3 Doors Down


Interviews


Interview with 3 Doors Down

by: Mike Farley

Mike Farley: You guys had unbelievable success with "Kryptonite." How is the new record doing so far?
Matt Roberts: We're doing fantastic. The album is #1 on the modern rock charts and also doing well on the active rock format.

MF: Do you get tired of playing "Kryptonite"?
MR: No, the crowd usually makes it interesting.

MF: Who does the writing in the band?
MR: All of us write as a group.

MF: And you guys are from Mississippi?
MR: That's correct, except Brad (Arnold, singer) and I live in neighboring Alabama now.

MF: Tell me about a typical day on tour for 3 Doors Down.
MR: Basically it's wake up, take a shower, have some lunch, do some phoners like this, maybe some meet and greets, have sound check, play a show and get on the road again.

MF: How long are you guys out for?
MR: Until September 20, then we'll take a week off and start a fall tour.

MF: Do you have any funny stories from the road?
MR: Every day is fun; I live with a bunch of characters.

MF: Well, anything that stands out that you want to share with us?
MR: Nothing you'd want to print, that's for sure.

MF: What would you guys like to achieve in the next few years?
MR: We're achieving what we've always wanted to. If we can stay at this level for a few years it would be great.

MF: You guys get compared to Creed a lot, which in my opinion is unfair because your singer, Brad Arnold, can sing. What is your take on that?
MR: It really doesn't matter who we get compared to, but we've heard that a lot.

MF: Our site has a lot of hot babes on it, like a Featured Model of the month and a Girl Next Door. Can you take a look at it and tell me which one is your favorite?
MR: I can tell you already; I want the girl of the month or the Girl Next Door. Bring one of them to the Cleveland show. (August 9 at Tower City Amphitheater).

MF: Do you guys get mobbed by groupies in places like rest stops?
MR: We're pretty lucky that way where we get recognized but not mobbed. We usually just sign a few autographs and get on our way.

MF: Are you or any of the band members into sports?
MR: We play a lot of golf.

MF: What about baseball or football?
MR: We follow it but we're too out of shape to play. Mostly we follow football, and being from the south we like the Saints and the Rams. We also follow the Packers because Brett Favre is from our hometown.

 

3 Doors Down Interview

VOX: Let's start at the beginning, which always seems like a good place to begin. How did you guys come together?

Chris Henderson: Me and Todd, we always played together, it seems like. Even when we were 13 or 14, we would kick stuff around, usually at one or our houses. It just kept going from there - we ended up playing parties, stuff like that. Brad and Matt we hooked up with a few years later.

VOX: What is the music scene like in Escatawpa [Mississippi] for a band starting out?

CH: It's non-existent. The only rock and roll bands there are cover bands or the casino bands that play in Biloxi. There are 7 or 8 that make a living playing the casino scene. For the most part, though, it's not good, especially if you want to play our own tunes.

VOX: What do you think of the current music scene? Where do you guys get the best vibes?

CH: Toronto is great, and San Francisco is really cool. The vibe in New York City is amazing - it's unlike any other place. LA is interesting, but it's a little too fast -paced for me. You have to ride the bus to get anywhere in LA. I like to be able to walk all over or take the subway. You can't do much of that in LA.

VOX: What's behind the title of the record, "The Better Life"?

CH: It's what we're looking for. It's really what everybody is looking for. I mean, you know, we want the record to do well, make a little money and achieve a little success. It's not what we're all about - the music is the most important thing, but we want to be in a situation where we can just make music and not have to worry about how we're going to make ends meet. We're looking for the better life, just like everybody else.

VOX: Kryptonite has been a huge hit. What's the song about?

CH: A father figure…someone that somebody looks up to, and their asking the question, you know, "You look up to me, what if I slip up?" What if that person does something bad and damages that image? Kryptonite is the bad thing. And if you do that bad thing, will that person still look at you in the same light? It's a tough question, from both angles.

VOX: Are you into the Internet? Do you see it as an important medium for the band?

CH: Absolutely - you can get in touch with fans right there, immediately and find out what they're thinking. We do read the e-mails, when we can, and we try to respond. Obviously, we're too busy to respond to all of them, but we try. We want the fans to know that we appreciate their support.

VOX: What should fans expect from a 3 Doors Down live show?

CH: Expect more than what you expected. We want to give people their money's worth and get wild for them. There are so many shows that come through every town - we want ours to be memorable to them. You get a lot of energy.

VOX: Now you have a touring drummer - what made you decide to get [singer] Brad [Arnold] out from behind the drums and just sing?

CH: He's a born front man. That guy is some kind of maniac. Nobody knew that this would blow up the way that it did, and we weren't sure about the up-front drums thing, with the space that's needed and everything. This has worked out well for us, though. We have Richard Liles playing drums with us on tour, and he's become a part of 3 Doors Down, so it's worked out fine for us.

 

Head to Head with 3 Doors Down

Music Head (MH): How is your current tour going?

Matt Roberts (MR): It's good, man. We’re in our first week of working the tour. So far so good.

MH: Are you excited to be touring with Fuel? Do you guys plan on sharing the stage together for any songs?

MR: We’re early on tour, so you never can tell.

MH: When you played over in Europe did you find the fans to be any different? Do you think you have just as much a following over there as you do in the United States?

MR: It’s a different experience. The crowd seems to be a little more educated on the music as a whole. It's different. I really can’t compare the two. (It is) very different when you go overseas.

MH: How was playing at the Sundance Festival?

MR: It was fun. It was an experience. We got to have four days off, kind of a vacation in Park City, and do some skiing and snowboarding. So it was a good time.

MH: I understand you have added some new songs to your set? Can you tell us a little about them?

MR: Yeah, we’ve got some new songs that are not on the record that we’re doing and we’ve got some songs off our demo that we’re doing that we’ve done before our record. They’re all new to the set but some of them are new and some are old. One of the songs is called "This Time," which we never recorded. So, we’re mixing it up a little bit.

MH: Are most of them going to be on the new album?

MR: You know, I can’t really say, that’s ways away.

MH: How do you decide which song will be your next single?

MR: That’s kind of a group effort. The whole band and that’s the thing; the band gets together with the label and the label with the management. So, it’s kind of like passing a bill for congress, almost. You got to get all the votes and that’s what you get, you know.

MH: You’ve been playing “Kryptonite” since ’96, why do you think the song is lasting so long?

MR: Hmm, I don’t know. Well it’s only been national since last February. I don’t know, I guess it seems to be an appealing song that people like to hear it, or did like to hear (laughs).

MH: Do any of your songs, for example “Kryptonite” and “Loser,” have personal experiences behind them? Do you write your own lyrics, how does a song come together?

MR: Yeah, we write all of our songs. We write them collectively as well as individually. It depends on the song. There is no written formula to it. But, all our songs off the album are about normal life and everyday life. You know, kids in high school can see examples through our music and that’s what we wrote it for, just kind of real-life events.

MH: What was it like making the video for “Duck and Run?” How did it feel to have a camera following you around all day?

MR: That was actually a good experience. It was shot over five days and we had a blast doing it. We had a blast at every video shoot so far. You know it's a lot of fun making a video. It's an enjoying process.

MH: Adding Rich to the drums, did you feel it is tough for the frontman of a group to sing and command a stage presence while playing the drums at the same time?

MR: Yeah, definitely, it’s kind of hard to establish, if you want to be the frontman, to the drummer or the frontman, you can be both. But, it is one of those angles that’s a little difficult to work. So, we just have to go with a conventional way, which you know that’s the way we were heading before the deal anyway. So, it worked out.

MH: You're now considered hometown heroes but what about growing up in a small southern town, where country music is so popular how did your brand of rock n' roll play?

MR: Well, there is definitely country music. (It is) still a big thing down there. Well, the market shifted in the last 5 to 6 years. Country is not where it was, as a whole. So, now down south I think everybody kind of progressed towards rock and pop these last 5 years or more. So, that’s with the whole nation, even our small town. So, there was no real step for us at all.

MH: Being on the road and living out of a bus must get to you sometimes, what home comforts do you miss and what do you bring along to make the bus more livable?

MR: Well, you definitely miss just the static environment. Just being somewhere. With touring day to day everything is different. You change from a city to maybe a different country, you never know. Just that static environment. I’ve got my old acoustic, you know. It's what I use at my home and keep in the back lounge of the bus; play at night and that’s kind of a good vibe. We write some good songs that way. (It) passes the time.

MH: Did you first start learning off acoustic?

MR: No, actually I was one of those electric kids. I kind of had to get into the acoustic.

MH: Are you surprised at how quickly your fan base grew, what do you attribute that to?

MR: Yes and no cause I attribute that to of course, the record, radio, and relentless touring for the past 13 months. I guess it really comes to no surprise.

Advice: "Have a contingency plan. Get your education."

MH: Since you grew up together you must know each other well, do you have any rituals, or do you ever play practical jokes on each other?

MR: No, you know, we all pretty much know our ins and outs. There’s nothing you're going to get past any of us. So, yeah, we can’t really entertain one another anymore. It’s not entertaining. We have to go outside the realm of the band to do practical jokes.

MH: Anything that no one knows about 3 Doors Down that you can tell me?

MR: I don’t know. You know Brad and I are kin. But, I guess all of us are one way or another. There are a lot of things people don’t know and a lot of things I still want them not to know.

MH: Any words of wisdom, a motto to live by that you could share with your fans?

MR: Always have a contingency plan. In other words, go to college. Get your education. Keep things in the forefront that need to be. Music is definitely a great way and it was something that helped us escape from the normal everyday life, but it’s not a really promising career to most people. It’s a tough field. You know myself, I’m a college graduate and I’m glad that I have that and you know maybe when this is over I can go back and encourage kids to stay focused on what’s at hand.

MH: What do you see in the future for 3 Doors Down, maybe 5 years, 10 years from now, even the next year?

MR: Probably next year we will be in the studio making a record. Hopefully follow up with another tour and continued success. What else more can we ask for?

MH: How about 5 years from now, do you still see the band being together?

MR: I hope so, you know. You can only wish. That can only get you so far.



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