Interview with 3 Doors Down’s Chris Henderson [classic article]

Mississippi’s 3 Doors Down has bucked the flashed in the pan trend of rock bands, growing ever stronger over the past 10 years. Chris Henderson, guitarist for 3 Doors Down, not only performs for the troops, he served in the military himself as a seabee.  Additionally, the Army National Guard commissioned a song by the band, “Citizen Soldier,” and you can get a free download at  The band has sold 13 million albums, even in this tough era for the music industry, and had two albums that debuted at  #1. This includes their newest self-titled release, “3 Doors Down”. They were also very supportive of the US Olympic Team: fans can go to to download “The Champion in Me” song and ringtone. For more info, check out

 MM: What are your latest projects?

Chris Henderson: We’re touring, touring, touring. Mostly the US, then a brief pre-season tour of Europe. Then, we’re going on a full-on world tour.

MM: What kind of creative ideas did you sort through, songwriting-wise, when Col. Michael Jones requested a song in honor of the National Guard?

Chris Henderson: Brad says, Col. Jones gave points for us to touch on, like being a citizen soldier and also, the fact that the National Guard does more than fight wars. They help out in our community, your community. We originally had a song written in 2001, with a different set of lyrics. We wrote it after 9/11. We didn’t record it, though. When we were approached by Col. Jones, we thought about whether we should write a whole new song, or use the music that we wrote with a different set of lyrics. The music had a Middle Eastern feel and still appropriate for the song. We took the chords and made some note changes, made it aggressive and up-tempo. I think it’s nice.


MM: Do you perform for the troops?

Chris Henderson: Absolutely, every chance we get. We’ve been to Bahrain, Sicily, Italy, Guam and numerous bases in the US. We haven’t been to Iraq yet, but I’m sure we will.


MM: What are the logistics when you play military shows?

Chris Henderson: We scale down a bit, especially when we’re going to be on a C-9 transport. We do what we can do. We have 7 or 8 sets that we can choose from to bring. They (the military) can provide things when we’re there, too.


MM: Do you or any of the other band members have family who served in the military?

Chris Henderson: I was in the Navy for 11 years. I served in the first Gulf War, I was an E-4. The people in the military audiences know that I feel their pain. Greg’s sister is in the Army right now.


MM: How old were you when you first started playing?

Chris Henderson: I was 6. I play guitar, a little violin and piano.


MM: Do you come from a musical family?

Chris Henderson: I do. My brother is a career musician and my mother has a music degree from St. Mary’s College.


MM: What did you do with your first big paycheck?

Chris Henderson: I put it in the bank, let it sit. I was on tour. Then, I built a house.




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