This morning, The Upside News literally said “g’day” to Nashville based, guitarist, Chris Henderson of successful American rock band, 3 Doors Down, and had a chin wag about his musical influences, evolving band line ups, getting their new album out and prospective tour dates.
Here’s what he had to say to Lauren McAleer:
UN: G’Day Chris! You’ve just released your album Us and the Night. What’s been the best part of getting this new album out there?
CH: You know, just putting a record out there after so long. It’s a relief; that’s the best part, just being able to take a breath and relax for a minute and not have to worry about writing and creating and all the other things that go with putting a record out.
UN: I understand there were some delays from the original release date for this album – can you elaborate on that a bit:
CH: Well, we lost half the band in the last five years. So it’s just been, setback after setback, and then we wanted to go and record at a certain point and then we lost our bass player which was another setback, and then we decided we were going to go write and put a tour together to kind of reintroduce the new member of the band in, so it’s just been setback after setback. It’s been really nice getting started and really getting the writing done to get it recorded. It felt good.
UN: So what’s inspired the songs on this new album?
CH: I think that just the events of the last five years have been probably the biggest source of inspiration, just back and forth with what happened with Matt, what happened with Todd, and what happened with the band, I think that’s been the biggest source of inspiration.
UN: Okay, I’m going to ask you this because I’m always curious, what are you listening to at the moment?
CH: In my CD player at the moment, I’m listening to a band called Red Sun Rising.
UN: Have they been an inspiration for this album or previous works?
CH: No, whenever I write, I quit listening to music for like three months before I start writing, just so I don’t end up poaching stuff by accident.
UN: Tell me a bit more about the song writing process for this album:
CH: It’s been great, like I said, we shut down listening to music and I listen to pop music, versus listening to rock before I start writing. It doesn’t really inspire me as a writer but it just keeps my mind clear; pop music is pretty mindless and pretty brainless. It’s basically like watching a bright light, or lights flashing; it just kinda gets you through the day. So I mean, just being able to go back and create and put stuff down on paper, if you will, just to record stuff, it’s quite refreshing. The process goes: a lot of stuff happens, but it’s music first, so we write the body of music before lyrics and then Brad will listen to each part and start adding lyrics to them slowly and that’s how songs develop for us.
UN: On this new album, what track do you connect with the most?
CH: I would say ‘Us And The Night’, the title track, would be the track I connect with the most at the moment and I think the reason why is because [of the lyrics] “come on, come one, let’s enjoy the ride”, like don’t sweat the small stuff, don’t take things too seriously, just have fun, because that’s what music is all about. That song really just speaks to me in that way.
UN: I wasn’t able to find any Australian tour dates, are you planning on coming here at any time in the near future?
CH: We are. It’s hard to get it scheduled, so we’re looking at the end of this year to get over that way, we’re working it out as we speak.
UN: And you’ve been here before?
CH: Yes, three times
UN: What do you like about playing in Australia?
CH: One of the things I love about Australia, is just how nice everyone is. Everyone is just so friendly and I like that. You kind of feel like you’re at home when you are there.
UN: Tell me a little bit about the film clip ‘In The Dark’, who came up the storyline for the film clip?
CH: Well, that’s the director, but we put the song out to a bunch of differently people and they write what they think the song means to them visually, and that was one of the visual stories we got back from this certain director and we liked it and thought it was cool. We were able to let him run with that.
UN: 3 Doors Down have been together for two decades now, what’s the secret to staying together and continuing to create music together?
CH: Just being friends first and not letting the business side of it interfere with the friendship. A lot of people take the business side of it really seriously, and I think you can take it for what it is, but be friends first, and take that other stuff lightly. It is important, don’t get me wrong, but it’s not the most important thing. The band is bigger than any one person in the band.
UN: One last question, tell me what was the first song you ever learned on guitar?
CH: It’s probably the same song for a lot of people in rock and roll, either ‘Smoke On The Water’ or ‘Iron Man’; one of those two. I wouldn’t call myself a huge fan of either, I think they’re both just those songs that everybody knows. Every guitar player at some point is going to be shown or learn those riff through being a guitar player. It’s just one of those things.
Us and the Night is available in stores and online now, and keep checking 3 Doors Down’s socials for tour dates.
By Lauren McAleer.