shinedownThey brought us The Sound Of Madness and Shinedown have become one of the sounds of an incredible summer of rock after blowing away the second stage crowd at Download.

Out on the road again with Staind in their native America, the massive selling metal stars can’t wait to head back to the UK before Christmas. In the meantime axe hero Zach Myers caught up with rushonrock to talk festivals, girlfriends, great new music and starting over.

It’s another cracking exclusive from the UK’s fastest-growing independent rock site. Expect more where this came from very soon.

rushonrock: What was the Download experience like for you?

Zach Myers: It was amazing. As well as playing the second stage we got to see our friends in Black Stone Cherry who tour with us in America a lot. I met some of the Journey guys so I watched them. We’d just done a big run with Buckcherry so I was excited to see them. And Def Leppard? Wow! I’d seen them before in the States but never in front of a home crowd. It was a long time since they played Castle Donington and I suppose for them it was pretty close to a hometown show. It’s awesome to be on the same bill as a band like Leppard. 

rushonrock: What are Shinedown doing right now?

ZM: Well we’re on the road with Staind, Chevelle, Halestorm and Lo-Pro throughout the US on the Stimulate This! Tour for the next two months. Before that we did all the big European festivals and went all through Europe. We had a week off between Europe and the US tour so it’s a pretty hectic time.

rushonrock: Are you already working on the follow up to The Sound Of Madness bearing in mind it’s been out for some time in the US?shinedown-sound-album

ZM: No way. It’s been out in America for just over a year but we’re not done with it yet. We’ll be out with this record until winter next year. It’s still got a lot of life in it yet – we hope!

rushonrock: Do you feel that every time you return to the UK the band is getting bigger and bigger?

ZM: Yeah definitely. It’s cool because around the Download set we sold out all of our UK shows – you’re talking 800-1,000 capacity venues. We keep stepping it up every time and we’re really proud of the progress we’re making in Britain. I enjoy coming over and enjoy playing the smaller places. It keeps you real. It means you stay true to who you are and when you go back to the States you’re not walking around with a big head acting like a rock star. You come to the UK and see Black Stone Cherry on the main stage at Download and they’re huge in Europe. So we’re opening for them in the Uk and they’d be opening for us in America. That’s cool and I like it a lot.

rushonrock: It would have been easy for Shinedown, bearing in mind the commercial success you’ve had back home, to stick to the market and the fan base you have without bothering about tackling the UK and Europe.

ZM: I love the challenge. The first time we came to the UK it felt like we were starting again. We felt like a new band that had never toured before because people were stood at gigs with their arms folded and not knowing what to think about us. I love that scenario. You get to start again without having to start again. You always know you can go back home and walk into a successful situation but I’m very grateful we’re getting bigger elsewhere on the back of some hard work.

shinedown-new2rushonrock: What do you like about the UK?

ZM: The fans are very different. They pay attention more to everything we do. They’re very much into it. They really hear our music. As for the women? I’ve got a girl back home so I wouldn’t really know about that…and I love the food. I’m a big food guy.

rushonrock: How difficult is it leaving your girl behind for so many weeks and months.

ZM: It is tough. But she comes out from time to time. She hasn’t been to Europe yet but it’s cool to have her alongside me in America. If you have trust in a relationship then it will work wherever you are.

rushonrock:  Did you have chance to watch any cricket on your last trip to England?

ZM: I haven’t, no. I don’t watch TV at home so it’s very rare that I watch it on the road. We were in England for three weeks the last time and I didn’t turn my TV on at all. I was having too cool a time. I’ve just downloaded the new Brad Paisley record – he’s a country artist – and the Eagles. I’ve been listening to Muse and I think the new Placebo record is amazing. And I love the new Papa Roach record.