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Music / Art of Dying

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L-R:Greg, Jeff, Jonny, Tavis and Cale.
The art of dying is your life to live

They're kind of like a fusion between Alice in Chains and The Eagles
-David Draiman

Art of Dying is a Hard Rock/Post-Grunge band from Vancouver, Canada formed in 2005. The band came together when guitarist Greg Bradley met singer Jonny Hetherington on a street corner, playing his guitar for change. Greg asked if he wanted to jam and they've been playing together ever since. They happened to meet drummer Jeff Brown through working in a nearby jam space, who got them into contact with bassist Cale Gontier and guitarist Tavis Stanley from out east. Tavis had played in Thornley for 4 years while Cale was a technician for Three Days Grace (also cousins with singer Adam).

They released their self-titled debut independently through Thorny Bleeder Records on iTunes and CD Baby in 2006 along with a few hard copies floating the Vancouver area in 2007. Thorny Bleeder later managed to get Universal Music Canada to release it in the rest of the country.

The album was successful for an independent band. The song Get Through This was used as the opening theme for the second season of the Canadian Hockey-drama/reality series Making the Cut, the theme for the 2009 WWE Survivor Series, official theme of the WWE NXT program and the band was nominated for a 2009 Canadian Radio Music Award for Best New Group. They met and befriended Shaun Morgan of Seether, recording "Die Trying" with him (though given the fame difference, some have labeled it "Shaun Morgan feat. Art of Dying"). They band would get to open for Seether, Three Days Grace and even play Download Festival.

Art of Dying as networking band if their ever was one, blogging and giving CDs to promoters and the like. At some point one of their contacts, a manager in Boston recommended their CD to Dan Donegan of Disturbed, who decided he wanted AOD to open for them on their Canadian tour dates. They would go on to play several more arena dates for the rest of the Indestructible tour.

Near the end of 2009 after a fateful phone call with Donegan, Art of Dying signed with Disturbed's Intoxication Records, becoming its first artist. The band went straight to work on their major label debut with producer Howard Benson (Flyleaf, Skillet, P.O.D., Papa Roach, 3 Doors Down). They'd already written the majority of the new songs, so mixing was started in April of 2010.

The new album was officially named "Vices & Virtues" that May. A re-recording of "Die Trying" was released to radio stations and on iTunes by the fall. It has since entered the Active Rock charts, even making it into the Top 10. The album was released on March 22 of 2011.


  • Jonny Hetherington - Vocals
  • Greg Bradley - Guitar
  • Jeff Brown - Drums
  • Cale Gontier - Bass
  • Tavis Stanley - Guitar


Official Site
YouTube Channel

Not to be confused with the song by George Harrison, the song by Gojira or the album by Death Angel.

Art of Dying provides examples of:

  • Bystander Syndrome: "Dog Is My Copilot". The final chorus has acoustic strings (which have otherwise been played softly so far in the song) being struck heavily while Jonny screams the lyrics, as though the Apathetic Citizens are struggling to believe/denying themselves that God will solve everything.
  • Catchphrase: "The art of dying is my/your life to live". It means "Hope for the best, Plan for the worst, Live life to the fullest".
    "It’s the idea that the day you’re born is your first day on the planet, but it’s also your first day in your eventual path to your death. It’s a dark way to think of it, but once you embrace the thought you’re not going to last forever, it makes your time here more important. That’s how we live, and there’s seriousness to it in the sense that it’s really cool to try to accomplish something while you’re here, but there’s also an enjoyment side of things and making sure you don’t take yourself too seriously."
  • Crapsack World: "Whole World's Crazy", which asks the simple question of "Does it have to be this way? Will it ever get better?"
  • Digital Piracy Isn't Evil: Like their mentors in Disturbed, they prefer to utilize the internet when possible. Such as releasing Vices and Virtues 5 days before it actually goes on sale, scoring some good promotion and treating the fans.
  • The Eeyore: "Inside It's Raining", in which the narrator laments that he's this, hoping to subvert it by finding a way to connect with others.
  • Heroic Spirit: "Get Through This", using the old adage that "What doesn't kill me only makes me stronger".
  • Last Note Nightmare: "Build A Wall", which ends with an eerie crying/wailing sound and a number of electronic noises/voices.
  • Let's Duet: The re-recording of "Inside It's Raining", sung with Adam Gontier. He's since sung it with them at a few of their shows.
I used to think that being along meant being by myself.
Now I know, to truly be alone means being without you.
  • Mascot: They ran a contest for a while asking for the Grim Reaper. The winners can be seen here. They've also revealed the right wing of something they call "Smeagol the Raven".
  • Spell My Name With An S: His name is Jonny, NO DAMN H in it.
    • Their biggest hit "Get Through This" can either be spelled with "Through" or "Thru". They aren't very clear on it.
  • Three Chords and the Truth: The debut has some very stripped down production, including at one point the click of Jonny's megaphone being turned off during the bridge of You Don't Know Me and the sound of him clearing his throat at the start of "Dog Is My Copilot".
  • Updated Re-release: As mentioned above, the debut has some very sludgy production. Vices and Virtues has several of the more commercially viable songs repurposed/remade with better quality and different lyrics, such as You Don’t Know Me, I Will Be There, [Inside It's] Raining (which includes Adam Gontier guesting), Completely and their big hit Get Through This.
  • Word Salad Lyrics: "You Don't Know Me", though probably intentional to describe how shallow it is to assume a person is simple (the lyrics start to make sense when applied to the oh-so illogical human being).