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Music / Three Days Grace

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The band in 2003
Click here to see the band during the One-X run 

"So what if you can see the darkest side of me?
No one will ever change this animal I have become,
Help me believe it's not the real me,
Somebody help me tame this animal I have become,
Help me believe it's not the real me,
Somebody help me tame this animal,
This animal I have become!"
— "Animal I Have Become"

Three Days Grace is an Alternative Hard Rock/ Post-Grunge group from Norwood, Ontario, Canada. Formed in 1992 as the band Groundswell, they consisted of Adam Gontier (vocals, rhythm guitar), Neil Sanderson (drums, backing vocals), Brad Walst (Bass, occasional backing vocals), Phil Crowe (Guitar) and Joe Grant (Guitar), all attending high school at the time. This incarnation would ultimately break up 1995. They later reformed under the name Three Days Grace in 1997 as the trio of Gontier, Sanderson and Walst. In 2003 after their debut tour they enlisted Barry Stock as lead guitarist, allowing Gontier to simply sing in concert.

They released the demo for "I Hate Everything About You" in 2003, scoring them a record deal with Jive Records. They released their self-titled debut album that same year.

On January 9, 2013, long-time singer Adam Gontier left, citing health issues. Brad Walst's brother Matt, then with My Darkest Days, filled in on vocals during their 2013 tour, and eventually was promoted to full-time vocalist on March 28, 2014, with "Painkiller" released as the band's first post-Gontier single not too long after. The band's first album with Matt, titled Human, was released in 2015 with mixed to positive reception. They released their sixth album Outsider on March 9, 2018.

Current Members:

  • Brad Walst bass, backing vocals (since 1997)
  • Neil Sanderson drums, keyboards, backing vocals (since 1997)
  • Barry Stock lead guitar (since 2003)
  • Matt Walst lead vocals (since 2013), rhythm guitar (since 2018)

Former Members:

  • Adam Gontier: lead vocals (19972013), rhythm guitar (20032013), lead guitar (19972003)


  • Wave of Popular Feeling (as Groundswell) - 1995
  • Three Days Grace - 2003
  • One-X - 2006
  • Life Starts Now - 2009
  • Transit Of Venus - 2012
  • Human - 2015
  • Outsider - 2018
  • Explosions - 2022

Gontier also preformed guest vocals in the Apocalyptica song "I Don't Care" and in the Canadian supergroup Big Dirty Band for Trailer Park Boys: The Movie along with Alex Lifeson and Geddy Lee of Rush, Die Mannequin's Care Failure, Ian Thornley of the band Thornley, and The Tea Party's Jeff Burrows.

I Trope Everything About You:

  • Alternative Metal: One of the most popular alt-metal acts of the 2000s after the collapse of nu-metal. Their more recent works, though, downplay the metal aspects.
  • Abandoned Warehouse: The setting for the "Pain" music video.
  • All Just a Dream: The "Animal I Have Become" video. Subverted in that his room's still a mess...
  • Animated Music Video: "Misery Loves My Company." Overlaps with Deranged Animation.
  • The Band Minus the Face: They were one of the biggest rock bands out there with Adam Gontier on vocals. He then left for unexplained reasons and formed Saint Asonia. The band continued with Matt Walst of My Darkest Days. Though highly controversial to say the least, and they aren't as successful as they were before, they've managed to remain a big name in the rock scene despite losing their most prominent member. The new Three Days Grace have had no problems scoring hit-after-hit on rock radio, just like they did before, even if they weren't as big as the Gontier-era hits. Although Saint Asonia also scored some rock hits, they weren't as big as the Three Days Grace hits; many old fans do, however, prefer Saint Asonia to the Walst-fronted Three Days Grace. This all changed with the release of Outsider, widely considered one of their best albums with 3 #1 singles.
  • Band of Relatives: Inverted; the band members have family members in other bands! Brad's younger brother Matt Walst is the lead singer of Toronto hard rock group My Darkest Days and Adam's cousin Cale Gontier plays bass for Vancouver alternative group Art of Dying (who got his start as one of TDG's guitar techs). Adam sang guest vocals on the re-recording of "Inside It's Raining" for AOD's major-label debut, and he'll usually make an appearance with the band to sing with them whenever they're both at the same festival. After Adam left, Matt was hired to fill in as the band's vocalist, eventually joining permanently.
  • Break-Up Song: Not actually as common as you'd think; Adam got married to his first wife after their Self-Titled Album was released and didn't divorce until 2013 by which time he had already left the group. Most of the songs from the debut have little to do with anger in the context of a relationship.
    • "Last To Know" is a Break-Up Song about being left for another guy.
  • Calling the Old Man Out: "Just Like You"
  • Chalk Outline: Used metaphorically in a song with the same name, the first single from Transit of Venus.
  • Condescending Compassion: Rebuffed in "Misery Loves My Company":
    I don't need your condescending / words about me looking lonely
  • Cover Version:
    • "The Chain" by Fleetwood Mac was ultimately cut from Life Starts Now, becoming a bonus track.
    • Live, they've been known to cover anything and everything, especially during the bridge of "Home," from Filter's "Hey Man, Nice Shot" to "Lose Yourself" by Eminem (then there's this). Gontier alone likes to do spontaneous acoustic covers of old rock and alternative songs, such as "Wicked Game" by Chris Issak, "The Drugs Don't Work" by The Verve, "Rooster" by Alice in Chains, "Black" by Pearl Jam, "Everything Falls Apart" by Dog's Eye View, "Another Lonely Day" by Ben Harper and "Free Fallin'" by Tom Petty.
    • Transit of Venus features a cover of Michael Jackson's Give In to Me.
    • They covered Gotye's "Somebody That I Used to Know."
  • Cycle of Revenge: One of the reasons why Humans Are Bastards in "Human Race": "If it's an eye for an eye then we all go blind / Is it hard to see?"
  • Defensive "What?": All over the place in "So What," which is about the narrator accepting his flaws and rebuffing people who criticize him.
    So what if I'm crazier than crazy?
    So what if I'm sicker than sick?
    So what if I'm out of control?
    Maybe that's what I like about it
    So what?
  • Dem Bones: One of Adam's mic stands, shaped like a skeletal hand gripping the mic, which he sometimes fixes into the shape of the horns for fun.
  • Determinator: "The Mountain" expresses this sentiment through its lyrics and powerful riffs:
    Every day I'm just survivin'
    Keep climbin' the mountain
    Even when I feel like dyin'
    Keep climbin' the mountain
    Every time I think I'm over it
    I wake up in the bottom of it all again
    I'm still survivin', keep climbin'
    Keep climbin' the mountain
  • Don't You Dare Pity Me!: "Misery Loves My Company" rebuffs Condescending Compassion:
    I don't need your condescending
    words about me looking lonely.
    I don't need your arms to hold me
    'cause misery is waiting on me!
  • Driving Song: "Car Crash" compares a passionate but doomed relationship to, well, a car crash.
    All I see is shattered glass and
    Red lights passing
    My life flashing!
    Headed for the same disaster
    Faster and faster and faster
  • Early-Installment Weirdness:
    • Their work as Groundswell. The music is more uptempo and melodic-at times sounding like Pop Punk with downtuned guitars-and Adam's lyrics, while hardly sunshine and rainbows, aren't quite as dour as his later works.
    • Their first two music videos with Barry Stock, "Just Like You" and "Home" have Barry and Adam play guitar together. Subsequent music videos would have only Barry playing the guitar while Adam just sang, though he still played the guitar during live performances.
  • Enemy Within: One possible interpretation of Animal I Have Become.
  • From Bad to Worse: In "Tell Me Why," "It goes from good to bad to worse so fast."
  • Genre Shift: Not their tone, but their lyrics. When Adam Gontier was the lead vocalist, several of TDG's songs were about addiction: struggling with it, overcoming it, or succumbing to it. With Matt Walst as lead vocalist, their songs speak more about emotional isolation and/or the struggle to connect with others.
  • Give Me a Reason: "Give Me a Reason" is a variation of a Break Up Song where the narrator asks his abusive partner to give him a reason to finally end their relationship.
    Give me a reason for disaster
    And I'll be happy ever after
  • Grief Song: "Fallen Angel" is about the grief drummer Neil Sanderson's mother felt when his brother and father died when he was five years old felt and how Neil didn't want her to fall as well.
  • Humans Are Bastards: "Human Race" is about humans constantly competing, fighting, and getting back at each other.
  • I Am What I Am: "So What" is all about the narrator accepting his flaws.
    I am who I am and I'll never be like you
    You can say whatever you like
    If it's so wrong I don't wanna be right
  • "I Hate" Song:
    • Many songs, such as "Home" are about hating people.
    • "I Hate Everything About You" is a Zig-Zagged example about love-hate relationship.
      I hate everything about you / Why do I love you?
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: In a very strange way, Adam serves as this in the video of "Animal I Have Become". His dark side becomes more prominent, and as a result he becomes more detatched and abrasive, but he still has good intentions and fears that his negative traits are outweighing his positive traits.
  • Last Note Nightmare: Played with to the point of subversion in that while Gontier-era Three Days Grace were fond of this, it was usually during the chorus or other random parts of the song, not so much the last note itself. Adam Gontier just loves to sing in a soft voice and then scream at you five seconds later.
  • Lighter and Softer: Life Starts Now compared to the first two albums. Some of the songs are easily the softest the band has ever done like "Lost In You", "Last To Know" and the self-titled track, and even most of the harder songs on it aren't quite as hard as most of their material from beforehand.
  • Living Emotional Crutch: "Nothing to Lose but You" is an ode to one.
    You're the only hope that I hold inside
    Cause you know all my secrets
    All my demons and you keep 'em in check
    I know that I can't undo
    The self-destruction, the damage I've done
    I've got nothing to lose but you
    And I lose it everyday inside of my head
    I don't know if I'll be alright
    Cause if I didn't have you, I'd be better off dead
    You're the reason I'm still alive
  • Longest Song Goes Last: "One-X" (4:46) and "The Abyss" (4:09) are the longest songs on One-X and Outsider, with both being the final track on each.
  • Love Is a Drug: "Painkiller" is an odd, creepy (in)version where the narrator seeks to become someone's drug:
    You know I'll give you one for free
    Forever you're coming back to me
    Now I'm gonna give you what you need
    'Cause I know what you fiend on and what you lean on
    And what you lean on
    The shoulder you cry on
    The dose that you die on
  • The Masochism Tango: "I Hate Everything About You."
    I hate everything about you / Why do I love you?
  • Messy Hair: The way Adam styled his hair around One-X.
  • Metal Scream:
    • Gontier gets one at the end of "Riot." Special mention goes to "Home".
    • "The Abyss" has Matt doing one at the end.
  • Mr. Fanservice: Matt Walst is a very fit and handsome man who can dance very well (especially prominent during their live performances). Original singer Adam Gontier is also a ruggedly handsome man.
  • Never My Fault: The subject of "Villain I'm Not" habitually blames everything on the narrator.
    You want me to be guilty, to be the one who's wrong
    So easy to blame me, it's been that way for so long
  • Nice Guy: Adam is a tireless advocate for those overcoming drug addiction and/or depression, even today, despite no longer being in the band.
  • Nightmare Face: In the "Animal I Have Become" video, Adam's reflection is distorted into a wicked snarl.
  • Obligatory Bondage Song: This is one possible interpretation of "Pain."
    Pain, I like it rough
    'Cause I'd rather feel pain than nothing at all
  • Perishing Alt-Rock Voice: When he's not bellowing at the top of his lungs, Adam's voice is rather restrained.
  • Precision F-Strike:
    • "Riot", "Wake Up", "Gone Forever" and "Overrated".
    • Outsider is more profane than the aforementioned songs, containing songs like "Right Left Wrong", "Me Against You" (which has three instances of "fuck that"), and "The New Real".
  • Police State: The "Just Like You" video.
  • Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: The chorus of quite a few songs tends to employ this method as a means to convey their point. Very noticeable in songs such as "Break" and "I Hate Everything About You."
    Only when I stop to think about it... I! HATE! EVERYTHING ABOUT YOU! WHY! DO I LOVE YOU?!
  • Rage Against the Reflection: The "Animal I Have Become" video.
  • The Rockumentary: "Live at the Palace" is a half-example; there's several extensive interviews and behind-the-scenes footage intermingled between the songs.
  • Rock Trio: The band had this lineup during their early days. After recording their debut album, they recruited Barry Stock and became a four-piece.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: "Just Like You", "Overrated", and "Bitter Taste" all qualify as this.
  • Suddenly Shouting: Something Adam Gontier seemed to be very fond of while singing, to the point of it almost being a signature sound of his. Pick a song off any album during his time with the band and you'll most likely find him shouting during the chorus.
  • Surprisingly Gentle Song: Lost In You, probably because it lacks the significantly sombre mood.
  • Superpowered Evil Side: One possible interpretation of Animal I Have Become. Many AMV of this song in youtube subscribe to this interpretation.
  • Vocal Evolution: Adams's voice on the debut was simply scratchy, grungy over-screaming without much technique. With the recent albums he's invited far more melody and flexibility than in his younger days, ranging from a higher register on some songs to a lower bass on others.
    • His voice during the Groundswell days was higher-pitched and more exuberant, since he was still a teenager at the time.
  • What Have I Become?: "Animal I Have Become"
  • World Half Empty: "World so Cold"
  • Yandere: Especially in the song "Over and Over"
    • Nightmare Fuel when you consider that this song could actually be talking about Adam's addiction to prescription drugs.
  • You Are Not Alone:
    • The song "Never Too Late" speaks this message to help ease the pain of those suffering from suicidal tendencies.
    • It's the point of the whole One-X album.