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3 Doors Down, Daughtry set to rock arena

Nov. 21, 2012 @ 07:20 PM

One day the members of 3 Doors Down are playing music in the local bars of their hometown of Biloxi, Miss., and then a short time later they are on top of the rock and roll world.

The group formed in the mid-1990s and in 2000 they became 'overnight sensations' after years of hard work when their first album "A Better Life" sold six million copies. It changed their lives almost instantly.

The first single by 3 Doors Down was "Kryptonite" and it came on the scene like a hurricane and was a hit on radio around the world. In the following years, the group would go on to sell more than 20 million albums. This week, the band has released its first greatest hits collection which features re-mastered cuts like "Here Without You," "When I'm Gone" and "Kryptonite" along with three new songs.

On Wednesday, Nov. 28, 3 Doors Down will be celebrating the release of "The Greatest Hits" CD with a show at the Big Sandy Superstore Arena. The show starts at 7 p.m., and tickets are $25, $39.50 and $49.50. Opening up the concert will be Daughtry.

"Man, I never thought I'd have a hit," said Brad Arnold, lead vocalist for 3 Doors Down. "I never thought I'd have one hit, and I surely never thought that we'd have a Greatest Hits album. But I'm incredibly thankful for it."

In this day and age, to break into the music business on a large scale you have to either find a way to get onto corporate radio or produce a video that goes viral on the Internet. As for 3 Doors Down, they were discovered the old fashioned way when a local radio station in Biloxi decided to put "Kryptonite" on the air. When the song became the Number 1 requested single at the station, it got the attention of the big record label, Universal Republic, who then sought the band out. However, the members of 3 Doors Down weren't exactly too savvy when it came to entering the big time.

"Universal really had to seek us out because, and I know this is going to sound stupid and it was really stupid, but on our local CD that we made, we put a 'Thank you' or two in there yet nowhere in that CD did we put any contact information, and no band member's name was on it," said Arnold. "I don't know what we were thinking. We heard from all of these people on our CD thank you list who said, 'Hey man, a record label called the other day looking for you.' We were like, 'No-o-o-o-o.' This went on for about a month. Finally, they got a hold of us through the radio station and it was unbelievable. We went off and made our first record in Memphis and came home. And, we never toured, ever. We had never played outside of our hometown. I will never, ever forget the day that old 1986 Eagle tour bus pulled up to pick us up. It was a pretty standard order bus. But to us, man, it was a rocket ship. It was so big and I bet we were all standing there like deer in the headlights."

Although the members of 3 Doors Down have found success, they have never forgotten where they came from and have kept their hearts intact. The biggest example of this is the group's charity, the Better Life Foundation, named after that first album.

"I am just proud to be a part of the Better Life Foundation," said Arnold. "You know, we're just the catalyst for it. All of that money comes from our fans and it has allowed us to do wonderful things in our community and throughout the Southeast. People always say, 'Thank you all for giving back.' But, honest to God, that foundation has given me more than I've ever given it. I have been truly blessed by it.

"In one year in particular that we were doing the foundation, I was going through a hard time and just went through a divorce and was feeling crappy," continued Arnold. "It was the worst time. And, with that foundation, one of the things that we benefit is a special needs home down in Mobile, Ala., called the Mulherin Custodial Home. And, we took some of the people in the home to Sam's Club in Mobile and we gave them about $50 or $60 dollars apiece and they just went up and down the aisle doing their Christmas shopping. And man, to see them come back up those aisles with 'Alabama this' and 'Alabama that' and big old tubs of pretzels and things like that, every one of them would come up and give you the biggest hug to say thank you. Man, I sat there and cried like a little kid. That was my Christmas that year. It was the greatest thing. So really, it has been a blessing to be a part of it."

Coming from Biloxi, where they saw their parents working at oil refineries and chemical plants, 3 Doors Down has always appreciated playing in places such as Huntington, and the band is happy to be returning to the Tri-State.

"I love playing small towns," said Arnold. "I love it all up through West Virginia and around that area. It is a beautiful place and I'm really looking forward to coming up there."