Three Days Grace recently released Human, their first album since the departure of lead singer Adam Gontzier. Drummer Neil Sanderson recently spoke to Billboard about the transition and their spring touring plans with Metallica.
For your fifth album, Human, which debuted at No. 16 on the Billboard 200, you worked with new lead singer Matt Walst, who replaced Adam Gontier. How did that change things?
A lot of it remains what we’ve always done. We all sort of collaborate and write lyrics and melodies. We’ll sit down with acoustic guitars and just hash out ideas. We’ve collaborated with Matt in the past — he wrote on the first Three Days Grace album. He’s our bass player Brad’s younger brother, so we’ve all grown up together. It was a fairly natural progression. But there definitely was a new energy born just by having Matt step in.
What has fan reaction to Matt been like?
If you look, you can find negative feedback to just about anything. Social media is a haven for haters and naysayers — you learn that along the way. The energy level and the excitement onstage, that’s kind of what really counts for us. That’s what we gauge things by, and that has all been really good.
What’s lined up for the band this spring?
Shooting a video for the new single, “Human Race.” We’ve got some European festivals — we’re playing with Metallica. We’re finding a lot of doors have opened overseas for us. The Internet has really broken down borders, and we’re realizing we’ve got a good fan base over there. We went to Russia last year. When you get to the other side of the planet? We don’t take stuff like that for granted.
This story originally appeared in the April 18th issue of Billboard.