The high five with John-Ross Boyce

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By using charitable and worthy causes as a way to keep their awful music on the airwaves, 3 Doors Down have become the remora fish of alternative rock. (Illustration by John-Ross Boyce)

Once upon a time I was at my local cinema, patiently sitting through the advertisements that now come before the previews. After a reminder to drink Coca-Cola and a sneak preview of a TV drama that has probably since been canceled, five shadowy figures appeared on the screen, standing on a desolate hillside. They held instruments. It was a music video, or at least an advertisement meant to look like a music video. And in keeping with that motif, the video information – the name of the song, the band, etc. – appeared in white letters in the bottom left-hand corner of the screen.


It was song entitled “Citizen Solider.” It was a plug for the National Guard. The band performing? Alternative rock also-rans 3 Doors Down.


At that moment, I experienced a very small incident of contained zeitgeist. Everyone in the theater – and I mean everyone – collectively groaned. All types. All walks of life. Even a guy whose haircut indicted that he was either just back from Afghanistan, or about to ship out. All of them were very displeased to find out that the National Guard – a brave group of men and women who stand vigilant and ready to defend our great nation – couldn’t book a better band than the chuckleheads who sang “Kryptonite” in the year 2000.


Two years later, 3 Doors Down are scheduled to darken our campus on Oct 25. This time, they are coming in conjunction with the Better Life Foundation – a charity founded by the band which tries to better the lives of sick and impoverished kids. Admirable? Absolutely. But it also makes me think that 3 Doors Down is the remora fish of rock music. Perhaps they know how mediocre they really are and therefore attach themselves to worthy organizations and causes so that good-hearted people will accidentally listen to their newest album. “I know this music is awful,” they say. “But it’s for the children.”


Using a noble cause to raise awareness for your bad art is disgusting. I for one am not fooled by their insidious ruse. And you shouldn’t be either. Here are Five Things I Would Rather Do Than Watch 3 Doors Down Perform.


  1. Spend the ticket money on equal parts light bulbs and McDoubles. Crush the light bulbs into tiny glass shards. Place shards on McDoubles. Eat every last one.
  2. Go deaf.
  3. Spend an erotic weekend in Branson, MO with lead singer Brad Arnold’s great-grandma.
  4. Put the Ceti Eel in my ear, like in “Star Trek 2: The Wrath of Khan.”
  5. Watch a child go hungry.

1 thought on “The high five with John-Ross Boyce

  1. Those that cannot play/write music…try to kill it by being a *cough* critic. Obviously you do not get the point of the song. To each his own.

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