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Photo: James Minchin III

Shinedown Overview:

Shinedown play melodic hard rock heavily indebted to grunge bands of the early 1990s. Forming at the beginning of the 21st century, Shinedown originally consisted of frontman Brent Smith, drummer Barry Kerch, bassist Brad Stewart and guitarist Jasin Todd. Smith had signed with Atlantic Records with another band, but when that group folded, he recruited new members to become Shinedown.

Letting Their Influences Show on Debut:

Shinedown’s debut, 2003’s Leave a Whisper, produced a series of singles, including “45” and “Burning Bright.” Though Shinedown drew comparisons to Nickelback at the time, Leave a Whisper feels closer in spirit to the moody darkness of Alice in Chains, while their cover of Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Simple Man” revealed a sonic similarity to classic ‘70s Southern rock. Singer Brent Smith demonstrated his powerful, expressive bellow of a voice, which compensated for some generic tendencies in the music elsewhere. Leave a Whisper garnered platinum sales, as Shinedown further boosted their profile by touring with 3 Doors Down.

A Confident Follow-Up:

2005’s Us and Them was a more confident record than its predecessor. While “Save Me,” the accessible mid-tempo lead single which went to No. 1 on the mainstream rock chart, drove sales of Us and Them, the more interesting material was deeper in the record, such as the assertive “I Dare You.” Again, the group toured as the opening act for 3 Doors Down.

Personnel Changes:

Lineup changes affected Shinedown after Us and Them. Bassist Brad Stewart left the group in 2007, and then in April of 2008 – two months before the band’s third record was to be released – it was announced that guitarist Jasin Todd was also departing. Todd’s exit came under odd circumstances – two days before the announcement, Todd was arrested in Jacksonville for resisting an officer and disorderly intoxication. Into the void came touring guitarist Nick Perri and bassist Eric Bass.

Shinedown "Devour" the Competition:

Despite the personal turmoil, Shinedown’s third record, The Sound of Madness, hit stores June 2008. Powered by the explosive first single “Devour,” a protest song lashing out at the Bush administration’s handling of the Iraq War, The Sound of Madness was the strongest record yet by the band. Helped by Green Day producer Rob Cavallo, Shinedown’s songs were the most articulate and compelling of their career, seamlessly segueing from stompers like “Sound of Madness” to the emotionally affecting “Second Chance.” For the first time, Shinedown were the headliners of their subsequent tour.


On March 27, 2012, Shinedown returned with their first studio album in four years, Amaryllis. The lead single, “Bully,” proved to be a potent hit with fans, scoring high on the rock radio charts.

Current Lineup:

Eric Bass – bass, piano
Barry Kerch – drums
Zach Myers – guitar
Brent Smith - vocals

Key Shinedown Songs:

“Burning Bright” (Purchase/Download)
“Save Me” (Purchase/Download)
“I Dare You” (Purchase/Download)
“Devour” (Purchase/Download)
“Bully” (Purchase/Download)


Leave a Whisper (2003) (Purchase/Download)
Us and Them (2005) (Purchase/Download)
The Sound of Madness (2008) (Purchase/Download)
Somewhere in the Stratosphere (live album) (2011) (Purchase/Download)
Amaryllis (2012) (Purchase/Download)

Shinedown Trivia:

  • Besides 3 Doors Down, Shinedown have also toured with Van Halen, Powerman 5000 and Velvet Revolver.
  • “Devour” was used as the theme song for 2008’s WWE Night of Champions.
  • Brent Smith has cited Otis Redding’s “Love Man” as his favorite song.
  • The name Shinedown was inspired by an innocuous comment: Glancing at a painting in then-bassist Brad Stewart’s house, Brent Smith mentioned that it might look better if it had a light shining down on it.
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