Shinedown is an American hard rock band from Jacksonville, Florida, formed in 2001 and founded by members Brent Smith (vocals), Brad Stewart (bass), Jasin Todd (guitar), and Barry Kerch (drums). A few lineup changes followed, and the band's current lineup consists of Smith and Kerch, the band's only two remaining original members, with guitarist Zach Myers, and bassist Eric Bass. Since Shinedown's inception, the group has released five albums: Leave a Whisper (2003), Us and Them (2005), The Sound of Madness (2008), Amaryllis (2012), and Threat to Survival (2015). Shinedown has sold more than ten million albums worldwide.
Formation and Leave a Whisper (2000–2004)
The band's origin's trace back to frontman Brent Smith prior band, "Dreve", of which had signed a record deal with Atlantic Records in 2000. The record label, unhappy with Dreve as a whole, dropped the band prior to releasing an album, but retained Smith, who they felt was worth developing separately as an artist. Atlantic signed Smith to a development deal where record representative helped him with his song-writing ability, and helped him recruit members for a new band, which would become Shinedown. Smith moved to Jacksonville, Florida and began work on the project in 2001. The first member he recruited was bassist Brad Stewart, through local Jacksonville music producer Pete Thornton. Smith and Stewart began recording demos together in a small local studio, who's owner recommended they meet with her fiance, guitarist Jasin Todd, who Smith brought in as the third member. The original lineup was rounded out by drummer Barry Kerch, who was the seventh drummer the band had auditioned for the spot. The four worked together on creating demos, and submitted their work-in-progress material to Atlantic, who approved of the material and green-lighted a full-length album.
The resulting work was the band's debut album, Leave a Whisper which was released July 5, 2003. The band released multiple singles to promote the release, including "Fly from the Inside," "Burning Bright", "45", and a cover of the Lynyrd Skynyrd song, "Simple Man". The band toured extensively in support of the album, playing over 400 live shows over the course of 2003 and 2004. The band later released a live DVD titled Live from the Inside that documented the live shows of the touring cycle. Leave A Whisper, while not an immediate success, through the extensive touring and successful singles, eventually went platinum in the United States, indicating sales of over 1 million.
Us and Them (2005–2007)
After the successful Leave a Whisper and accompanying tour, the band went back into the studio in 2005 to record its second album. On October 4, 2005, the band released Us and Them, which went on to produce three singles: "Save Me," "I Dare You," and "Heroes." The lead single, "Save Me," stayed in the No.1 position of the Active Rock Charts for twelve weeks straight, setting a record for the band. The two additional singles had similar success. "I Dare You" was notably performed on American Idol by Chris Daughtry and was used as the secondary theme song for the WWE flagship pay-per-view Wrestlemania 22. Us and Them was certified gold by the RIAA on November 13, 2006.
The album was released in three different versions: the regular 13-track version, a limited edition with three bonus acoustic tracks, and a store-specific version with two bonus tracks ("Break" and "Carried Away.") After the album's release, the band took part in 2006's SnoCore Tour with Seether, Flyleaf, and Halestorm. After that the band joined Trapt for the Equinox Tour. The members of Shinedown then played their first overseas concert at the London Astoria on June 6, 2006, supporting Alter Bridge. In the summer of 2006, the band opened for Godsmack and Rob Zombie on their tour of North America.
The Sound of Madness (2008–2011)
The band began recording its third album, The Sound of Madness, in Los Angeles on September 20, 2007. It was released on June 24, 2008. A deluxe edition was released later and included three additional tracks. The first single, "Devour," was released on May 6, 2008 and was the band's second No. 1 on the active rock chart.
The "Devour" music video was released on June 25, 2008, and the song was featured in three different productions. It was used as the theme song for the WWE pay-per-view Night of Champions 2008, was used in the soundtrack of the 2009 film, The Final Destination, and was included in the soundtrack for Madden NFL 09. On August 30, 2009, NBC used the album's title track, "Sound of Madness," in its review of the WWE Shawn Michaels/The Undertaker match in Wrestlemania 25.
"Second Chance," the second single off The Sound of Madness, is Shinedown's biggest hit to date, being the band's first top 10 song on the Billboard Hot 100. The song reached No. 1 for three consecutive weeks throughout its time on the chart. "Second Chance" has after gone double platinum. Ironically, for the song "that broke into everything," it was one the band members hated when they first wrote it.
On April 11, 2008, lead singer Brent Smith announced that Jasin Todd was leaving the band, saying, "At this time, he's no longer with us in Shinedown." In the liner notes of The Sound of Madness, Smith says that he loves Todd and considers him the "brother [he] never had." Since parting ways with Shinedown, Todd has remained out of the public eye. Although rumours briefly surfaced that he had joined Soil (the band promptly denied this), he eventually became the guitarist for the rock band Fuel.
Shinedown digitally re-released deluxe editions Leave a Whisper and Us and Them on July 7, 2009. The two re-released albums included 25 tracks that hadn't been previously released, including seven tracks that had never been heard before.
November 18, 2009 brought the release of The Sight of Madness, the band's first digital video album. The album features the band's videos and five live recordings from an early 2009 performance at the Tabernacle in Atlanta, Georgia. This release is only available on iTunes. On December 18, the video for "Second Chance" ranked No.7 on VH1's Top 40 Music Videos of 2009. Because of that ranking, it was on the countdown for 20 weeks. Other singles from the album are "If You Only Knew" and "The Crow & the Butterfly."
During shows on December 15, 2009 in Rockford, Illinois and December 18 in Biloxi, Mississippi, the band joined Papa Roach on stage to record a live version of U2's "Beautiful Day" for Papa Roach's upcoming live album. The band later headlined the "Carnival of Madness” tour in the U.S., which began July 16 and wrapped up September 3, 2010 at the Alaska State Fair.
"The Crow & the Butterfly" was the fifth single released from the album and began receiving airplay on April 6, 2010. Shinedown next released two songs for movie soundtracks. The track "Her Name is Alice" was done for the movie Alice in Wonderland and released on the respective soundtrack named Almost Alice. Shinedown additionally contributed "Diamond Eyes (Boom-Lay Boom-Lay Boom)" to the Sylvester Stallone movie The Expendables. The song was released to online retailers on June 21, 2010, and as an official single December 7, 2010.
Shinedown released a deluxe CD/DVD edition of The Sound of Madness, on November 23, 2010. It featured nine bonus songs, including a version of the track "Breaking Inside," with guest vocals from Halestorm's Lzzy Hale, all the music videos filmed for The Sound of Madness, an interview with the band, and five live clips previously available only on iTunes.
The Sound of Madness went on to spend 120 consecutive weeks on the Billboard 200 chart, starting from its June 24, 2008 release and ending in late October 2010.
In 2010, the band announced an acoustic tour called "Anything and Everything." On this tour, the band members offered to take questions and song requests from the audience. Shinedown additionally added a second guitarist, Alan Price, for the entire tour. The band hand-selected Will Hoge to open for them on the tour, as the members (Zach Myers especially) have been fans of Hoge's for years. Brent Smith announced that the band planned to record a live DVD of the "Anything and Everything" tour in Kansas City, Missouri, and that it will be distributed along with the Carnival of Madness DVD, which was another live DVD recorded in the last year.
On February 21, 2011, via video chat on Shinedown's official website, the band announced the name of the new live DVD would be Somewhere in the Stratosphere. On March 8, it was announced that the album, a double CD/DVD, would be released on 3 May and include footage from the Carnival of Madness and Anything and Everything tours, as well as backstage footage, interviews, and additional material. Somewhere in the Stratosphere was released on May 3, 2011.
In March 2011, guitarist Zach Myers stated that the band was working on their fourth studio album.
While attending the 59th annual BMI Pop Awards on 17 May, Brent Smith was asked if the new album was similar to that on 2008′s platinum-certified album The Sound of Madness. Smith responded back, “Not really, because we can’t compare any of the additional records to this one — just like we can’t compare the first one to the second one or the third one to the first one,” he said. “We pride ourselves on being a band that each record sounds completely different than the last. The beautiful thing is the journey and finding out where you're in your life, not only as a person, but where you're as an artist and as a musician and how far you’ve come and how far you’ve grown. So, for us, we tour a lot — our last record, we toured for almost three years — so it’s very, quite crucial and very, quite important for us for this fourth record [to be as strong as possible], so we take our time.”
On August 16, 2011, it was announced that Shinedown had begun recording new material at Ocean Way Recording with producer Rob Cavallo, who had previously worked with the band on The Sound of Madness. On December 15, it was announced that Shinedown planned to release their first single of their new album, "Bully", on January 3, 2012.
On January 3, 2012, in conjunction with their new single "Bully" being released, the band announced that the new album will be entitled Amaryllis and would be released March 27, 2012, with pre-orders available on January 17. The following day, it was confirmed that the band has secured a deal with Roadrunner records to release the album in every territory besides the US where they're still signed to Atlantic.
Shinedown additionally contributed the song titled "I'm Alive" to the soundtrack of the film The Avengers, which was released May 1, 2012. The band released a music video for their third single from Amaryllis, "Enemies", on July 17, 2012.
On November 7, 2012, Brent Smith officially announced in an interview with NME that they already have a new album recorded. According to him, "it's still quite massive, it still has an epic feel to it all, but the tempo is a little slower, and the subject matter is a little different. I would say it's actually a bit darker, a little bit more mischievous." On November 12, 2012, Shinedown and Three Days Grace announced a co-headlined tour beginning on February 1, 2013, and was supported by P.O.D.
On July 10, and 16th, 2013, Shinedown opened for Kiss in Lethbridge Alberta at the Enmax Centre and Regina, Saskatchewan in the Brandt Center in front of 7100 and 6100 people, respectively.
In April 2013, Smith and Myers recorded ten acoustic cover songs requested by fans, to be released over ten days, including songs such as Metallica's "Nothing Else Matters" and Adele's "Someone Like You". The songs were planned to be released with videos of the recordings. Notwithstanding a few of the artists being covered (Adele, Phil Collins, Pearl Jam, and Bon Jovi) disagreed with the idea of releasing the videos. The extended play was reduced to six songs, with videos being released on the days leading up to January 28, 2014, when (Acoustic Sessions) - EP was released. Later, on March 18, 2014, (Acoustic Sessions, Pt. 2) - EP was released with the previously omitted tracks.
Threat to Survival (2015-present)
On June 29, 2015, the band released a new single titled "Cut the Cord." It has been used as the theme song for WWE Hell in a Cell 2015. On August 7, 2015, the band announced its fifth album would be titled Threat to Survival, to be released September 18, 2015. Two additional songs were made available digitally ahead of the album's release—"Black Cadillac" on August 14 and "State of My Head" on August 27, the latter later being released to radio as the album's second single. It was followed up by a third single, "Asking For It." On October 4, they released "How Did You Love" as the fourth overall single.
Shinedown's music has been characterised under hard rock, alternative metal and post-grunge. In August 2013, drummer Barry Kerch disagreed with genres ascribed to the band. He stated "We're just a rock 'n' roll band. My least favourite one was post-grunge, I didn’t know there was a pre-grunge. I thought it was just grunge."