By MIKE CHAIKEN
3 Doors Down has been hitting the road hard with fellow rockers Daughtry. And the tour hits the Mohegan Sun and Connecticut on Sunday.
The band from Mississippi is currently touring behind its latest release, “Greatest Hits.” The album recounts the band’s career from its opening sonic salvo “Kryptonite” in 1999 to its latest hit, “One Light.”
During his interview, Chris Henderson, 3 Doors Down’s lead guitarist, was trying to keep warm in Erie, Pa. The chilly temperatures outside and inside the venue were a bit much for a guy from a more balmy Mississippi. And, for the moment, he said it was no consolation that the venue would warm up when the fans started to file in. After all, that wouldn’t be till 9 p.m. or so, and it was still just 1 in the afternoon.
But then just after the band is finished with its U.S. tour, they’ll get nice, warm, and toasty. The guys were headed off to Dubai in the Middle East.
Typically, when a band gets to release a retrospective like 3 Doors Down’s “Greatest Hits,” they have a chance to reflect on where they’ve been as artists.
Asked what kind of musical journey he hears when he listens to the breadth of the band’s career, Chris said, “I hear better performances.”
Part of that improvement, said Chris, is due to a change in recording technology.
The first album, he said, was recorded on tape, which makes it more difficult to tweak and fix any errors in performance. Nowadays, thanks to computer technology, Chris said the performances are much more polished.
One thing that also has been notable about 3 Doors Down over the decade plus lengthy of its career is how their sound has been viewed over time. Initially, with “Kryptonite,” the band was viewed as “alternative.” Over time, the band was labeled more of a meat and potatoes rock act.
Chris, who is joined in the band by vocalist Brad Arnold, bassist Todd Harrell, drummer Greg Upchurch and guitarist Chet Roberts, said he has no clue what any of the genres mean. The band has been labeled alt, active rock, pop, AC. “I don’t even know what alternative is.”
3 Doors Down, essentially, is 3 Doors Down. And damn the labels.
As for the future of 3 Doors Down’s sound, Chris said “One Light,” the band’s latest hit, is indicative of where they’re going musically.
“It’s time we grew up and be a rock band,” said Chris of the band’s newest musical trajectory.
In the past, said Chris, 3 Doors Down listened to what other people said about how the group should sound. The band wasn’t allowed to write what it wanted to write, said Chris. And those other people weren’t always right, said Chris.
Now, Chris said, “we doing to do what we want to do.” And a band who has seen its career survive and thrive from the end of the last century to now, has earned the right to follow its own muse, said Chris.
Asked about the band’s current tour with Daughtry, Chris had nothing but praise for the package. “It’s been great.”
3 Doors Down has toured with a lot of bands over the years, he said. Some of the combinations have been good, some not so good. But Chris said of Daughtry, “These guys are cool.”
Daughtry is not out to upstage 3 Doors Down, said Chris. There’s a spirit of cooperation between the two acts. And the guys in Daughtry have no hidden agenda. Just like 3 Doors Down, he said, they just want to have a good time and have fun.
“It refreshing,” said Chris.
Plus, there’s another nice thing about the boys from Daughtry. They’re nice guys. They’re not tossing out an “f-bomb” every five minutes on stage. Chris said he thought 3 Doors Down was the only band who watched their language when they stand up before their audience. But Daughtry follows suit, he said. It’s nice because it’s good clean show for the fans.
As for what’s next for 3 Doors Down, Chris said the band is heading off to Dubai nearly immediately after wrapping up its door with Daughtry. Then it is heading off to Europe for a tour during the summer. Finally, it is hitting the road once again in the U.S. for a summer leg in North America.
And in terms of a follow-up to “Greatest Hits,” Chris said, the band is already accumulating tracks for a new full-length album of original material. And with luck, a new record will be in the hands of the fans about this time next year.
3 Doors Down, with Daughtry, plays the Mohegan Sun Arena on Sunday, Feb. 17 at 7 p.m. For more information, www.3doorsdown.com or go to MoheganSun.com
By MIKE CHAIKEN