Playing the Legendary Trees tonight in Dallas

Tonight we play a legendary club in Dallas called Trees.
This place has history. It’s a true part of the ongoing story of rock music.
Why is 2709 Elm Street so famous you ask? Let me shed some light.

Back in the early 90′s shortly after Nirvana’s Nevermind was released they played at Trees. The album was blowing up and the audience knew this was the last time they would ever get to see this band in a venue so small. It was a hot night and security was hired at the last minute to keep the crowd and the band divided. Cobain had other plans as he dove into the audience and taunted fans to get on the stage. As security was pulling him back over the barrier Kurt hit one of them with his guitar. The security guy was not a Nirvana fan and he punched Kurt in the face with a strong right cross. The show stopped and the crowd began to chant bullshit. Narrowly avoiding a riot the band returned to the stage and finished the set. The story continues after the show with the same security guard smashing out the back window of a Taxi that Kurt, Dave Grohl and Krist Novoselic we’re in.
Not your ideal show as a band, but as a fan, this was one of those Nirvana shows that you are still talking about today.

A Day in the Life of Touring

June 10th, Wake up in Montreal, one of my favorite cities in the world.
Walk into the Metropolis, one of the best venues in Canada. Franky and Mikko from Apocalyptica are on stage. I chill at the top of the balcony and watch them do some staging.

Franky and I hit a 4 mile run together along the Saint-Lawrence river talking all the way about our music industry views, shared passion for writing and had a heart to heart about life, death and second chances. We then sprint through the streets of Montreal’s China Town up hills and through intersections back to the tour bus.

I find a quiet spot to do some yoga at the top of Metropolis Theatre while my band starts staging and sound checking. I join them shortly after for a nice long sound check. Hungry. Cale and I share a much needed apple and banana on stage for brunch.

Find another quiet area, this time outside near a vacant building to finish my yoga. Tear into a can of sardines and wash it down with a bottle of water. Allen Kovac, the head of my label calls and we chat for 30 min as I dip into a park and stand under a small tree. Birds and squirrels are all around me. After the call I rescue some local french kid’s soccer ball from a low roof. They thank me and I say “Il n’y a pas de quoi!” trying to impress them with my broken french.

Shower. Meet and greet on the bus. Cool girls that are all about the music. Awesome!
Warmups. Dress for the show. Dressing room for 1 hour lockdown. Paavo from Apoc comes in to wish us a good show completely naked. Full frontal Paavo!
I have a good chat with Perttu just before we go on and tell him how much I enjoyed joining them on stage for a few of the shows.
Spirits are great today in this really large shared dressing room.

Show time. Hit the stage. The lower level is packed and some young guys in the front know all of the words to the new songs! I assume the balcony is closed until the house lights come up and I realize it’s packed too. I get the entire house singing “Lève Toi” at the top of their lungs! (The french translation of Rise Up.)
It’s one of the best shows of the tour. Singing seems effortless.
Merch signing. Spot the wonderful faces of my close Montreal friends waiting at the back of the merch line. Take them down for a quick dressing room beer. Bang off a short impromptu interview. Off to ‘Front of House” where we watch 2 Apoc songs.
They surprise me with birthday reservations at Joe Beef, one of the best restaurants in Canada, arguably one of the best on the continent.

Hail a cab. Table for 4 on the patio. It pours rain like it did when I was a kid on the porch roof of my grandparent’s cottage. We sip wine and share bites. One of the best meals I’ve had in a very long time. Unreal. There’s barely time to catch up properly, but we have many nice words about our personal journeys since we were last together in Paris at Christmas.

Flag another cab. Laugh a lot on the way back. All the bands and crews is out by the busses. We sip wine from the bottle in the street and pass the bottle around.
Back down to the dressing room where we pop the corks off 3 bottles of bubbles with Aocalyptica and the two crews. We have an amazing group cheer and ‘End of Tour’ photo.
Run the girls back to a cab on Saint Catherine’s. Cale, Jeffy and I sneak over to the ‘must see’ metal bar next door for one quick beer. Craft. Yum. Back to the busses where we say our good-byes.
Eikka stops me outside and we have a nice moment together where he shares some words of wisdom.
Hugs. Bed. Border.
Headlining show tonight.
In the middle of 12 shows in a row.

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.