Wednesday, January 27, 2010


Hard rocking Florida band on why mellowing out a little has been a key to their success

It seems strange to say that a band who have had all of their dozen or so singles reach the top of the modern rock radio charts has been flying under the radar, but that’s how things have played out for Florida-based hard rock band Shinedown. Outside of their passionate fan base, the band has proven an uncanny knack to blend into the post-grunge power ballad pack led by the likes of Nickleback. In fact you’ve probably heard — and quite possibly sung along to — vaguely inspirational power-anthems like “I Dare You” and their biggest hit to date “Second Chance” off their most recent album “The Sound of Madness” without even knowing it was them.

It’s an interesting phenomenon, says frontman Brent Smith. “A lot of people that are coming to see the shows, they know the name of the band but they don’t know what the band looks like. A lot of it has to do with ‘Second Chance.’ People come and say, ‘Oh I didn’t know they did that song, oh they wrote that song too?’ The songs kind of just keep coming out and people are kind of shocked because they didn’t realize that was us.”

Bringing the fans in with the hits is the easy part. Keeping them is hard work.
“We never got in this to run a race,” Smith says. “We always said we were in this to run a marathon. Anything that’s handed to you if you don’t work for it is honestly not worth it. If you climb to the top of one mountain you’ve got to say, ‘OK let’s climb a bigger one now.’”
‘It’s like sex...’

Balancing their riff-heavy hard rock with more populist slow jams is key, says Smith.

“It would get really boring if it was the same type of style over and over again. I think there’s a lot of depth to this band because there are a lot of peaks and valleys in the music. I get bored playing fast stuff over and over again. I’m very much into melody, and big wide open choruses that you can just look out into the audience and see every person singing at the top of their lungs. It’s like sex, sometimes you want hard and heavy and sometimes you want it nice and easy.


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