Us and the Night

3 Doors Down headlines Taste of Blue Ash

By Matt Clevenger

Photo: (l-r) Greg Upchurch, Chris Henderson, Brad Arnold, Justin Biltonen, and Chet Roberts of 3 Doors Down

On tour in support of their new album, Us and the Night, alternative-rockers 3 Doors Down will offer a free concert at Blue Ash’s Summit Park Aug. 27, headlining the annual Taste of Blue Ash festival.

Originally from Escatawpa, Mississippi, the group formed in 1996 and quickly gained national attention with the release of their first single, “Kryptonite,” which was self-produced. Building on the success of that song, the band signed a record deal and released their debut album, The Better Life, in 2000.

The band released a string of hits and successful albums, but several lineup changes followed, starting when drummer Daniel Adair left the band to join Nickelback in 2005 and was replaced by Greg Upchurch from Puddle of Mudd. Founding guitarist Matt Roberts departed the band in 2012 and was replaced by guitar tech Chet Roberts. Bassist Todd Harrell was fired from the band in 2013, after being charged with vehicular homicide, and replaced by Justin Biltonen.

3 Doors Down persevered, and now they’re at it again with a new tour and a new album, which hit stores in March. Despite that busy schedule, guitarist Chris Henderson recently shared his time for an interview with Dayton City Paper, discussing the tour, the new album, and the band’s plans for the future.

It’s been several years since your last studio album. Was there a reason for the delay? 

Chris Henderson: There were a lot of different things. We had two new members in the band. We had two guys in the band drop out, and we had to find two new members. We did an acoustic tour, we did a greatest hits record that a lot of people don’t even know about. So, it wasn’t like we just kind of took off and went home. We were working, but we just weren’t in the press.

How has adding new band members (Chet Roberts and Justin Biltonen) affected the band? 

CH: The dynamic is definitely changed a bit. When you add new people, it definitely changes. It doesn’t change everything, but it changes some things. But it’s changed for the better. It’s made things fresh and new, and it’s been a pretty good change.

3 Doors Down has faced some difficult issues with other lineup changes in the past. How has the band dealt with that?

CH: I mean, you just do, man. It’s like when somebody gets a new job. Everyone around them still performs their job the same, and you have to make arrangements for the other guy. It’s not like a pro football team where you’ve got a new quarterback; the quarterback’s still in place. It’s just more musicians. It kind of sucks when someone leaves the band, but that’s a fact of being in a band for 25 years…people are going to leave. Not everyone can handle it. Not everybody can do the job for that long, you know.

Do you think your sound has changed at all on the new album? How would you compare Us and the Night with your earlier work?

CH: It’s a little bit more modern. I mean, it’s still rock and roll. At the end of the day, we’re not putting out country records and we’re not trying to become a bandback, you know…The sound has definitely evolved and the songwriting has evolved, but we’re still a rock band. You kind of stay in the realm of that. We made some updates; we did some writing in a different way this time, which kind of helped update the sound a little bit, and used some different instrumentation. But other than that, man, it’s still 3 Doors Down.

Not everyone knows this, but your whole band is very involved with fundraising and charity work. Can you tell us a little about your organization, The Better
Life Foundation? 

CH: We do an annual concert event every year; we used to do it in Mississippi, but this year we’re doing it in Cherokee, North Carolina. We collect things all year long and we auction them off, we play a big show, and we do a lot of events around the show.  I mean, it’s a lot of really cool stuff, and we’ve made over $3 million dollars in the last 13 years that we’ve given directly to charity.

We’d also just like to say thank you to everyone who supported the band over the years, from the bottom of our hearts. We always like to thank them anyway that we can. I also want to mention that if people are worried about us cussing or anything onstage, we don’t do any of that stuff – so feel free to bring the kids if they want to come. People can come to the show and not have to worry about any of that with us.

What are your plans for the rest of the summer? You’re getting ready to launch a major U.S. tour, are you working on any new material?

CH: We’ve got a tour coming up that starts at the end of August, with Red Sun Rising and Pop Evil.

We’re not working on anything new. The new record just came out in March, so we haven’t even done the initial tour for it yet; we’ve just been kind of doing the weekend warrior stuff. So, we’re going to promote this one for a little while longer, and then we’ll start working on something new. I don’t know exactly when yet.

3 Doors Down performs Aug. 27 at Summit Park in Blue Ash, during the annual Taste of Blue Ash festival. Admission is free. For more information, please visit

Reach DCP freelance writer Matt Clevenger at

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