News Column

Rock band 3 Doors Down at Penn's Peak Thursday

July 18, 2014

By Jim Radenhausen, Pocono Record, Stroudsburg, Pa.

July 18--Some music acts cannot stage a concert without performing certain songs. Rock band 3 Doors Down is no different, and fans can count on hearing the songs they know and love when the band performs Thursday at Penn's Peak, Jim Thorpe.

"People get mad if you don't play the hits," said 3 Doors Down guitarist Chris Henderson. "We can be like the Black Crowes, go out and do stuff no one's heard. We don't wanna piss the crowd off. We like our fans and want them to come back. We're not trying to recreate the wheel. It is what it is."

The band's first acoustic tour -- dubbed Songs From the Basement -- is going well, according to Henderson. "It catches on really fast," he said. "A lot really enjoy it. There's no pressure from the crowd, no pressure from the crowd to crowd surf, stand up, scream, yell and cuss in a do-what-you-want atmosphere.

"We're not trying to be rock stars, dressing flashy, saying the f-bomb every five seconds. It's about the songs, the band and the crowd."

Hit streak commences

3 Doors Down scored hits instantly upon the release of its debut album, 2000's "The Better Life." That set -- which reached the top 10 on Billboard's top 200 albums chart and sold more than 6 million copies -- spawned the band's biggest hit, "Kryptonite," a No. 1 hit on Billboard's all-formats airplay chart.

Aside from the career-making "Kryptonite," the band's biggest hits include "Be Like That," "When I'm Gone," "Here Without You," "Let Me Go" and "It's Not My Time."

The band scored two No. 1 albums on the Billboard 200: 2005's "Seventeen Days" and 2008's "3 Doors Down." Its fifth and most recent studio album, 2011's "Time of My Life," peaked at No. 3 on the Billboard 200.

Though he officially joined 3 Doors Down in 1998, Henderson's been associated with the band since it first formed in Escatawpa, Mississippi. "I just wasn't performing with them," he said. "I was in another band at the same time this band was forming. We all played together in the same kind of room."

Aside from Henderson, 3 Doors Down consists of Brad Arnold, lead vocals; Greg Upchurch, drums; Chet Roberts, guitar; and Justin Biltonen, bass.

Impact of lineup changes

Two original members departed the band in recent years: guitarist Matt Roberts exited in 2012 because of health issues, while in April 2013, bassist Todd Harrell was charged with vehicular homicide by intoxication for an accident in Nashville, Tennessee. Following a DUI arrest earlier this year, the band suspended Harrell indefinitely.

Henderson said the loss of key band members has not yet influenced the direction of the new album's content, though "maybe it will. There really are no hard feelings between any of us, so there won't really be a song about it. You need some kind of angst to write that."

As far as the musical direction, "because those two guys aren't writing right now, we got other people writing. We got a guitar tech, and Justin. We decided to move on as a band with those guys. When you add two more elements to a writing team, things are gonna change."

Everyone in the band contributes to song writing and producing, Henderson said. While he's written for others, he believes there's "no sense" in writing lyrics for 3 Doors Down, as Arnold "does such a great job."

Henderson cited "Away From the Sun" as his favorite 3 Doors Down album, as "everybody in the band wrote that record. It wasn't just one guy writing. It was everyone in a room pounding things out. It was a different process to say the least, but it worked out."

As for his favorite songs, Henderson cited "Away From the Sun" or "The Road I'm On," both from the aforementioned album.

Charity endeavors

Aside from music, charity plays an important role in the lives of 3 Doors Down. Last year, the band's annual concert/auction -- The Better Life Foundation -- celebrated its 10th anniversary. The event, held in Mississippi since 2010, has raised funds for organizations and hospitals in an effort to enable children to develop their potential, achieve their goals and become caring and responsible adults.

"The charity started in response to a charity show we played for someone else," Henderson said. "We thought it did so much, but were pretty pissed off when we found out how much the charity got. We decide where the money goes (with The Better Life). Each band member gets to take a portion of the money raised and give it to a charity they really want to give to."

The charities receiving donations changes yearly, Henderson said, depending on which touches his heart. He added that the band typically gives to children's hospitals, and that the band buys and donates three to four Dream Racers per year.

"They're for kids who have to go to chemotherapy. Instead of sitting in a hospital bed having chemo, they can sit in a hospital bed that looks like a race car."

New music forthcoming

Between charity and the music, 3 Doors Down keeps busy. The band has concerts scheduled through early fall, with plans to release a new album next year. "We're writing it and working on it now," Henderson said.

With the music industry as competitive as ever, 3 Doors Down doesn't necessarily expect future releases to rule the airwaves like some of their biggest successes.

"You always have pressure to have hits," Henderson said. "I don't think it really matters as much as it used to. We're an established group. We'll be able to put records out and tour for the rest of our lives."

However, "the stuff we're writing is more mainstream/current than it was in the past, so we'll see."


3 Doors Down

WHEN: 8 p.m. Thursday

WHERE: Penn's Peak, 325 Maury Road, Jim Thorpe

Cost: $52 and $42

INFORMATION: 866-605-7325,


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Source: Pocono Record (Stroudsburg, PA)

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