3D Great Rock Bible
3 Doors Down iTunes Tracks 3 Doors Down Official Website

3 Doors Down

Treading a similar path to molten-rockers NICKELBACK, CREED, HOOBASTANK, THREE DAYS GRACE et al, 3 DOORS DOWN surpassed media expectations by becoming a post-millennium, multi-platinum act. Their strongest point rather than their weakest link, the `Kryptonite’ smash hit of 2000 knocked spots off the opposition, and started the American band on the road to stardom. Britain was less impressed with their bland, formulaic recipe of post-grunge hard rock.
Formed Escatawpa, near Biloxi, in Mississippi, for the latter half of the 90s, Messrs Brad Arnold (vocals/drums), Matt Roberts (guitar) and Todd Harrell (bass) and, a little later – after the naming of the band – Chris Henderson (guitar), worked their way up the ranks. A demo EP containing the aforementioned front-runner, `Kryptonite’, was passed on to WCPR-FM, where it received peak play-listing on the strength that it was the radio station’s most frequently requested track. They almost immediately signed to Republic Records, helped along by manager Phin Daly and music publisher at De Goot Entertainment, Bill McGathy. Clones to CREED et al – arena rock with God on their side: they’re all mighty believers – it looked like 3 DOORS DOWN would be another to take the USA by storm when the said track steadily climbed into the Top 3.
Although described in some quarters as bland and radio-friendly, the quartet’s debut set THE BETTER LIFE (2000) {*6}, hosted other relatively big hits in `Loser’ and `Be Like That’, whilst `Duck And Run’, was probably the other star attraction.
After the multi-million, Top 10 selling success of their debut, the tediously-named 3 DOORS DOWN once again appealed to the good ol’ US of A’s hard-rocking heartland with AWAY FROM THE SUN (2002) {*6}. Bolstered by the Top 5 single, `When I’m Gone’, Arnold was allowed to concentrate on singing his lyrics when seasoned drummer Josh Freese added another dimension in the studio to songs `The Road I’m On’ and belated hit, `Here Without You’. For those still unconvinced of their power-ballad prowess, a concert EP/mini-set ANOTHER 700 MILES (2003) {*5}, confirmed their common man credentials and southern rock references with a cover of LYNYRD SKYNYRD’s anti-drugs anthem, `That Smell’.
Not long afterwards, 3 DOORS DOWN were now “5” with the addition of drummer Daniel Adair, who took over from tour support Richard Liles. The band continued their passionate but derivative rise to the top of the charts, courtesy of platinum-selling third album, SEVENTEEN DAYS (2005) {*5}; one of its only saving graces coming through BOB SEGER taking the time to guest on non-hit, `Landing In London’ – if pushed, the Top 20 “rock version” of `Let Me Go’ (#14) had its own appeal.
Swapping NICKELBACK-bound Adair for Greg Upchurch (ex-PUDDLE OF MUDD), the 3-year wait for fourth album, the eponymous 3 DOORS DOWN {*5} was over in May 2008, when it scaled the lists. Consisting of cathartic and angst-ridden love ballads, mixed with a certain sonic level of subdued metallic-rock, `It’s Not My Time’ was its sole chart volley; although the promotion given to `Citizen / Soldier’ (called upon for National Guard recruitment purposes) just might’ve turned in a bigger than minor Top 100 breaker.
With Howard Benson at the controls for 2011’s TIME OF MY LIFE {*5}, 3 DOORS DOWN reconvened in their own inimitably anonymous and bland aplomb. Dealing with desperation caused by heartbreak and/or heartache, Arnold’s poor-man-VEDDER vocals soared over hook-line riffs that backed `When You’re Young’, `Round And Round’ and the title track. Having pierced the Top 3 on home-soil, the record dented the lower echelons of the UK charts. What was happening?
A longer period of inactivity (one can’t really count three fresh songs on a “Greatest Hits” offering in 2012), resulted in Matt bailing out; his berth taken by former guitar technician Chet Roberts (no relation). Another man down when Todd tailed off in 2013 (replaced by Justin Biltonen), further time was spent in the studio with big gun producer Matt Wallace perfecting studio album six, US AND THE NIGHT (2016) {*5}. Simple and direct as ever, their nocturnal 50 odd shades of greying were highlighted by `In The Dark’ (the token download single), the chunky `Believe It’ and the beefier `Still Alive’. Ironically, American fans had shown their disdain by giving the lowly-placed, peak No.14 set a resounding thumbs down. The message was clear – adapt or desist. Sadly, the news that former lead guitarist Matt Roberts had died on a drug overdose on August 20, 2016, was indeed tragic; he was only 38.
© MC Strong 2002-2006/GRD // rev-up MCS Mar-Aug2016

Share this Project

Leave a Comment