Shinedown digs deep, and their call for compassion is drawing attention

Rock band Shinedown’s Attention Attention World Tour comes to Raleigh’s Red Hat Amphitheater. The latest single “Get Up” is about overcoming personal struggles.
Rock band Shinedown’s Attention Attention World Tour comes to Raleigh’s Red Hat Amphitheater. The latest single “Get Up” is about overcoming personal struggles.

One in every four people in the world will suffer from mental or neurological disorders at some point in their lives, according to the World Health Organization. A generation ago, songs would pop up occasionally to address such struggles, including Tears for Fears “Mad World,” Queen and David Bowie’s “Under Pressure” and Sinead O’Connor’s “Troy.”

But there’s an increasing amount of new songs addressing the subject, such as Heather Mae’s “Feelin’ Crazy” and Shinedown’s “Get Up.” Shinesdown’s cut was inspired by Shinedown bassist Eric Bass’ battle with depression.

“Some people think just because you’re a rock star, you can’t be depressed, but that’s not true,” Bass says while calling from Columbus, Ohio, in March. “What I do for a living is awesome. I love to make music and tour. But I have issues just like everybody else does. I suffer from depression. That song is about giving people, who have what plagues me, some hope.”

Shinedown will perform at Raleigh’s Red Hat Amphitheater June 26.

During a performance last month in Camden, N.J., vocalist Brent Smith was animated while belting out “Get Up.” Fans roared after Shinedown delivered an incendiary version of the anthemic tune.

“I’ve been blown away by the reaction to ‘Get Up,’” Bass says. “I think part of the reason it has so much appeal is that it was inspired by reality. Brent wrote about my struggle with depression and anxiety. Once you write a song like ‘Get Up,’ you feel like you can write about anything. That song was just one part of what we worked on. I had so much fun making this album.”

Bass is referring to “Attention Attention,” Shinedown’s sixth album that he produced. The album hit No. 1 on the Billboard Rock Chart and debuted in the Top 5 of the Billboard 200, thanks to singles, “Get Up,” “Monsters” and “The Human Radio.”

“It worked out,” Bass says. “I can see why guys in bands don’t produce their own band but we did what we had to do, and I think we moved forward as a group.”

It helps that the members of Shinedown, which include guitarist Zach Myers and drummer Barry Kerch, are drama-free. “We’re really good friends,” Bass says. “We just go about our business. It’s all about the music.”

Shinedown, which has sold more than 10 million albums, is comprised of mellow dudes. However, the band’s show is full of pyrotechnics. Expect fire, lasers and video.

“All of that stuff is fun,” Bass says. “When I go to a rock show, I want to be entertained. We’re all about having a blast and taking people away from the grind. People work hard and we’re about providing an escape from the day to day.”

The Jacksonville, Fla.-based band, has morphed since it formed in 2001 but the group doesn’t drift far from where it started sonically.

“We’re a rock band first and foremost,” Bass says. “We’ve made some changes in the studio but when you get down to it we’re a rock band. It’s what we all love and we’re just thankful that there are so many rock fans out there. We’ll continue to do this for as long as there is an audience. My spirits are always lifted when I get up there onstage and see people singing along with Brent and just having a good time. That’s what it’s all about.”


Who: Shinedown with Badflower, Dinosaur Pile-up and Broken Hands

When: 6:30 p.m. June 26

Where: Red Hat Amphitheater, 500 S. Salisbury St., Raleigh

Tickets: $29.50 to $99.50.

Info: 919-996-8500 or

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