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3 Doors Down Discuss New Album

With “Citizen/Soldier” filling rock airwaves, 3 Doors Down is retreating to its rehearsal space to begin work on the follow-up album to its 2008 self-titled release.

“We start in like a week,” said rhythm guitarist Chris Henderson to Noisecreep during an April 4 backstage interview at the Circle K Tempe Music Festival in Tempe, Ariz. “We’ve got some stuff from the last record that we didn’t use, which is a good problem to have. We actually have a couple that have ‘single’ potential. We didn’t want to stack this record (‘3 Doors Down’) with too many singles because then they kind of get lost in the mix and they just become album tracks. You can’t really let that happen in this day and age, you have to save it so you can have records instead of songs.”

3 Doors Down entered the music business in the mid-1990s, before the advent of downloadable material. So the band–which also includes lead singer Brad Arnold, guitarist Matt Roberts, bassist Todd Harrell and drummer Greg Upchurch–subscribes to the theory that an album should be pleasing in its entirety.

“We got into this business years before downloading so we still kind of live by that creed that you make a record, not just go slap a single around like the hip-hop guys do,” Henderson said. “You can make a ton of money like that but you really can’t have any longevity. We want to do this for awhile, if we can. I can’t do anything else at this point.”

Henderson explained that 3 Doors Down essentially makes appointments to sit down and write, as it will do next week.

“We sit down and say, ‘We’re writing from this day to this day and we go in there and just do it,'” Henderson said. “If it doesn’t happen, we don’t force it. There’s been a lot of times when we’ve written for six weeks and not gotten anything. We just kind of go in there and drink beer. But there’s other times when we just crank out many songs, or many ideas, you never really know. We don’t force it. We just let it happen organically. That’s the only way. Songwriting isn’t easy. If it was easy everyone here would have a hit record.”

He anticipates that the band will once again use knob-turner Johnny K on the forthcoming record, which he hopes will hit stores later this year.

“He’s the man,” Henderson said. “He’s such a gifted guy. He lets a band grow underneath him. He doesn’t overstep his bounds as a producer like a lot of guys. He doesn’t try to get into the songwriting process. There’s already five egos in the band. We don’t need another one. He does his job and he lets us do our job, which is very unheard of. A lot of producers take it personally. They change for the sake of change, not for the sake of the song. Most important thing at the end of the day is the song.

Speaking of songs, 3 Doors Down is thrilled that ‘American Idol‘ chose to use “Let Me Be Myself” in its commercials touting its Top 10 finalists.

“That’s awesome,” he said. “That’s really cool. I still haven’t seen the commercial but everybody’s been talking about it. It’s really cool. That’s what you want to happen. That’s an honor because of the songs that that organization’s spawned over the years, as well as the artists.”

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