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.”
For Shinedown, an impassioned striving for unity deeply informed the making of Planet Zero. “The fact is that we’re all here on this planet no matter what, so it’s time to actually come together,” says Smith. Bass adds: “We want people to stop looking at each other as demographics or talking points and start seeing each other as people. I’ve had so many quality conversations with people I vastly disagree with, and I’ve come away with a wealth of understanding that I’d never have gained if I’d just written them off.” Not only a driving force for their songwriting, the band’s humanitarian outlook has also recently led to such endeavors as fundraising for Direct Relief (a non-profit organization that provides emergency medical assistance and disaster relief in the U.S. and abroad). One of the first artists to work with Direct Relief in the early days of the pandemic, Shinedown created a limited-edition t-shirt for purchase which included an exclusive download of their song “Atlas Falls.” Thanks to the fundraiser’s massive success, the band raised over $400,000 for Direct Relief, with “Atlas Falls” marking their 17th #1 on the Mediabase Active Rock Chart and their sixth consecutive #1.