It’s high-time I wrote about a favorite band of mine which hails from Jacksonville, Florida. Certainly well-known in the States, but rather obscure here on the European continent, Shinedown has held my fascination for a number of years now. I suppose many of you have heard them, you just don’t know it is them …
A true alternative rock band with powerful vocals, I’ve found myself pushing replay more than once as I listen to “45” over and over again. (Sidenote: I’m thrilled YouTube has the video up and running again… :D)
“… Everyone’s pointing their fingers …
… always condemning me …
… nobody knows what I believe …”
Formed in 2001 by Brent Smith (Vocals), Barry Kerch (Drums), Brad Steward (Bass), and Jasin Todd (Guitar), the band has gone through a few line-up changes over the years. Jasin Todd eventually left the band in 2008 and joined the rock band Fuel as their guitarist. This brings Shinedown’s current line-up, which consists of two of the original founding members, Smith and Kerch, as well as Zach Myers (Guitars and Backing Vocals), and Eric Bass (Bass, Piano, and Backing Vocals).
Signed to Atlantic Records, three albums have come to fruition thus far, “Leave a Whisper” (2003), “Us and Them” (2005), and “The Sound of Madness” (2008). They’ve also released thirteen singles and have sold over 8 million albums worldwide. After the release of their first album, Shinedown released their DVD “Live from the Inside“, which contained not only their final concert from the “Leave a Whisper” tour, but also contained a documentary.
By far, “Leave a Whisper” is my favorite album of the band, with “45” leading the way for what was to become a favorite cover for other bands. Their own acoustic cover of Lynyrd Skynyrd‘s “Simple Man” has simply blown me away.
Their second album “Us and Them” eventually ended up with three different release versions… The original 13-track CD, a Limited-Edition with three bonus acoustic tracks, and finally the 25-track Deluxe Edition sold through iTunes featuring additional live and acoustic versions of varying tracks. This album brought them on tour with bands like Seether (another favorite of mine), Halestorm, Flyleaf, Trapt, Alter Bridge, Godsmack, and Rob Zombie (…and who doesn’t love the creative genius of Rob Zombie…).
A DVD was also made for this album’s tour, however, Atlantic tossed the product out the window (not really sure why, but then again, who am I to question the infinite wisdom of a label … :s). The band announced their hope to someday release the DVD as a bootleg, but last I heard, even that concept was up in the air.
Shinedown’s third album, “The Sound of Madness”, was released exclusively through iTunes as a Video/DVD album and also saw a Deluxe Edition version, this time with three additional digital tracks. A grand effort was made to surpass the reception they received for their first two albums which had seven consecutive top five record and alternative radio hits.
Their political track, “Devour” met those expectations and made it to #1 on the rock charts and became the theme song for the WWE Pay-Per-View “Night of Champions 2008”, and was also included on the soundtrack for 2009 hit horror film, “The Final Destination”. Inspired by Shinedown’s visits to troops in Iraq and how he felt about the end of George W. Bush‘s presidency, vocalist Brent Smith said, “I won’t lie; I got really angry. This is my statement to him; ‘This is the end of your presidency, and this is what you have to show for it’ — Not that everything he did was bad or wrong. I don’t want to get too political, because I’m not a political person. But after coming back from Iraq, I just had to write that song and get it out of my system.”
WWE’s “Wrestlemania 25″ brought yet another track, “Sound of Madness” to the frontlines with the Shawn Michaels / The Undertaker match. In 2009, they joined the stage with Papa Roach to record U2‘s hit, “Beautiful Day” for Papa Roach’s upcoming album. “The Sound of Madness” found itself on the Billboard Top 200 chart for 120 consecutive weeks. Quite a feat considering the way the music industry stands today.
The Deluxe Edition’s track “Her Name is Alice” was made for Tim Burton‘s 2010 movie “Alice in Wonderland” (yep, the one with Johnny Depp), and was released on the movie’s soundtrack named “Almost Alice“. The year 2010 also brought their track “Diamond Eyes (Boom-Lay Boom-Lay Boom)” to Sylvester Stallone‘s movie “The Expendables“.
A few months ago they released a Deluxe CD/DVD edition of “The Sound of Madness” with nine more bonus tracks. They’ve included a new version of “Breaking Inside” with guest vocals by Lzzy Hale (Halestorm), a band interview, live clips, and all the music videos made for “The Sound of Madness“.
You can read more about Shinedown on their Official Site HERE.
Happy new week and I hope the end of your February brings you warm hints of Spring …