SHINEDOWN Interview

By | March 12, 2020

Every person has “the band” that topples all others
and helps define who they are as a person and
develops their drive in music. But what if “that band”
is something more than that? What if this band has
helped redefine what music really is about but adds
a whole new depth to the meaning? Shinedown is
“that band.” Recreating a classic and adding a new
level of emotion, touring the world to visit & support
US soldiers, completing 3 solid records but stopping
to talk to every fan is something that holds real
meaning to those of us who attached to music like air.

M4M: THE BAND JUST RELEASED IT’S 3RD ALBUM, “SOUND OF MADNESS” ALONG WITH A NEWER WEBSITE,
WHAT WERE SOME OF THE PROCESSES THAT YOU GUYS WENT THROUGH TO CREATE BOTH?BARRY (drummer): It was difficult because it took about 18 months to do this record. We felt a little rushed on the 2nd
record and we wanted to make sure we got exactly what we wanted in this album. So we sat down and spent a lot of time
writing songs and I think by the time it was all said and done, we had between 40 and 50 songs written. We really worked
hard to get the best tone and sound that we could and also pushing our musicianship to the next level and also
concentrating on playing more of the song and making the song as good as we could. So it was really putting every
aspect of the music under a microscope and making sure we got back what we wanted out of the music. And taking the
time to do all that instead of saying “Well, that’s good enough,” we worked hard and got everything to sound exactly how
we wanted it to sound. So that was the hardest thing I think. M4M: FROM LISTENING TO THIS ALBUM, EVERY SONG IS PUT TOGETHER SO WELL THAT IT REALLY SHOWS THE
LEVEL OF MUSICIANSHIP EACH ONE OF YOU HAVE OBTAINED. BARRY: Well thank you, we worked hard and I think it shows!

M4M: OH MOST DEFINITELY!  NOW OF THE 3 ALBUMS SHINEDOWN HAS OUT RIGHT NOW (“LEAVE A WHISPER, “US
AND THEM” AND “SOUND OF MADNESS”),  WHICH ONE DO YOU FEEL “CLOSEST” TOO?BARRY:  Um, I don’t think there are any particular songs, they’re all moments in time right? Out of all the records we’ve
done, I think that this is the best record because of becoming better musicians and writers and becoming a better band
overall. But to take one song out of everything would be practically impossible for me ‘cause we spend so much time with
all of them and trying to make each one as good as it can be. Unlike a lot of bands who don’t have the opportunity to,
they write one good song and the label says “alright, you’ve got one good one, just fill in the rest and we’ll get it out
there,” we’ve been lucky enough to have our label let us pull out and take time to write a bunch of good songs where our
listeners wanted to have that album and listen to it front to back without having to skip over anything to get to the single
or whatever it is. We write albums, not just singles. M4M: I THINK THAT’S A HUGE THING WITHIN TODAYS MUSIC INDUSTRY WHERE THERE ARE SOME ALBUMS OUT
THERE THAT HAVE A FEW GOOD SONGS BUT DON’T HAVE AN ENTIRE ALBUM WORTH OF AMAZING SONGS.   

BARRY: EXACTLY!M4M: “SOUND OF MADNESS” HAS RECEIVED A GREAT AMOUNT OF ATTENTION WITHIN THE ROCK INDUSTRY,
WHY OR WHAT DO YOU FEEL IS/ARE THE REASONS IT STANDS OUT TO GRAB THAT ATTENTION?BARRY:  It’s been a lot of positive feedback really and it’s been kind of a “hit” really as we’ve tried hard on all of the
albums. We’ve had a lot of people that are close to us, industry people that are kind of jaded I would say, that have the
whole “sell a million records today and things like that, even people I’ve never talked to or haven’t talked to in years, that
go “hey man, I just wanted to let you know how great the album is that you did.” That for me is just a huge honor
because we could do something special for us but know that it’s translating not only to our fans and friends and peers. It’
s just a great feeling and we’re hoping to continue that way. We’re happy to be back on the road and playing these
songs for our fans and getting new ones as well.M4M: THAT’S EXACTLY WHAT IT’S ALL ABOUT TOO! YOU HAVE 3 NEW MEMBERS THAT HAVE NOW JOINED THE
GROUP: NICK (LEAD GUITAR), ZACH (GUITAR) AND ERIC (BASS, VOCALS AND PIANO). HOW HAS THEIR INDIVIDUAL
TALENTS HELPED SHINEDOWN CONTINUE/PROCEED INTO THE NEXT LEVEL OF YOUR MUSIC?BARRY:  It’s helped to reinvent the band in a lot of ways. The band was hitting some really dark place and exploding and
the last thing anyone wanted to do was to have the band stop and die. I didn’t want Shinedown to stop and die.
Shinedown is know for it’s “standards” so to speak. And really with a rock band with a power singer like this, the voice is
the most recognizable and working to stardom and easily not going down that way. I still love those boys that were with
us. I have very fund memories from the beginning of time. But being able to sit back and say okay, now that these
changes have happened, we have to keep Shinedown going. We called our friends, all these guys, Eric, Zac and Nick,
are friends of ours that we’ve toured with in the past and have known for years. So it was like bringing in our friends into
the band. It wasn’t like “let’s go hire for hire” it was like “Hey, I’m gonna call Nick.” We want Nick in the band and give us a
call back type thing. Being on stage with them and their talent level is not only great for the new stuff but also for the old
stuff. I’m now hearing 3 part harmonies on the vocal for the older stuff that we never did before. The guitar parts are
there and it’s a whole different level. It’s a great thing and I can say we couldn’t have found better guys to fill those
spots.  

M4M: ANYONE THAT WAS A FAN BEFORE THE CHANGE IN MEMBERS, WHO SAW A SHOW BEFORE THIS RECORD,
WOULD WATCH A SHOW NOW AND NOTICE THAT THE SHOW LEVEL HAS DEFINITELY TRIPLED. BARRY: Thank you! Yea, it’s definitely more of a show (both laugh). I appreciate that and hope the fans see it too. M4M: THE BAND IS CURRENTLY TOURING (WITH BLACK STONE CHERRY, RED, THEORY OF A DEADMAN, 12
STONES), WHAT HAS BEEN THE CROWDS REACTION TO HEARING THE NEWER SONGS “VS” THE OLDER SONGS?BARRY: I think the overall reaction has been great! They love the old songs and they’ve put them on the radios for
years, so they’re great. Once the new album finally came out, while we were actually touring for quite a bit before it came
out, they were singing those songs back to us full force. It’s a great feeling and I think we’ve got a good mix of the older
stuff and newer stuff. We’re really excited to play the newer stuff, but we’re gonna play the good old favorite ones like
“Simple Man” which we almost can’t bring ourselves to play anymore (both laugh), we’re very happy. M4M: THE OLDER SONGS ARE DEFINITELY GOING TO STAY AROUND FOR A LONG WHILE YET (both laugh again).
WITH THAT, THERE IS A YOUNGER FAN BASE THAT ARE LEARNING TO PLAY MUSIC FROM THOSE VERY SONGS.
WHAT IS SOME ADVICE THAT YOU’D GIVE TO THEM IF THEY SEE THIS AS A PATH FOR THEM LATER ON IN LIFE?BARRY:  Work hard; learn everything you can about your instrument, everything you can in every style of music. The
more knowledge that you have is going to be easier for you later on. To be careful of the people around you. It’s very
easy to fall and trapped into “that scene” and we all know what that is with it being readily available at all times. You have
to try to rise above that and try to keep yourself as healthy as possible while keeping your head on straight. Because it’s
not what they see on TV, it’s not what they remember from reading in books about the 70’s and 80’s, you have to be
completely focused at all times to keep up in this age. M4M: THERE’S THIS EXTREME EMOTIONAL TIE TO THE MUSIC. WHEN YOU’RE PLAYING A SONG LIVE, DO YOU
“LOOSE YOURSELF” IN THE SHOW AND ARE JUST DOING WHAT YOU LOVE?BARRY: You know, I think you can’t forget you’re on stage. You have the energy of the crowd coming at you along with
the energy of the songs coming at you and you’re playing as hard as you can without messing up (laugh) and we’re
professionals so we’re horrible on ourselves. That hour and a half that you get on stage is the biggest job in the world,
every new thing that happens throughout the day, disappears. It’s a natural high that you can’t describe. It’s truly an
absolutely amazing feeling and it’s having those great songs that make it happen.  M4M: SHINEDOWN IS WELL KNOWN FOR IT’S SUPPORT IN OUR TROOPS AND HAVE FLOWN ACROSS THE WORLD
TO VISIT AND PLAY FOR THEM. WHAT ARE SOME OF THE EXPERIENCES THAT YOU’VE HAD WITH THEM ALONG
THE WAY?BARRY:  We’ve toured to Kuwait and Iraq along with bases here, it’s one of the most amazing things we’ve ever done. It
truly was an honor and I think the one thing some people take away from that is how hard these men and women work
and how proud they are of themselves. Their sense of pride is amazing and in return I’m very proud of them for who they
are. Regardless of your political affiliation, regardless of how you feel about the war, the military or the industry, these
men and women are there to do a job. That’s what they strive for and try to the best of their abilities every single time.
While we were there, there were 18 or 19 yr olds, much younger than I am, carrying 50 cal’s, sniper rifles, going out on
patrol in a hum-v and getting shot at and blown up every single day. And they didn’t care; they were ready to do it. That’
s something hard and something you can never take away from them and something I learned a lot about. I’d do it again
and want to do again sometime. I’m just very proud of them.

M4M: WHAT IS SOMETHING THAT YOU’D LIKE TO SAY TO THE FANS?BARRY:  Just thanks for bearing with us and the continued support! Our fans mean everything to us and we try to take
as much time as we have to say hello to them and thank them, sign autographs if they want them or just say hello,
because that’s all they want. So it’s the fans that keep us going out here on the road. They’re the ones that keep us
employed and the ones that are there for us. They are our boss really, they get to decide whether we stay or go (both
laugh). So without them, we’re nothing and we appreciate them for that and everything.

M4M: EVERYONE ALWAYS ASKS YOU WHAT YOU’D LIKE, SO I’M GIVING YOU ONE WISH, WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE
(both laugh!)BARRY: (laughs) Ah man, I don’t know! I’m a pretty simple guy, so I just wish for health and happiness for the band and
their families!M4M: THAT’S ALL ANYONE CAN REALLY ASK FOR REALLY. THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR TAKING THE TIME OUT TO
TALK TO US! WE’LL SEE YOU ON THE ROAD SOON AND HOPE TO TALK TO YOU AGAIN SOMETIME!BARRY: No problem! Thank you and to the fans as well! We’ll most definitely have to do this again sometime!