Fireworks Magazine Online 55 - Interview with 3 Doors Down

3 DOORS DOWN

It’s been sixteen years since the Escatawpa Mississippi band first formed way back in 1996 and although a favourite back in the US due to their music and unbridled dedication to the US military, they remain something of a cult in the UK. However in recent times there has been a surge in popularity over here, perhaps partly due to the backlash against manufactured pop that has dominated this country in recent times, but mainly due to the increased promotion of the band by the UK label Spinefarm. The label is currently – and not before time it has to be said – securing UK releases from bands that for years have seemed like pariahs in this country.
3 Doors Down is set to release a greatest hits package that features re-masters of all their hits and three new unreleased songs and will be returning to the UK in 2013 to do what they do best, play live. Believe me this band has for me consistently been the best live band that I have seen over the last ten years.
In recent times bassist Todd Harrell has been in trouble with the law in the U.S for being drunk and under the influence whilst driving –a subject off limits during the interview– and sadly guitarist Matt Roberts has had to leave the band due to health issues, including circulatory problems exacerbated by the bands heavy touring schedule. The exact reasons and dealings with Roberts’ health issues by the band were also off limits. The replacement, temporary or otherwise, was named as Chris Henderson’s one time guitar technician Chet Roberts. Mike Newdeck caught up with Henderson for a brief chat.

Tell me about Matt leaving the band, what were the reasons behind it? And who is his replacement?

Matt left the band due to health reasons. Chet Roberts is his replacement. He was my guitar tech for many years.

Will the replacement bring anything new to the band or will he be more of a hired hand waiting Matt’s return?

Chet definitely brings new things to the band, a different flavour in songwriting, new harmonies for the background vocals, a different style of live performance, etc. Chet is an all-round great guy and we consider him a band member, not a hired hand. We hope Matt can sort out his health problems and that’s the important issue.

How does the rest of the band feel about him leaving?

Everyone is okay with the decision that was made regarding Matt. We are moving forward without him, and we hope he gets better.

Tell me about the greatest hits album, why has it been released now?

We have been around 12 years and have five albums of material, so it made sense to create a compilation of some of our most popular songs. All the older songs are being remixed and mastered to give them a modern feel, and there are some new songs we are really proud of rounding out the album. It felt right to do this package now and of course we want to give the fans something that’s worth buying, as most will have all the albums and the extra tracks that came on deluxe versions. We think it sounds great, the old tracks sound fresh and the new songs are some of the best that we have written.

There are three new songs on the album; are these left overs from ‘Time of My Life’ or new songs specifically recorded for this album?

There are two brand new songs, ‘One Light’ and ‘Goodbyes’ that we wrote and recorded this summer, and one song from the ‘Time Of My Life’ sessions titled ‘There’s A Life’. In all three new recordings.

Does this ‘best of’ album signify that a particular point has been reached in the band’s history?

I’d say it means we have a great catalogue of songs that people want to hear. It made sense to put out a ‘Best Of’ record now. We couldn’t have done it after two albums or even three, it wouldn’t have felt right at all. I think it’s good for the UK as well, because perhaps the casual listener will get a flavour of the band from it.

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You don’t intend calling it a day just yet?


That would be a definite no, there’s a lot of 3 Doors Down still to come! We love playing live and recording, it’s who we are. Anyway, what else would we do? This is my life and it wouldn’t be the right time at all to call it a day. We’ve got too much to offer and so many ideas for the future.

What are your plans for the rest of 2012 and the first half of 2013?

We will be touring in the US for the last part of 2012, starting in November, probably break for the holiday and then continue in the US early 2013. It’s looking like a possible Europe run for next year, maybe during festival season.

There’s been a definite push into the UK for the band in recent times. Is this likely to continue?

I’d say yes. The UK audiences have been great to the band, there’s really been an outpouring of support. The crowds have got bigger year on year and the enthusiasm is really a step above because everyone’s so passionate about our music. They sing along to every song and know every single word, it’s unbelievable really.

Your most recent tour over here was something of a success. Was that a surprise to you?

We have been touring in the UK for the last 10 years or so and the crowds have grown every time we return, so “surprise” isn’t the right word. We are happy that the shows are successful because that means we can come back. We love it in the UK, it’s special. The places and the fans are different and hell the fans are so knowledgeable it’s frightening.

Do you think the band will still tour when you’re in your seventies, like say the Rolling Stones?

Seventies may be pushing it just a little but who knows! We’ll just keep doing it until we can’t go anymore. We’ll all know when the time comes I think everyone does. Sometimes you think that you’ll go on forever but we’re realistic and when it happens, it happens, there’s no point in beating yourself up about it. Just go with the flow.

What do you most like about touring the UK?

We always look forward to Europe, and the UK especially. The fans are so into the music...really great crowds to play for. And of course the culture is great...we love seeing the sites. Everything from London to the castles in Scotland. We haven’t got anything like that back at home so it’s sort of like a vacation for us and we really look forward to it.

How are things looking for the band in the US right now?

Things are great here in the US, we are excited to get back on the road to finish out the year. We have a good fan-base who remain faithful and we just keep on doing our thing; we’re not going to change. It’s tour tour tour and then record an album if we get time. We’re a road band though and that’s what we love, playing live. Yes you get tired but I’d rather get tired doing this than anything else.

3 Doors Down’s ‘Greatest Hits’ is out now.

3 Doors Down Interview

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