Posted On 09 Jan 2017
Vancouver Hard Rock icons Art Of Dying have released a new performance video for hope filled song ”Torn Down.”
The band’s Jonny Hetherington stated: “Torn Down” was inspired by the story of a teenage girl, Amanda Todd, who lived near me in Vancouver. She was targeted by a sexual predator online and eventually committed suicide. It’s a very sad story that she told personally through a self-made YouTube video. Her story affected the community deeply and it hit me hard when I discovered it. I hope the lyrics in “Torn Down” will help others who are going through what seem like hopeless struggles – see a light at the end of the tunnel.
We shot the video on our 2016 NEVERMORE Tour with Director Davo Paul, who traveled with us and captured Art of Dying’s life on and off the stage. Thank You to Count’s Vamp’d and all the fans in Las Vegas!”
Art Of Dying recently released the “Nevermore” EP, getting back to their independent roots after two critically acclaimed and widely-played major label albums (2011’s “Vices and Virtues” and 2015’s “Rise Up”). “We have circled back to our roots on “NEVERMORE”, states guitarist Tavis Stanley, ”working with long-time collaborator and producer Mark Holman.” “A lot of the lyrical content on this EP is about overcoming adversity,” continues Hetherington. “About taking yourself beyond where you thought you could go… about stepping away from toxic relationships.”
The band has also launched a Pledge Music pre-order campaign to fund a new full length album recording for 2017 where fans can participate to receive the new CD, plus get regular updates and donate extra to receive some special incentives from the band.
The band is launching their New Year’s touring efforts by taking part in the “ShipRocked” cruise January 16th – 20th, 2017.
Stay connected with A.O.D.
Official website: https://art-of-dying.myshopify.com/
Thanks for your time! Now that 2016 is over, what are some words you would use to describe the year for the band? What have been some of the highlights for you all and your music?
Happy New Year! 2016 was such a year of firsts for us. We released brand new music on our own label and set out on a 40 show headlining tour, 2 things we have never done before, aside from putting out our very first self-titled independent record back in 2006. So, a word like “firsts” seems like a good fit. We also launched our first (there’s that word again) crowd funding album campaign which can still be supported at www.pledgemusic.com/artofdying for a brand new 2017 full length album. We are including our followers in our career like never before.
What are you most excited about for 2017? Did you make any resolutions for the New Year?
Most immediately we head out on ShipRocked in January which will be an amazing reunion with friends, fans and other artists. The rest of the year will be spent writing and creating our new full length album which I’m looking forward to in a big way. My only resolution is to continue to strive forward which has become a way of life rather than an annual goal.
Growing up, did you all always want to be musicians? Can you talk about this group first formed and how you came up with your name?
Yes. Music is in our veins. We share the love of songs, playing and harmonizing. In fact, our first show together was our first time playing music together, so we took an extra long sound check to prepare. The three of us stepped up to the mics and starting harmonizing and our signature 3 part vocals were born. It was magic. When you feel that synergy, you hold on tight and buckle up for the ride. That outing was a test run for our first tour opening for Disturbed where things really started to snowball with a record deal and album for Warner Bros.
The band name comes from the longer sentence “The Art of dying is my life to live”, which came from an even longer late night conversation, well, many in fact. You see we’re always discussing life, its meaning, why we’re here, the possibilities of ‘it all’. That’s one of the amazing things about being on tour together – weaving our way around the country having these great conversations as a band of brothers. The band name is a welcomed reminder that our time here is precious, and I think that’s become a bit of a mantra or creed for our fans. We try to live each day not like it’s our last, but like it could be.
Your single, “Torn Down” has quite a sad background. How did it go from being this awful news story in Vancouver to a song?
I came across the Amanda Todd video on YouTube and it really hit home. I was working on a song at that time called ‘stay strong’ and I noticed that Amanda had the same words tattooed on her, so I really felt connected. Amanda who was just 15 years old was targeted by an on line predator and eventually committed suicide under an immense amount of pressure.
I hope the song can help people find strength if they are ever in a similar struggle.
Can you talk about shooting the video for “Torn Down” on your 2016 Nevermore Tour? Was it hard to see cameras on the road for it?
The video was shot over a few days on the Nevermore tour by our friend and director Davo. He jumped in with us on the road and was able to capture our life on and off the stage. It was very fluid, as he’s one of us in many ways, so the process was very natural. Big shout out to Vamp’d in Las Vegas for letting us shoot most of it there.
How’s the Pledge Music pre-order campaign going to fun the 2017 recording for your newest album?
It’s great. This is the first time we’ve launched a fan funded recording and we’re thrilled with the result. It was actually a lot of fun dreaming up the items for our pledge store. Our fans have been so supportive which is amazing. There are a few items still left including positions at our fantasy label and a ‘party like a rockstar in Vegas’ package that we’re looking forward to in 2017. Simply pre-ordering the new album is a great way to support us as well.
What if anything has surprised you about the music industry? What do you think has been your biggest challenge? And what do you think has come really naturally to you?
What’s surprised me the most is that we’ve been able to create and put out records without much interference from our experiences with our record deals. Both Warner Bros and Eleven Seven allowed us to do our thing and I always thought it would be more of a battle creatively speaking. The changing landscape of the industry has probably been our biggest challenge, although we’ve been able to maneuver our way through – water always finds a way, doesn’t it? The most natural thing for us, is probably the most important, the fact that we love what we do.
What is “ShipRocked” going to be like in mid-January? Have you ever done something like it before?
This is my 4th year in a row on Shiprocked, and I’m equal parts thrilled and terrified to be back. Their theme is “vacation harder” and that’s exactly what it’s like with 20 of your favorite bands performing on 4 different stages. We were pleasantly surprised to see so many Shiprockers come out and support us on our headlining tour last summer. It’s a really great community of music lovers.
Why do you think The Fuel Music is the right place for you and your music today?
Tony, Andy and crew share our vision in so many ways. They are like us, willing to grind it out and push forward on behalf of music we believe in. There’s a sense of positivity and humor that they bring to management which we really like as well. Above all, they get results.
Who are some of your favorite artists and what bands continue to inspire you and your music? Who would you still love to work with in the future?
I was incredibly changed by the music that came out of the 90s – Pearl Jam, Nirvana, Stone Temple Pilots and Alice In Chains to name a few. Such a whirlwind of talent and emotion that cut through and spoke to me. These days I tend to learn a lot from the bands we tour with and watch from the side of the stage like Disturbed and Seether. I’d love to work with any of these bands, although it’s always been a dream of mine to hang and write with Eddie Vedder.
What do you hope is the message of your music? What do you hope everyone takes away from your music?
I write from my life experience. Some days are filled with positivity and some days are dark. Ultimately I’d like people to know that they are not alone.
When you aren’t performing, working in the studio, what do you like to do for fun? How do you all unwind from it all?
I love to cook. Check out my Instagram, its half music and half food. This lead to the launch of my own food company last year where I put out a line of habanero hot sauces – Jonny Hetherington Essentials (www.jonnyhetheringtonessentials.com). We’re in 50 or 60 stores now in Western Canada, so that’s keeping me busy when I’m home, off the road.
Is there anything else that you would like to share with our readers about yourself or the music you make?
We love to hear from our fans on FaceBook, Twitter, Instagram and SnapChat. Reach out to us there and we’ll hit you back. If you want Art of Dying news first, sign up for our newsletter at www.artofdyingmusic.com.
Thanks for the interview!