Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Band Camp Is Starting Point for Shinedown; Jacksonville Band Expects Extensive Tour

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Band Camp Is Starting Point for Shinedown; Jacksonville Band Expects Extensive Tour

Article excerpt

Byline: ROGER BULL

Shinedown has been through some changes since it last played in Jacksonville, the city of its birth, two years ago.

But it's back today as one of the headliners at Band Camp, a seven-band concert at the Jacksonville Equestrian Center. Among the other performers are Filter and Serj Tankian, former lead singer for System of a Down, and Ashes Divide, new band from Billy Howerdel of A Perfect Circle.

This isn't the same Shinedown that's played Jacksonville in the past. Two of the original members when the band formed here in 2002 are gone.

Vocalist Brent Smith didn't want to go into the personal stuff, but said that bassist Brad Stewart and the band parted ways a little more than a year ago. Guitarist Jasin Todd recently went on what Smith called a leave of absence.

"He's not necessarily gone from the band," Smith said by phone from Orlando, where the band was rehearsing.

In the meantime, the band has grown to five members, with Smith and founding drummer Barry Kerch joined by Nick Perri and Zach Myers on guitar and Eric Bass on, coincidentally enough, bass.

The band's third album, The Sound of Madness, comes out June 24. The first single, Devour, was released Monday and with it, Smith enters into new political territory.

"It's just my interpretation of the end of George W. Bush's presidency," Smith said. "He's had eight years, and that's all you get. I'm not bashing the guy in the song. I don't agree with everything the guy did, but it's not like everything he did was bad. It's not like I could run the country any better.

"But when we went to Iraq two years ago, it changed my views. I'm not a political person. But our soldiers, they were just fighting their [butts] off. They were really physically tired and there's a point when they don't know why they're there.

"So I started looking at it. Do we really have to be over there? How much longer is this going to last?"

As for the album, it's still rock, hard rock with Smith's vocals way out front. But he said he was looking for something more with this one, which was produced by Rob Cavallo (Kid Rock, Green Day, My Chemical Romance).

"Rob came to me and he said 'What's your goal on this record? …

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