With Three Days Grace scheduled to hit the road with Shinedown starting February 1, vocalist Adam Gontier picked an interesting time to announce his sudden departure from the band. The band wasted no time in tabbing and announcing that Matt Walst, lead singer of My Darkest Days, will be joining the band as the lead singer for their North American tour. Matt is brother to bassist Brad Walst.
The addition on Matt has not been declared a permanent thing. In fact, it may be a gut reaction to pick up and carry on with a major tour already planned. But before we question whether this is the right decision, let's look at the decisions already made.
First Brad Walst stated:
"We were surprised and distressed by Adam's sudden departure. We are however very excited for this upcoming tour, and to have my brother Matt stepping in as lead singer."
This was followed by a more pointed response from the band:
"We appreciate everyone’s concern about Three Days Grace. We found out on December 21st that Adam wished to resign from the band. In a letter to us Adam indicated that he was resigning from the band due to a non life threatening health issue and wanted the band to continue moving forward without him. We were as shocked as many of you were to hear the news. Three Days Grace has always been and will continue to be not only our job but our passion. Instead of cancelling the tour, we felt an obligation to you, the fans, to forge ahead and put on the best show we can. Brad recently reached out to his brother Matt Walst, lead singer for ‘My Darkest Days’ to fill in for the tour dates already announced. We’ve been hanging out and rehearsing with Matt and look forward to rocking the stage in a few weeks! As of right now, Matt’s role is temporary and as far as the future and beyond this tour, we are taking it one day at a time. – 3DG"
Adam Gontier then released his own letter explaining his departure from Three Days Grace:
"To all of my fans, my friends, my family, these are my words coming from my heart, separate from my role as 'lead singer of Three Days Grace'.
I want you all to know how very thankful I am for your consistent love, your respect, and you’re undying support. It is important for me to address any concerns regarding my health being connected to drugs or addiction. The truth is, when I was struggling during that dark time in my life, I hit rock bottom, and I had the kindest of people reach out from all over the world, and reach their hands out to help pick me up. I am so blessed to be walking in the light now. I am reminded of your loyalty, always. The truth is, and I’m very proud to say this…, I am sober. That chapter in my life is over.
There have been many defining moments in my life. My time as part of Three Days Grace is most definitely one of the miraculous ones. I have had so many tender hearted people share with me their stories. How I’ve touched, or changed their lives. My truth is that all of the love I have received has forever changed my life. Each letter I’ve read, every picture I’ve been sent, all of the voices I’ve heard sing along with me, I will forever remember, and never forget…
After twenty years of being part of an ever evolving band, I have been inspired by life, to move on and to continue to evolve on my own terms. I could not be more grateful for all the souls who have travelled along with me. A journey I look back on with integrity, and a future I look forward to with such hope. I have always admired brave hearts. Life is always changing. I will continue to follow my heart, and what I love to do. I’m not sure what the next horizon will look like, but I do have all the faith in the world that whatever it is, It’s meant to be, and I have faith that blessings will continue to shine over all of us. I once heard a 'brave heart' say:
'When nothing is sure, everything is possible.'
It’s because of my life’s journey, because of all of you, that I believe.
Sincerely, with love, Adam"
It feels apparent from the tone of Adam's letter that it is his mental and emotional health he is referring to rather than anything physical. This is good for Adam, sad for fans and a trial for his former bandmates. It's an interesting side note that he opted to tell the band on Dec. 21, the supposed end of days.
Knowing that the band has had time to ponder this decision, the decision to move forward has more of a permanent ring to it, with the Shinedown tour being the perfect test drive to see if Three Days Grace can still float.
With My Darkest Days guitarist Sal Coz Costa recently departing that band, this might be a perfect time for a hiatus for the guys while each band figures out it's individual or collective future.
Three Days Grace has posted three tracks with Matt on vocals, one of which can be heard below. Fan response has been almost universally negative, calling Matt's vocals good, but not for Three Days Grace. So far it would seem the decision to move forward is a poor one.
You can check out all three tracks HERE.