Following the breakthrough success of two very serious albums, Daughtry set out to have a bit more fun with 2011’s “Break the Spell.”
“I think a lot of that stems from being bored with the last two albums,” frontman Chris Daughtry said during a phone interview. The band plays at Wells Fargo Arena Friday. “It felt like we were missing some excitement. I wanted to write songs that were a little more upbeat and made people want to move.”
To find the upbeat sound they were looking for, the members of Daughtry largely looked inward. After co-writing the last two albums with people such as Chad Kroeger of Nickelback and Richard Marx, Daughtry co-wrote much of “Break the Spell” with his own band mates.
“I wanted to challenge myself as a writer, and working with the guys in the band is always a blast,” Daughtry said. “Songs like ‘Spaceship’ and ‘Renegade’ would never have come from anywhere else.”
Shaking off the funk from “Daughtry” and “Leave This Town” meant starting from scratch and abandoning ideas that had been worked up while the first two albums were being made. The only exception to that was the second single off “Break the Spell,” “Crawling Back to You.” But even in that case Daughtry changed the key, and reworked the lyrics heavily to give it new life.
With three albums worth of material, Daughtry’s live shows are now a bit more flexible. The group was playing arenas by the time their second album was out, meaning they pretty much had to play everything from the first two albums to fill the set. Now Daughtry has the option to change things up with a fresh batch of 12 songs.
Daughtry counts seeing Live, on the band’s 1997 “Secret Samadhi” tour, as one of the turning points on his views on music and a big influence on his performance style.
“I loved them on record, but I remember them being 10 times better live,” Daughtry said. “That impressed me, because I always assumed bands could never sound as good as the record. Ever since that I felt I needed to be better than the recordings live. As a band we hold ourselves to high standards, always trying to make things more exciting and outdo ourselves.”
Daughtry rose to fame singing other artists’ songs on “American Idol,” but these days he’s only doing covers when he wants to. The only one that is consistently making it into his act is Daughtry’s take on Tom Petty’s “Runnin’ Down a Dream.”
“Being able to perform the songs that inspired you growing up is a fun thing to be able to do, as a fan of music,” Daughtry said. “I don’t know many bands that don’t do that at some point. You pull out a song and try to reinvent it without losing the intention of the song.”
When: 8 p.m. Friday
Where: Wells Fargo Arena, 730 Third St.