3 Doors Down to play Huntington Center Nov. 5Written by Mike Bauman | | firstname.lastname@example.org
What started as a dream among four friends in Escatawpa, Miss., became 3 Doors Down, which has sold more than 16 million albums worldwide and will play in Toledo on Nov. 5.
“It’s been a lot of fun,” bassist Todd Harrell told Toledo Free Press Star. “You get to watch everybody succeed in what they love to do. It’s just been cool for us. We all were friends 10 years before we ever were in a band together, so we know what buttons not to push on each other to make each other mad. When somebody needs their space, we give it to ’em.
“It was a learning experience. We’ve had a lot of fun and been a lot of miles together,” he said.
Comprised of Harrell, Chris Henderson (guitar), Brad Arnold (vocals), Matt Roberts (guitar) and Greg Upchurch (drums), 3 Doors Down will perform at the Huntington Center with Pop Evil in support of its fifth full-length album, “Time of My Life.”
Prior to 3 Doors Down’s formation in 1995, high schoolers Harrell and Henderson played in a band while younger friends Arnold and Roberts used to come out to their shows. When that band broke up, all four started jamming together and have shared the same stage ever since.
“It seems like just yesterday we were in Escatawpa writing our first record,” Harrell said. “It is a little surreal. We’ve managed to stay in the game awhile. We just give it all up to our fans that keep us out there.”
After years of building support, 3 Doors Down stormed the mainstream airwaves in 2000 with smash hit and No. 1 single “Kryptonite” off its debut record “The Better Life.” Featuring another No. 1 single in “Loser,” the album has been certified six times platinum.
“It was kind of like deer in the headlights for the first year or so,” Harrell said. “We got thrown out to the wolves it seemed like, but it’s all been a learning experience.”
3 Doors Down followed up “The Better Life” with 2002’s “Away From The Sun,” which sold more than 4 million albums and featured two more No. 1 singles in “When I’m Gone” and “Here Without You.” The band’s third record —“Seventeen Days” — was released in 2005 and was the group’s first album to debut at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart. The second was 3 Doors Down’s self-titled full-length album in 2008, which also debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Rock Albums, Digital Albums and Alternative Albums charts and was the first record to feature former Puddle of Mudd drummer Upchurch.
In July, 3 Doors Down released “Time of My Life,” which debuted at No. 1 on the iTunes chart and is currently No. 17 on the Billboard Hard Rock Albums chart. Singles “When You’re Young” and “Every Time You Go” both debuted at No. 1 on the iTunes Rock Singles chart. The band has had six No. 1 singles, received three Grammy nominations and five BMI Pop Awards for songwriting, with Arnold earning BMI’s Pop Songwriter of the Year award in 2002.
“I think it’s just the fact that we still enjoy doing what we do together,” Harrell said of the band’s continued success. “We love doing it and have a lot of fun doing it together. I think that we’ve just been fortunate to have some of the greatest fans out there that keep us going. There’s a lot of elements that have played into us still being out here. Everything just fell into place.”
Though 3 Doors Down has gone far with its’music, it has also gone great lengths to give back. The band formed The Better Life Foundation in 2003 with the mission of helping children and young adults in need between Mobile, Ala., and Biloxi, Miss. The foundation has raised more than $2 million for charity to date and on Nov. 19, 3 Doors Down will hold its eighth annual TBLF concert in Tunica, Miss., with Seether.
In addition to supporting several charities all over the country, The Better Life Foundation also provided assistance to the Gulf Coast region of Mississippi after Hurricane Katrina.
“It’s just been real, real cool to have actually been a part of,” Harrell said. “We’ve actually watched this thing change lives for the better, and it’s just one of those things that we’re all proud to be a part of. It’s really cool to watch somebody’s life change for something you do. It’s been a blessing to us, and we’re going to continue to do it.”
3 Doors Down has also given back to the troops, having been part of the United Services Organization tour and played overseas.
“That was probably one of our better trips we ever made,” Harrell said. “We got to firsthand go see what the soldiers give up to keep us free, and they definitely don’t do it for the money. It’s just really cool to be able to go see those guys and play for them overseas. They’re just so far away from their friends and family. Just seeing what those guys give up changed our lives.”
While 3 Doors Down has racked up many miles and experiences on the road, no trip was quite like the one it took to Bahrain in 2004, when the band thought its journey was going to end on a refueling stop at an Egyptian Air Force base.
“We almost had a wreck in Egypt,” Harrell said. “We were coming down and there were a bunch of camels on the runway, man. So we started pulling up real hard and you could just hear the motor grinding. It seemed like we were just going to fall right out of the sky, but yeah. There’s quite a few stories that we could tell like that that’s happened over the years. I thought we were gone [right then].”
Time of their life
Sixteen years after four friends dreamt of being touring musicians, 3 Doors Down has fulfilled that dream and is continuing to live it.
“As long as we can keep doing it out there, we’re going to keep doing it because it’s truly what we love to do,” Harrell said. “We just write songs by where we feel we’re at, and I don’t think we’re going to change much.”
Revisiting cities like Toledo, where 3 Doors Down played at the Toledo Sports Arena as an opening act for Sevendust and Creed in its early days 11 years ago, is a reminder of just how far the band has come.
“We’ve played in every hole-in-the-wall you can think of,” Harrell said. “We’ve also played all the bigger places. The crowd keeps it real every night. It really doesn’t matter where you’re playing. If you’ve got people out there in front of you singing the words back to you and having a good time, that’s what it’s about to us.”
3 Doors Down will headline a concert that also features Grand Rapids, Mich., band Pop Evil on Nov. 5 at the Huntington Center, 500 Jefferson Ave. in Downtown Toledo. Doors are at 7 p.m. Tickets ($37.50 and $47.50) are available through all Ticketmaster locations and can also be purchased at ticketmaster.com or by phone at 800-745-3000. Tickets are also available through the Huntington Center box office, which can be reached by phone at (419) 321-5007.