MONTICELLO — When he’s not touring the globe or playing presidential inaugurations with a world-renown band, Justin Biltonen likes to go solo and off the beaten path.
The 3 Doors Down bassist – and solo country music artist – will be performing at 8 p.m. Oct. 2 at The Oakdale Bar & Grill, 11899 W. Oakdale Dr., Monticello.
“I’ve been doing the solo concert thing for a little while,” said Biltonen, who joined 3 Doors Down in 2013 as a permanent replacement for bassist Todd Harrell, who was sentenced to prison for vehicular homicide.
3 Doors Down is a hard/alternative rock band that has produced hits such as “Kryptonite,” “When I’m Gone,” “Here Without You” and others. They’ve sold more than 30 million albums worldwide and are currently working on new songs for their seventh album.
“When their old bass player got fired, they called me up and said they were considering me,” Biltonen told a Nashville music-based website. “I can’t believe I’m in this legendary rock band that’s had a 20-year career and still going. I still have those ‘pinch me’ moments.”
When he’s not touring or recording with the band, Biltonen indulges in his longtime love of country music and playing small venues. He’ll be playing his acoustic guitar for his Oct. 2 performance at The Oakdale B&G.
“I primarily play a lot of originals, but I like to throw to covers of things that are my favorite songs,” he said. “My music is high energy. It’s not like I’ll play sad songs for two hours. It’s a good mix.”
Currently celebrating the release of his single “Worth Hanging Onto,” Biltonen is getting ready to debut the track’s music video this fall — the first of his solo career. “Worth Hanging Onto” has already surpassed 128,000 streams on Spotify and continues to be embraced by country radio across the nation.
Having earned the courage and credentials, Biltonen began indulging his longtime love of country music and officially announced his solo project with the singles “Use You” and “How A Man’s Made.” He marked his terrestrial radio debut with the follow-up single “She’s Got the Highway,” which he credits with solidifying his stance as a member of the country music community.
From playing bars and basements to global tours and the 2016 Presidential Inauguration on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, the Asheville, N.C., native said he owes his success to nothing more than his sincere, unwavering respect for music.
“At the end of the day, I know I’ll always be able to focus on my love of an honest melody,” Biltonen reveals. “Whether I’m doing my own thing or touring with the band, thriving through the ups and downs in the name of the music is always going to matter more than anything else.”
But it’s events like the one schedule at The Oakdale B&G that he looks forward to the most.
“It’s intimate and everyone is having a good time,” Biltonen said. “Songs come across a little different than they would in other venues.”