3 Doors Down are back and ready to put out their new album “Us and the Night” which is guaranteed to be a chart topping record and give their fans something new to listen to on March 11th, 2016. This will be their first release since 2011 when they released “Time of My Life” which was the fifth studio album by 3 Doors Down; But this new record has new contributions from new members of 3 Doors Down. The band has added bassist Justin Biltonen and guitarist Chet Roberts during their extensive acoustic tour which you can check out our coverage here. We had the chance to sit down and chat with Brad Arnold, frontman for 3 Doors Down to discuss their upcoming sixth studio album, “Us And The Night” which comes out on March 11th as mentioned and can be preordered now as well as 3 Doors Down The Better Life Foundation which they started in 2003 with the goal of giving as many children as possible a better life.
Hey Brad, Thanks for taking the time to sit down and do this interview with us today. Could you give a small background on 3 Doors Down and the newest additions to the band Bassist Justin & guitarist Chet?
Yea man, We got the 2 new guys in the band. Well to me they aren’t new anymore cause they have been with us now for the last couple of years but yes we got a new guitar player Chet Roberts. Chet actually used to be our guitar tech and when Matt left the band we gave him a promotion which he was very happy about and we were too. When Todd left the band we needed a bass player and Justin has been a friend of the bands for years and has done a lot of stuff with us for our The Better Life Foundation, He does a lot of leather work in his free time and he has contributed some of those things to that. He is a natural fit, we only tried out him and one other guy out and Justin just seemed so natural and he was on fire to come play with us and we couldn’t of found a better fit for this band. He is a great dude and so is Chet; both of those guys are really really good; Not only good guys but they are great musicians and they’re very creative and brought in some new flavors as well as some new sounds. We couldn’t be happier with the results of what they have contributed to the band and we couldn’t be happier to have them in the band.
It has been five years (2011) now since Time of My Life has been released; Which has been the longest gap in between a studio album release in your entire career. What have you guys been up to during this 5 year gap? (other then writing and producing a new album)
We’re Slackers. *Laughs* Yea man, Well 5 years slips by and I know that sounds crazy but we toured off Time Of My Life for a year and half or so. Then we put The Greatest Hits album out and toured off that for awhile. Then we did the full year of our acoustic tour called Songs From The Basement and it was a lot of fun. We then spent a year and a half writing this record and it’s like you look up and last year would’ve only been 4 years. Chris & I were talking one day and we were thinking about like Holy Crap man it has been 4 years since Time Of My Life, we gotta get on the ball. We gotta do something here. You know what it just kind of slipped by and that’s what a lot of people have asked me, it’s hard to think where the time went except for time flies when you’re having fun.
However you will in fact be releasing Us and the Night on March 11th. What was the writing and recording process like for this album?
Man it was a great time, We wrote and recorded this record in Nashville, TN. It was great because we all live in Nashville and it really didn’t put any time restraints on us because we own the studio or my guitar player and one other guy own the studio that we for the most part wrote and recorded in. That can allow you a little bit of too much relaxation but we try not to do that too much, it just allowed us to be creative and not sit there watching the clock and saying man this is costing us a fortune so we better hurry up and do this. It just allowed us to go at it from just a purely artistic nature and be as creative as we wanted to be. Really man, We just approached this record open mindledy and that is what I have been telling people that have asked me about it. It’s just the best summary of how we approach the record, nothing was out of bound; We just went at it to just have fun with it again. Think for a little while we kind of just started taking it a little bit to serious and this and that and thinking that every song had to be 10 foot deep. With this record we just wanted to have fun with it, It’s a freakin’ rock and roll band and it’s like just get out there and have some fun.
When you went into the studio to begin recording this album, did have an idea of where you wanted this album to go lyrically & musically?
Well we had it pretty much written when we started the recording process and we just kind of wanted it pretty much set because you know it’s going to evolve when you get in there to start recording. There will be some things you’re going to change of course when your starting with a producer and things and Matt Wallace has done a great job on the production side of the record and maybe pulling us in different directions and things we didn’t think of. He didn’t want to change a song just for the sake of changing a song, he would challenge us musically. Especially when songs evolve over a few month period they can get there and you kind of get it set and you’re like alright this is cool but at the same time there is things you didn’t think of and to have a good producer helps. Matt came in sort of with a coach vibe to him and he listened through and got involved and said alright I like it up to here but how about we do this right here and your like ah man I never even thought of that and sometimes they were comfortable changes but sometimes they got us out of our comfort zone but ultimately it all led to better songs.
Would you say its a relief to finally have a new record coming out, already written, recorded, and produced?
ABSOLUTELY, I cannot tell you how much of a relief it is that this record is done. I was just saying that to somebody a little while ago. It will be a relief when it finally does get out cause the whole interim time, Especially being so long writing and recording it man. You can like the songs and be like man these songs are freakin’ killer but until the fans start hearing it and guys like you start hearing it and saying man I’m digging the music you’re sitting there like holy shit is anybody else going to like these songs?
With 3 Doors Down, each album has seen more success, from The Better Life (via Republic Records in 2000) to Away from the Sun (via Universal Records in 2002), Self-Titled (via Universal Republic Records in 2008), up until Time Of My Life (via Universal Records in 2011). Each record has been different in some way which only made your success grow larger. With this new record coming out on March 11th, What can the fans expect from it? Anything new on the album fans can look forward too?
There is definitely some new sounds on this record with the new guys and just us taking a different approach to it and being more open minded to anything that came along. The fans can definitely expect some new sounds on this record that they’ve never heard from 3 Doors Down.
3 Doors Down has already released 3 singles off your upcoming sixth studio album, Us And The Night. The singles being “The Broken,” “Inside Of Me,” & “Into The Dark”. Why did you choose to release these three songs off the album first?
“Into The Dark” seemed like the best first single, I just think it was a good thing to come out of the gate with and it shows the different sound for us. “The Broken” is one of my favorite songs on there, I really believe in that song and I believe in the message of that song because the message is basically a callout to you to take the world to take the world back in a good way, It’s not about revolution or anything like that its about letting your voice be heard whether your satisfied with the way the world is or if your not satisfied with the way the world is, It’s up to you to either keep the things that you like to to change the things that you don’t. There is no point in sitting around griping and bitching about what you don’t like when you have the opportunity to change it. The youth should feel empowered because it is really their world to inherit and the choices they make now, it’s important to let their voice be heard so that they can end up living in the world of which they want to live.
There is 11 tracks on “Us And The Night” all of which seem to have a deep meaning behind them. Which of the 11 tracks would you say has the most meaning behind it and what does it mean? (Living In Your Hell is one that really stands out to me)
Living In Your Hell, is about promises that are unfulfilled. So many times we’re promised things by somebody or something and it just doesn’t come true but it’s like you promised me all this stuff but here I am just basically living under your thumb. I just think that is something that we have all gone through in some aspect of our lives.
You recently released “Into The Dark”’s music video which features RJ MITTE from Breaking Bad, how did that collaboration come about?
I can actually not take any credit for that one because that was actually the production company that filmed the video. They got him and when they said he was going to be in the video I was like really thats pretty friggin’ cool. That show was friggin’ huge and when they said he would be available for the video I was like well hell yeah, That is pretty much a no brainer and he done a great job in the video and it’s pretty cool to look down through the Youtube comments and its like “It’s Walt, It’s Him”. It’s just pretty cool cause people reference that show so much in it. Definitely helping the video catch on and get some notoriety, I know he’s helped promote it some too and I am just really thankful that he was willing to be in that video. I think that video has turned out cool. I am a big fan and that’s only like the second one we have done like that but I wanna do more in the future. Doing a music video without the band in it. Nobody wants to see us cause were all ugly *Laughs* it’s like the band performances takes away from the story that you can tell with a music video and I know the band performance is cool but live videos are kind of back in the 80’s but thats what inspired me to want to do this for a living. At this some time with a story board video I think it’s kind of pointless to have the band in there cause your just taking away from the 4 minutes that the record gets to tell the story of the song and I really dig that.
3 Doors Down also has The Better Life Foundation which began in 2003 with goals to help as many children as possible have a better life. How has this foundation been going and whats new with it? The Better Life Foundation put on a concert annually. Can we look forward to a concert this year and if so when?
The Better Life Foundation has being really really good, We have the concert either in the end of November or the beginning of December and honest to god I wish I had the date to tell you for this year. We have actually done that down in Mississippi for the last years and years and we’re actually moving it over to Cherokee, NC over to the Horseshoe Casino over there and that move is going to really good for the foundation and will allow us to raise a lot more money for the foundation. That is a dollar in dollar out foundation and it has allowed us to do really really good things, it started out in south Mississippi as a mainly children charity but also special needs homes and for different things whether it be for veterans or be for just treatment homes or special needs homes. We really scrutinize who we give the money to because we want to make sure it is something worth while giving to and not to somebody who is going to waste the money, it is going to goto the ultimate good. Actually just this past year we have done our first international thing, there was a camp over in Africa and I would be lying to you if I told you I knew exactly where it was but it is a camp for orphaned children that both of their parents have died from diseases and these kids just don’t have a home or anybody. They are living in these camps and they have so many more children in there then they have beds to sleep and they’re sleeping on the ground. This year we were able to buy 15 beds for them with the last project we did with them and we plan on doing that again this year and we just try to see a need and fill a need when we think that it’s a good cause worthy of contributing to and thats my biggest thrill. I love The Better Life Foundation and to see that where that money gets to go and do is amazing. There is also a lot of people who work on that foundation a lot harder then I do and I am incredibly thankful for them. I am just proud to be apart of such a great organization.
Photo By: Matt Christine
Speaking of concerts; I saw a mention recently about a summer tour for 3 Doors Down, a few festival dates are out there already like the WMMRBQ 2016 which is local to our publication. When can fans expect a tour announcement and will the new tour be based upon your new album “Us And The Night”? The songs I have heard this far have been great, is there anything else coming up you wish to promote or say to your fans that we haven’t mentioned in this interview?
We are working on tour dates right now I just actually got a text this morning with some more dates. They will fill up very quickly and quickly more dates being added. I know there isn’t many dates up on the website right now but you can look for a lot more dates to be added very soon and on through mid summer into fall and on throughout the next year or year and a half we will be out there very heavy man. I appreciate the interview and I really do thank you for taking the time to do this interview, Have a great day brother.
3 Doors Down’s “Us and the Night’” album is due March 11. You can currently pre-order the disc and get the single “In the Dark” instantly via iTunes. Keep up with their touring schedule here or see below for dates.
MAR 20 – Universal Studios – Orlando, FL
APR 30 – Welcome To Rockville – Jacksonville, FL
MAY 01 – Fort Rock Festival – Fort Myers, FL
MAY 06 – Carolina Rebellion – Concord, NC
MAY 21 – 93.3 WMMR’s MMRBQ – Camden, NJ
MAY 27 – Rocklahoma Pryor, OK
AUG 04 – Mississippi Valley Fair – Davenport, IA