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Singer Adam Gontier has abruptly left Three Days Grace just weeks before the band is scheduled to begin a major co-headlining tour with Shinedown and while its fourth album, Transit Of Venus, is still going strong on the rock radio charts. The band immediately named My Darkest Days frontman Matt Walst, brother of Three Days Grace bassist Brad Walst, as lead singer for the tour, citing in a press release that Gontier resigned due to a "health issue."
That immediately led to speculation online that Gontier had lapsed back into some sort of addiction problem, having struggled to achieve sobriety in 2009. But Gontier, in a statement of his own, affirmed that he was still sober and explained his departure in somewhat vague terms, writing, "After 20 years of being part of an ever evolving band, I have been inspired by life, to move on and to continue to evolve on my own terms. I could not be more grateful for all the souls who have traveled along with me. A journey I look back on with integrity, and a future I look forward to with such hope."
In an update at the Three Days Grace website, the band spelled out more details about the situation, saying, "We found out on December 21st that Adam wished to resign from the band. In a letter to us Adam indicated that he was resigning from the band due to a non life threatening health issue and wanted the band to continue moving forward without him. We were as shocked as many of you were to hear the news."
The statement added, "Brad recently reached out to his brother Matt Walst, lead singer for My Darkest Days, to fill in for the tour dates already announced. We've been hanging out and rehearsing with Matt and look forward to rocking the stage in a few weeks! As of right now, Matt's role is temporary and as far as the future and beyond this tour, we are taking it one day at a time."
Gontier wrote that he was "not sure" what his future plans were, but that he would "continue to follow my heart, and what I love to do."
We asked Gontier not long ago to name some of his proudest moments with Three Days Grace: "There's been so many moments that have been really great. You know, meeting certain people that were fans of ours, or going to Brazil and playing to 30,000 people at a festival, you know, that was amazing. You know, when we ended up at the Billboard Awards after we released (second album) One-X and we, you know, won the award for Best Rock Song of the Year for 'Animal I Have Become,' I think that was probably a big highlight for us. I mean, we didn't really expect it and it was a really cool moment."
Three Days Grace will kick off its tour with Shinedown on February 1st in Moline, Illinois, with dates booked into March.