I am certain that many have heard the devastating news about Adam Gontier’s departure of Three Days Grace. If any of you have been on Music = Life the past couple of days, even if you didn’t know it before, I am a huge Three Days Grace fan. So I took this news fairly hard. Actually, I took this extremely hard to the point of hysterically crying and screaming at the computer as I heard Matt Walst singing “Chalk Outline”. I feel as if I was just broken up with, or old a long time friend just died, even though I’ve never met Adam in my entire life.
I’d say I’m being overdramatic, but no I am not. This is just another example of how much music touches people’s lives. Here’s the thing, Three Days Grace was the first rock band I ever liked, and they were the ones that started it all for me. Had they never existed, I can’t say for sure if I would have ever gotten into rock music or if I’d still be the Jonas Brothers loving, girly girl that was afraid of Hot Topic stores, and was disgusted by anyone with piercing or in Tripps.
I’ve known about them through their entire career, but wasn’t a fan until One-X had already been out a year or two. I actually thought they weren’t a real band when I first heard about them. They were in the old Hilary Duff movie, Raise Your Voice and played their song, “Are You Ready?” I don’t know why, but in my eleven year old brain, I was convinced that they were just made up for the movie. At some point that I can’t quite remember, I did realize they were real, and after getting picked on by several people because I only listened to pop music like The Jonas Brothers and Hilary Duff, I decided to make myself get into rock music. I didn’t know the names of many rock bands that weren’t from the 70’s or earlier, and I knew I didn’t much care for the “classic rock” my parents always played, so I figured I should start with the bands I knew. The only ones I could think of quickly were Three Days Grace and My Chemical Romance.
I know most people have a deep connection to MCR, but I don’t share that connection. My connection was formed with Three Days Grace. I found Adam’s voice to be very soothing, to the point that even on their harder songs, like “Riot”, if I was really upset, I could turn that up really loud and it calmed me down. Three Days Grace is the band that calms me down through everything. No matter what the situation has been, when nothing else helped, Three Days Grace did. Hell, even upon hearing this news, once I got brave enough to see if I could stand to listen to them without burst into tears, they calmed me down to the point that I wasn’t sobbing. I wasn’t happy still, but I wasn’t sobbing. The tears, in a way, actually turned to anger.
I’m not mad at Adam. I understand on some level. He has some health issue, and just sounds like he wants a break. Maybe he’ll return to the music world one day, and I certainly hope he does. The world needs him and his beautiful voice and lyrics. What I am actually mad at, and I’ll admit this is highly unfair of me, is Matt Walst. Don’t get me wrong, he’s a great singer. I love My Darkest Days (his band, for those who don’t know), but his voice is all wrong for Three Days Grace. I understand why they came to him, of course. They needed a quick replacement that was a professional, and Barry called on his brother. My problem is that his voice is higher than Adam’s, he can’t scream at all like they need him to for “Riot”, and frankly, he’s just not Adam. I’m sure you all can understand, you have your favorite singers, and nobody can replace them, even if their replacement is very talented. The first one I heard Matt sing was “Chalk Outline” and I’ll be honest, I was a big mean about it, but as I sat there listening, tears just pouring down my face, I only got to the chorus of “Chalk Outline” because I screamed, “NO YOU SUCK, I WANT ADAM, NOT YOU!” My mom was trying to shut me up the whole time saying, “He doesn’t suck, honey, he’s not awful.” I just kept saying, no he’s awful. I do apologize for being so harsh on him, but he was replacing my idol right there, of course I’d be upset. I will give him some credit, he did well on “The High Road”, I was alright with him doing that one, and decided he’ll do alright with “Never Too Late” as well, but he ruined “Riot”. I know Matt Walst can scream, he does it on occasion in My Darkest Days, but he did a horrible job for Riot. It was actually cringe worthy, and if he does that live, which he probably will, I feel like my ears may bleed. That may be an exaggeration a bit, but regardless, I still will be very displeased with him for trying to sing it live.
I’ll be frank here. I cried upon hearing the news, and didn’t quite stop all day. I’d stop for periods of time, and then I’d start again. I’m aware that Adam’s not dead, and believe me, I am so glad that he’s okay, but it is a grieving process. The world may not have lost him, but the music world did. Had any of you seen my reaction to the news, I think some of you would have bear hugged me, and others would have probably claimed I was being a stupid fan girl. This man, saved my life…there were points where things were upsetting me so much that I wasn’t going to kill myself, but I was going to change myself, even though I liked who I was. That, in a way, is killing yourself. I always turned to Three Days Grace, I know I still can, but it’s the fact of the matter. The fact that, in my eyes, there’s nothing more incredible than seeing Three Days Grace live, or the excitement of having your favorite band release a brand new album. I know I’m not the only one who listened to Transit of Venus on repeat excitedly when they streamed it earlier, and then went out and bough it the day it came out just because you couldn’t wait. I have all four of their albums displayed in my room, and I can’t say as though I’ll end up getting their 5th one now. If they get that far, that is.
This will sound very harsh, but I’m speaking from the heart. I feel as though Three Days Grace is as good as dead without Adam. With any band, the singer is really what makes the music. The lyrics are the soul of the music, and the vocalist brings life to that. Most of the time, the original singer can never be replaced. I also have no doubt that their not going to want to tour again after this upcoming one with Shinedown. Fans will complain, I’m sure about seeing them without Adam. If you’ve seen Three Days Grace live, you’ll know what I mean. He’s the entertainment of the concert. I’ve been to a lot of concerts, but have never seen anyone more incredible than Three Days Grace. Adam works the crowd to levels I’ve never seen from anyone else. The man is rarely standing still, and during each show gets off the stage and walks around the arena making people stand up and actually refusing to sing until they do. I know other bands have done that too, but it’s the way he is that’s incredible. I can’t explain that., you’d have to see it for yourself to understand. I imagine the whole energy of the show will be totally different without Adam.
Someone said to me that they didn’t understand why I was taking it so hard, that it wasn’t like I’d never be able to hear them the same again, because it wasn’t like Escape The Fate or Get Scared. I told him the difference was a few things. First off, Get Scared had Joel for one album, and Nick came back. Escape The Fate, yes they changed singers, but when I got into them Craig was already the singer, and Ronnie was in prison. On top of that, they’re both making new music, and those bands meant nothing to me. They have songs that do have meaning to me personally even, but the connection wasn’t there. This is different, because nobody knows if Adam is going to continue making music on his own, or in a different band, or if Transit Of Venus and his last solo show that he has booked will be the last times we ever hear from him or not. Plus everything I said before now. If someone knew that, and expected me not to cry hysterically, there’s a problem.
To me, this proves all over again, all though I never needed more proof, that music is never just music. Even if a song or a band has no meaning to you, it could mean everything to someone else. I’ve always said, lyrics are a singer’s journal, and a window to their soul. After listening to Three Days Grace, and truly adoring Adam and his lyrics for six years, I came to feel as though I knew him. In a way, while you may not know them on a personal level, you will know a whole lot about them if you just listen to their lyrics or what they have to say in videos or posts on their website.
Hearing this news killed me, as you can probably tell from how I’ve been talking on Music = Life, and how I was speaking about the band here. This is why people should never say, “Its just a band”, or “Its just music.” Its rarely just music. If you’re crying over a band, even if its because they’re right there, and you are being a fan girl, there are valid reasons for acting such a way. Its because you adore them so much…they’re always there for you, even if they don’t even know your name. Its just an unspoken bond that nobody can ever explain properly. Its just like falling in love, only I feel like it can be deeper than that.
So here’s how I feel about it. Say what you want, I really don’t care if you think I’m being a fan girl. I just lost someone very close to my heart, and it will take me some time to get over it. I am going to this tour, where Matt Walst will be singing, and the moment when he walks out and its not Adam, will probably be the saddest moment of my life. I know I will cry during that show, and chances are I probably will glare from time to time at Matt, because he’s Matt, not Adam. I know its not his fault, but it will happen. I can’t help that. I just hope he doesn’t take it personally, because I know I’m not the only one that’s going to be upset over it when they see him. I keep hoping this is all a hoax, and they’re going to post saying, “April fools even though its not April! Scared you guys, didn’t we?”, but I know it’ll never happen. In time I will get over it, as will the rest of the world, but for now, I’m feeling the urge to cling to their music and not let go. That being said…I can’t listen to “Gone Forever” or “Break” right now, because he broke away from them, and it sounds like he may be gone forever. Time will heal it, I suppose, but for now, I feel like I have a broken heart. I’m sure I’m not alone on that.
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