3 Doors Down Guitarist Chris Henderson Remembers Meeting Vinnie Paul in Dallas

Brad Arnold and 3 Doors Down are coming to town.
Brad Arnold and 3 Doors Down are coming to town. Mike Brooks
Guitarist Chris Henderson of 3 Doors Down is happy to talk from his studio in Nashville ahead of another tour. The band has many hits to its name, so Henderson finds no reason to be bitter or jaded about the industry or the band's long career.

At this point, he and his bandmates — vocalist Brad Arnold, fellow guitarist Chet Roberts, bassist Justin Biltonen and drummer Greg Upchurch — do not wish to stop what they're doing.

“What keeps the band together, first and foremost, is knowing that no one person in the band is bigger than the band and the band is not bigger than the fans,” Henderson says. “That kind of mindset keeps us all working toward the same goal.”

The band likes to have a balance between touring and recording, and its members are at a spot in their careers where they can do things at their own pace. Their last album came out in 2016, and they’re touring with Collective Soul. They hit The Pavilion at Toyota Music Factory in Irving on Tuesday.

“You never really get set to a schedule, so it keeps it interesting,” he says.

The band started in 1996 and has gone from playing more than 100 shows in one year to no shows the next. Still a mainstay on rock radio with songs like “Kryptonite,” “Here Without You” and “When I’m Gone,” the band has not been forgotten.

“It’s a nice place to be, and that’s what you work toward,” Henderson says. “It also allows you to relax as a musician and really have fun. That’s what this job is all about: having fun, playing some good music and making people feel good.”

"That’s what this job is all about: having fun, playing some good music and making people feel good.” – Chris Henderson

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Henderson remembers a special time in Dallas when he met a couple of local legends.

“I met Vinnie Paul and Dimebag Darrell at a Dallas Stars game,” he says. “The reason why it sticks out in my mind is because I met Vinnie at that game, and then I saw him again five or six years later at a concert venue. I mentioned meeting him, and he remembered exactly when he met me. He remembered my name. I thought that was really cool because I know he [had met] as many people as I do.”

Henderson also recalls when the band played the Bomb Factory a few years ago. Frontman Arnold enjoyed seeing people take videos and pictures on their phones. He even took selfies with people in the crowd. Unlike Jack White, who played the Bomb Factory earlier this year and banned smartphones, Henderson is OK with his band being filmed. Arnold even encouraged the audience to put pictures on the band’s social media sites.

“For us, we see the benefit of social media versus the negative side of it,” Henderson says. “The bottom line is social media is a part of everyone’s life right now. We feel as a band that if they’re connecting with their family and friends that way, they can connect with us that way as well. We can connect with them and have a whole different relationship.

"Over the years of Facebook and Instagram, I’ve got some really cool friends and fan relationships through that. We love it. We hope people keep doing it. They can take as many pictures and videos as they want. It’s up to us to look good up there.”

The band embraces the present, but it's at a bit of a crossroads as far as releasing new music.

“We’re not sure how we’re going to release it yet,” Henderson says. “If it’s going to be a full 10-12 song record or if it’s going to be a 22-song double record. Who knows? Maybe we’ll just email it to our fans on our mailing list.”

3 Doors Down, Collective Soul and Soul Asylum play Tuesday, July 17, at The Pavilion at Toyota Music Factory in Irving.
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Eric Grubbs is a Dallas-based writer who has published two books, Post: A Look at the Influence of Post-Hardcore 1985-2007 and When We Were the Kids. His writing has been featured in Punk Planet, Popdose, Fort Worth Weekly, The Dentonite and LA Weekly. He supports Manchester City and will never root for Manchester United.
Contact: Eric Grubbs