Album Art

As we put the finishing touches on our new album art for 2015 I can’t help but think back to putting the art together for our 2011 Vices and Virtues album. The raven you see on the front cover and throughout the album art is named Smeagol and he’s actually quite a famous actor from the UK. Tim Flach was the mastermind photographer behind the photo shoot (also from England) and found the bird and trainer at our request. Our goal was to recreate our beloved logo with a living, breathing raven, but when Tim and the trainer began to experiment with different positions, especially in flight, the shoot really started to take off! (No pun intended!)

It was a two day photo shoot in London and the results speak for themselves.
The album cover went on to win an award in Lürzer’s Archive Magazine. And Smeagol has won the hearts of Art of Dying fans across the globe.

Part of our mission as a band has been to combine fine art and music, to execute visual projects in reality that began in our heads, just as music starts inside and finds it’s way into the physical world. Sometimes it’s difficult to see the light at the end of the tunnel when limitations collide with dreams, but anything is possible. I love this Nelson Mandela quote: It always seems impossible until it’s done.

I can’t wait for you to see what we’ve come up with for our 2015 Album Art!!

Check out these clips from the 2011 photo shoot:

Churko Baby Churko!

After recording 12 songs in New Jersey with Producer David Bendeth we ended up in Las Vegas with Kane Churko producing the 13th song for the album. I know what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas, but here are some shots from the studio anyways! ;) We had a blast working with Kane and hanging with his dad Kevin Churko again. Good people, great producers! Can’t wait for you to hear this! #ArtOfDying2015

Leaving on a jet plane

First class ain’t what it used to be!

Vegas Baby Vegas!

Kane Churko doing a little reproduction with Tavis

If you’re gonna chop wood, you need a good axe!

Where the magic happens!

Singing in the booth, bottle of wine and cold beer close by.

Studio Gear and Five Finger Death Punch Gold Record – Inspiration!

A lot of great records made here by the Churkos! Ozzy, Five Finger, In This Moment, Papa Roach… it’s a long list!

Boots! Heading in to the strip!

Drinks on the strip!

Our manager flew in for lunch! Broccoli and meat balls! Don’t ask.

Jeffy and I celebrating after taking down a couple of poker tourneys! We’re #1! Chugga chugga choo choo!!

From left to right: Jonny Hetherington, Kane Churko, Kevin Churko, Cale Gontier, Tavis Stanley

Selfie back at LAX… mama I’m comin’ home! (Anyone get the Ozzy reference here??) ;)


Photos from the studio in New Jersey, House of Loud.
New Record Coming 2015!

Jeffy’s hands after tracking drums

Cale and Tavis laying doen bedtracks for Jeffy to drum to

Me at the board – I did all the scratch vocals in this room

Tavis working out parts in the control room

Greg consulting the acoustic guitar

Welcome to my office

Inspiration from David Bendeth’s office



When are you the most inspired?
While we were making the record I had a lot of my biggest breakthroughs in the mornings. The studio in Jersey has very few windows. Natural light is something I need, so I set up shop in the only room that had a slight glow from the outer world. The entire band slept on air mattresses on the floor together under a Canadian flag that David had pinned up for us. Crashing in the studio has a lot of advantages when it comes to the creative process as the moment your eyes open in the morning, you are stumbling distance from a guitar or note book. There’s no dealing with civilization, no vehicles or stops into Starbucks, you’re already where you need to be, simply immersed in the music. When I say ‘morning’ I’m using the term loosely as we spent most nights watching the sun come up over the New Jersey turnpike. Those late night beer-fueled conversations were an important part of creative process as we got deep into belief systems and our personal stories. That certain stretch of parking lot under the free way could probably tell a million stories.

The Window in my Writing Room – A Glow from the Outside World:

My Work Desk – Lyrics, Ideas, General Mayhem:




While making the new Art of Dying record, I made a few video journals to try and capture the moment. They may not be the prettiest of moments at times, but they are real, for better or for worse.
Episode 1 was filmed on May 1, 2014 after a tough week at David Bendeth’s studio in New Jersey. The subject of “shedding skins” comes up a few times in the journal, and that’s really what was going on with me at the time. As a song writer it’s incredibly hard to let go of songs that you hold close to the heart, but I really had to come to terms with doing just that while making this record.


It’s been a busy year for Art of Dying as we’ve inked a deal with Eleven Seven Music, (Motley Crue, Five Finger Death Punch, Papa Roach, Escape The Fate) and finished our new record with David Bendeth (Bring Me The Horizon, Breaking Benjamin, Of Mice & Men) in New Jersey completely under the radar.

I can’t tell you how excited we are about the new music! Making this album was one of the most intense experiences we’ve ever been through, so we kept things pretty tight lipped in order to focus all of our energy into every lyric, note and beat of the creative process. We’ve seen all of the calls for new music coming in from our fans on our social media channels, and now I’m thrilled to say the record is done, and the wait is almost over!

Many thanks to Allen Kovac, Nikki Sixx and our new family at Eleven Seven Music for aligning their vision with ours and helping us make this album a reality.
We’re ecstatic about our new home on the label where we’re joining some amazing bands. North America is home base for Eleven Seven, but they put a ton of weight in touring their bands internationally to places in Europe, Asia and South America. So if you want to see Art of Dying in your back yard, now is the time to speak up and be heard!


The Art of Dying is My Life To Live!
Jonny Hetherington and Art of Dying

Thin Crust Pineapple Bacon Pizza

I like wine. I like wine a lot more with food. I like wine even more with home cooked meals using fresh ingredients. Thin crust pineapple bacon pizza from scratch and a glass of red… what could be better?

The Crust
Mix a little more than two teaspoons of yeast with 1 cup of warm water, a spoonful of honey and a half cup of flour. After that bubbles for 20 min stir the liquid into 2 cups of flour that you’ve already cracked 2 teaspoons of sea salt into.
Kneed the dough for 10 minutes, shape it into a ball and cover it in a bowl with a kitchen towel for 2 hours or until it’s doubled in size. (This is the part I have the most trouble with as I can never seem to wait 2 hours). If you’re really patient, punch the ball down again after waiting the 2 hours and cover in plastic wrap and put it in the fridge for 24 hours. I rarely get to this stage myself, but it does contribute to an even better crust.

The Sauce
I “cowboy” the sauce with whatever fresh vegetables I have on hand, so it’s a little different each time. In a blender, whazz up a clove of garlic, a shallot, a tomato, spinach, green pepper, habanero, oregano and basil using a little water to get things blending. Throw in some sea salt, cracked pepper and some tomato paste. Throw that in a sauce pan, bring to a boil, then let simmer for 20 min or until most of the liquid has cooked off.

This is the hard part. It’s so tempting to throw too many things on. I’m sure you have your favourites, but try this simple approach just once and I bet you’ll be back for more. 1 ball of mozzarella grated. 1/3 of a fresh pineapple diced. and 4 strips of bacon diced. For this pizza, I had just come back from my favorite charcuterie counter in Vancouver ( so I had some smoked schinkenspeck (basically amazing hand crafted prosciutto) that I subbed in for the bacon.
Try to not add any other toppings, and you’ll see what these simple fresh flavors can do together.

I bake my crust for 8 minutes at 425 before adding the sauce, cheese and toppings. Then I cook the whole thing for another 10 minutes switching to the broiler for the last 3 minutes to brown the cheese a little. Parchment paper is a must to prevent sticking. I tried one without a while back and had to eat the pizza out of the pan with a chisel! LOL

Let me know how it turns out on Facebook, pinterest or twitter.

God For A Day (Piano) on iTunes

I’m writing this blog post on the Canadian Thanksgiving weekend (yes we celebrate Thanksgiving in Canada too!) as it seems very appropriate to be releasing the piano version of “God For A Day” at this time because this song is all about giving. It’s a strange feeling: to care about someone so much that you would swallow up every ounce of their pain in attempt to set them free. Giving yourself to someone requires just that. And when it is to a person that has given so much to you, it amplifies the feeling.

If you care about someone deeply like this, I know you will identify with this uniquely raw piano version of “God For a Day“.

Get it here:

I am extremely thankful for the “givers” in my life.

Vera’s Burger Review, Vancouver

I sit at Vera’s Burger Shack on Main and 13th in East Van (in my home town of Vancouver) and the only thing going through my head as I finish my burger, is why do I keep coming back here? The staff is friendly, the location is open to the street and has a big screen locked on sports – (This is where I watched the Blackhawks take the stanley cup in the last 2 minutes of the the 3rd period last month. As to my amazement, no other bar on Main Street would turn the volume on for the final game of the playoffs!) so far so good right? They make their own fries and their own patties here, so this should be an easy home run… but unfortunately, it’s an easy pop up with two outs.

I order my classic, medium rare burger with cheddar cheese and sauce on the side. The burger comes medium well to well done. The cheese is shredded, which maybe I’m being too picky here, but don’t you like seeing the corner of a piece of cheese drop out of the edge of your bun with little beads of greasy goodness pouring out? Maybe I’ve been brain washed by burger ads, but I think that a slice is much more attractive. The bun is ok, but nothing special. Actually, that is my review of Vera’s in a nutshell: nothing special. Overall the meat lacks flavour and seasoning. Combined with an average bun and shredded cheese, it’s a completely average experience.

The Vera’s sauce on the side seems nice on the first taste, but as I continue to dip, it slowly resembles nothing more than a garlic heavy Caesar dressing. (Which I like, but again, seems a little lack-luster. I hate to be too hard on these nice people (that run the place) but I’ve just listened to them plan a vacation to Vegas for the half hour that I’ve sat here eating. A little unprofessional, and I think that’s why my burger was overcooked.

Vera’s is in my neighbourhood and they have the odd special that’s a bargain, so I’ll continue to stop in from time to time or to catch a Canucks game. But this burger doesn’t really even show up on my radar on my search for North Americas Best Burger.

The beer was cold and a proper 20oz pint, so for that I will give them 1 beer out of 5.
Sorry Vera’s, you have the potential to be a great burger joint. With a little focus and attention to quality, taste and providing an amazing experience you could turn things around quickly, but for now you are simply pleasant, but boring.