3 Doors Down


Chicago 2003

by Dave Dalka

MF: You have a new drummer playing with you in 3 Doors Down now, Daniel Adair, that joined after Josh Freeze from a Perfect Circle played on the album. Fans that have seen Daniel live seem to have reacted positively to him. Is he or will he become a permanent member of the band?

Chris Henderson: He's got to pay his dues first. I mean this band has been together 9 years and he's been with us 6 months. He's got a long way to go before becoming a permanent member, but he's well on his way. I'll say that.

MF: How was Rick Parashar to work with as a producer?

Chris Henderson: Well, he's brilliant, a brilliant musician and a brilliant person. He knows what he wants. He knows what he wants to the point sometimes where it's almost too much and you've got to say, "Hey look here, buddy, it's my song, watch out!" But that's good, that's what you want. That is what you hire a producer for. It has to be a strong personality because you have five of the biggest egos in one room. We're not big ego guys when it comes to everyday things, but when it comes to music we are, especially together. If you've ever been in a band, or where they create for a living, they take pride in what they create. It's a wall we put up when we are creating that we don't want anyone to step into or break down or shatter. It's our own little world. You've got to hire somebody who you feel confident enough in to do that. Everybody in the room has to feel the same way. That's the way we felt about Rick, just by talking to him. So it was a wonderful experience and the album progressed and came out better than I thought it was going to, honestly. So we were very, very impressed.

MF: I understand that you shot a video for "When I'm Gone" and then used a different one. What was the story behind that?

Chris Henderson: Well, the video came up just like every video comes up. We read treatments. We paid the money and brought directors in. We did it in Mississippi, during a hurricane, Hurricane Isodore when it came ashore. We already scheduled, the hurricane came in and we were like, "Screw it, let's do it". The wind wasn't blowing that hard. I mean it's just a little hurricane. (Everyone laughs.) We brought in about 150-200 extras and left them out there all day, in the rain, in the swamp, in Mississippi, in October. So, needless to say it was cold and wet and we left them out there all day for about 18 hours out there in the hurricane and filmed the video. My wife (he had chatted about his wife before we started the interview) was in it as a matter a fact. We did the video, the video came out great. The whole theme was us being buried and when I'm gone, when I'm dead and gone type thing. We got the video edited, got it home and approved it. We were shipping it to MTV the next day. In the meantime, we went and did the Europe thing with the Navy. We brought a photographer out with us, the camera never quit rolling unless we were asleep. They put all that military stuff together with "When I'm Gone" and the label put it together with a video director who edited it together, sent it to us and we're like "Wow!". I mean, I cried when I saw it. So, that's how the one video got pushed aside, the really expensive one! (Chris ad libs) "Well, this million dollar one. Ah, look at me, I don't know what to do with all my money!" So we put that video away, but you can see it in Canada and Europe.

MF: Do you know what the next single will be and if so, why that one was chosen?

Chris Henderson: "The Road I'm On" is the next single. I wanted it to be the first single. It was a label, management and band thing. The reason it is, is because "When I'm Gone" went so far on rock radio and then it's starting to be picked up by Top 40. Top 40 and rock radio are two totally different animals. Rock radio needs another single, they want another single. If we drop a Top 40 single on rock radio, they're not going to play it. Then we are going to lose our rock radio base. So we have to play it smart, drop another rock song and let Top 40 do what it's going to do…cause rock is where were are, we are a rock band and we want to take care of the rock audience. If we don't, we are shooting ourselves in the foot. So, it has to be a rock track, that's the logical choice.

MF: You've said "Away From The Sun" on this album is your masterpiece….why?

Chris Henderson: A number of reasons, but the biggest reason is that song was written from the soul of this band at that particular time it was written. It was the one song, when people talk about music coming from their heart, coming from their soul, that was the one song that came from this band as a whole, at a point in our lives and careers when we were "Away From The Sun", literally. We didn't know what our future was up in the air. We had this much success, we were used to this much success and we wanted to have that success again. Our next record wasn't out yet, we were skeptical, the label was worried and our manager was like "uh-oh". The fans, we couldn't get arrested in our home town cause our album had been off the shelves and our songs were going away. We were kind of scared. That song came out of that feeling, "Away From The Sun". That is our masterpiece. That is how you want it to happen.

MF: How have the shows on the tour with Theory of a Deadman been going so far?

Chris Henderson: Great. Those are some really nice guys too. We've been on the road with a lot of nice bands and with a few we don't like. Not as bands, but personally as people. That's rough to say…

MF: …It's even harder to do for two months straight!

Chris Henderson: Exactly! Personalities, sometimes it's hard to put all those egos in one building. It's hard to contain it. Rock stars can be messed up people sometimes. A lot of them have personality disorders and think that they are the shit and blah, blah, blah. A lot of guys don't but they don't mix. We get along with these guys great. They are a great live band and I think the two types of music seem to mix well. Our fans seem to love them and their fans seem to love us. It's a match made in rock and roll heaven. I can't think of another band I'd rather be out with right now.

MF: Which guitar players influenced you the most and why?

Chris Henderson: There were three, Steve Gaines, Gary Rossington and Alan Collins from Lynard Skynard. Well, there was four, Alex Leifson, too. I want to hear someone playing the guitar from inside of them and hear what they were thinking. There's a point where you get so good, you lose what you feel and it sucks. And those guys aren't like that.

MF: Who do you think are some of the world's best guitar players in the world today?

Chris Henderson: Today, hmmm, Derrick Trucks. There's a guy from Canada, Dave Martone, he is unknown, there's a lot of feeling there. This guy is real good, I think he's one of the best guitar players I've ever heard in my entire life, bar none. That's actually how we got our drummer, from his band. I'll just tell you the whole story, it's kind of weird. I was sitting in the studio and listening to this music behind me and I was just getting into this guitar player and I never heard it before. I asked the studio manager, "who is that?" She goes its Dave Martone, the record is Martone, if you want it, I'll give you a copy of it. I was like; great I'd love a copy of that because the guy is amazing! But then I was listening and I was like the drummer is so good in this band. She's said that's my friend Daniel. I was like, Daniel, does this band tour? Is this a band that's out? She said nope, there're local. I couldn't believe it cause they are so good. I said, so this guys doesn't have a gig? And she said no. I was like, he does now. So I asked to meet him, she introduced me and ten minutes later he was our drummer. I knew it when he walked through the door and I saw the smile on the guy's face.

MF: Is there any band or guitarist that you've personally never seen live that you would love to?

Chris Henderson: Yes, there is a few. I'd love to see Zeppelin live. I know that's not possible anymore. When I was 6 or 7, my brother wanted to go and my mom said if you take your brother you can go, and he bowed out. I wish I could of saw that concert. I wish I could have saw the original line-up of Skynard and Rush.

MF: In the notes of your current album, "Away From the Sun", you dedicate to the memory of Denny Morgan. Who was Denny and what impact did he have on your life?

Chris Henderson: Denny was my cousin. He was my first cousin. Actually, my first cousin's husband. Probably the biggest 3 Doors Down fan I ever met. He was an older fella, he'd been to 50 shows and traveled, he followed us in his van, him in his wife. They came to a lot of shows, man. Everything 3 Doors Down he was. If I had trouble, I could call him. I miss him terribly. (Editor's note: This question clearly was unexpected by him, you could feel how close he was both to Denny in his words, tone of voice and by the fact that he was holding back tears at the end of the answer, which is why I think he stopped so quickly. It was extremely moving.)

MF: What are some of your most memorable fan interactions?

Chris Henderson: Well, just meeting a lot of kids at a lot of different times, it all runs through me. Every once in a while you meet one that is kind of a little different. You can tell. Just the other night in North Dakota, a kid got kicked in the face by a crowd surfer and he had this gigantic goose egg on his face. I walked back stage and he was sitting there with an ice pack and tears, he was probably 11-12 years old and tears coming down his eyes and blood coming down his nose. I walked over to him and asked, are you OK? And when he saw me, you could just see all the pain left him. That was probably the most memorable fan interaction I've ever had. To even make it worse, when he saw Brad he was like, who are you? Excuse me. That was cool too.

MF: Being on the road in a band is hard thing for any person. You are married with three children, what do you do to maintain that?

Chris Henderson: It is tough, man. There has got to be a lot of honesty there and a lot of trust. If you ever betray the trust part of that you can fucking forget it. It will never work. It's something that people have to understand. Honesty and trust, nothing else can make that work. That is what you have to have. You've got to have a lot of communication. Ya know what? A cell phone doesn't work, plane tickets work for communication. E-mail doesn't work. E-mails and cell phones don't work, you've got to have face time. You have to keep everything real, man. You can't try to hide anything from each other. Both ways, everything has to be up on the surface, that's my recommendation…

MF: If you weren't in 3 Doors Down what would you be doing today?

Chris Henderson: I'd be playing music somewhere, maybe not for a living, but I'd be doing it. I've done it all my life, ever since I was 11, I've been in a band. I can't think of a time in my life when I wasn't in a band or looking for a band. There are three types of musician's, in my opinion, there's one that's in a band, one that just got kicked out of a band and one that is trying to put together another band… (everyone laughs)

MF: When you go online and message board forums, and chat rooms dedicated to *you*, are you flattered or does it just freak you out?

Chris Henderson: It still freaks me out sometimes and I'm flattered. Being the guitar player a lot of times the stuff is about the lead singer, so I'm off the hook. Ya know what I mean? Which is a little comfortable to me because I'm shy? If it's something that is good I get excited about it, if it's something that is bad, I also get excited about it. It's kind of neat either way. Just to see my name somewhere, other than on my driver's license is kind of cool. It's a dream come true…

MF: Anything else?

Chris Henderson: If I ever get an opportunity, I just to like to say thanks to any and all the fans that think they deserve thanks because they all do in my opinion. There's a lot of people out there, I won't say any names that think the fans are there because they're there. It's the other way around, they are there because the fans are there. The fans put them there. If they think I'm kidding, wait five years. You'll find out. So, I've got to say thanks man to all the people that listen to us, that like our stuff and even the people that don't like our stuff. Thanks for going on the message board and saying we suck. Because it's our name on the message board and any advertising is good advertising. God bless all of them…

MF: Thank you.

Chris Henderson: Thank you for coming out, I really enjoyed our chat.

MF: Good luck with the tour and we'll see you soon.


Todd Harrell of 3 Doors Down

3 Doors Down bassist Todd Harrell says his head has been spinning since his band scored the 2000 hit "Kryptonite" from its debut album, "The Better Life."

"Success kind of happened really fast for us," he said. "Now [things are] a little more at ease. I know what to expect from different situations. We just did a lot of learning that first year."

Some of the Escatawpa, MS-based band's success has come from surprising places. After its sophomore album, "Away From the Sun," spawned the power ballads "Here Without You" and "When I'm Gone" the group learned it had many fans among military families and troops.

"It's turned out that the military's kind of adopted that 'When I'm Gone' song," Harrell said. "We got the chance to go overseas and play for some of the guys right before all the wars and stuff broke out"

He continued: "It was a real good experience for us. ['When I'm Gone'] is just a song that a lot of them guys can really relate to. … Them guys in the service, they give up a lot to keep us free over here."

Harrell talked to liveDaily during his band's recently concluded tour about "Away From the Sun," a new album that is in the works and the band's mindset.

Are you surprised by the tremendous success of "Here Without You"?

The success of the single just kind of blew up. We always hoped and hoped for that. It has kind of been something to watch. It's just kind of unreal to watch it all unfold, you know?

When you were writing the song, did you see it as a hit?

I knew it was a good song. Definitely it was going to be a strong one, didn't know it would do quite as good as it's done.

Tell me about the songwriting process in 3 Doors Down. Do you write primarily at home, on the road?

It depends. Throughout the tours, we'll be throwing ideas at each other. And when we come off the road, we all gang up in a house somewhere and start putting it together. We do it all together. Brad [Arnold, singer] does all the lyrics and the rest of the guys, we just all get together and do the music. We write the music and Brad writes the lyrics.

How long did it take you to write "Away From the Sun"?

I think it took us three months to write the last one.

How does that compare to other albums?

That was fairly short. I think we're going to try to do this next one even quicker. We want to put out one even before this year's up. [W]e're going to take a month off, then we're going to get right back into the writing process, then head into the studio sometime in the summer. Hopefully, we'll get it out by September somewhere.

Have you started writing new material yet?

Yeah. We've been writing for a little while now. We ain't all sat down and put nothing together. We just kind of been bouncing around ideas.

What is the tone of the new material?

I think it's going to be along the same lines. It's probably going to be a little more heavier, a little more rockin'. [On "Away From the Sun," we were] kind of shell-shocked from that first record, you know? We were thrown to the wolves, as you might say. It took us a little while for our heads to quit spinning after the first tour. I think that's kind of what we wrote about--being away, and being gone and away from family and friends. I think that's kind of what we touched on [with] the last record. This time, we're in a little bit different place. I think we're going to get back to the rockin'.

How would you describe the place you're in?

We're more comfortable. I think we're just a little more at ease. We kind of know how things work now in this business. You know what I mean? Got a little better understanding of things and we're just gonna get back to what we know.

Getting Down with Matt Roberts from 3 Doors Down
Interview by Kelly Ladd

HardRock.com: How has life changed since the last time you played Hard Rock Live Orlando last October?
Matt Roberts: A pretty good bit. 'Cause that was a long time ago. We've been all over the world several times. I feel like I've aged like 20 years since the last time I was here.
HardRock.com: If the Doors were still around, would you open for them, or would the Doors open for you?
Matt Roberts: They would open for us. (laughs)
HardRock.com: What do you think of all the bands getting famous by doing covers (Orgy: "Blue Monday" and Limp Bizkit: "Faith")?
Matt Roberts: To each their own. We haven't delved into that aspect of it. I don't think it's in our near future. But so be it. They've seen success, so good for them.
HardRock.com: What did you dream of becoming when you were growing up?
Matt Roberts: I don't know. I guess probably being in a similar position as I am now, as far as being an entertainer or that kind of field. Maybe not necessarily a rock star, but something in the public eye.
HardRock.com: In your wildest dreams, did you ever think that you'd be where you are today?
Matt Roberts: No, I'd only hoped that.
HardRock.com: Do you ever hang out with your fans after the show to check out the local scene? And if you do, which city calls to you the most?
Matt Roberts: You know, unfortunately, as vigorous as our tours have been, we don't get that much time to bask in the cities that we go to, but probably, I don't know…Miami is a great town. We got to hang out there. We've had some festivals out there. It was a beach crowd. I liked that.
HardRock.com: When can we expect a new album?
Matt Roberts: Mid-to-late Spring 2003.
HardRock.com: How will it be different from The Better Life? What new direction are you taking with it?
Matt Roberts: I don't think we're taking any specific direction as far as a different direction. The songs on our first record are five to six years old and I think you are going to see our music has matured a bit. We've matured as writers. It may come out a degree different, but I think it's going to be a continuation of 3 Doors Down.
HardRock.com: Kryptonite's Superman's weakness, what is yours?
Matt Roberts: I guess, ah, I don't know, I guess any kind of addiction. I'm a pretty addicted guy. Not heavy, hard drugs or anything like that. But I would have to say tobacco is mine.
HardRock.com: What do you do and where do you go when you have a few days off?
Matt Roberts: Ah, geez, when I have a couple of days off, I'm usually home.
HardRock.com: Back in Mississippi?
Matt Roberts: No, I live in Mobile, Alabama. I do anything from hang out at my house, have a lot of my friends at my place, or be out on the water—jet skiing or fishing, just get away from everything.
HardRock.com: While onstage, does your mind ever wander? And if it does, what do you think about?
Matt Roberts: Oh, my mind wanders all the time. Sometimes my mind wanders so far that I think "What do I want to order for dinner after the show?" You never can tell. I try not to wander, but it happens.
HardRock.com: And finally, do you have any thoughts or words that you want to send to the people in D.C. and New York?
Matt Roberts: Yeah, absolutely, we actually just left Washington D.C. I was able to witness some of the calamity first hand and see some of the destruction. And, you know, we've actually donated a lot of money to the Red Cross. We hope all of our efforts that we've made in the past and future plans that we make, future donations… I just want to see everyone out there in our position to do the same thing for the rescue workers and the citizens. Just get involved. Just to make it happen.


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