Three Days Grace Debuts 'I Am An Outsider' From Upcoming Album: Exclusive
"I Am The Outsider," premiering exclusively here, defines both the theme of Three Days Grace's upcoming album Outsider (out March 9) and the Canadian band's lyrical outlook in general.
"We've always written about being the odd person out and being comfortable with that," drummer Neil Sanderson tells Billboard. The song, he adds, is a defiant expression of non-conformity. "It's about deciding that you don't want to be exposed to so many influences in your life and to people who have a negative influence on you. You want to be able to take a great big step backwards and view all the chaos and absurdity from a distance -- 'I don't want to believe the same way, the same things you to just to sort of conform to anything. I want to have my own set of thoughts and my own set of feelings.' We've always kind of felt like that, I think."
And if that sounds like a perfect sentiment for the times, Sanderson and his bandmates are comfortable with that. "I think there's a common thread that talks about how to navigate your way through modern life and being bombarded by information and feelings and beliefs," Sanderson explains. "It's pretty impossible to ignore, but I think the record contemplates how to wake up and be yourself and not succumb to all the distractions and influences around you, but without just disappearing from the face of the Earth. We don't have all the answers here, but we definitely do bring up the topic a lot."
Outsider -- Three Days Grace's second effort with frontman Matt Walst, who replaced Adam Gontier during 2013 -- represented a change in working methods for the quintet. Coming off a long tour supporting 2015's Human, the group decided to "work on this record in as much isolation as possible," according to Sanderson, with a year's worth of writing at his rural property in Ontario as well as bassist Brad Walst's home two hours outside of Toronto.
"When we got home from (touring) we realized we didn't want to be driving into downtown Toronto every day," Sanderson recalls. "It was cool to decompress from the road and really have clarity, creatively, in those environments. We also just had to hang out as friends a little bit after (touring) and bro out as friends and drink some beers and ride some four-wheelers and snowmobiles and stuff and get some fires going. You get that hang going and creativity tends to naturally happen from there."
The group ultimately hit the studio with two producers, Gavin Brown and Howard Benson, who Three Days Grace had worked with before, separately. Matt Walst, meanwhile, was an even stronger presence on Outsider than he was for Human. "He was a lot more involved in the message, the whole process," Sanderson says. "There was definitely a level of confidence Matt was able to obtain over the five years of touring and making Human, and I think you can hear that on (Outsider). He's got his own personal messages and life on this album, which I think is important for a vocalist to really be able to get behind what he's singing."
Three Days Grace has a handful of shows booked so far, including Rock on the Range during May and the Ottawa Bluesfest in July, with more to be announced soon. "We're kind of easing into touring a little bit this time around," says Sanderson, noting that the band eschewed its usual February tour of Canada. "We've got a lot of stuff that hasn't been announced yet but is coming up, then Canada later this year. Europe has really opened up for us, so we plan to spend a lot of time over there and we'll get all around the U.S. We’re still a band that likes to live on the road and we're workaholics. We've got a lot of ground to cover, but we're up for the challenge. I'll be getting lots of air miles this year, I'm sure."
Three Days Grace has also revealed the full track listing for Outsider, which includes:
1. Right Left Wrong
2. The Mountain
3. I Am An Outsider
5. Nothing To Lose But You
6. Me Against You
7. Love Me Or Leave Me
8. Strange Days
9. Villain I’m Not
10. Chasing The First Time
11. The New Real
12. The Abyss