Melodic hard rockers Shinedown hail from Jacksonville, Florida and feature vocalist Brent Smith, guitarist Jasin Todd, bassist Brad Stewart and drummer Barry Kerch. Snapped up by Atlantic Records during the early ‘00's flurry of post-Creed and Nickelback signings, the group released their debut album Leave a Whisper in 2003. Whisper ended up doing quite well for the band, aided by its single "Fly from the Inside." Shinedown also supported it with a heroic slate of live shows, remaining on tour for most of 2004. The following year the band issued a live album documenting those shows, then returned in October 2005 with their sophomore effort Us and Them.
It has been said that first impressions last a lifetime. Luckily for Staind, some only last for about 45 minutes. After a volatile disagreement with Limp Bizkit's Fred Durst over some of Staind's early cover art, it seemed their big break had walked out the door. Fortunately, by the time Durst had witnessed Staind's intense live show, he was ready to exchange phone numbers.
Staind's story began in the New England area when vocalist Aaron Lewis and guitarist Mike Mushok met at a Christmas party in 1993. Mushok was able to bring drummer Jon Wysocki into the fold, and Lewis' connection with a bass player (who later left) completed the early lineup. Establishing themselves took time, and extensive touring of the Northeast with other established metal acts helped them sell over 2,000 copies of their self-released debut in just over a year. They were primed for their big break, and on October 23, 1997, the hard work paid off.
At a show in Hartford, CT, Staind were all set to open for Limp Bizkit when Bizkit singer Durst raised a stink over cover art on Staind's self-released CD. After a heated conversation over whether or not Staind were Satan worshipers, Durst forcefully returned the disc to the band, and walked away. But 45 minutes later Durst was back, not to further the argument, but to make sure he kept in contact with Staind. Blown away by their live show, Durst exchanged phone numbers, and loved their demo tape when they gave it to him. He convinced them to travel to Jacksonville, FL, to work on the new songs.
After reworking the new material and a successful live show, Durst contacted the head of Flip Records, and arranged a meeting for Staind with the label. While in Los Angeles, a three-song sampler was recorded, and by the time February rolled around in 1998, the band had a record deal. After playing the Vans Warped Tour, they began work on their first album, Dysfunction. The album was produced by Terry Date (Deftones, Pantera, Soundgarden), and was released April 13, 1999. A tour with Kid Rock followed that spring and later the band reunited with good friends Limp Bizkit for a summer tour. Their follow-up, Break the Cycle, enjoyed a prolonged visit at the number one spot on U.S. charts in 2001. Smash hits like "It's Been a While," "Fade," "For You," and "Epiphany" catapulted Staind into the mainstream, leaving their 2002 DVD MTV Unplugged to go gold. Staind released 14 Shades of Grey in spring 2003, and after a two-year break returned with the chart-topping Chapter V, named to include their self-released debut in the Staind canon.
Godsmack came as a breath of fresh air to the world of heavy metal when they arrived on the scene in 1998. Godsmack's ferocious tour dates and hit albums featuring the deep growl of lead singer Sully Erna earned the band the reputation as one of the most popular heavy metal bands of the new millennium. Even Godsmack's latest album, The Oracle, has given the band their third #1 album in a row, showing off their staying power. This will also be displayed on Godsmack's North American tour dates in 2011, which are tearing through arenas this summer.
Sully Erna formed Godsmack in 1995 after becoming tired of drumming and wanting to take a stab at singing. Godsmack's self-titled debut album became a huge success, going platinum four times thanks largely to the hit single, "Whatever." Headlining and high profile tour dates quickly followed, including an appearance at Ozzfest and supporting Black Sabbath on their tour. Godsmack continued to score hits with their albums, including Faceless in 2003, which featured the Grammy-nominated songs "I Stand Alone" and "Straight Out of Line."
After four years without a release, Godsmack released The Oracle in 2010. The album was praised by fans and critics as a return to the band's signature sound displayed on their first album. The album has also reignited Godsmack's tenacity for touring, as the band has numerous tour dates in 2011. After finishing up headlining appearances on the Mayhem Festival on August 14, Godsmack will perform around North America where they will be supported by Red Jumpsuit Apparatus and Adrenaline Mob. Don't miss these 2011 tour dates as Godsmack shows the world they're still in their prime.