"Kryptonite" opens doors

Rarely it seems these days a band truly makes it from their own music. Usually, a record deal is signed before the band has a disc ready, or even a set list. Then the good folks at a major label shape and mold the band to their liking so it’s as commercially viable as possible.

A five-piece rock group from small town Escatawpa, Mississippi –composed of singer-drummer Brad Arnold, bassist Todd Harrell, guitarist Matt Roberts guitarist Chris Henderson and drummer Rich Liles–did it backwards.

3 Doors Down, who recently played Calgary’s DV8 festival, started playing their "straight up rock and roll" at friends’ parties, and eventually began crafting their own songs. One of those songs became so popular, it lead to their record deal with Republic.

"’Kryptonite’ did good for us in our home town," explains bassist Todd Harrell in a strong southern accent. "Got it on the local radio station, and that was eventually how we got our record deal… and our successs came from when the song… went number one on all four formats in the States."

3 Doors Down hit the charts with "Kryptonite" and began a massive touring schedule, including shows with Creed, to whom they are often compared.

"Creed’s a great band," drawls Harrell. "We’ve been out with them a couple times and, y’know, if people wanna compare us to them that’s fine. I have no problem with it. This business is too good to have those kinda problems, y’know what I’m saying?"

Harrell and the other members of 3DD know how to have fun with their new found fame. While on tour with Nickleback, the band made sure to haze their openers with large doses of silly string.

"We’re having a ball, man; we’re having a lot of fun," laughs Harrell. "If you can’t have fun doing this, something’s wrong."

Even in smaller towns and cities, the band has a blast. When they recently played Red’s in Edmonton, they played tourist by taking in West Edmonton Mall and riding the massive rollercoaster. Harrell even looked forward to hanging around Saskatoon. Next to their hometown of Escatawpa, with its 8,000 people, one traffic light and a single grocery store, Saskatoon looks thrilling.

They still call Escatawpa home, but once the Republic Records deal went through, they bought something to spice up their days with.

"We bought some jet skis," Harrell says. "They’re pretty bad. They go from, like, zero to 60 in, like, three seconds. They’re pretty awesome."

Much like the feeling of being so famous, so young. While they have an average age of about 25, and a 21-year-old lead singer, 3 Doors Down have been in the making for years. Singer Brad Arnold began songwriting in high school, while Harrell played in several previous bands.

"It’s finally paid off for us… it’s a real good feeling," says Harrell. "We still don’t look at ourselves as being big."

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