Jonny Hetherington of Art of Dying talks with us about pianos, Sinatra and new album!

Art of Dying

Rockers, Art of Dying from Canada have a constant spot on my daily music playlist.  Their music not only kicks ass in rock n roll but also have such emotionally charged lyrics that many can connect and relate to.  I personally, have experienced the power of healing through music by listening to my favorite Art of Dying songs at one of the hardest times in my life. It truly is music to feed your soul wrapped in blazing rock and roll.  Art of Dying is Jonny Hetherington on Vocals, Greg Bradley on Guitar, Jeff Brown on Drums, Cale Gontier on Bass/Vocals and Tavis Stanley on Guitar and Vocals.


Recently, frontman Jonny Hetherington has released piano versions of a couple of their songs. God For a Day, a heartfelt favorite of mine, is now available on Itunes. You can pick it up here as well as Best I Can which is amazing too!  We recently had the chance to talk with Jonny about his piano songs and what is next in store for Art of Dying. We are pleased to bring you that interview here: 

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Music Junkie Press: Jonny Thank you very much for talking with us at Music Junkie Press.  We have recently been enjoying another one of your Piano songs, God for a Day. Will you be releasing more piano songs?

Jonny: Hey, no problem. Cool, ya, I’ve been having a blast with these piano songs since I brought a baby grand into my studio. It’s been an interesting journey to interpret these songs on piano and try and find the heart of each song all over again. I’ll definitely be doing more.

Music Junkie Press:  I can’t wait to hear more. With these songs, it allows the listener to completely connect with the lyrics and the result is absolutely magical. You have mentioned that God For a Day was a very emotional song to record. Can you tell us more about the song and what it means to you?

Jonny: It’s kind of like performing open heart surgery on each song – really diving in and exploring how raw the song can be. God For A Day was written about the women in our lives that give themselves to us in such a selfless way. My mother has been that person in my life, who simply has given her energy and compassion to everyone she meets, but most of all to her family, so there’s a lot of her in this song. But it’s also, strangely enough, inspired by the musical legacy and early passing of Alice In Chains singer Layne Staley. He has been a big influence on me as a singer, and I was thinking about him a lot during the writing of God For A Day, so there’s a lot going on in my heart and head when I sit down and play this song.

Music Junkie Press:  That is such a beautiful song and it is nice to hear about the story behind it. How old were you when you started playing piano?  Can you remember what was the first song that you learned how to play in its entirety?

Jonny:   My parents had a piano in our home growing up, so it’s always been an interment I’ve loved, but mostly used as a tool for writing and expressing my voice. I took a lesson or two as a kid, but I quickly stopped, as I wanted to be free to explore the piano. I wasn’t really into learning Yankee Doodle and shit like that, LOL, when I already felt that I could write on my own a little bit. That’s how I approach the piano today as well, just simply self taught, by ear. Trying to find emotion in what I’m playing is my goal, and I really don’t care if I’m doing it the right way or not.

Music Junkie Press:  We have loved seeing Art of Dying get the attention you all so deserve. I know that you have been called a “New Band” for a while but a lot of people don’t know that you guys have been working hard at this for the past 6+ years.  How do you feel about that?

Jonny: We love our Die Hard fans that have been with us for years, and we love newcomers as well. It doesn’t really matter to me when people come on board, we just want to reach as many people as possible with our music and continue to grow as a Die Hard family.

Music Junkie Press:  We are strong believers that music helps people through the hardest times of their lives as well as be there for them in the best of times. Your song “Get Thru This” has proven that through music, we can achieve and deal with whatever comes our way. Fans have shared their personal stories about this and I myself, played Get Thru This in August 2011 as I was by my dad’s side as he lost his quick 2 week battle of stomach cancer. Your song truly kept me going and I personally thank you for that. How does it feel to know that your words have made such an impact on so many listener’s lives?

Jonny:  It’s really the one part of music that means the most to me. You know, I set out to play music for selfish reasons – to express myself, to perform, to tour and have a great time, and I’ve been somewhat blind sided by the healing aspect of our music in such an amazing way. It’s quickly become the most important thing to me and each and every story touches my life and inspires me greatly. When I started music, I felt like it way MY journey and now I feel like it’s OURs.

Music Junkie Press:  If I could peak into your Ipod, what artist or song would I be most surprised at finding in there?

Jonny: As I write this, I’m sitting in a Brooklyn apartment listening to Dizzy Gillespie and I just put a Frank Sinatra record back into it’s sleeve. I listen to Frank a lot. My iPod is exclusively Art of Dying demos for the next record these days, which I can’t stop listening to!

Music Junkie Press:  Frank is one of my all time favorites but I am jealous of those new Art of Dying demos!! I can’t wait for the next record. If you could go back and talk to your 14 year old self, what advice would you give to yourself?

Jonny:   Move to a city like New York as soon as you can!

Music Junkie Press:   Art of Dying just announced their spot on the Shiprocked Tour 2014 and it is quite a lineup! What are you most looking forward to on that cruise?

Jonny:  I was there last year as a guest, and man, I had a blast! I’m looking forward to seeing all the Die Hards and hard core music fans out there again. You all really make our world go ’round, so it’s nice to see so many of you in the same place for a few days. I’m really looking forward to connecting with our good friends in Three Days Grace, FFDP, Sevendust  and my roomies from last year The Halo Method. So many great industry people too. I hope I don’t fall overboard! LOL

Music Junkie Press:  Us Die Hards in California are patiently waiting for a return of you guys, do you have any plans to come out West here soon for a show?

Jonny:   As soon as our new record is done we’ll be touring the US heavily again, so, you will see us in 2014!

Music Junkie Press:  What is next in store for Art of Dying?

Jonny: We’re done writing the new record and we’re now focusing on getting into the studio to record it. The next time we’ll see you is on the road. We can’t wait!!

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We are so excited to hear about the new album and I can’t wait to see Art of Dying out on tour. It has been almost 2 years since we saw them last at the Uproar Festival here in Mountain View, California. You can check out some of our photos from that event below in the slide show. Below is  my son Rockin Ryan with Tavis and Jonny from that show.


Make sure to follow Art of Dying on all their social media sites so you can stay up to date on their latest news. You can also head over to Itunes here and make sure you have all of their music in your collection. They are definitely ear porn and you will be hooked! Also check out the details on the Shiprocked cruise because that is going to be a spectacular one!

~ Enjoy, Marisol

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  1. NICE interview Marisol!! Excellent job (as usual) 🙂

    “Vices And Virtues” always seems to be by my side! Oh, how I can relate to your connection to the lyrics and music of Art Of Dying! Jonny Hetherington is such a CLASS act! Entire band is such as well! m/m/

    • Thank you so much Stone! Art of Dying is always played every day around here. “Vices and Virtues” is amazing from start to finish. I love how their music truly heals and it ROCKS!!! Thanks again Stone!

      • Gosh, THANK YOU for running such an exclusive feature with your ‘live’ pics as well! 🙂

        I sure HOPE to catch Art Of Dying ‘LIVE’ one day… I would be happier than a pig in mud!! LOL!!

        YOU ROCK Marisol! m/m/

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