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Over the last two decades, Shinedown have cemented their status as one of the most vital and forward-thinking powerhouses in modern rock. In a rare feat for an artist of any genre, the record-breaking band have achieved astronomical success (including 10 million albums sold worldwide, 14 platinum and gold singles, over 4.5 billion global streams to date, and recently being named #1 on Billboard’s Greatest Of All Time Mainstream Rock Artists Chart) while fully embodying the kind of creative dynamism that defies expectation and transcends boundaries. Expanding on the unbridled imagination behind their groundbreaking 2018 album ATTENTION ATTENTION and its accompanying feature film, vocalist Brent Smith, guitarist Zach Myers, bassist/producer Eric Bass, and drummer Barry Kerch now elevate their artistry to unprecedented heights on their new full-length effort Planet Zero. As their most galvanizing body of work yet, Planet Zero firmly places Shinedown in the pantheon of artists capable of moving the culture forward on the strength of their singular vision, uncompromising honesty, and fierce commitment to constant evolution.
Their seventh studio album, Planet Zero marks Shinedown’s most ambitious and masterfully realized work to date. High-concept and hard-hitting, Planet Zero offers an incisive look at a strange and terrifying moment in history and its implications for the future of humankind, building a dystopian framework around its exploration of the issues at hand: the corrosive effects of social media, cancel culture and its many hypocrisies, the increasingly toxic division among those of differing ideologies. The result is an ultravivid and utterly absorbing futuristic saga in the form of 13 viscerally charged rock songs, spliced with interludes featuring an insidious character called Cyren. “Cyren’s the robot welcoming you to Planet Zero, which could potentially be the future we all live in: a place with zero sense, zero accountability, zero tolerance for any opinion different from what you hear on Twitter or TV,” explains Bass, who produced both Planet Zero and ATTENTION ATTENTION. Recorded at his newly built Big Animal Studio in South Carolina, Planet Zero matches its immersive world-building and potent social commentary with a deliberately unvarnished sound. “Our intention was to make this record very direct and in-your-face, which meant leaving the scars on the music instead of cleaning it all up,” says Bass. “Perfection is what ruins rock-and-roll, and we wanted each song to have its own danger to it.”
Continuing their commitment to inclusivity, Shinedown selected female-fronted bands The Pretty Reckless and Diamante as the opening acts on their forthcoming world tour in support of Planet Zero. “It’s going to be our biggest stage show yet, and we are beyond excited to be touring with two extraordinary bands fronted by the most incredible women in rock ‘n’ roll today,” shares Smith. Known for their explosive live set, the band view each show as an invaluable opportunity to deepen their connection with their legions of diehard fans across the globe. “It’s such a vast and diverse group of people who come out to see us at shows and meet-and-greets. We’re in a unique place where we get to interact with people from all walks of life—all races, all genders—and have in-depth conversations about everything they’re going through,” says Bass. “It’s given us incredible insight into the human experience, and it’s amazing to see that they all find some kind of solace and comfort in what we’re doing.” And in bringing Planet Zero to life, Shinedown stayed profoundly focused on their sense of responsibility to those fans. “If you asked anyone in our audience to describe the band in one word, it would be honest,” says Smith. “The agreement between us and our fans is that we’ll do everything in our power to be honest with them 100 percent of the time—so if we tried to write a record like the last two years never happened, we’d be lying to them, and that’s not something we’re ever going to do. This is an album made by the people for the people, and it’s because of them that we feel confident enough to really push the envelope.”
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