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Feature Friday: Shinedown

Shinedown is an American rock band from Jacksonville, Florida who have built their name on rock songs both brutal in power and epic in scope. The band originated in 2001 after the split of Brent Smith’s previous band, he kept his record deal with Atlantic Records and recruited musicians for the band's original lineup. The band’s lineup was consistent for the first two albums, and in late 2000s was changed to what we currently know as Shinedown. Smith and Berry Kerch, remained in the band and new members Zach Myers on guitar, and Eric Bass on bass were added. The men have released a total of five albums and have sold more than ten million albums worldwide. They have also had eleven number one singles on the Billboard Mainstream Rock charts, which is the third most of all time.

Their first album Leave a Whisper released in 2003 was a slow success. However, after tours and four singles that made top 5 on Billboard Mainstream Rock charts, it ended up selling over 1 million copies and certifying platinum in the United States. The band was on tour for 24 months straight, playing over 400 live shows. They later put out a DVD titled 'Live from the Inside' that captured their live shows and more. Their second album released in 2005, titled Us and Them, peaked at number 23 on Billboard 200 chart and employed some successful singles such as "Save Me” which was Shinedows’s first song to reach number one on the Mainstream Rock Charts. Holding the spot for twelve consecutive weeks, with single “I Dare You,” also peaking at number 2. Both songs made it on the Billboard Hot 100 charts, a first for the band.

The groups 2008 album, The Sound of Madness, made number eight on the Billboard 200 top album charts and sold 50,000 copies in just the opening week. The album ended up being the bands best selling one, making double platinum in the United States. There were 6 singles that make a top spot on Billboard rock music charts, one of which, "Second Chance,” certified triple platinum. Their fourth album was titles Amaryllis, released in 2012, debuting at number four on the Billboard 200 charts. The album exceeded The Sound of Madness, selling 106,000 during the first week, however only certified gold, indicating that half a million sold overall. Five of the albums singles made top 5 on Billboard Mainstream Rock Charts, with "Bully" and “Unity" making number 1 and “Bully” also making it onto the Billboard Top 100 chart.

With their latest album Threat to Survival, Shinedown veers away from that densely layered sonic palette and take a more direct approach. The album made number six on the Billboard 200 and sold 65,000 in the first week. Three of the albums singles hit number one on the US Mainstream Rock charts, including lead single “Cut the Cord” which shot to #1 on Active Rock radio. In the song the band looks at the insidious nature of self-destruction and puts out a call for self-empowerment. Smith explains that the approach on Threat to Survival had much to do with the emotionally raw material at the heart of the album. “When we started the writing process we realized the changes that had taken place over the past 2 years, our experiences, the relationships that had come and gone, the album really took on a life of its own,” says Smith. The band members put a lot of themselves into this one, with topics such as Smith navigating his role as a father and exploring matters of life and death and beauty and pain.

Shinedown continually brings both staggering musicality and a powerful emotional complexity to their music. “There’s always been a certain level of positivity with Shinedown — that’s even where our name came from,” says Smith. On another positive note, in February 2017 Smith announced that the band has started to work on a sixth album. They are currently on tour in Europe, but don't worry, they’ll be back in time for Common Ground Music Festival and you wont want to miss it. See them along with The Legal Immigrants, Here Come The Mummies and LiVe on Saturday July 8th in Lansing.

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