Last Updated on 17.06.11 Written by John Guarnieri
A couple of days ago, Fallen Blue had the honor of speaking with Barry Kerch of the mighty Shinedown. From day one, Shinedown has been a huge supporter of Fallen Blue, through their generous auction donations, including our Drum Heads For the Fallen campaign, which is something we will never forget. Shinedown are huge supporters of our troops and first responders, and they will always be the first to tell you that.
1. How was the band approached by Sylvester Stallone in regards to having 'Diamond Eyes (Boom-Lay, Boom-Lay Boom)' be part of The Expendables?
Turns out that Stallone and his daughters are fans of the band. The song was specifically written for the movie, and Stallone had a list of things that he wanted in regards to the song. One of his biggest wants was the inclusion of the line 'Boom Lay'. The movie was inspired in part by the poem The Congo. From that poem he got the boom lay line. It was extremely difficult to include it in a song and try to make it cool. We think it worked out fine.
2. Your cover of 'Simple Man' is phenomenal; what is the story behind the simple, yet raw and powerful music video?
The song as well as the video was a tribute to Ronnie's widow Judy. She was a huge help to us during the early days of Shinedown. Her daughter was married to our original guitar player. They own a club called Freebird Live in Jacksonville where we cut our teeth. Really we wanted the video to be dark and haunting like a faded set of memories much like the memory of Ronnie.
3. Are there any stories of the band dealing with police while on the road?
Ha! The only one I can remember is the border guards in Italy. They brought the dogs on our tour bus and a member of our crew at that time had some of his leftover Amsterdam party favors with him. Unfortunately, I look the part, dreadlocks and all. Even though he fessed up for the stuff they ripped me off the bus and gave me the full search. The guard kept saying in his thick Italian accent, "c'mon, look at you, just tell me where it is". I just kept calm because I had nothing on me. I don't touch the stuff. Eventually he found some sea salt from France that I had in my bag. I'm a huge food nut, so having a great salt is key to a greatmeal. The guard said " aha, I've got you now, this is meth". Of course he tested it right there, ruined all of my good salt, and had to let me go. He was pissed, but I got a great story and a wonderful day off in Milan.
4. With the enormous success of 'Second Chance' and its message, and the upcoming fourth album, what other dreams is the band looking to come to fruition?
World domination. We are still new overseas and haven't had the opportunity to visit any of the Asian countries or South/Central America. We want to continue to grow as a band and musicians. We are just getting started.
5. How is the new album coming along, and have recent world events changed the writing process in any way?
The album is coming great and on schedule. We are very excited to finish it and give it to our wonderful fans. As for current events, it hasn't influenced any of the music as of now. We aren't typically a political or current event type of band. We have strong feelings but not all of us agree on the same things so it would be a little hypocritical to get to political. We've only written one political song in our history and that was Devour, which is a reflection of our time visiting our amazing troops in Iraq and Kuwait.
6. At what process in the making of an album, does the band decide what artwork they want for the album?
We do. Usually we have a direction or idea and then have a real artist design a few mock ups and we go from there.
7. The Miller Lite sponsored Operation: Home Front concert at the 9:30 Club in Washington, D.C. was tremendous as it really showcased the admiration you have for our troops and first responders. With 'Heroes' in mind, what makes someone a hero in your eyes?
For me a hero is someone who is selfless. You don't necessarily have to wear a uniform (but it helps), you just have to put others in front of yourself. I see heroes in mothers, fathers, troops, police, emergency responders, and strangers just to name a few. Anyone can be a hero, but a truly special person is one. I admire the true heroes and thank them whole-heartedly.
8. Being a police officer, this line from 'Burning Bright' has resonated with me because police officers are often led into many unknown situations: "The more the dark consumes me I pretend I'm burning, burning bright." What is the 'dark' that has at one time consumed the band?
It is unfortunate to say but we have at one time or another become a vh1 behind the scenes rock band. We've suffered through addictions, lineup changes, failure, death, and all sorts of road warrior pitfalls. I'm just glad we are here to tell the tale. Through the dark there is always a light at the end of the tunnel.
For more information on Barry and the rest of his rock & roll cohorts check out: www.shinedown.com