Of course, the major crowd favorite is, and probably always will be, that staple of bar bands everywhere, “Kryptonite.” “It was kind of hard to get past it for a while,” laughs Chris. “We would be thinking, ‘We have more songs than this.’ We had to continuously write and write and do well. We didn’t want to be one-hit wonders. It was stressful, but once we finally delivered a record with other hits on it, we were okay with it. When you have a really big song like that, it’s tough. It’s better to have three or four big songs then one really great one. But the older stuff, I don’t ever get tired of it. I just look around at the crowd. I’m really good at playing them, because I’ve been doing it for so long, and they’re still fun. The crowd loves the songs. When you start playing a song people cheer. What more could you ask for?”

It’s pretty heady stuff for a band with such humble beginnings. “We’re from a relatively small town,” Chris comments. “It had about 3,000 people in it. Probably less then that now, probably 2,000. We were the only rock musicians in the town. Me and Todd were in a country band before this band. We did some Skynyrd, but it was pretty much just country. It wasn’t rock and roll for sure. When that band broke up, we started to play with Brad. He was the only singer in town, who also happened to be a great songwriter. He used to play drums and sing. Brad’s not the greatest drummer on the planet, but he’s really solid, with great feel.”

Being from a small town in the south, Chris and the boys didn’t have a lot to guide them. “I was from Mississippi,” he says. “I didn’t have cable, and no rock radio. You listened to country, and you listened to gospel. It was weird, but I had a few records I was able to scam. One was Iron Maiden, one was a band from Japan called Loudness, and Lynyrd Skynyrd, and country, but the mainstream ones were Skynyrd and Motley Crue. I made it a mission to find obscure bands to listen to, that’s how I found Loudness. Skynyrd was pretty much my staple, and of course Zeppelin, things like that.

Chris actually has a recently christened New Jersey connection. “I just wrote a song with a guy from Jersey,” he laughs. “Patrick Droney, I think he’s from Seaside. I had met him at Namm (the annual convention of musical instrument manufacturers). He’s like 13 years old. He came down here, and we wrote a song. It’s called ‘Everything.’ It’s going to be on his new album.”

3 Doors Down will be playing at the PNC Bank Arts Center in Holmdel, NJ, on July 16 and at the Susquehanna Bank Center in Camden, NJ, on July 26. For more info, visit 3doorsdown.com

Photo Credit: Chapman Baehler

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