When I’m writing these blogs, the backgrounds are almost always the same. A couple guys from California, or New York (or some other large city) meet, and start a band. It’s all very predictable. But it makes sense—what are the odds of a band forming and hitting it big when they’re from a town of less than 4000 people? The odds aren’t good…but it happened.
Brad Arnold, Todd Harrell and Matt Roberts started playing together in 1996 and played some local shows around Escatawpa, Mississippi. During a trip over to Foley, Alabama for a show, the three men were walking around and saw a run-down building where the most of the original sign had fallen off. All that was left was something that read “Doors Down.” Since there were three members of the band at the time, a “3” was added, and 3 Doors Down was born.
In 1998 they recorded a track called “Kryptonite” and dropped it off at a radio station based out of Pascagoula, Miss. It became the number one song at the station for over three months. They got noticed, flew to New York, and the rest is history.
We focus today on 3DD’s sophomore album, Away From The Sun which came out in November of 2002. The band brought in a storied session drummer for recording, as well as the guitarist from Rush to really enhance their sound. They were shooting for a much more polished sound from the first album and wanted to be considered a legit rock band. Recording took place over a bit more than a year, in Seattle, Wash. and Hollywood, Calif. They embarked on a major tour promoting this album, and it saw immediate commercial success. The album has sold over 3 million copies in the U.S. and another couple million worldwide.
Arena rock certainly wasn’t a new genre in the early 2000s, but it was one that hadn’t been popular since the mid-80s. If you remember most albums from that era, all 12 tracks sounded very similar— and that’s certainly the case here too. Not that it’s entirely a bad thing, as this album plays very well.
Just like the 80s, there is a signature rock ballad, and it might be my favorite song on the album. If you’re a big fan of straight up rock n’ roll, I don’t think you’ll tire of this album or the band. Lyrically it’s substantially more evolved than the first record, but still maybe not at the level of your top-tier rock bands. You’ll catch a couple tracks that are still radio mainstays today, and that’s a pretty good sign.
3DD is still around, apparently working on another release in the near future. If you need a reintroduction to the band, Away From the Sun is a great place to start with. It’s got a catchy sound and is a good jam album. I can promise you it’ll transport you back to whatever you were doing in 2002, and paying $5 bucks to go back in time and reminisce in’t a bad deal.
Top 3 Tracks: