On March 27, Jacksonville, Florida rockers Shinedown released their fourth studio album, Amaryllis and immediately got back out on the road with the 2012 Avalanche tour. The show which also features Adelitas Way and Art of Dying has been a sold-out raucous event in every city it hits.
The new album, Amaryllis finds vocalist Brent Smith, guitarist Zach Myers, bassist Eric Bass and drummer Barry Kerch continuing the platinum success of the band’s 2007 release The Sound of Madness. The first single, “Bully” exploded on rock radio, and the second single “Unity” is following suit.
The Avalanche tour marks the band’s first live North American action since finishing the recording of the new album. “It’s fun to be back touring after taking such a long hiatus between records,” offered band co-founder, drummer Barry Kerch. “It’s really been a lot of fun getting our feet wet and seeing the fans again that haven’t seen us in a couple of years.”
Kerch took to percussion early in life. “I just loved to beat on pots and pans and just listen to whatever music was there,” said Kerch. “In my household growing up, there was music but it wasn’t played out loud. My mother had some hearing damage as a child so loud noises really bothered her. Go figure, now her son’s a drummer.”
The release of Amaryllis marks the second decade of the band’s career. While some the see the band as an overnight success, Kerch knows differently. “It started slow,” he says, “and there were people who said we weren’t going to make it. A number of people, when Leave a Whisper came out said ‘ah you’ll be lucky to sell 10 thousand records on this one.’ Luckily we did sell a lot more than that, and we’ve continued to grow.”
Shinedown will have another new song on the Avengers soundtrack which comes out in May. The track, “I’m Alive” was recorded in bassist Eric Bass’ studio after the band’s recent European tour with Halestorm. “It was an idea that was demoed for [Amaryllis] but it wasn’t a song that fit on the record so we sort of put it off to the side,” said Kerch. “So it kind of happened after. I couldn’t believe we were already back in the studio,” he laughed.
When Kerch is not on the road or in the studio he turns to coking for enjoyment. “I love to cook,” he confessed. “It’s a passion for me. When I get home, it’s a departure. You know I love playing drums, but now drums is a job for me. So when I get home sometimes I don’t want to look at a drum kit. I love to get in the kitchen. It’s very cathartic, almost meditative for me.”
Kerch revealed that while of late he’s become pretty good at cooking Thai food, his best dishes are still creole or Cajun. In the past he has posted some of his recipes on the band’s website, and hopes to do more of that again. He allowed that the idea of his own cookbook is not out of the question in the future, but thinks he still lives in the shadow of the world’s great chefs.
Kerch also talks about some of his favorite unheralded drummers and we made him pick his favorite Iron Maiden drummer. Listen to the full interview below: