Mississippi rockers 3 Doors Down plan to unveil several new songs as well as some new stage tricks when the band hits the road February 28 for the next round of live dates in support of its multi-platinum debut, The Better Life.
"We've started playing some new songs that we've been writing," frontman Brad Arnold said, "so we're going to be playing those. We'll also probably take out two drum kits so we can do a little drum jam, a little solo between me and Richard [Liles]."
Arnold, who played drums on The Better Life before turning over the drumming duties to Liles, said the unheard material actually includes a wide range of songs, including some the band had written prior to recording the debut. Other new tracks they'll play are those that 3 Doors Down recorded with Rush guitarist Alex Lifeson last year, as well as a few brand new songs including "a cool song" the group wrote in Puerto Rico last month, Arnold said.
"Some of them are older songs that we just haven't played in a while, and some of them we actually wrote pretty recently," he said.
Some of the new titles include "Dangerous Game" and "Dead Love," although Arnold was hesitant to spoil the surprises for people coming to the shows, joking that the other titles were "classified" and "for exclusive ticket-holders only."
In addition to playing new songs, 3 Doors Down will treat fans to their triptych of rock radio hits, including their neo-grunge breakthrough, "Kryptonite," as well as "Loser" and "Duck and Run." The band has two of the top-five rock songs in the country, according to the newest "Radio & Records" charts, with "Loser" at # 3 and "Duck and Run" at #5.
After a year of constant touring, 3 Doors Down admit to a certain mental fatigue from playing some of their hit songs night after night. But they say they draw strength from fans' reactions to the familiar tunes.
"You can get tired of [playing the same songs]," Arnold said, "but the crowds keep it new and interesting."
"As long as the fans are into it," bassist Todd Harrell added, "it doesn't really matter to us."
"But if it was just us," Arnold said, "just playing them in a room, I don't know."
"Then we probably wouldn't play them," Harrell answered.
"I mean, we've been playing 'Kryptonite' since '96," said guitarist Matt Roberts, "so we pretty much have that one down and committed to memory."
Despite their set-list weariness, 3 Doors Down said they were excited by the just-completed video for "Duck and Run," a performance-based clip that was shot by director Marc Webb over five days during the band's tour last year.
"It's a bad-ass video," Arnold said, beaming. "It's really cool. [Webb] did an excellent job on it. It's one of the best videos I've ever seen. Honest to god, I'd say that even if it wasn't ours."
The "Duck and Run" video is expected to premiere in the next few weeks, and 3 Doors Down plan to make an extended version of the clip available for download through their official Web site, 3DoorsDown.com, about a month later.
The band has also already chosen "Be Like That" as the fourth single from The Better Life, and they say they are hoping to be back in the studio by January 1 to work on the follow-up album.
3 Doors Down will kick off their tour in Spartanburg, South Carolina, with supporting acts Oleander and Shades Apart. Fuel will then join the bill as another opening act, beginning March 6 in Stony Brook, New York.