The latest super group has formed, created new music to be released later this month, and a tour that is shaping up to be a great run for these guys. Saint Asonia - Adam Gontier (lead vocals / guitars), Mike Mushok (guitars), Corey Lowery (bass) and Rich Beddoe (drums) - have their self-titled debut release coming July 31 from RCA records and we were able to score some of Corey Lowery's time as they prepare for their first national tour as a new band. One listen to the disc and you will most likely agree - these guys are hungry and ready to rock and get out in front of their fans after the disc drops...
Corey: How's it going?
Toddstar: Good brother. How are you doing?
Corey: Doing good.
Toddstar: Thank you so much for taking time out for us today. We really appreciate it. We know you're busy wrapping things up, getting ready to hit the road.
Corey: Absolutely. We're excited man, we're very excited.
Toddstar: Let's talk about this man. Saint Asonia - the new project that you're part of. You guys have a new album coming out. What can you tell us about this process? How did this thing come together for you to the point where you're ready to tour now?
Corey: A couple years ago Adam and Mike started working on some music. Adam started writing some music. Mike gave him a call, and said "Let's do some music together." It was a pretty natural thing that came together. It was never even intended to grow into this project. It was just "let's write some music and have some fun." Rich and Adam were already playing together. Mike gave me the call and said "Hey man, would you be interested in coming and jamming some bass?" I had so much respect for all the guys in the band; I was like "Absolutely. It would be a privilege and an honor." We got together and jammed. It just felt like a band right off the bat.
Toddstar: You guys have put together a very cohesive album. It won't see the light of day, unfortunately, for another 3 weeks, but how was the whole process of going in and putting this together compared to other projects you've been involved with when it came to going in the studio?
Corey: When I came into the band, Mike and Adam had everything somewhat written. For them, the writing process, like I said, it was important to stay natural. The thing that I noticed from all of us being in different bands is the growth individually from the past bands to this band. I hear Adam singing a little bit harder, a little bit deeper in content, as far as lyrical content. Mike is shredding on some of these songs. It's unbelievable. It's from heavy to light. It's a very wide spread record, which I love. It doesn't sound linear. Rich is drumming amazing on it. The whole process of doing a record is trying to be sincere and be yourself, and be able to truly express that. I think everybody did such a great job on that. That's what makes great songs. There's such a respect for the past bands, and all the fans have been great as far as accepting Saint Asonia. We're working really hard and want to give them the justice live and on the record. We're looking forward to getting out on tour and just doing what we do.
Toddstar: Awesome. You mentioned most of the material was written before you really came into the fold, how much of a stamp were you allowed to run with? Did they say "This is what we envision." And you just went in and did what you do naturally and have done for years? Or did you just get into what they wanted you or what sound they had envisioned?
Corey: The coolest part for me was hearing stuff and how I play and stuff. I remember looking over at Adam saying "What if I try this?" He was like "Man, look, do what feels right." That meant a lot, because it meant everybody should be themselves sincerely. Live we'll try some new things, and maybe add a couple new things. Live and studio are two different animals. The people move us the most, so there'll be some little bit of cherries on top when we're playing live for sure. We love having everybody just go for it, you know?
Toddstar: Sure. Well, that being said, what song or what couple songs off the disc can you not wait to hit the stage with?
Corey: Man, that's a tough one. I love them all. “Fairy Tale” is a great one. “Blow Me Wide Open.” "Better Place," obviously. There's just so many. Every time we jam, there's a new song that I love playing a little bit more. I'm like "Oh yeah, yeah." Some songs I love for this reason. Maybe I love the singing and play bass on this one. Another song, I'm like "I can't wait to hear Mike blowing this." Or Rich's drum solo in this. Or Adam's going to go for it in this one harmony part, or lead vocal part. The overall disc has got highlights of everybody. For me, it's always ongoing and changing.
Toddstar: You've mentioned touring and hitting the stage. We've talked about that a little bit, but up here in the Detroit area, we're fortunate enough that I think it's about the 6th or 7th show into the tour, we're going to see you guys destroy the stage in Flint, Michigan, at the world famous Machine Shop (http://www.themachineshop.info/).
Corey: I love that place. I mean, Kevin's been great. We've been playing The Machine Shop from past bands to now. It's a historic spot that everybody just loves to play. It's just a cool vibe there. The whole Detroit area has been so good to our past bands. We can't wait to get up there and rock them with the new Saint Asonia.
Toddstar: I know the VIP's already sold out up there. I mean, Flint, Michigan cannot wait to get you guys in there. What is it about a smaller place like The Machine Shop that really plays into what you guys do and how you guys come across to your fans?
Corey: You know, it's hard to put your finger on. I think Kevin has a lot to do with how he treats the bands and stuff like that. He's just true music lover. It's always great conversation. The people are great. The whole staff is great up there. It's just obviously well run, but it's a little bit more personal touch to it. It's been one of not only our band, but many bands favorite places to play.
Toddstar: You're getting ready to go on the road. You guys kick off in a little over a month. When you're looking around and you're starting to plan in your head "Okay. I'm hitting the road. I'm going to be gone for so many days." What are the couple things from back home that you have to take with you, Corey that you don't want to leave behind?
Corey: Let's see. Things that I don't want to leave behind. I bring my ProTools. I like for us to continually write music. If somebody's feeling creative. Having the ability to track something out on the road, so I bring that out. You know, a few things for health. Jump ropes and little weights and stuff like that. I keep everything... It's kind of like the same thing in my house. I have a house studio, so I just bring a smaller version of that out on the road with us.
Toddstar: Fair enough. If you were to leave your phone behind at a venue, or your iPad, or your iPod, or whatever you might listen to music on, what album or songs might be on there that your fans might think "Wow. I didn't expect this."
Corey: Let's see. Probably Norah Jones. I have some Eva Cassidy, a lady that was never signed. A lot of unsigned artists, actually. Some of the greatest music out there, I think, will never be signed. I'm always trying to sniff out something new and fresh. I listen to all type of music, not just one particular. For me, it's finding new bands and different music, even. Indian tribal music. They would probably be pretty surprised, but then I have my old school like Judas Priest, those types of bands. From Priest to Prince, you know? Whatever music. Certain songs hit me pretty hard, and I like jamming to it.
Toddstar: All of the different styles that influence you is obvious in your playing. It has been your whole career, but it is also on the new Saint Asonia album, where you've got a different groove or a different feel in all the different songs. Your bass isn't just cookie cutter, which is kind of nice.
Corey: Yeah. I mean, I come from a pretty musical family. My mom and dad play music. My brother and I have been in a band called Dark New Day. He also jams in Sevendust. My youngest brother, I jam with him in a group called Gothic Gravity. Those were probably my biggest influences, were just straight up my family. From there, I went on to learn about other music. I got into Queen and stuff like Queen, AC DC, Zeppelin, Hendrix, and those types of bands later on. First introduction to music was pretty much my mom and dad.
Toddstar: Let's get back to Saint Asonia for a minute? You guys had your live debut at Rock on the Range. What was it like to hit that stage in this new project and just have the fans just go literally ape shit for you guys?
Corey: I tell you what man, it was like the first time I ever played. I was so excited. I think we were all nervous for five or ten minutes, right before we went on. Had those butterflies that we had when we all first started playing. Then the first note happens and everything just kicks in. All the adrenaline. You feel back at home. It was cool to see so many familiar faces. So much support. That's what it's all about is that connection, and to be a part of this whole connection with the fans and the music and the band. That's what it's all about. Very proud of everybody from the fans to the band to everybody. I was having trouble with not looking at the band, because we were having such a good time up there. For us, it was excited to get the first one done, and an introduction to everybody to say "Hey, what's up? We're Saint Asonia."
Toddstar: With the band, you're always one of those guys that you don't grimace a whole lot in pictures anyway. Is this a renewed vibrant feel for you? Or is this just like "Okay, I found another home."
Corey: Found another home for sure. We intend on doing many records. We intend on going as long as we can with this. This is just the beginning. It's exciting to build this and go out and earn our merits. Putting this music together, you want to go out. You want to tour. You want to support it, and get out there and have the fans sing and play along with you. It's exciting. I guess that's what makes it feel like home. We've all had some great bands we've been in, and just to grow and start this, and now have so much support behind it. That's the best feeling. Want to do everybody justice and get up there and do our thing.
Toddstar: Awesome. I know you're busy, so I got one more for you. You've been around a long time. You've played in a lot of great bands. Some of my favorites that I still listen to. I still spin Eye Empire. Looking back over your career, Corey, what are you most proud of? What do you want to be remembered for when all is said and done?
Corey: That's an interesting question. You know, I'm kind of going with the flow and let the music take me where it was going to take me. I've been so blessed to play with so many great players and be in so many great bands. It's truly a humbling experience to jam with some of the guys I've been a part of. For me, I want to do as much music as possible. Put a big stamp in the musical community, as I was a part of this, and I was as sincere as I could be. I think that's the hardest thing to be, is being yourself. Create your own sound and be yourself. I've been blessed to be around a bunch of great guys that had that same kind of belief. I'm just thankful, more than anything, and look forward to continuing it. If anything, it just inspires me to try harder on the next record. Reach deeper. Practice longer. Stay hungry. It's important to have that kid sensation like you did when you first started. I think we all do in Saint Asonia. That's the fun part. Watching everybody smile when someone does something cool. We've been doing that since the beginning, and it's cool to see everybody still have that hunger. It keeps everybody inspired to push harder for the next one.
Toddstar: Cool. Again we really appreciate you taking time out for us Corey. We wish you guys well in 3 weeks when the debut release Saint Asonia is released. You guys hit the road in a couple weeks, and we cannot wait to see you guys at the Machine Shop in Flint, Michigan on August 21.
Corey: Absolutely. We can't thank you guys enough for all the support from you guys to the fans, everybody. We will be bringing all the heat on that stage that night. Looking forward to seeing you guys, can't wait to get there.
Toddstar: Sounds good. Safe travels and we'll see you in a little over a month, Corey.
SAINT ASONIA LINKS:
COREY LOWERY LINKS: