Shinedown drummer Barry Kerch said in a new interview with Alternative Addiction that his ability to stay on an even keel has enabled him to remain in the band longer than any other member except frontman Brent Smith. Kerch explained, "I'm a pretty solid, stable person. I'm basically the rock of this band and I've been able to deal with all the craziness that's gone on over the years. I help and have helped keep (Smith) somewhat sane. He's the best he's ever been right now, but he'll admit, and he's been quite open about it, that he's battled with massive addictions, both drugs and alcohol."
Smith stopped drinking just in the last year and lost a lot of weight in the months before the release of Shinedown's latest effort, Amaryllis. Kerch revealed that his bandmate is in the best shape of his life at the moment, saying, "He can breathe now. He can move around the stage now and he doesn't just stand there trying to make it through a set. Not only that but it's improved him as a person and as a result Shinedown is the strongest that it's ever been in 10 years."
- Smith told us that he's worked out a lot of his personal struggles by writing about them in his songs: ["I've always told people that we write songs because it's cheaper than therapy. You have to talk about the things that drive you crazy, and you have to talk about the things that make you happy. It lets you know that you're alive. Every day is a gift, it really is. I don't feel like there's anything corny about saying that, because you're not promised tomorrow."] SOUNDCUE (:17 OC: . . . not promised tomorrow.)
- Amaryllis, Shinedown's fourth album, debuted at Number Four on the Billboard 200 album chart in early April with first-week sales of 106,000 copies. The sales and chart numbers were career highs for the group.
- The disc currently stands at Number 55 on the Billboard chart after eight weeks, with 218,000 copies sold.
- Shinedown is playing scattered gigs through June and July and will lead the lineup of the third annual Rockstar Energy Drink Uproar Festival, which will return this August and hit 30 cities throughout North America. They'll be joined by Godsmack, Staind, Papa Roach, Adelitas Way, Redlight King and others.
- Tour dates, cities, venues and ticket info will all be announced in the coming weeks at the official tour website.