It's weird every time I remember that 2000 was sixteen years ago. It adds up. I was 11 then. I'm 27 now. But I don't feel the gulf of nearly two decades whenever I think about that year. Is this how our parents just feel all the time? I'm thinking about the year 2000 because that was the year that saw the release of A Better Life
Rock & roll was in sorry shape by the time the year 2000 rolled around. We were in the beginning years of pop's domination of commercial radio, and what rock was still hanging around was increasingly falling under the banner of "post-grunge," a moniker forever tainted by its association with acts like Creed and Nickelback. But there are good "post-grunge" bands and good post-grunge records, and 3 Door Down's A Better Life
was one of those albums.
3 Door Down's sixth studio album, Us and the Night
, is due for release this Friday, March 11th. It was the band's first record in five years and frontman Brad Arnold was aware of questions fans might have about the band's lengthy hiatus.
"It's kinda weird, man. People look at it like you've gone away when you don't put a record out for a while, and I will admit, it has been a while, but we really don't try to rush and write and record records. We kinda do it as it comes. At the same time, the whole time [between the albums], we were just touring and working and stuff like that and sometimes it becomes a factor of 'out of sight, out of mind.'"
Considering that there has been sixteen years between the release of Us and the Night
and the band's debut album in 2000, Brad also had a lot to say about how the band stays true to its roots but finds room to grow as artists and rock & rollers.
"You just have to be honest and unique. We always try to write different things, do different things. A great song is just 'three chords and the truth.' People identify with it, and that's one thing I've really come to appreciate over the years from writing songs and hearing from fans. I say that we're all in different lanes, but we're all on the same road.Talk about things that affect you, and they will be able to identify with that song amongst things that affect them."
If rock & roll was on the way out from commercial radio in 2000 when A Better Life
was released, it is even more extinct in 2016 with "Boulevard of Broken Dreams" by Green Day as the last rock song to hit #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for radio. That was 2005. 3 Doors Down are one of the last bands from the early 2000s rock scene still going and Brad had a lot to say about what's happened for the medium and his hopes for its future.
"The statement 'rock 'n' roll will never die' will always be true. There are fewer rock stations; there are fewer rock bands, but if you look back, music makes a cycle, and some things come back around. But as long as the truth is there it will never go away. It can be delivered in a different style but the truth will always be the truth."
In addition to recording the new music, 3 Doors Down are still very active in their philanthropic outreach, and last year, they hosted their 12th annual Better Life Foundation concert (more information on the cause can be found here
). And Brad made it clear how much that cause still means to him and his work.
"It's one of those things that are just the highlight of one's career. There are people who work on it out there a lot more than i do. There's no way that i can take credit for it. I'm just proud to be a part of it and we try to be careful and with that foundation it's a dollar in, a dollar out and [the foundation] makes sure it goes to something worthwhile and I hope to watch it grow."
Us and the Night
is out this friday, March 11th, on Republic Records.