Brent Smith knows who he works for and it’s not some record label or band manager.
“We have one boss,” says Smith, who fronts the Florida rock band Shinedown.
“It just happens to be everyone in the audience.”
Shinedown headlines Blazefest, the radio rock festival from 105.1 the Blaze that happens Saturday at the Paul Paul Theater. The band gained national recognition in the 2000s, post-Nickleback, with a brand of melodic hard rock that continues to be popular. Its latest album, “Threat to Survival,” charted No. 6 on Billboard’s Top 200 and was No. 1 on the Hard Rock album charts. The single “How Did You Love” was No.1 on Mainstream Rock chart. It currently sits in the top 10, alongside groups like Papa Roach, Korn and Breaking Benjamin.
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Currently, the band is 35 songs into its new record, which is looking to be a concept album, Smith says. They are also gearing up for a spring tour in Europe with Iron Maiden with a short run of concert dates that includes Blazefest. The shows will serve as primer for the tour and opportunity to play cities they haven’t visited in awhile, Smith says.
Fans should be ready for something special.
“We’ve got some super tricks up our sleeves,” he says.
Also on the Blazefest lineup:
▪ All the Remains ups the musical ante with aggressive, melodically infused hardcore metal. The band plays Blazefest in advance of its new album, “Madness,” which is slated for release April 28.
“We’re a band that doesn’t like to repeat ourselves,” says the band’s vocalist, Philip Labonte. For “Madness,” the band set up at a studio in California, working with Howard Benson, who’s produced work for Halestorm and Papa Roach, among others. They flipped the band’s usual riff-writing process and created songs based around specific lyrical arrangements, Labonte says.
“It shows on the sound of the record,” says Labonte.
The band has been in a holding pattern of sorts, waiting for the album to drop. It’s time that Labonte spent in the gym.
“I don’t have a ton of hobbies, other than my job, “ he says.
“It’s a complete and total obligation.”
▪ Some will remember Sick Puppies from the band’s acoustic gig at The Blaze last year. The Los Angeles band (by way of Australia) gained mass popularity in part thanks to its work with the production team Rock Mafia (who has worked with everyone from Demi Lovato, Miley Cyrus, No Doubt and Green Day). Despite losing an original member in 2014, the band continued on with a new singer and guitarist (Bryan Scott) and released “Fury” in 2016. The album landed in the top five on Billboard’s hard rock albums chart.
▪ As Lions are up-and-comers in the rock scene. The British band is fronted by Austin Dickinson (the son of Iron Maiden vocalist Bruce Dickinson), has been playing less than two years and already scored gigs opening for Shinedown, I Prevail and P.O.D. and has worked with the producers behind bands like Of Mice and Men, Paramore and Disturbed. The band’s album “Selfish Age” is out now.
▪ Centerpath represents the local scene. The metal band earned an opening slot on the festival by winning the radio station’s battle of bands. Centerpath beat out a total of 12 bands, including Days Under Authority, Stoneshiver and Bus Stop Boxer. Centerpath’s debut single “The Day After Tomorrow” is available now.