Shinedown is an American hard rock band from Jacksonville, Florida, formed in 2001 by Brent Smith, Brad Stewart, Jasin Todd, and Barry Kerch. The band has released three albums on Atlantic Records.

They have released popular singles such as "45", "Save Me", "I Dare You" and "Second Chance." Every single they have released has reached the Top 5 of the Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks chart.

To date, Shinedown has sold over six million albums worldwide, Music News found time to point some question todrummer Barry Kerch.

Congratulations on the new album. I detected a more intense, harder edge to the songs in the new album, was that a conscious decision? There's a feeling of real fury in some; I’d pick out Cyanide Sweet Tooth Suicide and Devour.

I am not sure it was too intentional. We definitely wanted to do some of the hardest stuff that we ever have written, but the subject matter of the whole record is a reflection of what we have gone through over the past few years. Most of the record is autobiographical. This album is an emotional rollercoaster

You’re an 'interactive’ band, but would you ever consider an AC/DC type decision to just go with CDs and eschew downloads?

It think it is a good model for such a well established band like AC/DC. They can afford to take that kind of risk because the whole world knows who they are. For us we are still trying to conquer the world and we don't want to limit the ways of getting our music out there. It is a computer driven world now and we can't stay away from that.

The gig in London was sold out and attracted a diverse crowd, which must be pleasing. Is that typical of the response you had in the US and elsewhere?

Yes it is. We have been very lucky that a wide variety of people are attracted to our music. In the States our crowds are very diverse, just larger than the ones in the UK. We are working on that though. :-) To have a sold out show the very first headlining tour of Europe was absolutely amazing.

Your stage banter, shall we say, amused some people during the London gig, how do you feel about that and how are you with criticism in general?

We don't really care much about what others think of us. We do our show the way we feel and act the way we are. I think it is great when Brent gets on his soapbox. He is just being himself. We are an honest and humble group of guys who love to play rock music. Not everyone is going to like us, but it seems to be doing pretty well so far.

What are your plans for the rest of the year, any returns to the UK?

Absolutely! We are coming back for festivals in June and then a headlining tour of Europe again in the Fall. Around that we will be headlining over here in the States.

You are variously described as a 'Hard Rock' band, a 'Metal' band or 'Post-Grunge'(!) How would you describe yourselves - how do you think you sound to your listeners?

I find it funny how many labels there are for Rock music in general. We just consider ourselves a Rock and Roll Band. I would hope that our listeners feel the same way, but it is up to them.

To date you have sold over six million albums worldwide - does that affect the way that you create your music? Do you aim for something you know the audience will go for or does it give you more freedom to be your own band?

We definitely try and write music that the fans are going to enjoy, but we have to enjoy it as well. First you write for yourself and then the fans decide if it is good or not. We are a mainstream rock band and that won't change. We are not gonna go off and make an experimental jazz fusion record or anything. We like to write hit songs and play them in front of as many people as possible.

Are you going to be coming back to play the festival circuit in Europe or do you prefer the sort of venue - Academy or Rock City - where your fans are part of the show?

We will be doing the festivals and then back for headlining in Fall. Both festivals and clubs offer their own unique vibe. We like to play anywhere that the people show up. Brent will make the fans part of the show regardless of it being a festival or a club.

Brent Smith is obviously core to Shinedown. How does the rest of the band fit in creatively?

Yes Brent is the leader followed by myself (Barry) who is his right hand man since we are the original members. The band itself as a whole is very democratic and everyone is always allowed to put in their creativity. Zach and Eric contribute just as much as myself or Brent. However, Brent is the main songwriter because he is just amazing at it. There always has to be a leader in any band.

I heard that you were very close to Dimebag Darrell - did his death affect the way that you approach your music or live shows?

We were and miss him dearly. He would not have wanted us to change anything due to his death. He would reach down from the heavens, smack us in the back of the head, tell us to take a shot, and then kick our ass if we let it affect us in any way. He is a legend and was a hell of a guy.

Are you in touch with Nick Perri? Any idea what he is up to?

Not too much, but he is in L.A. working on his solo record. He has decided to be a front man and sing. I wish him the best, but I live and breathe for Shinedown.

Is there any limit to Shinedown's potential - just how far can you guys go?

As far as we possibly can. I hope there isn't a limit. We want to do this for the rest of our lives. As long as the fans keep coming to the shows and buying records we will continue to do this. We have always said that we only have one boss and that is the fans. They decide the fate of Shinedown and we love them for that.

Thank you so much for your time, Barry.