Daniel Adair says that when he was selected to be the new drummer for 3 Doors Down in 2002, "it was like winning the lottery."
But when Nickelback came calling in 2005, it was like winning the lottery all over again — and then some. Adair jumped from one multiplatinum-selling band to another, but this time, he said, it was a better fit.
"I was a hired drummer for 3 Doors; there wasn't an opportunity for me to write," Adair said by phone after doing a sound check during a hot and muggy day in Columbia, Md. "Nickelback offered me a full-membership position. That's a great thing. And their music fits more my style . . . it's a little heavier, more Metallica-ish. I was raised on 'Master of Puppets.' "
It also didn't hurt that the Vancouver-based band was picking up a fellow Canadian in its new drummer. And as for those rumors that all Canadians love hockey and name their kids Geddy and Alex, after two-thirds of Rush, the very personable and good-natured Adair says that's mostly true.
He and his bandmates are hockey fans, he said. And one of his fondest memories was being invited to Alex Lifeson's Toronto house for dinner. "I was like a little kid," Adair said, still sounding awe-struck.
Nickelback broke into the American music scene in 2000 with the single "Leader of Men." The band's following albums all went multiplatinum and included such hits as "Too Bad," "Never Again" and "How You Remind Me," the most played song of 2002.
Adair joined the group to record its latest release, "All the Right Reasons," which included the No. 1 hit "Photograph."
The album also includes a tribute to slain ex-Pantera and Damageplan guitarist "Dimebag" Darrell Abbott, who was fatally shot while performing in 2004. The song "Side of a Bullet" includes guitar outtakes from Abbott that were put together in the song as a solo. Nickelback pays tribute to Abbott during its current tour and plays the actual Dimebag recordings in concert.
The group has been touring almost nonstop since last fall, headlining its own shows, as well as opening for Bon Jovi's massive stadium tour. And with the success of its latest album, Adair said the group would likely be staying on the road through the end of the year and possibly into 2007.
Nickelback's current tour includes its traditional heavy use of pyrotechnics as well as a few surprises. In tours past, the members of the group have also shown their humorous side with such gimmicks as "Beer O'Clock Time," during which the band took a break to throw cups of beer into the audience.
Adair said that after the band's lawyers warned them of potential "sue-happy people" they decided to stop doing that. Ditto with a nightly beer-chugging contest. A member of the audience would be pulled onstage each night to go head-to-head with Adair — who, incidently, retired undefeated.
That gimmick came to an end, however, when a young girl who claimed to be of legal drinking age was brought onstage to challenge Adair. Turned out she was not only underage, but she was also the daughter of the local fire chief.
If you go
What: Nickelback, Three Days Grace, Chevelle, Hinder
Where: Delta Center
When: tonight, 7:30 p.m.
How much: $46.50