Sad news to hear that Storm Thorgerson passed away. He was by far my favorite album cover artist of all time. You will be missed Storm. You will be remembered through your work that touched millions.
Here are a few of the many stories showing up on the new Facebook Group called The Die Hards.
As a songwriter and musician, it’s just simply the most amazing feeling to read these outpourings from our closest fans.
Head over to The Die Hards to read them all.
Sandie Antil Vanderpool
I’m a 42 year old mother of 6….yes, 6 that’s not a typo lol who was married to a Vietnam Era Combat Veteran for 11 years. In October 2012 the PTSD and other medical ailments that plagued him finally won out and he committed suicide while on the psych ward at the V.A. hospital.
Needless to say this was the worst day of my life. I didn’t think I could breathe much less go forward from that awful day.
In the weeks to follow I made a lot of changes to my home in an attempt to make “our” home, “my” home.
One day I turned the cable music choice channel on. Never did it before but needed my mind to shut off and the radio wasn’t cutting it that day. Cranked the channel and half listened to what was playing as I repainted “my” bedroom. This song…. “Sorry” came on. I’d never heard it before….or had heard it and not paid much attention.
Today I paid attention. Rapt attention. I ended up sitting down and just bawling. It was as if my husband had reached me from the grave to apologize for the suffering he had left me with.
I *HAD* to know this band.
Art of Dying? Great I am depressed enough this can’t be a good idea. But that song just kept playing in my head. So i kept on looking. The Art of Dying is My Life to Live. Oh My Goodness. It was just what i needed. So I buy the “Art of Dying” cd and “Vices and Virtues”
Wow. “Get Through This” ? These people *GET* real life. “Best I can”. *sigh*
One night I couldn’t sleep and found the video for “I’ll be there”. More tears. But good tears. I am not as alone in the world as I felt.
Fast forward, its been 6 months this month since my husband took his life. I listen to Art of Dying EVERY DAY. Sometimes ALL day. And it gets me through.
They are playing in Nashua, NH next month. That happens to be where my brother lives. Its 7 hours away and that is a short jet to go see these men who have gotten me through some of the darkest day I have experienced. I. Can. Not. Wait. ♥
My story: this started out to be the worst year of my life with going through a divorce and all and my friend played one AOD song for me and got me hooked! Now when I listen to all the songs each seems to have a special meaning..it’s amazing!
Why am I here? Why am I a fan? Well, actually, that’s easy. Because Art of Dying are epic. Beside an amazing sound and lyrics that make sense to everyone, they’re real. These men are real. They genuinely love what they do, they love their fans and they love every opportunity they get to demonstrate that love. I came across them when David Draiman tweeted about them back in.. oh, I think it was January, 2011. I thought since he was speaking so highly of the band, I’d check them out. Lemme tell ya, I was blown away by what I heard. Guitar riffs that ripped through my speakers, a drum line that demanded attention, and a voice… Well, there was no denying the voice. And they were cute, to boot!
I spent the next couple of months listening to their music, friending them here on Facebook, getting to know their lyrics, and finding myself always coming back to the words. Always the words. Because right around that time was a really, really bad one for me. At that time, it seemed like anything that could go wrong, did. Personal disasters were hitting me left and right. Because of everything that was happening in my life, Get Through This struck home and stayed there. It became my anthem. Every day, I listened to that song, over and over and over again. I clung to the words that Jonny sang like a lifeline. Sometimes his voice in my head was the only thing keeping me holding on. His voice, and the words he sang, were the only reason I kept putting on foot in front of the other during those months that spring. In April, I thought, just for fun, I’d enter the Avalanche tour ticket contest. I figured, all I really had to do was enter my email address and select a location. No harm, right? Besides, what was the likeliness that I’d actually win tickets? I never win anything. Ever.
April 28th, I logged into my email. “CONGRATULATIONS!! YOU’VE WON!!”
So I went to the show, I met them, and the rest is DieHard history. (If you want to read that history, it’s in my notes on my page. =D)
Reven Rachel Eve
I have been a fan of Jonny & Art Of Dying for awhile, even moreso recently. Jonny literally saved my life this month. On March 31 I tweeted “Bawlin my eyes out listenin2 #BestICan by @ArtOfDying. @JonnyArtOfDying’s voice is soothing. I just don’t wanna be here:/”
After crying myself to sleep & contemplating suicide, I awoke the next morning to find Jonny replied telling me to stay strong. My own family & friends don’t give me hope, so I was so moved that a celebrity would care when the people around me don’t.
Marla Mar StMartin
How I got here. Years ago my Mother was diagnosed with Breast Cancer, She went through surgeries and chemo, and treatment, the Day before her 2 yr Anniv of what we hoped to be Remission, I got a phone call, She had fallen and the cancer was back, In the form of a brain tumor. I gave up everything in my life Including Music for a long time. I was Angry, Sad and felt the most helpless I had ever felt in my life. Then I turned on the Radio on day during this. and heard.. Get thru this.. I luved it. I spent many days traveling Back and forth to the states to see my Mom, And everytime I left I had the fear and wondering it was going to be the last time. I knew when I left 2 yrs ago today it was the last time, My Father wanted me to Stay longer, I couldn’t, my Job, ect.. I had taken so Much time off from work already that year. I remember saying to my Gather Im Sorry I have to say Goodbye. 3 days later the song Sorry came on the radio here. I pulled over and cried. Every feeling, every emotion I had been going through was right there. I chatted briefly with Cale on his birthday that year And he told me Check out our music all of it, and the rest of the band. After I heard Sorry. I Knew … This is what I needed, And I haven’t looked back, Yes there is a lot to my story but this is it in a Nutshell. And I feel like I have gained 5 brothers, and a whole lot of Good People / Family here, And I Thank you all. Mar~
My journey started with the amazing guys in Art of Dying 5 years ago. The first song I ever heard was “Get Thru This”, and it instantly spoke to me. It was the heartfulness, realness in Jonny’s voice. That song really is how I live my life. Over these last 5 years the guys have really helped me SO much, thru ALL the hard times that I have went thru (never once did I give up) the guys and their music has always been there for me. These last 5 years have been the BEST years of my life!
I will never forget the day my friend called me up and said, you have got to hear this song by Art of Dying, it’s called Best I Can. I sat down on my couch and streamed it through my stereo. I was in tears. I could not imagine that an artist could connect so personally to me like that. I could not wait to hear more. So much of their music speaks to me, I don’t know how they do it. Then my friend and I saw them at Uproar in 2011. Damn they were amazing. I was hooked. And to see how much they love their fans, I adore them even more. I hope to meet them one day so I can thank them in person for what their music has done for me. My journey has not been an easy one but each time I listen to those songs, I get the strength to keep going and know that I can get through anything!! ♥
Tami Hoffman Carper
May 2012, House of Blues Chicago. Opening act for Shinedown. Whoa. Hubby bought me the CD and that was all she wrote. Love at first listen! After losing my dad in Dec. 2011, it was pretty rough going… it was a sudden loss. Listening to V&V, every single song was like my life set to music. Breathe Again makes me cry everytime, because thats was I was feeling everyday, just trying to BREATHE! Die Trying became my anthem! I had a chance to see them again in Joliet at Mojoes and while standing outside before the show who comes walking down the street?? Jonny, Cale, Tavis, Jeff and Greg! Holy moly! My hubby told me if I scream he will walk away from me. I said, “what do I say???” Umm… “Try hello”. LOL So I did, and the guys were so nice, took time to talk, etc… omg, it was amazing. Then after they played, I got a poster for my 8 year old and they all signed it, took time to chat some more and we shared a few drinks after. Since then my life has been about living and making my life my “art of dying”. I was able to break a shell that was around me for years. I welcomed music back into my life, went back to the OLD me, the happy me, the fun me. I have met some amazing people through AoD, including the guys!! lol, and probably one of my best friends ever. So thank you for tearing down my walls with your music… I cannot thank you enough! Die Hard forever and ever!! \m/ ♥ \m/
I became a fan of Art of Dying by seeing them open for a band I love, Evanescence… Got tickets to see them in Nashville, and there was no mention of an opening act. The first opening band was typically not very interesting, but then the next band started with a song called “Die Trying”. I had heard it before (on XM Octane) & enjoyed it. Then they went into “Get Thru This” and my friend & I looked at each other & said, hey maybe these guys are ok… Then came “Sorry” & “Raining” with these amazing harmonies and we were hooked. Then they did this absolute blow you out of the water cover of ” Man in a Box”! So cool to that they were around after to meet & greet. Got a picture w Jonny & he was kind enough to sign the CD we bought. Listened to the CD all the way home, waiting for a bad track that never came.
Loved them so much that we got tix to see them & others in Atlanta & got to hang w them again. Teased Tavis about hitting a bridge in NY (good sport) & got to chat w Cale & Jonny after FFDP. Still listening to AoD over all bands we saw… Tho I do have a real appreciation for Shinedown now. Thanks to AoD for some great songs & memories!
Daniel J Bourgeois
I have been a fan of AoD since their self-titled “Demo” album came out. Such a different, positive sound. “Do What You Can” will go down as one of my favorite songs, ever. I bought “Vices and Virtues” the day it was released and haven’t stopped listening to it since. I own a copy that stays inside, one that stays in my truck and a copy that I had them sign at Station 58 in Syracuse last summer. I still remember how humble they were when we met them. They’ve quickly become my absolute favorite band, I’m even planning am AoD tattoo at some point (With their blessing, of course.) Can’t wait to see what they’ve got planned in the future and for some new music!
I can say I’m one of the fortunate ones as I’ve seen the guys live a total of 7 times. I was first introduced to their music when they were added to the Avalanche tour in 2011 with Halestorm, Theory of a Deadman and Stone Sour. I looked then up and got Vices and Virtues before going to the show so I would be familiar with the music and I fell in love instantly! Since that date, I have traveled up to 14 hours one way just to see them play a 20-25 minute set. They are definitely my favorite band and 5 of the most amazing people I know. They always take the time to talk to their fans! I cannot wait to see them again. I’ve been going through withdrawals for way too long!!
Art of dying, like most bands was a recommendation for me. The recommendation came from a band that many know as Three days grace. I’ll admit I didn’t know who they were at first, but the moment I heard die trying I KNEW that they were going to be an amazing band. The first time I saw them on uproar, I met Jonny and the gang, I was so glad that they were down to earth. I met them again at Joliet, where I got to talk one on one with all of them, especially Cale who was really awesome! I love the music, from song 1 to the end, the bonus’s, the acoustics, the old album, everything. They have kept me in rock and roll. Dont forget people, Rock is a lifestyle.. rock will never die, especially when talented people like ART OF DYING still rock on! DIE TRYING!
I’m often asked in interviews who has been my biggest influence as a vocalist. I’ve always sung from the heart, but Eddie Vedder is the singer that inspired me to dig even a little deeper. I’ve been fortunate to see Pearl Jam perform more than a few times and Eddies performances are passionate, flawless and above all real. Here are some cool black and whites I came across that tell my favorite part of Eddie’s story.
Spring has sprung, and BBQ season is upon us! I’ve decided to share my coveted Meat Ball Slider recipe with you to help inspire your grilling efforts this season.
I’m not a big “measurer” when it comes to recipes, so you’re going to have to wing it a little, but to me that’s half the fun.
In a bowl hand mix:
Regular ground beef (not lean)
1 finely chopped habanero (remove seeds)
Worcestershire sauce (many dashes)
1 garlic clove finely chopped
1 shallott finely chopped
1 raw egg
Add bread crumbs after mixing the wet ingredients well until you’ve got a good patty consistency rolling. (usually at least 2 cups)
Form the mixture into meat balls (not patties) about the size of a large egg. These need to be sized to match your slider buns. I find slider buns here in Vancouver at La Baguette on Granville Island and Whole Foods has also started stocking them. They can be tough to find in the right size and shape. I’ve had small potato buns work in a pinch. The buns need to be as small as you can find and as white as you can find. They need to support the flavour of the burger, not complicate or take over. Whole wheat of flavoured buns will destroy a burger in my opinion.
Before grilling the balls, prepare the sauce. My sauce is extremely simple.
2 parts plan yogurt
1 part mayo
smidge of dijon (just enough to tint the mixture yellow, less than you think)
Make more than you think you need, at least a cup or 2)
This is a good time to get your bacon going and slice your cheese. Grill the bacon right on the BBQ (on low heat) or however you like to do bacon in your kitchen. The cheese I use (and this is key) is Irish Whiskey Cheddar – I find it at Whole Foods. When I cooked these for the guys out at Jeffy’s I had to ad-lib by marinating white cheddar in Tequilla… actually worked pretty well. Any booze infused cheese will do, but the Irish Whiskey Cheddar takes this over the top, so try and find it.
After heating up your BBQ throw a cast-iron pan straight onto the grill. Get the heat down to around 300 degrees or so and fill your pan with the meat balls. Crack a beer and keep your tongs handy… you need to keep turning these guys almost constantly to get them to brown on all sides without over cooking. My goal is to keep the center of the ball pink and juicy while the outer edge is cooked well. (The meat keeps cooking right up until your first bite, so keep that in mind for your overall timing) While you’re grilling the buns lightly, top the balls with the Irish cheddar. Might as well kill the heat and close the lid for a a minute or two while you plate.
Lay all of your toasted buns out and spoon an extra large amount of the sauce on the bottom and top of each bun. Don’t be shy here. You’re gonna want sauce dripping out of all sides when you take your first bite! Place the meat balls on the bottom bun, top with an ‘X’ of bacon and pour some nice big glasses of red wine.
The last and maybe the most satisfying step: put the top of the bun on and with your palm give the whole burger a firm “squish”. Juices, both clear and pink come rolling out of the center of the meat ball flooded with melted cheese, bacon grease and the creamy sauce. That “squish” is so important before the first bite.
Rule: On your first bite, if sauce is not dripping down your hands and covering the corners of your mouth, then you need to use more.
Try and have just one… impossible.
I wrote the music and melodies for ‘Raining‘ at my day job in Vancouver. It was a job selling futons and it was a pretty slow time of year, so long periods would go by without customers coming in. I kept my guitar stashed in the back room and would set up under the door bell, so I would hear people enter through the front door. Picture this: Me and my acoustic guitar, hair tied back wearing “semi-acceptable clothes” for a retail job balancing on a stack of disassembled shelving units writing for hours… Ha! Not exactly where I though I’d be writing these songs, but you gotta do what you gotta do!
I took those melodies to my favorite beach in Vancouver the next day (a nude beach) where the strangest character sat down between me and the shoreline. This guy in his 30s was either high as a kite or had some mental issues, or maybe a bit of both. He had a beach towel with the ‘Snakes and Ladders’ game on it and he sat there smoking extra long cigarettes and playing this children’s game by himself – rolling dice, smoking and moving characters around the board. He was smoking like it was his first time, like he was mimicking someone he saw in a movie. To say the least he and his world were quite peculiar. The strangest thing was, that he was oblivious to his surroundings and I’m guessing society in general – he couldn’t have been happier.
This got me thinking about us as people and the strange things we carry inside. Our subliminal voices, our degrees of sanity and insanity that live inside and come out in different amounts on different days. We are all crazy – that’s what it boils down to. I’m glad that ‘Raining’ has united all of us “crazy people”. The more we band together the less crazy it all seems.
Check out this video of us performing ‘Raining’ live in Little Rock, AK at Edgefest. Adam Gontier joined us on stage and we sang our hearts out to the 15 or 20,000 people that were there!
I’m proud to announce the launch of Jonny Hetherington Clothing beginning with the words that really started it all for me: “If I Can Get Thru This I Can Thru Anything”. This seemingly simple group of words has meant so much to me in my personal life, originally inspired by my father’s battle with cancer. After sharing the words with you they have taken on new meaning through your stories of hardship and perseverance, which have reinspired me to face any challenge in life. I hope you will continue to live passionately and fight your way through every battle. Try and remember to celebrate each step of success along the way. Whether it’s the marathon you’re training for or simply finding a way to get through the day, wear your Get Thru Anything Tee Shirt with pride and enjoy the fact that you are not alone – we are in this together.
Click here to order: http://www.kt8merch.com/store/pages/19431
Four Million YouTube views
Our YouTube channel hit 4 million views. Enough said. What a milestone of your support! Thank you.
Album Art Awarded
The album art for Vices and Virtues is very special to me. I dreamt up the concept of the raven shoot and we hired British photographer Tim Flach who enlisted Sméagol the raven to star on our album cover and throughout the album’s artwork. Tim Flach included the image in his new hard cover book entitled ‘More Than Human’ which is being sold around the world. Our album cover photo also received an award in the prestigious Lürzer’s Archive magazine for 1 of the best 200 advertising photos in 2012.
Sex Drugs and Habanero
I have been slowly perfecting my hot sauce over the past two years and I’m proud to say that I finally bottled and brought my first round of production to market in 2012. The response has been amazing in Canada where it is currently available. I am working on getting my Sex Drugs and Habanero sauce into the USA this year so send me an email if you’re interested.