Women in Music 2016
Saint Asonia Announces Debut Album Release Date: Exclusive
The new group includes members from Three Days Grace, Staind & Finger Eleven.
Saint Asonia, the new rock "supergroup" formed by former Three Days Grace frontman Adam Gontier and Staind guitarist Mike Mushok, will end the buzzed-about wait for its debut album on July 31, when the self-titled set comes out on RCA Records.
The group, which also features bassist Corey Lowery (Eye Empire, Stereomud, Dark New Day) and former Finger Eleven drummer Rich Beddoe, recorded the 11-track Saint Asonia with producer Johnny K at his Groovemaster Studios in Chicago. Last month, they released their first single, "Better Place" -- which moves 23-20 on Billboard's Mainstream Rock Songs chart this week -- prior to making their live debut May 16 at the Rock on the Range festival in Columbus, Ohio.
"It does feel like a new band, for sure -- a new band, I guess, with a history, with a bit of a backstory, which is nice," Gontier tells Billboard. "A lot of bands obviously don't have a lot of story to tell from the past, and we do between us. But at the same time it is a new band. We're starting from scratch and we're not expecting to go out and headline arenas anytime soon just because of our previous projects or previous bands or anything like that."
Saint Asonia came together shortly after Gontier left Three Days Grace in January 2014 over "musical and creative differences." "It was definitely not my intention of creating a band or anything like that," Gontier says. "Mike Mushok was one of the first guys to reach out to me to see how I was doing, and he just asked me if I wanted to get together and do some writing just for fun. So we got together probably last April  and just started writing some songs. It went really well, a lot better than we had expected, and we ended up writing 11 or 12 songs and from there it just made sense to go into the studio and do something with them."
Gontier and Mushok first recorded a three-song demo, which stoked RCA's interest as well as their own. "We said, 'Well, we have another 10 [songs]. Let's do this,'" Gontier says. "With Mike being basically on hiatus from Staind for who knows how long, it just seemed to make sense, and the timing is right."
Gontier describes the album as diverse, but with an undeniably hard edge. "With Mike Mushok on guitar it's got a bit of a metal vibe to it, but it's definitely different than both" Staind and Three Days Grace, he explains. "It's some of the heaviest stuff that I've ever written, some of the heaviest riffs and heaviest music I've ever sang on top of. But it's also got a couple of the lightest, a couple of straightforward, acoustic guitar and vocal tracks. It's kind of all over the place, but it's mainly more heavy than anything."
Saint Asonia is currently putting together tour dates to promote the album, which Gontier says will start during August and will combine small-venue headlining dates and possibly some support slots. "We're definitely just looking forward to playing shows and working our asses off," he says. "We've been at this for quite awhile now, over a year, and it feels really great to have people talking about it and excited about it. We want them to know that it is a band. It's not some kind of put-together 'supergroup' that's not going to play out. It's a full-on band, and we're looking forward to getting out on the road and playing shows."
The full Saint Asonia track list:
1. "Better Place"
2. "Blow Me Wide Open"
3. "Live My Life"
4. "Even Though I Say"
5. "Fairy Tale"
6. "King of Nothing"
7. "Waste My Time"
8. "Dying Slowly"
9. "Trying to Catch Up With the World"
10. "Happy Tragedy"
11. "Leaving Minnesota"