New bandmates help 3 Doors Down soar
This may be a good time for fans of rock band 3 Doors Down to see the group, especially if they haven’t in many years. The group’s founding member and frontman, Brad Arnold, recently said that some new members have helped the group reach a new peak.
“I feel like ever since last year at Christmas, to be completely honest with you, it kind of felt like we’re getting into a little bit of a rut and this record is not that rut,” said Arnold in a recent interview with the website Loudwire to promote his band’s new album, “Us and the Night.”
“It’s a fun record. We had so much fun writing it. We didn’t push it. We didn’t hurry it. We almost kind of stepped back into being a baby band. In a good way, you know?”
Arnold and his band will play on June 25 at the Silver Legacy Resort Casino. It still features longtime members Arnold (who also played drums for its studio recordings in the ’90s), and Chris Henderson on guitar. More recent members include the two that Arnold mentions above — Chet Roberts on guitar (since 2012) and Justin Biltonen on bass (since 2013) — and Greg Upchurch on drums (since 2005).
The band formed in 1996 in Escatawpa, a small town in southern Mississippi. In its early years, 3 Doors Down toured the South getting attention with its mix of louder and more melodic rock. An early demo of the eventual first hit, “Kryptonite,” was starting to get some independent radio airplay in 1998 and after a showcase at New York’s famed CBGB nightclub, the group was signed to major label Republic Records.
Its debut, “The Better Life,” was released in 2000 and has sold six million copies and included a new version of “Kryptonite,” which reached No. 3 on the singles chart. The band’s biggest commercial peak was in 2002, when its song “When I’m Gone” and its follow-up, “Here Without You,” both reached the top five. Both songs are from the band’s second album “Away From the Sun,” which sold three million copies.
Many of 3 Doors Down’s albums have reached the top 10 on the charts. They include “Seventeen Days” in 2005 and a self-titled effort in 2008, both of which went to No. 1. The group has also been a consistent fixture on rock radio, with hits including “Let Me Go,’ “It’s Not My Time,” “When You’re Young” and “One Light.”
Arnold told Loudwire that he’s still excited to tour even after decades on the road.
“As a whole, over the years is the fact that people start out as fans, but just how many of those people have become our real friends and how many people I’ve met from all over the world. I might not talk to them all the time, or text with them all the time, but I sit there and talk to people. I would have never met them without doing this. They really are my friends, and that’s my most thankful thing about it.”
As for the new record, Arnold recently told music website Smashing Interviews that there was a simple reason for the five-year wait between albums this time.
“’Cause we’re slackers,” he said, laughing. “We have been playing. We put the greatest hits out. We did that year long acoustic thing. Honestly, we just looked up, and five years had gone by. We’ve been through a lot of changes and been through a lot of things with the band.
I am glad to say now that the band is in the best place it has ever been in. It has been a little while since we put a record out, but I am so excited to have this one out. It’s going to be a blast this time.”
Arnold also said that it was important for 3 Doors Down to try and add some new angles to the songwriting and arrangements for this album.
“After you’ve been writing as long as we have, it’s easy to start repeating yourself,” he told Smashing Interviews. “That didn’t contribute to the band member changes, but having those new guys definitely brought about some new sounds. But it wasn’t all them. We were just ready for some new stuff, to write in some different ways, to open up our horizons a little bit and try some different things.
“We definitely wanted an element of surprise, but not like, ‘Holy cow! What were they thinking?’ We wanted to still be us and stay true to ourselves, and at the same time, have some new stuff that might catch people off guard and give them some different stuff to listen to.”
A common goal
It’s also a time when 3 Doors Down has some newfound stability. Arnold recently told website Cryptic Rock that it’s been easy to establish some chemistry with the new lineup.
“If there is one key, I think everyone in this band right now realized just how blessed we are to be in this band,” he said. “When we are amongst a group of guys, to be sitting where they are sitting, myself included, I am incredibly thankful to be sitting right where I am. If that is the case, then you can move forward as a team. We all have a common goal. We all want to get out there and be successful, play rock and roll, and have some fun. I think that all starts with realizing you are blessed to be able to do it.”
Arnold added that it’s important to keep yourself grounded, even if you’ve sold millions of records.
“I am incredibly thankful of my family, my wife, and for all the people that remind me, ‘Hey, you get to play that guy up there on stage, but you are still Brad,’” Arnold told Cryptic Rock. “My brothers and sisters have always reminded me of that. They do not mean it in a ‘beat you down’ type of way. They mean it in a ‘whether you win or lose’ type of way.”