Chris Henderson Talks New Guitarist, New Songs: "We're still writing songs better than ever, playing better than ever"
3 Doors Down plans to include three brand new songs on a greatest hits set the group is putting out this fall.
Guitarist Chris Henderson tells Billboard.com that the group -- currently on the Gang of Outlaws tour with ZZ Top and Gretchen Wilson -- will be hitting a Nashville studio later this month to record the tracks, which he says are "written and ready to go." He calls the tunes "modern 3 Doors...These new tracks are a little heavier, a little more modern, but it still sounds like 3 Doors 'cause no one can sing like Brad (Arnold)." Marti Frederiksen, one of the group's collaborators on 2011's "Time of My Life," worked with 3 Doors Down again on the new songs.
"We had a really good time and liked him," Henderson notes. "On 'Time of My Life' we worked with a few songwriters, but they did their homework almost too well; when they brought their ideas to us it sounded like our songs. We were like, 'What the hell do we need you guys for?' So this time we approached it with that in mind and just used (Frederiksen) instead of a bunch of guys."
Henderson says the prospect of a greatest hits album is "a dream come true, but also scary, 'cause usually when a greatest hits record comes out people are like, 'OK, there ya go. You later, guys,' and we're not ready for that." In fact, he says 3 Doors Down already has "a couple of songs in the kitty" for its next album, which he predicts will "probably happen pretty quick. Within the year we'll probably start working about. We're still writing songs better than ever, playing better than ever. We feel great. So our career is still going."
There have been some recent changes, though. Original guitarist Matt Roberts left the band in May due to health reasons. He's been replaced by Henderson's guitar tech Chet Roberts, which has made the transition smooth. "He's been over there every night for the last three years... so he knows the songs, and he's a great player in his own right," Henderson says. "When all this went down with Matt, (Roberts) was like, 'Give me a couple of hours and let's get together and play these songs. No problem. It wasn't an adjustment at all. It worked out great, so I had to get my guitar tech a guitar tech."
Henderson adds that "Chet is actually playing different than what Matt would normally play. He does a lot of Matt's old parts, but we're allowing him to do his own thing. He's got a touch to him where he's really easy to play with."
But Henderson says the band isn't sure yet if Chet Roberts will be recording with 3 Doors Down or will be strictly part of the group's live shows. "I'm going to go in and take care of everything, probably," Henderson says. "I think it'll just depend on where we're at at that moment, if we're going to get Chet in the studio or not. We haven't crossed that bridge yet...although if I was a betting man I'd probably say yes, he'll be in there."