artists » Chris Henderson of 3 Doors Down

Chris Henderson“…When you’re born, from the hospital, they give you a birth certificate, the first Skynyrd record, and a Dale Jr. diecast,” jokes Chris Henderson of 3 Doors Down, referring to his Escatawpa, Mississippi roots. And these southern roots have spawned one of today’s biggest guitarists! With six number one singles already under their belt: “Kryptonite,” “Duck & Run,” “Loser,” “Be Like That,” “When I’m Gone” and “Here Without You,” 3 Doors Down have most recently released their album, Seventeen Days, confirming them as one of the most popular and successful rock bands of the 21st century.

After selling 12 million albums since their debut in 2000 with The Better Life, platinum artists 3 Doors Down went on to release their follow-up album, Away From the Sun, and it proved to be just as successful. The first single, “When I’m Gone,” featured a video in tribute to American troops, filmed during the band’s October 2nd concert aboard the US Navy aircraft carrier USSGeorge Washington, while it was anchored in Lisbon, Portugal. The song remained on the charts for almost a year, again garnering multiple format airplay from rock to alternative to pop radio. The ballad “Here Without You” became another multi-format success, doing especially well in the adult contemporary space, while the singles “The Road I’m On” and “Away From The Sun” also helped the album to sell over three million copies.

An exceptional live band, 3 Doors Down stands among the top concert draws in North America, performing over 300 sold-out live shows a year. Chris Henderson and the 3DD guys spent a large portion of 2005 in support of their smash hit Seventeen Days, which was one of the top five selling rock albums of that year. It shows growth in both musicianship and songwriting throughout the listen, easily transitioning from emotion-inducing ballads such as “Here By Me” to aggro-rockers like “Live For Today.” Songs like these would not be what they are without Chris’ guitar versatility and tasteful tones.

Chris relies on his VOX AC30CCH Custom Classic head for his cleaner sounds and has for quite some time. “I was in a pawnshop one day, and I was about 15 years old. There was an old AC30 and the guy wanted eighty bucks for it. So I picked it up and brought it home with me, and it was the best clean amp I’ve ever owned. I just fell in love with it over the years.” He adds, “When you’re playing through rigs that we’re playing through, for twenty thousand people, through rigs that are hung from the ceiling, you have to have good tone to start with. From the smallest room to the biggest room, you have to have good tone. That’s why I chose VOX. I’ve tried every amp out there for cleans, and I just kept coming back to the VOX.”

Henderson’s AC30CCH retains the classic tones that made him love his childhood AC30, but it adds modern functions and flexibility. When asked about the Custom Classic’s tone-blending ability, he responded, “I use it to soften up the tone a bit, so it’s not so crunchy - take a little bit of the highs out of it, a little bit of the mids out, but without adding lows.” Chris adds, “It keeps me from running effects and that’s my thing; I hate running effects, especially live… I want to hear the guitar. I want to hear the amp. I want to hear the wood. I want to hear all the stuff that people sat around for years trying to perfect… When you’re trying seven or eight different amps to try to find that perfect clean tone, you should have really tried that VOX first, because you could’ve saved yourself a lot of trouble.’

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