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3 Doors Down Discuss ‘Citizen/Soldier’

3 Doors Down had a violent reaction to the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, admitted rhythm guitarist Chris Henderson. So much so that the song the Mississippi-bred band wrote in response to it was unreleasable.

“It was a little out of taste for us,” Henderson told Noisecreep during a backstage interview at the Circle K Tempe Music Festival in Tempe, Ariz. “We’re really not that band. We just did it because we were pissed, right, and everyone else was. After we did it we were kind of like, ‘That’s not gonna change anything. It’s not going to do anybody any good,’ So it just kind of went away.”

When the National Guard came calling in 2008, however, 3 Doors Down culled the never-released, never-recorded music and turned it into the pro-soldier anthem, its latest single “Citizen/Soldier.”

“We had already written a song in response to Sept. 11,” Henderson said. “We had the music already and we had these really violent lyrics about kicking everyone’s ass and shit. Then Toby Keith of course came out with his song. So we’re like, ‘No sense in us actually putting it out.’ So we didn’t. We held it.”

“When the National Guard approached us to write the song for the National Guard, why don’t we use that song because it’s already got that vibe. It’s got that Middle Eastern feel already. We said, ‘We’ll use that music and change the lyrics.”

Sitting in a trailer as the band brewed homemade coffee, Henderson said it doesn’t bother him that many consider the “Citizen/Soldier” video, which airs in selected movie theaters before films begin, a “recruiting video.”

“Call it what you want,” Henderson said. “But that wasn’t the premise behind it. The premise behind it was to raise awareness of the National Guard. At the time, the military was getting tons of negative press for what was going on in Iraq. Those kids aren’t doing that for the money. They’re doing it because they’re told to do what they’re told to do. We were doing what we were asked to do because we support them.”

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