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Posted May 18, 2014 by Always Acoustic in Interviews
 
 

Interview with Brad Arnold of 3 Doors Down


This tour’s called Songs from the Basement and we really wanted [it] to feel like the fans and our friends are at band practice

3 Doors Down returned to the road on January 10, 2014 for the 3 Doors Down Acoustic – Songs from the Basement Tour.  According to Brad Arnold, the tour is called  Songs from the Basement  because “[3 Doors Down] really wanted [the shows] to feel like the fans and our friends are at band practice.”

3 Doors Down have always honored their fans with bonus acoustic tracks from their albums like “Be Like That,” “Away from the Sun,” “Here Without You,” “It’s Not My Time” and “When You’re Young,” including acoustic albums like Acoustic EP and Where My Christmas Lives. Arnold explains why 3 Doors Down finally toured acoustically, “I suppose what inspired the tour was we played a show here in Nashville last year. … We had so much fun at it, that we kind of said the same thing, ‘why have we waited so long to do an acoustic tour?’ So we set it up and [we have] been on it pretty much ever since.”

3 Doors Down has performed all over the World, however they haven’t performed in Japan. This year they will be performing at an American Air Force base in Okinawa for the American troops. Brad Arnold remarked, “This summer in the midst of all this touring in the States, we’re taking a chance to go over to Japan and play. … I’ve always wanted to play in Japan and I’ve never had the ­chance to.”

On July 4th, 3 Doors Down will be performing a very patriotic show. They will be performing at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii. Arnold remarked, “We’ve played Hawaii before, but this one’s kind of special circumstances because we’re playing Pearl Harbor Navy base on July the 4th. That’s going to be a very patriotic show and I’m sure it’s going to be a lot of fun.”

Aaron Keker of Always Acoustic and Brad Arnold discuss the Songs from the Basement tour, music he sang as a child, wearing a cowboy hat, the U.S. Air Force, Brad riding in the backseat of the U.S.A.F. Thunderbirds and flying 9Gs and why he calls Chris Daughtry, “My Brother.”

AK: 3 Doors Down returned to the road on January 10th of this year, in Reno, Nevada for the 3 Doors Down Acoustic – Songs from the Basement tour. How much have the fans embraced the intimacy of the Songs from the Basement tour?

BA: Man, we love this acoustic tour! We just keep adding to it because: One, the tour is successful, but Two, man, we just love getting up there in this setting. It’s really intimate! It’s not like a bunch of guys getting up there trying to be rock stars and we set the tour up, really a lot like it’s in the basement.

This tour’s called Songs from the Basement and we really wanted [it] to feel like the fans and our friends are at band practice. We set up couches on the stage and people buy those tickets to come sit up there.

We get up there and tell jokes and mess around and really have fun. That’s what it’s all about at the end of the day. You know what, I like to look out at the crowd and see them cheering and stuff out there, but I really enjoy looking out there and seeing the crowd laughing at something goofy or something that we are doing that is funny.

The tour’s been going great and I think it’s going continue to go great.

We get up there and tell jokes and mess around and really have fun.

AK: Glad it’s going great! 3 Doors Down has always honored their fans with bonus acoustic tracks from their albums like “Be Like That,” “Away from the Sun,” “Here Without You,” “It’s Not My Time” and “When You’re Young.” You guys even released acoustic albums like Acoustic EP and Where My Christmas Lives. Why did it take so long for 3 Doors Down to perform an acoustic tour like the Songs from the Basement?

BA: That’s a good question! Over the years we played acoustic shows here and there, but never really like full-blown shows. It never really occurred to us to go out and play acoustic like this, but I suppose what inspired the tour was we played a show here in Nashville last year.

It [was] just set up to be all acoustic and we hadn’t even played it. We had so much fun at it, that we kind of said the same thing, “why we waited so long to do an acoustic tour?” So we set it up and [we have] been on it pretty much ever since. (Laughter)

AK: (Laughter) What was your favorite song to sing as a child?

BA: Oh, man! I don’t know. Goodness gracious! I’ve [sung] so many songs. I grew up in church and I am the youngest of seven kids and all my brothers and sisters would walk around the house singing.

So I guess I probably would sing whatever they were singing, and I guess one of the main songs [that] I used to walk around my house sing[ing] when I was a kid was actually a Steven Curtis Chapman song called “The Great Adventure.” I always liked singing that song for some reason.

AK: I thought maybe you might have said, “Hallelujah.”

BA: Yeah! (Laughter) My aunt actually said that.

AK: (Laughter) One of my favorite songs from Time of My Life is “Heaven.” I didn’t see it on any previous set lists from the Songs from the Basement tour, but I believe that the song would translate amazingly on acoustic. Will 3 Doors Down be performing that song during the Songs from the Basement tour when you guys go back on tour on May 30th?

BA: We’re going to switch the set list up a little bit this time. I’m not sure if  “Heaven” will be in there or not. I like playing that song too. It doesn’t really seem like it, but it sometimes can be a little bit of a difficult song to sing on tour and get the notes right. So if I feel like I can sing it really well, we might put it in there.

AK: Always Acoustic are big supporters of 3 Doors Down and I am looking forward to covering the Songs from the Basement show on July 15th at the Chicago House of Blues. Are there any dates that you are looking forward to?

BA: Man, I am really looking forward to a lot of the California dates this time. Chicago’s always a great city to play! We haven’t been up in Canada in a little while and we’re going up there.

I’m really looking forward to that and a few of the Texas shows too because I’ve gotten to be some pretty good friends with a few people in Texas. I look forward to seeing those guys and they’ve not necessarily seen us play live.

You always look forward to your friends coming to your shows so I am looking forward to those shows as well.

AK: And you can bring that cowboy hat that Jen made you wear.

BA: (Laughter) Yeah, really!

AK: (Laughter)

BA: (Laughter) I have a big old head, man and that cowboy hat looked so (laughter) big on my body.

AK: (Laughter) I know. You looked really happy too.

BA: (Laughter)

AK: Brad, you posted a video on Instagram on May 9th with the caption, “Doin’ a little singin’ on a demo for a new song. The records comin’ right along.” What is the name of the demo that you were singing?

BA: Well right now, we don’t really have a firm title for that song. The song right now is called “You Better Believe It.” It’s … talking about this kid playing his guitar in the verse, but you don’t really hear that in that clip.

But the verse is talking about this kid playing the guitar and nobody ever believed in him and telling him [that] he needed to change his ideas. Start following real dreams [because] you’ve chased that one too far. That chorus that says, “Everybody’s got a right to change and I didn’t say that I would. Everybody’s got to do their own thing and I think that I should.

To me that song says a lot. It’s kind of a simple song. You got to follow your own dreams! You don’t necessarily have to do what other people tell you to. Sometimes it’s great to follow other peoples’ advice. Sometimes you kind of got to listen to your heart.

AK: Sometimes those simple songs are the ones that are major hits.

BA: Absolutely!

I always wanted to play in Japan and I’ve never had the chance to

AK: Okay! So you have no idea how many songs will be on the album or what the album will be named then yet?

BA: We don’t really know what the album will be named. Probably be about eleven or twelve songs. We’ve got three or four written so far. That being said, when we make a record a lot of bands will go write [about] forty or fifty songs and pick ten or twelve that they like. That’s good and fine, but we’ve never really been a band that[’s] done that.

If we put out a record that [has] twelve songs on it, we probably didn’t write more than fifteen or sixteen and we just picked the best twelve out of those. So we’re getting there. We’re about twenty percent there right now.

AK: 3 Doors Down has played all over the World and performed in front of all types of crowds, including the Boy Scouts. Are there any places in the World that 3 Doors Down has not performed yet, but would like to?

BA: Yeah, man! This summer in the midst of all this touring that we’re doing in the States, we’re taking a chance to go over to Japan and play. We’re actually not playing for a Japanese audience. We’re playing at an American Air Force base in Okinawa.

With that being said, I know we’ll be playing for American troops, I am looking forward to those guys taking us out around maybe a Japanese city if we get a chance to [because] we’ll only be there for a couple of days.

I’ve always wanted to play in Japan and I’ve never had the chance to. Furthermore I’m glad to get to go there and play for our soldiers. We’re always proud what those guys [do for us] and we do everything we can for them.

Right after that we’re coming back to Hawaii. We’ve played Hawaii before, but this one’s kind of special circumstances [because] we’re playing at a Pearl Harbor Navy base on July the 4th. That’s going to be a very patriotic show and I’m sure it’s going to be a lot of fun.

AK: What are the differences between playing for the military and just playing for a regular person?

BA: They’re very appreciative of you being there and that’ll mean you will never hear “Thank You” so many times in your life. We appreciate them appreciating us, but it’s all about them.

Once you get on stage, it’s very much like playing a regular show, but it’s all the things that you hear around being on stage and meeting all of the soldiers. Them telling you what your music means to them and whether it’s got  them through a time of deployment or got them through a time at home or something difficult in their life. Man, there’s nothing better that we can possibly hear from anybody!

I can build some stuff, but you just got to give me a while to stand back and look at it.

AK: Right! Brad, you and I have something in common. It took me about two days to build my dresser and it took you two days to mount Jen’s TV in her horse trailer.

BA: (Laughter)

AK: (Laughter) I guess you can rule us out as carpenters.

BA: You definitely can!

AK: (Laughter)

BA: I can build some stuff, but you just got to give me a while to stand back and look at it. (Laughter)

AK: (Laughter) If you weren’t a talented rock singer in one of the most popular bands, what do you think that you would be doing?

BA: It’s strange that we were just talking about the Air Force. If I weren’t in this band, I probably would be in the Air Force as well. My brother was in the Air Force. My father was in the Air Force and my nephew is in the Air Force. Thinking about joining myself [right] around the same time as we started touring. God led me down this road in my life.

AK: I think I actually saw a photo with you in back of a jet, so how was that?

BA: Awe man! That was unreal! That was the coolest thing that I’ve ever done in my life! I got to fly with the Thunderbirds and we flew out of Nellis Air Force base based out in Las Vegas. We went from Las Vegas to California in eight minutes.

AK: Wow!

BA: It’s a very special feeling! (Laughter)

AK: (Laughter)

BA: We pulled 9G’s in it and [did] about every maneuver that you would ever want to do in a fighter jet.

Everybody always thinks that the guys want to make you sick or this or that. That’s the last thing [they] want to do.

He told me when we sat down, “He said, ‘Look, I don’t want to make you sick. I don’t want to make you pass out or anything like that. You just tell me what you can take and we’ll keep it within the limits.” [Brad’s Response] “Just do everything once and I’ll tell you what I don’t like.” There’s nothing that we [did] that I didn’t like.

AK: I interviewed Jared Weeks, last year, and he remarked, “I’m a really big fan of 3 Doors Down … and Brad Arnold. I got to meet those guys thirty, forty different times. I literally have to contain it … like a kid in a candy store.” Are there any artists or celebrities that you get a little giddy around?

BA: People like David Mustaine, who I actually have a meeting coming up with either today [May 14] or tomorrow [May 15th]. I grew up loving Megadeath and I’ve been around him a couple of times. I can’t hardly speak — (Laughter)

AK: (Laughter)

BA: and just anybody that I grew up really kind of listening to. It’s really cool to actually meet [Dave Mustaine] and see that they’re just normal people just like us.

My brother was in the Air Force. My father was in the Air Force and my nephew is in the Air Force. Thinking about joining myself [right] around the same time as we started touring.

AK: Final question. You remarked on July 15, 2013 at The Venue at the Horseshoe Casino as Chris Daughtry left the stage on “Kryptonite,” “[That] is truly my brother! This is the best tour that I’ve been on!” Why do you think that 3 Doors Down and Daughtry hit it off so well? You guys plan on touring in the future together?

BA: We probably will sooner or later. Chris [and I], we just got along so good. He really is like my brother! The two bands share so many common fans and interests.

Everybody just has a really similar outlook on things, but beyond that Chris and I just really clicked as friends. Every night after the show we’d go sit on my bus and have a couple of beers and just sit around and talk.

It was amazing to both of us really! How many parallels [that] we had in our lives: Things that we’ve been brewing. Things that we’ve done. From the way that we’ve came into the music industry different ways, but at the same time it’s still like it is the same road.

Even before music, he and I share a lot of similarities in our lives and the way that we grew up and stuff. We’re about the same age and we’re both from the south. Chris really is a great guy!

AK: I appreciate your time and I’ll see you on July 15th.

BA: Yeah, Aaron! Thank you for your time today brother, I appreciate it!


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