3 Doors Down : Interview : Chicago: 02.15.2003
MF: You have a new drummer playing with you in 3 Doors Down now, Daniel Adair, that joined after Josh Freeze from a Perfect Circle played on the album. Fans that have seen Daniel live seem to have reacted positively to him. Is he or will he become a permanent member of the band?
Chris Henderson: He’s got to pay his dues first. I mean this band has been together 9 years and he’s been with us 6 months. He’s got a long way to go before becoming a permanent member, but he’s well on his way. I’ll say that.
MF: How was Rick Parashar to work with as a producer?
Chris Henderson: Well, he’s brilliant, a brilliant musician and a brilliant person. He knows what he wants. He knows what he wants to the point sometimes where it’s almost too much and you’ve got to say, “Hey look here, buddy, it’s my song, watch out!” But that’s good, that’s what you want. That is what you hire a producer for. It has to be a strong personality because you have five of the biggest egos in one room. We’re not big ego guys when it comes to everyday things, but when it comes to music we are, especially together. If you’ve ever been in a band, or where they create for a living, they take pride in what they create. It’s a wall we put up when we are creating that we don’t want anyone to step into or break down or shatter. It’s our own little world. You’ve got to hire somebody who you feel confident enough in to do that. Everybody in the room has to feel the same way. That’s the way we felt about Rick, just by talking to him. So it was a wonderful experience and the album progressed and came out better than I thought it was going to, honestly. So we were very, very impressed.
MF: I understand that you shot a video for “When I’m Gone” and then used a different one. What was the story behind that?
Chris Henderson: Well, the video came up just like every video comes up. We read treatments. We paid the money and brought directors in. We did it in Mississippi, during a hurricane, Hurricane Isodore when it came ashore. We already scheduled, the hurricane came in and we were like, “Screw it, let’s do it”. The wind wasn’t blowing that hard. I mean it’s just a little hurricane. (Everyone laughs.) We brought in about 150-200 extras and left them out there all day, in the rain, in the swamp, in Mississippi, in October. So, needless to say it was cold and wet and we left them out there all day for about 18 hours out there in the hurricane and filmed the video. My wife (he had chatted about his wife before we started the interview) was in it as a matter a fact. We did the video, the video came out great. The whole theme was us being buried and when I’m gone, when I’m dead and gone type thing. We got the video edited, got it home and approved it. We were shipping it to MTV the next day. In the meantime, we went and did the Europe thing with the Navy. We brought a photographer out with us, the camera never quit rolling unless we were asleep. They put all that military stuff together with “When I’m Gone” and the label put it together with a video director who edited it together, sent it to us and we’re like “Wow!”. I mean, I cried when I saw it. So, that’s how the one video got pushed aside, the really expensive one! (Chris ad libs) “Well, this million dollar one. Ah, look at me, I don’t know what to do with all my money!” So we put that video away, but you can see it in Canada and Europe.
MF: Do you know what the next single will be and if so, why that one was chosen?
Chris Henderson: “The Road I’m On” is the next single. I wanted it to be the first single. It was a label, management and band thing. The reason it is, is because “When I’m Gone” went so far on rock radio and then it’s starting to be picked up by Top 40. Top 40 and rock radio are two totally different animals. Rock radio needs another single, they want another single. If we drop a Top 40 single on rock radio, they’re not going to play it. Then we are going to lose our rock radio base. So we have to play it smart, drop another rock song and let Top 40 do what it’s going to do�cause rock is where were are, we are a rock band and we want to take care of the rock audience. If we don’t, we are shooting ourselves in the foot. So, it has to be a rock track, that’s the logical choice.
MF: You’ve said “Away From The Sun” on this album is your masterpiece�.why?
Chris Henderson: A number of reasons, but the biggest reason is that song was written from the soul of this band at that particular time it was written. It was the one song, when people talk about music coming from their heart, coming from their soul, that was the one song that came from this band as a whole, at a point in our lives and careers when we were “Away From The Sun”, literally. We didn’t know what our future was up in the air. We had this much success, we were used to this much success and we wanted to have that success again. Our next record wasn’t out yet, we were skeptical, the label was worried and our manager was like “uh-oh”. The fans, we couldn’t get arrested in our home town cause our album had been off the shelves and our songs were going away. We were kind of scared. That song came out of that feeling, “Away From The Sun”. That is our masterpiece. That is how you want it to happen.
MF: How have the shows on the tour with Theory of a Deadman been going so far?
Chris Henderson: Great. Those are some really nice guys too. We’ve been on the road with a lot of nice bands and with a few we don’t like. Not as bands, but personally as people. That’s rough to say�
MF: �It’s even harder to do for two months straight!
Chris Henderson: Exactly! Personalities, sometimes it’s hard to put all those egos in one building. It’s hard to contain it. Rock stars can be messed up people sometimes. A lot of them have personality disorders and think that they are the shit and blah, blah, blah. A lot of guys don’t but they don’t mix. We get along with these guys great. They are a great live band and I think the two types of music seem to mix well. Our fans seem to love them and their fans seem to love us. It’s a match made in rock and roll heaven. I can’t think of another band I’d rather be out with right now.
MF: Which guitar players influenced you the most and why?
Chris Henderson: There were three, Steve Gaines, Gary Rossington and Alan Collins from Lynard Skynard. Well, there was four, Alex Leifson, too. I want to hear someone playing the guitar from inside of them and hear what they were thinking. There’s a point where you get so good, you lose what you feel and it sucks. And those guys aren’t like that.
MF: Who do you think are some of the world’s best guitar players in the world today?
Chris Henderson: Today, hmmm, Derrick Trucks. There’s a guy from Canada, Dave Martone, he is unknown, there’s a lot of feeling there. This guy is real good, I think he’s one of the best guitar players I’ve ever heard in my entire life, bar none. That’s actually how we got our drummer, from his band. I’ll just tell you the whole story, it’s kind of weird. I was sitting in the studio and listening to this music behind me and I was just getting into this guitar player and I never heard it before. I asked the studio manager, “who is that?” She goes its Dave Martone, the record is Martone, if you want it, I’ll give you a copy of it. I was like; great I’d love a copy of that because the guy is amazing! But then I was listening and I was like the drummer is so good in this band. She’s said that’s my friend Daniel. I was like, Daniel, does this band tour? Is this a band that’s out? She said nope, there’re local. I couldn’t believe it cause they are so good. I said, so this guys doesn’t have a gig? And she said no. I was like, he does now. So I asked to meet him, she introduced me and ten minutes later he was our drummer. I knew it when he walked through the door and I saw the smile on the guy’s face.
MF: Is there any band or guitarist that you’ve personally never seen live that you would love to?
Chris Henderson: Yes, there is a few. I’d love to see Zeppelin live. I know that’s not possible anymore. When I was 6 or 7, my brother wanted to go and my mom said if you take your brother you can go, and he bowed out. I wish I could of saw that concert. I wish I could have saw the original line-up of Skynard and Rush.
MF: In the notes of your current album, “Away From the Sun”, you dedicate to the memory of Denny Morgan. Who was Denny and what impact did he have on your life?
Chris Henderson: Denny was my cousin. He was my first cousin. Actually, my first cousin’s husband. Probably the biggest 3 Doors Down fan I ever met. He was an older fella, he’d been to 50 shows and traveled, he followed us in his van, him in his wife. They came to a lot of shows, man. Everything 3 Doors Down he was. If I had trouble, I could call him. I miss him terribly. (Editor’s note: This question clearly was unexpected by him, you could feel how close he was both to Denny in his words, tone of voice and by the fact that he was holding back tears at the end of the answer, which is why I think he stopped so quickly. It was extremely moving.)
MF: What are some of your most memorable fan interactions?
Chris Henderson: Well, just meeting a lot of kids at a lot of different times, it all runs through me. Every once in a while you meet one that is kind of a little different. You can tell. Just the other night in North Dakota, a kid got kicked in the face by a crowd surfer and he had this gigantic goose egg on his face. I walked back stage and he was sitting there with an ice pack and tears, he was probably 11-12 years old and tears coming down his eyes and blood coming down his nose. I walked over to him and asked, are you OK? And when he saw me, you could just see all the pain left him. That was probably the most memorable fan interaction I’ve ever had. To even make it worse, when he saw Brad he was like, who are you? Excuse me. That was cool too.
MF: Being on the road in a band is hard thing for any person. You are married with three children, what do you do to maintain that?
Chris Henderson: It is tough, man. There has got to be a lot of honesty there and a lot of trust. If you ever betray the trust part of that you can fucking forget it. It will never work. It’s something that people have to understand. Honesty and trust, nothing else can make that work. That is what you have to have. You’ve got to have a lot of communication. Ya know what? A cell phone doesn’t work, plane tickets work for communication. E-mail doesn’t work. E-mails and cell phones don’t work, you’ve got to have face time. You have to keep everything real, man. You can’t try to hide anything from each other. Both ways, everything has to be up on the surface, that’s my recommendation�
MF: If you weren’t in 3 Doors Down what would you be doing today?
Chris Henderson: I’d be playing music somewhere, maybe not for a living, but I’d be doing it. I’ve done it all my life, ever since I was 11, I’ve been in a band. I can’t think of a time in my life when I wasn’t in a band or looking for a band. There are three types of musician’s, in my opinion, there’s one that’s in a band, one that just got kicked out of a band and one that is trying to put together another band� (everyone laughs)
MF: When you go online and message board forums, and chat rooms dedicated to *you*, are you flattered or does it just freak you out?
Chris Henderson: It still freaks me out sometimes and I’m flattered. Being the guitar player a lot of times the stuff is about the lead singer, so I’m off the hook. Ya know what I mean? Which is a little comfortable to me because I’m shy? If it’s something that is good I get excited about it, if it’s something that is bad, I also get excited about it. It’s kind of neat either way. Just to see my name somewhere, other than on my driver’s license is kind of cool. It’s a dream come true�
MF: Anything else?
Chris Henderson: If I ever get an opportunity, I just to like to say thanks to any and all the fans that think they deserve thanks because they all do in my opinion. There’s a lot of people out there, I won’t say any names that think the fans are there because they’re there. It’s the other way around, they are there because the fans are there. The fans put them there. If they think I’m kidding, wait five years. You’ll find out. So, I’ve got to say thanks man to all the people that listen to us, that like our stuff and even the people that don’t like our stuff. Thanks for going on the message board and saying we suck. Because it’s our name on the message board and any advertising is good advertising. God bless all of them�
MF: Thank you.
Chris Henderson: Thank you for coming out, I really enjoyed our chat.
MF: Good luck with the tour and we’ll see you soon.
Official site www.3doorsdown.com