Shinedown plays near-sold-out show in Grand Rapids

Trying to follow up the platinum Sound of Madness record, which features the double-platinum single "Second Chance," was no easy task for Shinedown, a band that has dominated rock radio since the album's release in 2008.

"In the middle of the writing, about 10 songs in, we just stopped thinking about it," said Guitarist Zach Myers. "It was one of those things where we just forced ourselves to stop thinking about if it was better than Madness ... the songs started becoming really good."

Although making a Sound of Madness Part Two would have been easy, the band went harder with new album, Amaryllis.

"It's a heavy record and honestly, it didn't have to go that way. We wrote 33 songs for the record and there was a time when I was like ‘Wow, this record's gonna be full of ballads' and they were definitely there and they were some of the best songs that we'd written."

It also showcases the band's sound and how the members have grown as a band and as musicians over the past four years, he said.

"I think on Madness we found what we're supposed to sound like, we found our sound and on this record I think we just kinda targeted in on what that sound was and making it the best we could."

The four years between the albums came from Shinedown's success that led them to playing arena venues for almost two years supporting Sound of Madness.

"When I was a kid, when I would sit in the arena and the headliner would go on and the lights would go out and I remember the people screaming as soon as the lights went out, that's why I play music."

This year's Avalanche Tour will take the band back to smaller club venues like The Orbit Room on April 14. Myers said he loves the big venues, but he can't wait to get back into clubs.

"It's just a rock show you know, you don't have to add all the bulls**t in," he said. "It's just guys on stage playing their songs for their fans. And it's small and you can see everyone's face, you know, from front to back, and you sweat. I miss that."

Photo: James Minchin III