Hard Rock Daddy presents Music Discovery Monday – 7/6/15.
Each week, the HRD team shares songs that fly below radio’s radar, ranging from lesser-known artists to deeper cuts from both up-and-coming and established artists.
In addition to exposing the Hard Rock Daddy audience to new music that isn’t getting the attention that it deserves from radio, Music Discovery Monday also features a segment called “Hard Rock Music Time Machine,” which showcases older songs (from the 70s to today) that hard rock music fans may have missed at the time of release.
In addition to appearing on the embedded YouTube playlists beneath each section, all songs featured on Music Discovery Monday can be listened to by clicking on the hyper-linked song titles.
This week’s Music Discovery Monday features an exclusive interview with Adam Gontier, who discusses the meaning behind “Better Place” (the debut single from his new band, Saint Asonia), in addition to his collaboration with Art Of Dying on “Raining.”
ADAM WALDMAN – (Publisher, Hard Rock Daddy)
SAINT ASONIA – “Better Place”
Adam Gontier delivers raw power and emotion on “Better Place” – his first release since his surprising departure from Three Days Grace. Upon departing the band, Gontier talked about wanting to write from the heart, rather than writing songs that are radio-friendly. With “Better Days,” he’s found the best of both worlds.
At this point, “Better Place” has made an impact that would normally preclude it from being included on Music Discovery Monday. If not for a scheduling change, it would have been featured here before it started gaining as much traction as it has at this point.
The story behind the writing of the song (which Gontier shared in a recent Hard Rock Daddy exclusive interview) is the reason that an exception was made to include it in this forum. Listening to the lyrics, the natural reaction is to assume that the song was written about Gontier’s former bandmates, but that is not the case…
Adam Gontier on the inspiration and meaning behind “Better Place”…
“A lot of the songs on the record (including ‘Better Place’) are sort of written about the last few years of my life and what I went through on a personal level aside from the music industry and that sort of thing, although part of it is about the music business too. It’s always hard to try and tell people what the song is about; it’s great when people kind of take it for what they want, and give it their own meaning. For me, it’s about being in a better place now than I was before. I was in a place where I just wasn’t happy. I’m a lot happier now, and the song represents that. The song was not specifically written towards Three Days Grace; they’re just part of the bigger picture. It’s really about my life as a whole over the last little while.”
SCREAMING EAGLES – “Save Me”
The first single off of the soon-to-be-released Stand Up And Be Counted sets the bar high for the rest of the sophomore effort from Northern Ireland’s Screaming Eagles. If “Save Me” was released two decades ago, it would still be played today as a killer classic rock track. Whether it finds a home within the current climate of Active Rock radio remains to be seen, but there are enough elements that would make it a great fit, most notably, the stellar vocals of frontman Chris Fry who most resembles Chris Cornell on this track, but also adds in other influences to create a unique sound. Bluesy guitar riffs and a powerful, driving rhythm help to create a song that, sonically, is a throwback to past decades. If you like bands like Rival Sons and Crobot, this track is a home run!
JON LOVELESS – HRD Music Scout
RAVAGE ROSE – “Fighting Fire With Fire”
I have to credit my pals Dawn & Paul at Platinum Rock Radio for bringing this Norwegian band to my attention. Formed in 2013, they show considerable promise with their latest single, with vocalist Miriam Labreche shining particularly bright. The band is due to return to the studio soon, an effort that should definitely produce even more to look forward to.
22O VOLT – “Through The Wastelands”
Over 35 years have passed since the formation of this Swedish band, making this track all the more remarkable for the energy and vitality on display. Hearing this song from their 2014 release makes them deserving of a spot in future discussions about underrated and underappreciated bands. This is modern melodic rock with a heavy sound that stands up very well next to virtually anything in the niche.
ROB DELL’AQUILA – HRD Music Scout
BURNING POINT – “Find Your Soul”
The Scandinavian melodic metal band Burning Point returns with some intense material for 2015, both new and re-recorded. I really enjoyed the vocals of founder Pete Ahonen on previous albums, but he’s elected to hand that task over to Nitte Valo (ex-Battle Beast), and she is a terrific fit for the band. Pete continues as lead guitarist, and for this album, the now female-fronted band gives us five brand new songs, five re-recordings of some of their best material and a Kiss cover. “Find Your Soul” is one of the new ones. The American release of the album is set for tomorrow.
BOREALIS – “Destiny”
Back in December, I reviewed a song from this band’s previous album (from four years ago) in the Hard Rock Music Time Machine segment of Music Discovery Monday. At the time, I was unaware that they were releasing a new album for 2015. The guitar work is outstanding and the keyboards are more prominent on this third progressive power metal release from these talented Canadians.
CHRIS HERZEGOVITCH – HRD Music Scout
ARMORED SAINT – “Mess”
The second track off the band’s new album, Win Hands Down, is classic ‘Saint. “Mess” hits you hard from the get-go with their vintage driving sound and, of course, John Bush’s fantastic vocals. Joey Vera, the Sandoval brothers and Jeff Duncan are all still on top of their game and goin’ strong. Great live band if you ever get a chance to see ’em.
PYRAMAZE – “Disciples Of The Sun”
Pyramaze is a bright and dynamic Danish Prog metal band. “Disciples of the Sun” is the title track from their fourth studio album, and the first with lead singer Terje Haroy (who has a terrific voice), giving this epic track plenty of power and emotion.
To be considered for Music Discovery Monday, please e-mail a link to the song being submitted on YouTube and an artist bio to – submissions@MusicDiscoveryMonday.com
HARD ROCK MUSIC TIME MACHINE
ART OF DYING (f. ADAM GONTIER) – “Raining” (2011)
It’s a family affair as Art Of Dying bassist, Cale Gontier, is joined by his cousin, Adam Gontier (Saint Asonia) on this underrated collaboration. “Raining” came out prior to the release of Three Days Grace’s smash album, Transit Of Venus, and Adam Gontier’s subsequent departure from the band. Perhaps it flew under the radar a bit because there were three other singles on Art Of Dying’s Vices And Virtues album that garnered a fair amount of attention – “Die Trying,” “Get Thru This” and “Sorry.” If you’re a fan of Adam Gontier, make sure to check this one out.
Gontier discussed how this collaboration came to fruition in a Hard Rock Daddy exclusive interview…
“It’s a great tune that Art Of Dying already had written. When we sat down in the studio to do the vocals, I may have re-written a couple of lyrics here and there, but it wasn’t anything major because the song was pretty much done. Cale (the bass player) is my cousin. We grew up together and we’re pretty much brothers. When Art Of Dying was recording the record, they were working with Howard Benson, who I had worked with quite a bit before that. They asked if I would be a guest singer on any track on the record, and I of course, agreed to it. ‘Raining’ was the song that seemed to work out the best. It’s a great song, and I’m proud to be able to say that I’m on the same record as Cale, Jonny and those guys. Cale and I had actually done some acoustic shows together, but this was the first time that we did something together that was released.”
EYE EMPIRE – “More Than Fate” (2013)
With Corey Lowery (bass) now a member of Saint Asonia and B.C. Kochmit (guitar) already joining Nonpoint awhile back, the likelihood of hearing any new music from the band in the near future is fairly slim. Because they’re both in outstanding bands now, it’s hard to complain about the direction that each has taken, but it would have been interesting to see how their sound would have evolved if they had remained intact. From the band’s 2013 release, Evolve, “More Than Fate” is a song that blends a haunting Alice In Chains quality with the unique vocal stylings of Donald Carpenter, who accents the song with some nice falsetto. While most hard rock songs grab your attention because of their intensity, it is the sparse moments where the song is allowed to breathe that really impress on this one.
SEBASTIAN BACH – “American Metalhead” (2007)
An unapologetic tune from the pen of guitarist “Metal” Mike Chlasciak, it’s a standout track from the third solo album by the former Skid Row vocalist. Loud, aggressive, in your face… it’s an exceptionally American slice of metal.
TUFF – “American Hairband” (2001)
Quite possibly the greatest namecheck song ever, it’s really only part of the band’s legacy. Despite the interruption of the grunge era, and record label issues that hampered their early years, the band’s core is celebrating 30 years with the release of their ’85-’89 era work with then-vocalist, Jim Gillette. One of the lengthy list of artists that really deserved more widespread notice than they received. They delivered an unforgettable look at an era (the 80s) with this effort.
JADED HEART – “Tomorrow Comes” (2005)
One of my favorite bands crafted one of my favorite songs of 2005. The surprising thing was that they did it with a new lead singer, so my expectations at the time had been low. Now I’m not usually afraid of change, and German melodic metal band Jaded Heart has gone through endless lineup changes in the near 20 years since their debut album. The difference here was that they had just parted ways with the amazing Michael Bormann, whose vocals were an integral part of their trademark sound. Proceeding with a new vocalist meant adapting that sound, and–much to my delight–they really pulled it off. The new singer, Johan Fahlberg, is no longer with them, but he shines on this 2005 album, especially on this song about a guy trying to escape a suffocating relationship. It had me at the first line: “Same time you’re spitting me out, You put the spell all around me.” Also check out “Paid My Dues,” a brilliant melodic metal cover of the Anastacia song.
POWER QUEST – “Save The World” (2008)
This now defunct Britain-based power metal band went through many lineup changes since their inception in 2001, and was actually filled mostly with Italian musicians when this song was released. The one constant member was founder and keyboardist Steve Williams, and one enduring characteristic was their catchy melodies backed by soaring choruses. This personal favorite from their 2008 album, Master of Illusion, tiptoes in with light percussion and whispering voices, only to explode into uplifting bliss.
ANTHRAX – “Cowboy Song” (1992)
This bonus track is a quite simply a great update of the Thin Lizzy classic from 1976. The album, Sound of White Noise, was the first with Jon Bush on vocals.
REDEMPTION – “Peel” (2009)
From the not too distant past, this epic from American Prog Metal band, Redemption, leads off their Snowfall on Judgement Day album. Crisp, driving and loaded with excellent musicianship all around. One to replay multiple times…