3 DOORS DOWN frontman Brad Arnold was preparing earlier this year to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the band's 2000 debut album, the certified seven-times RIAA platinum "The Better Life". But with the pandemic putting the Grammy Award-nominated Mississippi rock band's plans on hold, Brad has used the quarantine to write and record his first solo record, "Wicked Man". This powerful song was released on August 14 on his new Wild At Heart label.
"Wicked Man" was recorded at Rivergate Studio in Hendersonville, Tennessee and produced by 3 DOORS DOWN drummer Greg Upchurch, who also wrote the music to the song.
Speaking to Rob Rush and Orlando of Long Island, New York's 94.3 The Shark radio station, Brad said that he was inspired to write "Wicked Man" about the times we are living in.
"I have thought about doing it before, but the opportunity just kind of never really presented itself," he said (hear audio below). "And this was a song that the music was written by my drummer, actually. And he sent me this guitar part a couple of months ago, and I sat there and it kind of clicked with me.
"In a perfect world, how it happens is you get a piece of music like that and it'll kind of click with you and maybe some lyrics will start happening and you kind of get a little vibe going," he continued. "Sometimes it doesn't work out, but with this one, I really started feeling it immediately. And those lyrics kind of came to mind — and not all at once; it was over the course of a month or so.
"Watching things around in our current events and seeing things going on in our world, it brought itself to light more and more until it just wound up being what it was. And that's what the song is about. There's so many things going on, and so many things that you know that there's more to it than what we're seeing on the surface. Because people are inherently good, I believe, and there's so much bad that we see on social media and on TV and things like that, that there's no way that all of that's happening without being orchestrated by what I believe is proverbially a wicked man. And that's what the song's about… It's a song about the things in our world and the ways that I believe that we're trying to be manipulated to move in such a way that benefits a very, very few people. And this song is just describing the moves that they make to make us move."
Back in January 2017, Arnold defended 3 DOORS DOWN's decision to perform at then-President-elect Donald Trump's "Make America Great Again! Welcome Celebration", saying that "it's all about America."
The band's manager, Angus Vail, told Vice that 3 DOORS DOWN played the event because they are conservatives.
"They come from conservative families," Vail explained. "When Obama got elected, the singer [Brad] said, 'Please don't talk to my father about Obama because he thinks the world has ended.' He was just as horrified and depressed about Obama as many are about Trump. They were, like, 'It's going to be Armageddon, the whole world is going to communism and he's going to give everything away to the welfare state.'"
Asked what 3 DOORS DOWN's political beliefs are, Vail said: "3 DOORS have that 'God, guns, and country' black-and-white sort of viewpoint, and they spend a lot of time going to Iraq, doing service, playing for the troops. They believe it, and that's just the way they see America. It's pretty hard to argue with. You say, 'What about the nuances, what about the gray areas?' and they say, 'No, no, God, guns, America is the greatest country on earth.' They stick to that viewpoint."
Photo courtesy of Rock 100.5 The KATT