3 Doors Down’s Strange Bedfellows: Bob Seger, Disturbed’s Producer

Band's new LP, Seventeen Days, is due in February.

There were two obsessions that fueled the recording process of 3 Doors Down’s new album, Seventeen Days: the band’s obsession with hard work and Bob Seger’s obsession with hot coffee.

“We finished our tour on July 31, and we wanted to get this new album out by the beginning of 2005. So we just got to it, crammed, and wrote 13 songs in 17 days. Hence the name,” bassist Todd Harrell said. “By the middle of August, we had written the album. We all get stagnant when we’re sitting at home, so why waste a lot of time?”

OK, so that’s one obsession explained. But what of Seger and his java jones?

“Oh man, check it out. We were in Ocean Way Studios in Nashville, and we were using the room he usually records in,” Harrell laughed. “He was always hanging around, wanting to come in there. And he was always in the kitchenette, getting coffee, so we had to ask him to be on our record.”

And so they did. Seger put the coffee cup down long enough to lend his voice to a ballad called “Landing in London.” It’s unmistakably a 3 Doors Down song: uplifting, melodic, heavy on baritone vocals. In fact, Seventeen Days (which hits stores on February 8) is unmistakably a 3 Doors Down album, which will be good news for fans who threw hissy fits when they learned that the record was being produced by the dude who worked on Disturbed’s last album, fearful that he’d make the group’s sound too heavy.

“Johnny K brought a lot to the table,” Harrell said. “He broke out all the vintage guitars, made it sound rich. He’s nothing like people thought he’d be. But there are heavy songs on there. The heavier songs are heavy. ‘Right Where I Belong’ is a slammer.”

The first single, “Let Me Go,” isn’t really a slammer. In fact, it’s pretty similar to “Landing in London.” It was a tune the band had originally written for the “Spider-Man” soundtrack, but decided to save it for a later date, because they “didn’t want to waste it.”

“Now we’ve got to make a video for it,” Harrell said. “We’ve all got ideas. Like we did this photo shoot a while back in this old mansion and we all had on suits, sitting at this dinner table and there was all this wine around and it just looked like a party, so we were thinking about that.”

Whatever concept they go with, they’ll be filming it soon. Then, looking ahead to 2005, they’ve got a few promo dates in the U.S. and Europe scheduled around the album’s release before a full-scale headlining tour begins in mid-April.

“I can’t wait for people to get out and see us, to hear this album,” Harrell said. “We had a good time up in Nashville, and you can tell we’re having fun. It shows on the album. I think it’s our best one yet.”

Track list for 3 Doors Down’s Seventeen Days, according to their management:

  • “Right Where I Belong”

  • “It’s Not Me”
  • “Let Me Go”
  • “Be Somebody”
  • “Landing in London”
  • “The Real Life”
  • “Behind Those Eyes”
  • “Never Will I Break”
  • “Father’s Son”
  • “Live for Today”
  • “My World”
  • “Here by Me”