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Interview: Daughtry

We know Daughtry fans have been waiting years to see the band play Download Festival – and the wait is finally over! They’ll be taking the stage in Donington next year.

We sat down to chat with Chris, who tells us it’s a dream come true for him, and reveals what we can expect from their upcoming new album ‘Nothing Lasts Forever’.

What does it mean to you to be playing Download for the first time?

Chris: It’s been years and years of wishing! We finally got in, I feel part of the cool club now! It’s awesome, we’ve been wanting to play Download for a very long time. We were supposed to do it this year but of course, we couldn’t, so we were afraid we wouldn’t get added for next year! But this is great, it gives us more time to work on the new material, and we’re super excited about it.

Is there anyone you’re particularly looking forward to seeing at DL2021?

Chris: Deftones! Bush, good friends with those guys. System Of A Down. I’m just excited to be there and see some bands that I love.

What bands from the rock and metal scene are you influenced by?

Chris: For me, what got me into wanting to write music to begin with was my teen years. I was, and still am, heavily influenced by Soundgarden, Live, Alice In Chains, Tool… that was like my school, trying to sing along to those records and emulate those singers. Ed Kowalczyk is one of my heroes, and now he’s one of my best friends. It’s pretty surreal. I remember in 1997 seeing the Secret Samadhi tour, and thinking “I wanna do that for the rest of my life”. I didn’t realise at the time that I’d be shaving my head just like him, though!

We hear you’ve been doing some livestreams in lockdown, how’s that been going?

Chris: Yeah, it’s been great. It’s a little weird at first for us, because it’s just me and my guitar player and there’s no audience right there, so we’re having to kind of cultivate our own energy. We’ve had a lot of fun, the fans have seemed to really love it. We’ve been doing some covers, like ‘Man In The Box’ by Alice In Chains and ‘Fell On Black Days’ by Soundgarden, trying to keep it fresh for everybody.

We partnered with local venues in each respective city. We’re not there obviously, we’re still in Nashville, but we’re streaming in partnership with those venues. 10% of the profits go to keeping them afloat during this crazy sh*tshow we’re living in.

What do you miss most about actually playing live?

Chris: The physical interaction, being right there with the fans. Being on stage and feeling that energy. I didn’t realise how much I was gonna miss that, and how much of my energy was wrapped up into touring. I haven’t been home this long in 14 years, so it took some getting used to.

You’ve just put out a new song ‘World On Fire’, so is this the first single from the new album ‘Nothing Lasts Forever’?

Chris: Yes, that is the lead single. The album is still in the works. We were gaining some momentum right before Covid hit, but now we’ve had to put everything on lockdown. We’ve got a few songs recorded, but still quite a bit of work left to do.

At the time when I wrote ‘World On Fire’ back in January, Australia was burning. We just kinda started spitballing from there. There was no shortage of police brutality or racial injustice even then, either. All of that stuff was making it into the lyrics… just really taking a hard look at the world around us and how everything just feels wrong and dismal and hopeless. There was no Covid at the time, but fast forward to March when the sh*t hit the fan, it was like we’d had a crystal ball or something. We couldn’t be more proud of it and it just feels extremely relevant to the times we’re living in. It was screaming at us as the first single.

What can we expect from the new album?

Chris: I think ‘World On Fire’ is pretty indicative of what the record is gonna be like. I’m independent now, I’m not on a major label that’s whispering in my ear that I’ve got to write radio hits, and I don’t feel the pressure of having to live up to that anymore. I’m doing what I want to do, I’m working with who I want to work with, and it’s been extremely liberating. I get to fully express myself as an artist in the ways that I want to without limitations. All that being said, we’re obviously extremely excited as to how ‘World On Fire’ is performing and the fans’ reaction to it. They’re saying “Daughtry’s back! Finally, more rock!” – that’s something I’ve wanted to get back to for a very long time and there’s definitely going to be a lot more of that on the record.

When do we get to hear it, then?!

Chris: Well, we’ve got to get back in the studio first, but we’re hoping to get it out next year! We’re definitely trying to expedite the process. We’ve got a lot written for it, we’ve just got to get back and start tracking.

So Download will be ticked off next year, but is there anything else still on your bucket list?

Chris: Grammys would be great! At the same time, I feel very fortunate that I still get to do this, so I try to just live in the moment. I would love to do more acting down the road, maybe do some action films or something haha! We’ll see.

We’ve teamed up with Daughtry for a very special ‘live from home’ performance, featuring acoustic tracks, Q&As, stories and special surprises! It’s taking place on the 9th October. Tickets are on sale now.

Daughtry will also join headliners KISS, Biffy Clyro and System Of A Down at Download Festival 2021! It takes place 4th-6th June in Donington Park.