Shinedown’s long road includes 5th Maine stop

Posted Jan. 25, 2010, at 6:41 p.m.
Photo by DAVID BERGMAN / www.DavidBergman.net -- The band SHINEDOWN poses for a portrait at the Starland Ballroom in Sayreville, NJ on December 11, 2008.
Photo by DAVID BERGMAN / www.DavidBergman.net -- The band SHINEDOWN poses for a portrait at the Starland Ballroom in Sayreville, NJ on December 11, 2008.

The rock band known for loving life on the road, or more specifically touring, is back at it again. And this time, they’re bringing along two guests.

This week, the road brings the quartet from Jacksonville, Fla., known as Shinedown back to Maine for a fifth time, this time to Lewiston.

Not exactly a prime concert venue in the dead of winter.

“Yeah, but you guys have lobsters,” Shinedown drummer Barry Kerch said with a laugh. “Hey, we love to tour and play in front of our fans. That’s how this band was built.”

Kerch said the 7-year-old band has spent 300 of the last 365 days on tour.

“Now that we’re known for that, we have to continue to do it, but I wouldn’t trade it for the world.”

Shinedown is promoting its third album as the headline group of a triple bill also featuring Puddle of Mudd and Skillet. The trio will rock the Androscoggin Bank Colisee in Lewiston at 7:30 p.m. Saturday.

When asked if a three-band tour is a case of too many cooks spoiling the broth, the 33-year-old Kerch says it depends on the order of performance.

“It’s not tough if you’re the headliner because you control everything. It’s tough when you’re an opening band, though,” he said. “We’re going on tour with Nickelback later this year as the opening act and we’ll go from two hours to 40-minute sets, so that’s tough.”

Kerch, lead vocalist and fellow founding member Brent Smith, Eric Bass (bass, keyboards, vocals) and Zach Myers (lead guitar) are excited about this road mix.

“We’ve got history with Puddle of Mudd,” Kerch explained. “We’re from Jacksonville.”

“Both of our guitar players like to look in the mirror a lot, the drummers are reclusive and a little strange, the bass players have anger issues, our lead singers are alpha males who are really shy, misunderstood guys, and so on,” Kerch said with a hearty chuckle.

This is the first time Shinedown has toured with Skillet, a Christian hard-rock band.

“It’s going to be a blast. We met them yesterday,” Kerch said last Thursday. “They’re down-to-earth and not preachy or anything, but we’ll keep it family-style on the tour.”

Shinedown’s third album, “The Sound of Madness,” is billed as a look into the soul and psyche of the band. Kerch doesn’t disagree.

“Songwritingwise, there are better songs and more of them, and lyrically it’s in-your-face blunt,” Kerch said. “It deals with what we went through from the end of our last tour through the making of this record.

“We’re letting people a little bit more into our worlds, with the drug addictions and crises of the past. It’s very therapeutic for us. We’re in a better place now than we’ve ever been.”

Smith’s song lyrics tackle everything from addiction to homesickness, family and politics. “Devour” was inspired by the group’s visits to American troops in Iraq. There’s even a love song, which Smith said he’d never write.

Smith wrote “If You Only Knew” the day he found out he was going to become a father.

“I think we realize we’re only human and there is a shelf life which you have to respect somewhat, especially with Brent having a child and completely changing his life,” said Kerch. “And that also probably saved his life.”

The album is different soundwise as well.

“It’s bigger and badder. The difference is the sonic sound of the album. It’s a bit more epic,” he said. “The second was low-fi and this is as big as we could possibly make it.

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