With new music in hand, band performs back-to-back nights in Niagara Falls, Ontario
Preview by Joshua Maloni
Brad Arnold doesn't take success for granted.
Though his band, 3 Doors Down, has three platinum albums, three Grammy Award nominations, and myriad fans around the world, he was sweating the details on the recently released "Us And The Night."
Speaking to NFP last summer, he called the new material "different," "evolved" and, dare we say, danceable. Arnold said, "I like the songs, but it really don't matter if I like them or not."
Now, with the album out, racing to the top of the rock charts and receiving high marks on iTunes, Arnold said, "I'm incredibly relieved."
"I'm glad it's finally out there (laughs), because those couple of months in between when you got the record done and recorded and you get to add artwork on it and stuff's coming together, and especially when it's your first record in a few years - and we've been working on it for a couple years - man, it's like, 'Oh, lord. We like these songs, but, gosh, I hope everybody else does, too.' "
3 Doors Down calls the new songs bolder and blustering. The band tested some tracks while on the road last year.
"I wish we could take every song out that we write and play it for a while on tour, because it definitely gives you a little more confidence when you take it out there and people are liking it. But you can't really do that, I suppose," Arnold said.
Of course, the reason why 3 Doors Down can't take all of their new songs out on tour is because the setlist is chalk full of hits.
"We have a good problem in the sense that we've had a lot of hits - and by the grace of God. And I'm very, very thankful for that, and don't take it for granted," Arnold said. "Sometimes it's hard to fit all those hits into a show and then play some songs that are a little more random, and some that are good live songs."
When your fans are your friends, as Arnold calls them, you can't let them down.
"It's a pet peeve mine when I go to a show and expect to hear songs that are hits, and the artist doesn't play them," he said. "It drives me crazy. I'm like, 'Man, I came to hear that song, and I want to hear it.' We're always going to play those songs that people expect us to play."
As such, fans can expect to hear songs including "Loser," "When I'm Gone" and "Here Without You."
Arnold said he's excited to perform two nights at Fallsview Casino Resort in Niagara Falls, Ontario.
"Oh, man, we love it," he said. "You know, a lot of bands go on tour to support their records. We just make records so we can go on tour. (Laughs) That's what it's all about. We didn't grow up in the studio. We grew up playing in clubs and at band practice every day. To me, that's what makes a band a band, is getting out there and playing live."
One of the reasons why 3 Doors Down is still thriving after two decades - and 16 years since dropping the "Kryptonite"-fueled "The Better Life" - is a practical approach to songwriting.
Arnold, a past BMI Songwriter of the Year award recipient, said, "I guess we just kind of pace ourselves a little bit, you know? I've always believed in writing songs or not writing songs and recording songs that you can't do live. ...
"I mean, you know, you don't want to get in the studio and write a bunch of easy songs. But, you know, you've got to keep it in the back of your mind when you're recording songs that, 'Hey, I might be singing this song for 15-20 years.' If you know getting that note is going to kill you every night, mmm, you might not want to record it. You know?"
"It's good to push yourself, but you've got to think about it in a realistic fashion, too, and just realizing what your limits are and what you know you can do live," he said. "And I like to leave a little wiggle room in the studio where you can not only maybe do it live, but maybe take it a little bit further live than you do in the studio."
Bringing songs to life on stage is what 3 Doors Down is all about.
"If I'm going to be out there touring, and be away from home - and be away from my wife - and going out there and working, I want to make the most of it," Arnold said. "I want to get the most out of it, and give the most to it that I possibly can. And why not? That's what you're there for. I say just give it all you got."
3 Doors Down performs at 8:30 p.m. Thursday and 9 p.m. Friday inside the Avalon Ballroom. Click HERE for tickets.
For more on the band, visit www.3doorsdown.com.