Coming off of their incredibly successful Carnival of Madness summer tour with Sevendust, Chevelle, Puddle of Mudd and 10 Years, Shinedown will be embarking on their first ever, tell-all acoustic tour called Anything and Everything. The show will consist of a full acoustic set and a fan Q and A session with the band. The band plans to use these shows to speak candidly with the audience about the stories behind the songs and where they come from.
Speaking of speaking candidly, guitarist Zach Myers gave me call recently to discuss Shinedown’s current tour, which stops off at The Wellmont Theatre in Montclair, NJ on Nov. 19. Zach, who is not an original member of Shinedown, joined the band as the touring rhythm guitarist in 2005 before becoming their temporary bassist after the departure of Brad Stewart in 2007. In early 2008, Zach assumed the role of permanent rhythm guitarist. Then in December of 2008, lead guitarist Nick Perri left the band, and Zach to assume the role of the rhythm and lead guitarist on the band’s third CD, The Sound of Madness. On Nov. 23, Shinedown will release The Sound of Madness: Deluxe Edition, which will feature B-sides and a DVD of music videos with live footage as a bonus. Zach discussed all of this during our phone call. Here’s what he had to say:
So, you guys have begun this acoustic tour called Anything and Everything, right?
Yeah, we just started it last night.
You’re two nights in, what can Shinedown fans expect to hear on this mini-tour?
Something completely different. We had a couple people from our label [Atlantic Records] out last night, and they, too, were like, “What’s this gonna be like?” and I can’t really explain it to them. It’s just something completely different. We’ve taken songs that were before only piano or acoustic guitar and turned them into full band songs, and we took full band songs and turned them into acoustic guitar or piano and acoustic guitar or something like that. It’s just completely different. We’re really excited about it. Last night was the first night and it went really well!
I was just about to ask you how last night went.
It was great! The crowd was awesome! Will Hoge, our opener whom we handpicked because he’s one of our favorite artists, did great; he got a standing ovation. It’s completely two different genres of music. Will is more of a national kind of singer-songwriter guy with an amazing voice and the crowd just gave him a standing ovation. He’s just amazing and our set went great. We couldn’t ask for a better reaction, I don’t think.
Is the whole band on stage or is it just you and singer, Brent Smith?
Nah, there’s seven of us onstage. It’s the full band. Barry (Kerch) plays drums, Bear, our drum tech actually plays the xylophone, vibes, percussion and shakers, our friend Allen Price from Charlotte, a friend of Eric Bass’, plays second guitar, then Eric’s bass tech Brian Ashurst plays bass when Eric is playing some piano.
Is this tour going to be recorded for a future CD or DVD?
Yeah, it’s being recorded for a DVD. We’re going to put out together the Carnival of Madness DVD and this DVD, which will come out as one big double-disc set.
Is it true that you’re adding a Q and A with the fans to this set?
Yeah, last night we had some good questions like which song means the most to us and why? I thought that was pretty cool because there was a storyteller kind of vibe. It was pretty good! No one was like ‘Why isn’t Brad Stewart in the band anymore?’ Nothing’s been like that, but if they ask… Hey, we’ll answer!
AW: You’re releasing The Sound of Madness: Deluxe Edition, which drops on Nov. 23, what’s your favorite track?
ZM: I love “Junkies for Fame,” that’s a great song. I love “Energy,” that’s a really good song that didn’t make the record. I love all the songs we’ve ever done. “Diamond Eyes” was really special because that was the first song that we had written, just the four of us, since the member change. It was the first song we had written with Eric. And then Eric wrote “Her Name is Alice” which is great!
Didn’t you play bass in Shinedown for a while?
I’ve played everything but the Cello in Shinedown (laughs)! Yeah, I played bass, then I played guitar, then I played bass, then I’d play second guitar, then I’d play bass, and now I’m the only guitar player (laughs).
Sorry that I got off topic for a minute! Going back to The Sound of Madness: Deluxe Edition, I read that you’re adding B-sides and a DVD full of music videos?
We’re adding B-sides, a DVD of music videos, and a five song live show from Atlanta that we filmed last May in 2009.
So, you guys just got off of the Carnival of Madness Tour with Chevelle, Puddle of Mudd, Sevendust and 10 Years, will that be an annual thing for Shinedown?
It will be an annual thing. As for “will it be an annual thing for Shinedown,” I do not know. I know that we will not be on next year’s. The tour was put together by our management. We’re definitely going to try to make it an annual event with Monster Energy drink, but we won’t be on it every year. It was a great lineup, and I’m kind of excited to see what next year has.
How does it feel to be so influential to so many up and coming bands in the industry? Because every time that I ask a band who their influences are, Shinedown is always one of the bands mentioned.
It’s crazy, man! Even from stuff like that to me and Eric having our own signature guitars out now—which is kind of insane—it’s hard for us to swallow because we’re all still such big fans of music. Even the phrase ‘influential band’ is something that you’re never prepared to hear because we’re such big fans. I mean we grew up with posters on our walls, just like everybody else, of bands that we loved, and the fact that kids have posters of me, Brent, Barry or Eric on their wall, that’s awesome, man! The fact that I can be someone’s favorite guitar player anywhere is amazing! It’s really hard to think about. You can’t really think about it I guess.
That being said, who would Zach Myers’ dream band to open up for be?
U2, all the way! They are my favorite band of all-time. So, if you ever talk to them, tell them to call us!
Definitely! Are you excited to play Jersey, are there any memories of Jersey that makes you say “Oh, man! I can’t wait to play in Jersey?”
I love New Jersey! The crowds are great! We got to play the PNC last time, and so many people have played there. It’s just really cool, man. We love being up there. Our fans up there are so great, and if you can win over Jersey or even New York fans, for that matter, that’s a hard thing to do on its own. So, the fact that we have an audience up there, it kind of baffles us. We’re just a bunch of Southern kids, so to go up there, and we know how hard working and how people kind of take their music so seriously, we just hope that we give back as much as we can up there. So, I think that we’ve gained a great fan base in Jersey and we hope to keep it.
Well, you know what Sinatra says, “If you can make it here, you can make it anywhere!” Thanks for the interview, Zach!
Yeah, exactly, man, it’s true. Thank you so much, we appreciate it!
Catch Shinedown’s Anything and Everything acoustic show live at The Wellmont Theatre in Montclair, NJ on Nov. 19 and for the South Jersey fans, you can catch them on Nov. 20 at The House of Blues in Atlantic City. For more info, log onto Shinedown.com