you're happy."

Adam and Brad grew up in Norwood, a town of 1500 people, just one set of streetlights, but a city's worth of drama.  "You get a different perspective on people," explains Brad. "Everyone knows each other and you can't hide anything. Maybe that's why we can see through the façade that many people hide behind."

Neil hails from Peterborough, just 25 minutes away, a bigger city, which has spawned model/actress Estella Warren and rocker Sebastian Bach. When the band first formed a rock group (under a different name with a different repertoire) in high school, Adam isn't exaggerating when he says, "all 1500 people in Norwood were supporting the band."

The guys didn't strategize about how to get their faces on MTV or land a coveted record deal. They just loved playing live, anywhere.  "We opened for a movie once," Neil points out. "We used to cruise up to the Muskokas (Ontario cottage country) in my K car with a tent trailer on the back and play three hour sets at the local bars."
Shinedown
Shinedown
Early in 2007, producer Rob Cavallo asked Shinedown frontman Brent Smith about his goals for the band's new album. Smith didn't hesitate.

"I said, 'You know what -- when I'm dead and gone, when everybody in this band has passed or what have you, I want the world to remember this as a record that needed to be made, and that there was a reason for it,' " Smith says. "That was the motivation behind this album."

"And part of the reason it took so long to make!"

Welcome then to THE SOUND OF MADNESS, Shinedown's third album -- and the Florida rockers' boldest effort to date. Like its two predecessors, 2003's Platinum LEAVE A WHISPER and 2005's Gold US AND THEM, THE SOUND OF MADNESS offers a brave and unsparing look into the soul and psyche amidst a fierce musical attack that, even in its quieter moments, vibrate with the passion, energy and focus of a band with high-minded ideals and limitless ambitions.

Smith and company began the recording process for THE SOUND OF MADNESS with the formidable task of following up two massively successful albums that yielded a staggering seven consecutive Top five rock and alternative radio hits that included "Fly From the Inside," "45," the chart topping "Save Me," and a cover of Lynyrd Skynyrd's "Simple Man," along with a reputation as a hot live band with an insatiable appetite for the road. However, after one listen, it's clear that the band didn't shrink from the task. Where THE SOUND OF MADNESS differs most is in its growth; it's the product of a group that has developed an even clearer vision for how it wanted to impact an audience.

"Lyrically, these songs are the most blunt that I've ever written," says Smith, who formed Shinedown with drummer Barry Kerch in 2001 in Jacksonville, Fla. "I feel that on this record I wrote what a lot of people want to say, but they just don't know how to say it -- not that I should tell anyone how to live their lives, but I've had these experiences and these thoughts that are in my head. And I can't believe I'm the only one who feels the way I do. So I just tried to express that in the most artistic and the most honest way I possibly could."
P.O.D.
P.O.D.
"Music comes down to passion," says P.O.D. frontman Sonny Sandoval. "There are not a lot of bands out there
today who have that. But I think that feeling is coming back around again."

P.O.D. (Payable on Death) certainly has the right to talk about passion in music. Passion has been front and center
since the band formed in 1992 in San Diego, CA, and all the way up to the release of their eighth and latest record,
Murdered Love. Over the last two decades, the group has sold over 10 million albums (including 2001's triple
platinum record Satellite), garnered four No. 1 music videos, three Grammy nominations and over a dozen rock
radio hits, including "Southtown," "Alive," "Youth of the Nation" and "Goodbye For Now." Music trends have come
and gone, but P.O.D.'s fanbase has seemingly only grown stronger.

Still, after the release of 2008's When Angels & Serpents Dance, the band took a lengthy hiatus. "You can blame me,"
says Sandoval. "The record business was changing, and we all wanted to get back to our personal lives and families.
When we do P.O.D., we want to enjoy what we're doing, and not to do it to pay the bills or tour just to tour."
Fortunately, the time off served the band, and Sandoval, well. "Yeah, I got in a good place again. P.O.D. means so
much to us and our fans – there's a lot of love for what we do. I wanted to keep inspiring and encouraging people."

The band initially reconvened with a few jam sessions and the intent to put out a hardcore, Bad Brains-style EP
and tour a little bit. But the initial recordings were strong enough to convince the group to tackle a new album. "By
taking a break, we kind of got back on the same page," says guitarist Marcos Curiel. "Now, everyone has the same
attitude going forward, the same feeling we had when we did those first two first two big albums The Fundamental
Elements of Southtown and Satellite."

The most startling aspect of Murdered Love lies in its diversity and the band's songwriting having penned every
track on the album. The opener "Eyez" might be the band's heaviest song yet, with a cameo by Hatebreed's Jamey
Jasta. It contrasts sharply with "West Coast Rock Steady," a playful hip-hop ode to their San Diego roots featuring
Sen Dog of Cypress Hill. Meanwhile, "Panic & Run" is full-tilt punk, "Bad Boy" brings a funky swagger and first
single "Lost in Forever" ties it all together with an equal mix of aggressiveness and melody.

"The band is a fusion of all our musical passions," says Curiel. "We can jump from punk to reggae to rap to metal.
And funk -- people forget we had a little funk on our first few indie releases. So on a few songs here, we took it
back. The whole process was really organic."

Lyrically, the record finds P.O.D. at its most thoughtful and introspective as the band contemplates their lives and
the world around them. On "Lost in Forever" Sandoval shows a mixture of hope and unease to questioning the
cruelty of man, as the band also does in the brutal title track "Murdered Love." "It's about people who have died
when all they brought was love" explains Curiel. The sparse, catchy "Beautiful," contemplates the afterlife while

the teeth-rattling album closer "I Am," finds Sandoval opening with the vivid line: "I am the murderer, the pervert,
sick to the core" and never lets up. It's the band at its darkest and most confrontational.

"I had been doing a lot of outreach to kids, talking at a lot of schools," says the singer. "I see what they go through
– suicide, rape, addiction –and that song is just about being vulnerable and honest. They're wondering if they're
screw-ups, if they're deserving of love and compassion. "

The band recorded Murdered Love with Grammy-nominated producer Howard Benson (Kelly Clarkson,
My Chemical Romance, Daughtry), a long-time friend of the group and the man behind three of its biggest
records. "He's family," says Sandoval, then laughs. "He has the power to choose who he wants to work with, and I
think he wanted to go back and make a real rock record."

To promote the record, the band has already set up a late spring/early summer headlining tour, as well as hitting
a number of festivals and larger shows this year. "It seems like there's Warriors in every city," says Curiel, noting
the band's affectionate nickname for their diehard fans. "They're loyal. And it's great, because we'll see people who
loved us around the Satellite era bringing their kids." Given the closeness between the band and their fanbase, it's
no surprise that P.O.D.'s new logo was the result of an online contest with their fans.

In the end, Murdered Love showcases a band at its most energetic and vital, nearly two decades after its debut.
Sandoval agrees.

"This is the best record we've ever done," says the singer. "And that can only come from what we've put into this.
We're the same four down-to-earth guys we were when we were putting out indie records. There's an honesty and
an underdog vibe to everything we do that you can definitely hear in our music."
Venue Information:
Tsongas Center at UMass Lowell
300 Martin Luther King Jr. Way
Lowell, MA, 01852
http://www.tsongascenter.com