Shinedown is an American rock band from Jacksonville, Florida, formed by singer Brent Smith in 2001 after the dissolution of Dreve, his previous band. Smith, still under contract with record label Atlantic Records, recruited the band’s original lineup of Jasin Todd as guitarist, Brad Stewart on bass, and Barry Kerch on drums. Consistent for the first two album cycles, a few lineup changes followed in the late 2000s, eventually stabilizing with Smith and Kerch alongside Zach Myers on guitar and Eric Bass on bass. The group has released six studio albums: Leave a Whisper (2003), Us and Them (2005), The Sound of Madness (2008), Amaryllis (2012), Threat to Survival (2015), and Attention Attention (2018). Shinedown has sold more than ten million records worldwide, and has had the most number one singles on the Billboard Mainstream Rock charts out of any band, with 16.
The band’s origins trace back to frontman Brent Smith’s prior band, Dreve, which had signed a record deal with Atlantic Records in 2000. The record label, unhappy with Dreve as a whole, dropped the band prior to releasing an album, but retained Smith, who they felt was worth developing separately as an artist. Atlantic signed Smith to a development deal where record representatives helped him with his song writing ability, and helped him recruit members for a new band, which would become Shinedown. Smith moved to Jacksonville, Florida and began work on the project in 2001. The first member he recruited was bassist Brad Stewart, through local Jacksonville music producer Pete Thornton. Smith and Stewart began recording demos together in a small local studio, whose owner recommended they meet with her fiancé, guitarist Jasin Todd, who Smith brought in as the third member. The original lineup was rounded out by drummer Barry Kerch, who was the seventh drummer the band had auditioned for the spot. The four worked together on creating demos, and submitted their work-in-progress material to Atlantic, who approved of the material and green-lighted a full-length album.
The resulting work was the band’s debut album, Leave a Whisper, which was released May 27, 2003. While not an immediate success, through the extensive touring and successful singles, eventually certified platinum by the RIAA in the United States, indicating sales of over 1 million. Four singles were released from the album: “Fly from the Inside”, “45”, a cover of the Lynyrd Skynyrd song, “Simple Man”, and “Burning Bright”. All four singles charted in the top five of the Billboard Mainstream Rock charts, peaking at fifth, third, fifth, and second, respectively. The band toured extensively in support of the album, playing over 400 live shows over the course of 2003 and 2004. The band ended up touring for 24 months straight, doing various tours with Van Halen, Seether, and Three Doors Down. The band later released a live DVD titled Live from the Inside that documented the live shows of the touring cycle.