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Shinedown Guitarist Zach Myers Talks Carnival of Madness, State of the Music Industry + More

Liz Ramanand, Loudwire

We caught the recent Carnival of Madness show in Charlotte, N.C., and headliners Shinedown blew away the crowd with their huge stage show and set that included hit after hit. 

Prior to the band’s set, we spoke with Shinedown guitarist Zach Myers about the Carnival of Madness tour, the current record industry and more. Check out our interview with Zach Myers below:

From a band perspective, what makes a quality package tour?

The lineup of course, matters. If people knew the lineups this tour went through before it actually got finalized … I’ll just give you some of them. In the main support slot was originally Stone Sour, then Bush, then Korn, then Three Days Grace. This tour went through so many lineups. It’s crazy. This lineup is great. The crowd loves it. I had forgotten how much Skillet brings it as a band. They are so good live.

One band on the bill people might not be familiar with is We As Human. What do you think of them?

They are really good. I’ve only gotten to check them out at two shows. They are usually on right when we’re working out. We work out as a band together every day. But I got to check them out two days in a row when my girl was out here and I didn’t work out. They are great. They get the crowd going.

We toured with In This Moment last year. Their stage presence is stepped up every day. And Papa Roach, it goes without saying.

Jacoby’s voice is holding up okay?

He sounds great. Bands like them and Sevendust, you’re like, ‘I don’t want to go on after these guys!’ because they are so good. We brought an incredibly big show for this tour.

You’re going to Europe after this tour. Any plans for the time off in between?

We’re going to go home. Brent has to rest his voice. He’s not allowed to talk during the day right now. He’s on vocal rest, same as Jacoby. So there are two singers out here who aren’t really talking a lot. It’s kinda nice [laughs]. We take these weeks off, then go to the UK. We’re only going to be there for eight days. You mentally prepare for tours like you’re going to be out for five weeks, but eight days is going to be a nice little vacation.

What’s the status of the cover songs you recorded? I know originally they were going to be released through YouTube.

One clearance I’m pretty sure we didn’t get was Bon Jovi. He’s got enough money and doesn’t need any more [laughs]. I’m not sure what’s going down with that. Originally we were just going to release it on YouTube, which you don’t need permission for obviously, because people do covers on YouTube every day. But I believe fans really want it as a download, so I think that’s where the red tape came from. Now we’re going to release it as an EP with just Brent and I. I believe it will come out during the holidays.

Let’s talk about the state of the music industry. Back in 2003 your debut album ‘Leave a Whisper’ went platinum, but only peaked at No. 53 on the album chart. Ten years later ‘Amaryllis’ has had several hit singles, debuted at No. 4, and hasn’t gone gold yet. In 2003, it probably would have been triple platinum. Is there anything that can be done to right the ship in the music business when it comes to record sales?

I believe there’s a curve coming up when they figure out this thing with Spotify. I can tell you the exact numbers right now. ‘Sound of Madness,’ the whole record, songs one through 11, has been streamed 27 million times on Spotify. That’s what, 11 million records? It was released in 2008 and is close to double platinum. I’m not complaining. In this day and age that’s unheard of for a rock band that released a record in that year.

‘Amaryllis’ has 10 million streams, start to finish. ‘Us and Them,’ a record that’s gold, has 16 million streams. I think eventually the RIAA (who certifies gold and platinum albums), the record industry and Spotify are going to come to an agreement where they certify streams as records.

Let’s say every three million streams is gold. Or they can lower the rate, where 250,000 records would be gold and 500,000 records is platinum. In Canada, 50,000 is a gold record. 100,000 is platinum. ‘Sound of Madness’ just went platinum in Canada last week. I found out on Twitter [laughs].

I believe the accolades have to change for the new business model, only if not to discourage artists from not making music. I think there are some artists who are like, ‘What am I doing this for?’ It bums me out that there’s a 15 year old kid sitting in a garage somewhere, with the way the current business model is, will never get a platinum record. He may, but it’s a lot harder than it used to be.

Our thanks to Zach Myers for the interview. If you’d like to pick up a copy of Shinedown’s ‘Amaryllis,’ visit iTunes or Amazon. You can still catch Shinedown on the Carnival of Madness tour; check out the remaining dates here.

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