If the latest 3 Doors Down CD, "Seventeen Days," strikes the band’s legion of fans as a harder-rocking, more energetic effort than the multiplatinum-selling group’s first two albums, it’s not a coincidence, according to lead guitarist Matt Roberts.
"There was a lot of energy, a lot of dynamic energy coming into this one. That always kind of (translates) into the songs," he says.
Much of the music was written while on tour, an energetic and dynamic environment in itself.
Once finished with touring commitments last year, 3 Doors Down went right to work on the new CD. Setting aside a planned six-week break, they quickly began hammering out the material during preproduction in their home state of Mississippi.
Roberts also credits producer Johnny K with keeping the project energized.
"I think the thing about Johnny is he’s a younger guy with — I don’t know, he’s just kind of ready to take the world on," Roberts says. "With Johnny, it’s like he is ready to go. That kind of gung-ho attitude was exactly what we needed."
The efforts of the band members and Johnny K produced a CD in "Seventeen Days" that packs plenty of punch, yet retains a strong element of melody. While there are still a few of the band’s trademark midtempo tunes ("Let Me Go," "Be Somebody" and "Landing in London," which features a vocal cameo from Bob Seger), the CD is defined by hearty, harder-edged material, like the blistering, Southern-rock-tinged "Right Where I Belong" and the hearty rockers "Live for Today" and "Never Will I Break."
Radio and fans seem to like the mix of music on "Seventeen Days." The CD debuted at No. 1 on Billboard magazine’s album chart, and the lead single, "Let Me Go," went Top 10 at mainstream rock and also cracked the Top 20 on Billboard’s Hot 100 singles chart. "Behind These Eyes" followed a similar path, going Top 15 on the mainstream rock chart.
This, of course, is business as usual for the band, whose first two CDs, "The Better Life" and "Away From the Sun," sold 8.5 million copies in the United States alone and produced six No. 1 singles, including the most-played song on U.S. radio in 2003, "When I’m Gone."
3 Doors Down aren’t letting up in their efforts to maintain that popularity. The band has been on tour almost nonstop this year.
"There’s no question about our schedule; it’s probably one of the most intense of any I can think of, of any band anywhere," Roberts says.
"But we’ve been doing it so long, we became such good friends that we’ve been able to find a nice balance, luckily, out here on the road or in the studio, and we kind of just apply that, those things that we learn from each other, and that’s what’s enabled us to do this."
3 Doors Down With: Alter Bridge When: 8 p.m. today Where: Cricket Pavilion, 2121 N. 83rd Ave., Phoenix Cost: $26-$39 Information: (602) 254-7200