If they go crazy, would you still . . . ?

By Matt Lee

3 Doors Down has hit the road again to promote its newest album “Seventeen Days” and will play at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 19 at the Convocation Center. Guitarist Chris Henderson talked with Weekender about the maturing of the band’s music, Hurricane Katrina and the up-coming release of its new live DVD, “Away From The Sun.”

Weekender: You guys are on tour right now, right?

Chris Henderson: We are, yes.

WE: How’s the tour going?

CH: It’s going pretty good. We’ve got Alter Bridge and Shinedown out with us. It’s a rock show, that’s a fact. A rock show is always fun, so we’re having a good time.

WE: You guys were recently on Monday Night Football. What was that like?

CH: It was pretty cool. It was kind of weird being at a [New Orleans] Saints home game in New York, but other than that, because I’ve been to many games before, it really just wasn’t the same. It was still pretty cool and it was for a good cause. It was the NFL relief weekend. They were trying to raise 20 million dollars for Hurricane Katrina and we were just trying to help out the best we could.

WE: Your group is about to release a new DVD, right?

CH: Yes. Ten dollars from each one of those goes into The Better Life fund. It’s actually called “Away From The Sun,” and it was filmed in Houston. It will give you a taste of what the show is like and the show is a lot different now than it was then because it was filmed two years ago.

WE: Are you playing the music you want to play now, more so than in the past?

CH: Most definitely. In this business, you start out being told what to do and if you have enough success, you can start telling people what you want to do and we are at the point where we can do what we want to do.

WE: How has your band progressed since the first album?

CH: Our sound has definitely matured. On our first record, there was so many people saying, “this is what you have to sound like and these songs should be like this.” So, that’s what we did. On our second record, we were scared to death that we weren’t going to have the same amount of success and we were going to lose our lifestyle. Once again, we were subject to listen to those guys. On our third record, “Seventeen days,” we were like “you know what, we don’t care what you have to say. This is what we have to say.” So, we were able to make our own record.

WE: What is your favorite song to play?

CH: “Right Where I Belong” is my favorite song to play because it’s fun and gets the blood flowing.

WE: Does it bother you that you wind up on pop radio stations as opposed to rock stations?

CH: If you write a song that translates from rock to pop, there’s nothing you can do about it. We really don’t have much control over that, but it’s OK with me as long as people are hearing it and my family can eat.

WE: How do you handle it when people come up to you and say, “Oh my gosh, you’re part of 3 Doors Down!”?

CH: It kind of embarrasses me a little bit. I’m not really set up for that whole thing. I’m not set up to be that kind of person. I get a little embarrassed and a little shy. It’s kind of fun and exciting at the same time. I think it’s very cool when people think that I’m cool.

WE: Do you prefer touring or do you prefer to be in the studio?

CH: I prefer touring because it’s kind of an evolving thing. After you get over the coolness of being in a room that looks like the space shuttle cockpit – after about six hours of that – you’re over it. You spend a great deal of time in that room, between 18 to 20 hours a day, probably for six or seven weeks and it’s grueling. You’re always in a hurry and trying to rush stuff. I love that situation. But on tour, I can relax a little bit and I can enjoy life a little more, so I love being on the road.