With more than 30 million albums sold, 18 million digital single sales, billions of streams and 12 iconic hits combined, the bands 3 Doors Down and Collective Soul are inviting their fans aboard The Rock and Roll Express Tour, which is produced by Live Nation, this summer with special guest Soul Asylum.
“When this tour starts, from the very first song you hear from Soul Asylum all the way through the whole tour, it’s just song after song after song that you know,” said Chris Henderson, longtime guitarist of the Grammy-nominated multiplatinum rock band 3 Doors Down. “It’s really hard for any of the bands to put together an hour and a half set because there’s so many songs from all three bands that people realize. It’s just hit after hit. It’s a really cool tour to be a part of. It doesn’t happen every day like that.”
Growing up in the small town of Escatawpa in Mississippi, music has always been a part of Henderson’s life. Henderson’s mother was a church organist while his brother was sort of a child prodigy.
“He was always practicing something [whether it be] banjo, guitar, violin, or clarinet. He turned out to be a really, really gifted musician,” said Henderson. “So there was always someone practicing music around the house. Being from Mississippi, music is kind of in your soul a little bit. So I picked up music that way through them.”
Because he grew up in a small town, Henderson said he didn’t have many options about which band he could play in.
“There weren’t that many musicians in that town so you either played in this band or you played in the only other band that was in town,” explained Henderson. “So when 3 Doors Down started, I was in the other band. So as soon as an opening came up, I switched over. I’ve been around these guys my whole life and I don’t ever remember meeting them, I just remember knowing them.”
Out of all the hits that the band has such as “Kryptonite,” “Here Without You” and “When I’m Gone,” Henderson said his favorite song to play is “Duck and Run,” which is the third single from the band’s debut album The Better Life.
Being a true southern guy himself, Henderson said he draws a lot of influences from rock and country artists.
“Probably Brian May from Queen was one of my first influences,” explained Henderson. “Being from Mississippi, you get the whole Skynyrd thing. Then over the years, I’ve started getting into country music a little bit. I have an eclectic gathering of guitar players that I think are really cool.”
When the band comes to Long Island later this month, Henderson said he’s looking forward to enjoying the weather and taking in the sites of New York.
“I’m just a fan of New York City and love the town and the way that city works,” said Henderson. “But I like upstate a lot. I have a lot of friends and family there, so I like upstate and how pretty it is. I love the pace of it.”
The band’s latest album Us and the Night was released in 2016, after a five-year gap from their fifth studio album Time of My Life, which was released in 2011. During that gap, Henderson said the band had to go through a learning curve after new members joined the band.
“It was different because we had new members and people we’ve never written with and never recorded with before,” said Henderson. “We went out and played some shows with them and toured the world with them first to get them acclimated to being in 3 Doors Down and how things work with us.”
After some time away from the studio, the band is looking forward to dropping some new music.
“We’ve been writing, so we’re going to go back to the studio and put the finishing touches on what we’ve been doing and start making some new music,” said Henderson. “We don’t know exactly how we’re going to do it. We don’t know if it’s going to be a record or a single. No one ever knows what’s going to happen in the music business. Fans don’t get music like they used to so we might try something different.”
Even with all the success the band has had thus far, the band was caught up in some controversy after making headlines across the country last year when they performed for President Donald Trump’s inauguration.
“It was pretty scary to be honest. Just to see the people as far as the eye can see and playing at the Lincoln Memorial. It was crazy to be sitting that close to the president and to be sitting that close to people you only see on TV. We’ve already met President Trump a couple times prior to playing the inauguration but just to be a part of history and being a part of something for the country, was really cool,” said Henderson unapologetically. “It was scary but at the same time exciting. We were proud to do it.”
Being part of the band, Henderson has the opportunity to experience the world and its different cultures.
“You miss a lot of what you do and you take it for granted,” Henderson explained. “We’ve been doing it for so long that we learned how to appreciate the places we go. My favorite part about being on the road now is experiencing all the different places and not taking them for granted anymore and soak up some culture and learn a different language. It’s pretty cool.”
3 Doors Down along with Collective Soul will be chugging along to Long Island on Tuesday, Aug. 14, at The Amphitheater at Bald Hill in Brookhaven. For concert tickets, visit www.ticketmaster.com.