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Before The Curtain want it all — and there is every reason to believe they will get it.
The Peterborough, Ontario-based rock band is the inaugural signing to Three Days Grace frontman Adam Gontier’s Sludge Factory Records and the first single, the grinding rock groove “I Want It All,” from its forthcoming album, not only epitomizes their radio-friendly sound but singer-guitarist Adam Haggarty’s personal philosophy:
“I think if you have a dream you should go after it,” he says.
The song was written in pre-production with Gontier, who directed Adam to come up with something with a swing feel to it. “It’s an in-your-face rock song and lyrically it’s about not having any regrets when your time is done and going after everything you want in your life.”
Adam; his brother, drummer Brett Haggarty; bassist Tommy Gardner; guitarist Alan Riches and keyboardist Jeffrey Danger are doing just that. Before The Curtain has a formidable ally in Gontier, whose global success will afford this new band all the opportunities available and they have the goods to fulfill all the requirements: great songs, intense live show, solid work ethic and drive.
“At the same time I was creating Sludge Factory Records, I was getting demos from the band,” says Gontier. “This band didn’t just have good songs; they had something different about them. Adam has such a great unique quality to his voice and he can write incredible stuff. The timing was perfect. I knew that THIS was the band I wanted to launch as Sludge Factory Records’ first signing.”
Before The Curtain has only been together about a year, but Adam Haggarty has been writing songs since his teens. His father was the guitarist for Ronnie Hawkins, Michelle Wright and others, and ran his own recording studio. It took him three tries to put a guitar in his son’s hand and at age 12 he was hooked. “As soon as I started songwriting around 15, that’s when I decided to do music,” says Adam.
Years later, he had just about given up on an actual career as a performer. He was living in Kelowna, BC, where his wife could work as a veterinarian, and had opened his own studio, just like his dad. He had been writing and writing on the side and one day played the songs for his wife. “She said, ‘These are really good. You’ve got to get these to someone.’”
Searching on the Internet for a local producer, Adam emailed Darren Grahn in Vancouver and sent him the demos. “He called me and said, ‘I think you’ve got something here.’ So we scrounged the money together to do a three-song demo with him, including ‘On The Run,’ the only one that made the album,” recalls Adam.
Adam then fired the songs over to Tommy, whom he has known for more than a decade. Tommy gave them to his best friend, Adam Gontier. “He [Gontier] sent me a message: ‘Hey, Tommy’s been sending me your stuff,’ and then he flew me down to Minneapolis and I spend four or five days there last October,” says Haggarty. “We went through the hard drive of my existing songs and wrote a couple of new songs together and got to know each other.”
Tommy helped Adam put together the Before The Curtain lineup and Adam moved back to Peterborough last Christmas. Rehearsals began in January, 2011. They played their first show as a band, opening for Apocalyptica, at the end of February (Gontier even got up onstage with them). “People say that I’m a little intense onstage,” Adam says of his stage presence, “but I love to get into the songs and I love having fun. We try to stay as true to the song on record as we can.”
The album — recorded over roughly 7 weeks, with the band putting in 12- hour days at Toronto’s state-of-the-art Noble Street Studios — includes “Darkness” about losing someone in your life; “Something Magical,” about being lucky enough to find that perfect half; “Disease,” another love song; and “Things I Never Said,” an apology letter of sorts.
“I’d love people to hear the album from beginning to end, but I’m totally realistic,” says Adam. “I don’t know if people buy albums anymore, but if they pick a song here and there they will still get the sound of Before The Curtain which is a good old rock pop band. I like that we’ve got songs that are heavier and that are poppier. We also try not to have any negativity in our music. We just want to have fun and give people some hope.”