On the night of December 1, 2011, I attended a concert with Adelita’s Way, Art Of Dying, and Emphatic. Where I got to interview Art Of Dying’s manager, T.J. Sagen, and Cale Gontier, who plays bass in Art Of Dying. T.J really wanted to get my questions answered, but knew the band may have been too busy to do it, so he offered to answer them for me. He did his best, though there was a few he could not answer for the simple reason of he is not actually part of the band. Read some of the insight I got from these two wonderful people below. Please keep in mind that the questions were worded for the band, but were answered by their manager, so some questions may appear to be worded strange compared to the response.
What is the “Art Of Dying”? (How did you come up with your band name)?
Cale: “It actually comes from a longer sentence, ‘The art of dying is my life to live.’ It means living your life well, and realizing it won’t last forever so make it count.”
Who writes most of your songs? Is it just one person or is it a group effort?
T.J: “It is a mix of all of them.”
What bands have impacted your lives as musicians?
T.J. “Three Days Grace, Def Leopard …those are definitely two that have impacted them.”
Just this year, Vices And Virtues dropped, and it is a great album. I have to ask, where do you find your passion? You sing every line so passionately, like you’re really into every word.
T.J. “I think a lot of their lyrics and passion just come from life experiences.”
Are there any tracks that didn’t make it onto the album that were originally intended to be?
T.J. “There’s a couple that didn’t make it, but that doesn’t mean that they won’t end up on future albums.”
How did you get Adam Gontier into the song “Raining”?
Cale: “We hang out all the time, and I suggest he get into it. We actually recorded about eighteen songs, and Adam sung in two of them. We just told him to sing on two tracks, and promised one of them would end up on the album.”
I know that Cale is related to Adam Gontier of Three Days Grace, and that he’s featured in “Raining” but has he helped out at all? Lyrically, or in any other way in the music business?
T.J. “Adam will show up and sometimes sing live with the band.”
What’s your favorite track on the album?
Cale: “Tough question. I’d have to go with ‘Raining’, just because Adam’s in it.”
While I found it very difficult to pick a favorite, I ultimately decided on, “I Will Be There”. The form of compassion is very rare, and I loved the way its expressed. That brings me to my question though, what inspired that song?
Cale: “Johnny wrote it about his girl.”
What has it been like touring with huge bands like Avenged Sevenfold, and Adelita’s Way?
T.J. “Its amazing. You get to know them, you see them every day. You build a friendship with them, after a while, they sort of become your family.”
I personally have not gotten to hear the first album, but how do you feel your second album differs from your debut album?
T.J. “A lot of it is the same, actually. It was a demo basically, and once they got discovered they re-recorded some of them for this album.
What ones are on both?
T.J. “ ‘I will be there’, ‘Get Thru This’, ‘Die Trying’, ‘Sorry’, ‘Inside Its Raining’ (Re-recorded as ‘Raining’. Um…I think that’s it. Look it up at some point, if you can.”
I later checked to see if T.J. was correct, or if there was more. Turns out, “Completely”, and “You Don’t Know Me” were also on the original, self-titled album, which came out in 2007.
So there you have it, that’s what T.J, and Cale had to say. Thank you so much to Cale Gontier, Art Of Dying’s bassist, and T.J Sagen, their manager, for being incredibly amazing people, and taking the time to do this interview with me.
Thanks to Porky’s Roadhouse in Port Charlotte, Florida I got the honor of getting to interview Rick DeJesus. He did this interview spur of the moment, without me even fully asking. I mentioned to him that I am a journalist, and that I had questions for Adelita’s Way. He automatically said, “After the show let’s do it!” I did not even have to remind him, right after the show he answered a few questions, then showered, and answered the rest. He answered all kinds of things, while taking shots and goofing around with his friends in the band, and childhood friends like a local radio DJ by the name of DC. This is what all he had to say.
What did you do to get arrested in Mexico, where you came up with the name Adelita’s Way?
“Nothing. In Mexico, the police arrest you just so they can rob you.”
Out of all your songs, do you have a favorite?
How did Adelita’s Way start as a band?
“I knew Trevor, and a mutual friend name Tyler introduced me to Keith, and other friends helped, now their all like my best friends.”
I heard most of this tour has been smaller places, do you prefer the bigger venues or smaller venues?
“We’ve played for 70,000 people before, and as few as a couple hundred. I like them all.”
Something on your iPod nobody would ever expect?
“A lot of Boyz II Men. I like a lot of old school R & B.”
When you’re not touring, recording, or writing new music, what do you do in your spare time?
“Hang out with my wife, watch a lot of movies, go to the gym.”
If you’re not big on music videos, why have you agreed to make them?
“I do like them, but for different reasons. Its just so fans can see a live persona but videos are expensive to make, and since nobody really plays them anymore, you’re just paying for YouTube.”
What’s it like hearing your songs on the radio?
“It’s the coolest fucking thing ever!”
What inspired the song, “Sick”?
“I had a million shitty bosses over the years. All of them sucked except my dad!”
Your album title (Home School Valedictorian) baffled me until I heard the explanation, because I was home schooled and knew there was no such thing as a home school valedictorian. Has anyone in the band, or someone close to you been home schooled?
“None of the band has been home schooled, but I’ve known people who have been. Its all about someone who thinks they’re better than everyone else.”
I heard you’d love to collaborate with Three Days Grace’s Adam Gontier, have you talked to him about this yet?
“Yes we have, and I wanna do it.”
Who are some of your favorite bands?
It was very nice of Rick to take the time to actually talk to me, I appreciate that so much. Thank you so much to Rick, and again to Porky’s Roadhouse. Without them, and their hospitality, I would not have gotten to do this. Home School Valedictorian is now in stores, go check it out.
These are interview that I myself have done. They have not been found anywhere, they have not been done for me. They are my work.