Aftershock 2022: Shinedown say they addressed our cultural shift on 'Planet Zero' out of necessity

'You have to write about what you see'
Zach Myers and Barry Kerch of Shinedown
Zach Myers and Barry Kerch of Shinedown Photo credit Steve Jennings/WireImage/Getty Images
By , Audacy

Audacy's Carlota had a chance to catch up with drummer Barry Kerch and guitarist Zach Myers of Shinedown while backstage at Discovery Park during Sacramento, CA's Aftershock Festival 2022 the weekend of October 6 through 9.

LISTEN NOW: Shinedown at Aftershock 2022

Shinedown's Aftershock appearance was hot on the heels of a world tour in support of their seventh studio release, Planet Zero, which came swinging out of the gates in July of 2022 tackling a variety of issues - societal division, cancel culture, misinformation, and the negative effects of social media.

"We'll never be political," says Zach. "The problem is social commentary is having to become political because everyone is trying to politicize everything. I think the four of us, as like-minded individuals to each other, couldn't watch the world change to the degree it was changing, and then go, 'oh, here's a bunch of songs about something else.' That would have been the most disingenuous thing I think we could do." Barry agrees, adding, "We all went through this crazy time with riots and all this social media stuff, and it just got crazy... you have to write about what you see."

Now that the pandemic has subsided and they have been able to get back out in front of fans, they have seen a bit of a shift in attitudes, depending on the city and atmosphere, towards friendliness and gratefulness. "I think right post-COVID there was a little bit of this post-911 vibe, where everybody was glad to be around each other," says Zach. "But again, depending on what part of the country you go to or what city you're in it's a little different. But I think people are just happy to be outside again and you could see people's faces and they're not wearing a mask."

On the topic of mental health as part of our I’m Listening initiative -- Audacy’s commitment to deliver more mental health conversations, resources, and pathways to help -- Barry explains, "it's no secret that Eric our bass player suffers from severe bipolar depression. So, we make the joke, 'which Eric are we getting today?' But if it wasn't for us lifting him up, he'd go to a really, really dark place... and vice-versa... We're still a brotherhood where we're family and we actually still get along and love each other. We are open enough and man enough to talk to each other... there's nothing off the table with us."

Listen to the full interview with Shinedown above and stay tuned for more backstage conversations from Aftershock 2022 right here on Audacy.

Listen to Shinedown's Drive All Night on the free Audacy app!

While you're in the mood -- follow along with even more of Audacy's all-new Rock stations like Rockternative, Masters Of Metal, Rock N’ Road, Arena Rock, Wake Up and Rock, Don't Metal In My Affairs, Venom, and The Roots of Rock for those who crave the early days.

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Featured Image Photo Credit: Steve Jennings/WireImage/Getty Images