It's been 20 years since 3 Doors Down released their debut album, The Better Life, and two decades later, the band has shared a re-mastered 20th Anniversary Edition, and celebrated their new release during their iHeartRadio LIVE with 3 Doors Down: Celebrating the 20th Anniversary of The Better Life.
The new anniversary edition of The Better Life dropped on March 26th, along with the band's demo recordings from 1996, The Escatawpa Sessions. The box set includes the 3 LP's, extensive liner notes, exclusive photos, a lithograph, and more, including new tracks like "The Better Life (XX Mix) and "Dead Love."
During their iHeartRadio LIVE show, the band performed several of their biggest hits including "Kryptonite," "Loser," "Duck and Run," "Man In My Mind" from the Escatawpa Sessions and "Away From The Sun." 3 Doors Down's Brad Arnold also listened along to some of their album's songs, alongside a few lucky fans via Zoom, including "Kryptnite" from the Escatawpa Sessions, "Be Like That," "The Better Life (XX Mix)," "Down Poison" and more.
Arnold also opened up about 3 Doors Down's anniversary, among other topics, during an exclusive Q&A with iHeartRadio's Big Rig. He explained of putting the 20th anniversary edition of The Better Life together, "Going back and putting this album together, and going back and re-listening to these songs, and practicing to play them, it was ... I know the lyrics to a lot of songs, and some of these, it had been so long since I've heard them that a couple of them kind of caught me by surprise that the lyrics didn't just come right back. I had to listen a couple of times, I was like, 'Dang!' But, it was so cool to go back and revisit them, because so many of these songs, I can remember exactly where I was when wrote them. I mean, just exactly where we were."
Elsewhere in the exclusive show, fans had asked Brad a few questions, and he had a touching moment with one of his fans named Tiana. After showing him all of the 3 Doors Down merch she had, she explained how much the band's song "It's Not My Time" has meant to her, especially being a cancer survivor. She said of the track, "It can have various meanings, but it championed me through."
Brad told her, "Thank you for listening to that song, and I'm glad it helped you in some way, in any way." He added, "I appreciate you. I'm glad the idea of that song inspired you. And that's right, life is constantly trying to keep us down and something's always trying to keep us down, and we just have to keep on going. And, 'This is not my time.' Honestly, I wrote that song, and it was inspired by a movie. But it was ... it may sound kind of silly, but the movie, Poseidon, that song was originally written for that movie. And basically, death is chasing them, it's sinking the ship and they just keep on running, keep on running and keep on running. And that was the sentiment of that song — just keep on going and keep on going."
Brad also told the story of the first time hearing "Kryptonite" on the radio while in their hometown on their local radio station. He explained that he felt really "proud to hear it on the radio" and that "once it was released and it was out, we didn't really realize. I think now, more so looking back, I can kind of see it. I'm far enough away from it that I can look back and see all that was going on, and just realize how blessed we were to have all that going on."
He added that when his father heard 3 Doors Down on the radio for the first time, he didn't realize it was Brad who was singing. Arnold recalled, "He heard us on there one day, and he said, 'Doesn't that sound good? Who's that singing?' I said, 'That's me singing.' He said, 'That ain't you singing.' Because I was a drummer too, he heard me beating on drums all the time at home, but he never really heard me singing."
And while answering another fan question about who he'd like to collaborate with in the future, Brad had a very unexpected answer: Adele. He explained, "I think that I would just love to sing a song with Adele one day. Not that that'll ever happen, but I would love to just sing a song with her one day, because she can sing so good. But, she has kind of like a really gritty voice at the same time, and I just think my voice would go with hers. And I think that she'd make me sound real good."
Towards the end of iHeartRadio Live with 3 Doors Down, Brad opened up about a scary memory from the band's early days when one of their vans went up in flames on the way to their first big show. He explained:
"We had Todd's mom's Silverado hauling, like a tandem axle U-Haul, and I was in my mom's Camry. And we struck out from the south of Mississippi headed to Tampa, and we got right on the other side of Pensacola. We'd left early, because we were driving down there that morning for a show that night. And, we came over this one little river, the bridge over this river, and it was real foggy being real early like that. We came across that bridge and the fog didn't go away. And I seen Todd's truck about smoking, and they was pulling off the side of the road, and I pulled around in front of him. And you could just see fire dripping out from underneath this truck, this little drop. And we jumped out like, Hey, everybody scrammed, and they left everything in the truck. And it took me maybe two or three minutes, but in about two or three minutes, there was a 30 foot flame shooting out of the front of that truck. It didn't burn the U-Haul [or] hurt our equipment or anything. But that truck was a shell. Man, it was a trip. Nobody would stop and help us. We were just like ... watch it burn."