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Percussion - Shinedown
Exclusive Interview
Barry Kerch - Shinedown


What is new in the world of Shinedown? (current projects)

Currently we are just working on songs for the third record.  We are not trying to rush this one as much as the last one. 

Creatively, how does the band approach song writing… What is the  process for writing songs?

Songs start many different ways.  Brent likes to go off and write with other songwriters first to get inspiration outside of Shinedown.  The rest of us tend to write on our own.  Ultimately we all get in a room together and present our ideas to one another.  Then if it works we use it, if not it goes away. 

Describe your current drum setup

Currently I am using a Pearl kit with 12, 14, 16 inch toms.  A 22x18 kick, 5.5x14 snare, with Meinl cymbals (a mixture of the Byzance and Mb20 lines), and Trick Percussion Bass drum pedals.  I am partial to a Bonham type setup.  1 up 2 down.   I am working with Pearl and some other people on a concept for my next touring kit, but it is a long way from becoming a reality.   

Hailing from Jacksonville, the first name in southern rock comes to mind,  Skynryd.  How much of an inspiration was Skynyrd to you?  Aren’t there some close personal band ties to the Van Zant family?

Do one cover song and you can’t get away from it.  Yes we are from the south, and they were an influence on us.  However any rock music is an influence on us as well as R&B, Pop, Hip-Hop, etc.  We happen to be southerners that play rock.  We never intended to be a ‘southern rock’ band.  We just play what comes honestly.  If it sounds southern, then so be it.  Yes we have ties to the family but we try to keep it private.  If you do enough digging on the internet you can find out what you want to know. 

Speaking of Lynyrd Skynyrd, who’s idea was it to remake “Simple Man”.  I have to say I had chills run thru me during the video seeing the little girl hold the dusty Ronnie Van Zant picture.  Awesome tribute.

Thanks for the kind words, no disrespect, but damn.  That was 4 or 5 years ago and two albums later.  We did the tribute for Judy, Ronnie’s widow, at her club in Jacksonville.  We never meant for it to be anything else .  Later we played it at a radio station in Boston because they were asking for bands to play acoustic covers.  That is the only one we knew.  The rest is history.  A little side note, the little girl is Ronnie’s grand daughter.  

What are some hobbies of yours?

My Personal hobbies include, cooking (creole primarily), fixing up my home, beer and wine making/drinking and paranormal research. 

What is your favorite song to play?

Lately it has been some new ones but live probably Heroes

Favorite All time song?

No such thing

What was your first drum set and what was your inspiration?

My first drumset was a Tama Swingstar that my parents got me after 3 years of Snare Drum and drum lessons.  Always learn the basics first.  My inspiration is family, and then Bonham, Copeland,  Trent Reznor, Nicko McBrain, Tony Williams, Steve Smith, Prince,  Steve Gadd, etc.  There are so many great drummers and musicians it is hard to list them all. 

What were some of the first songs that you mastered on drums?

The first songs I learned were anything off of Iron Maiden’s Number of the Beast, Ozzy’s Blizzard of Oz, and Def Lepard’s Pyromania.  I used to just put on an album/tape and play it front to back over and over until I got it.  I never really tried to learn just one song. 

Some of your first jobs were?

Mowing Lawns, Camelot Music, working on Tyndall Air Force Base doing odd lawn care and some computer work.  (Photoshop was just starting to be used, and I knew how to use it somewhat.)  And many other things we can’t talk about. 

What is your career highlight?

Opening up for Van Halen and then later having Michael Anthony and his daughter come to a couple of our shows when we passed through LA. 

What is your favorite thing about touring?

Free Beer and seeing the world. 

What is more satisfying?  Touring or creating music (writing creatively)

It is all part of the whole, but I enjoy the touring a little more. 

What CD are you currently listening to in your vehicle or IPod?

I always put my IPod on random and see what happens, but if your looking for new albums that I am into I would say NIN’s new singles, and Shadows Fall new record.

What is your next big thing on your ‘things to do in life’ list?

Visit Ireland with my wife. 

Tell me about the first time you heard yourself on the radio?

It was an amazing feeling especially since my brother who is Program Director for 107.3 Planet Radio in Jacksonville was the first to play it.  It never gets old. 

If you weren’t in the career that you are, what career would you see yourself pursuing?

By now I would be finishing my doctorate in Anthropology.  I had just received my Bachelors a couple years before Shinedown got going. 

Is there anyone that you would like to collaborate with that you have not had the opportunity to yet?

Prince and Trent Reznor

And finally, any words of wisdom to anyone wanting to start a band and take to the stage?

Work your ass off and then work some more.  Never get comfortable and always realize how lucky you really are.