Shinedown Drummer Barry Kerch Reflects on ‘Symptom of Being Human’ Success Ahead of iHeartRadio Music Awards (Exclusive)

Shinedown Drummer Barry Kerch Reflects on ‘Symptom of Being Human’ Success Ahead of iHeartRadio Music Awards (Exclusive)

It’s been two years since Shinedown released their seventh studio album, Planet Zero, but one of the songs from the project, “Symptom of Being Human,” has grown to be massively successful in just the past few months. In fact, the song landed at No. 18 this week on Billboard’s Hot Rock Songs chart, with Shinedown nominated for multiple awards at the iHeartRadio Music Awards, which takes place Monday, in Los Angeles. The band are up for Rock Artist of the Year and Rock Song of the Year for their previous single, “Dead Don’t Die.”

Recently, had a chance to chat with Shinedown drummer Barry Kerch, who offered his reaction to the “Symptom of Being Human” becoming a massive hit, while also reflecting on how far the band has come in their 20+ years together. “It doesn’t feel like two decades plus has passed,” Kerch said, then joking, “It really doesn’t, aside from maybe my joints hurt a little more than they did when I was 25 years old.”

Kerch added, “Right now, this is kind of an off year in a way, even with the success of ‘Symptom.’ We’re writing whatever the next thing is going to be and just doing sporadic summer shows. So I miss it already.”

With Planet Zero having been out for almost a full two years, it feels like “Symptom of Being Human” was a time bomb just waiting to go off, as the song hasn’t stopped climbing the charts. “To have a record that… in ‘record world’ two years is an old record,” Kerch said. “But the song really just had this slow calm and I think because people relate to it so much and then having the luck of getting on radio, and now Top 40 really has put it into a whole new audience.”

When it comes to fan appreciation — to hear Kerch tell it —there are few bands as passionate at making their gratitude known as Shinedown, “Back in the days pre-pandemic period when we did a lot of in-person meet and greets and stuff, we didn’t do normal meet and greets,” he recalled. “We never did backstage where it’s a grip and grin and here’s your picture, get out kind of thing. We’d get them all in a room. Two of us would go to one end of the line, two of us go to the other line, we’d shake everybody’s hand, talk to them, listen to their stories, and give them an experience.”

“These are fans. They’re the ones that are employing you, so I’m going to give them the extra time,” he continued. then noting that for many fans, meet and greet opportunities “became a therapy session” which can, understandably, be “difficult on us because look, we’re emotional musicians and not therapists, and we’re kind of messed up in our own heads, as you can tell by most of our lyrics.”

Even through hearing many tragic life stories from fans who were touched by songs like “Symptom of Being Human,” Kerch says, “It’s weird and it’s humbling, and it’s amazing. The fact that we can write songs, we can play songs and connect with people and give them relief for their day… That time you come to the concert or that time you listen to the record, that is your time to be able to escape.”

“We’re not bringing our problems on you,” he continued. “We’re not bringing the world’s problems back on you. It’s your time to let that go and have a great time, and it’s our job to entertain you to the best of our ability. And with that, we also have a great time.” Finally, he confessed, “It’s the best drug in the world to be on that stage.”

Tune in to the iHeartRadio Music Awards on Monday at 8 p.m. ET on Fox. Fans can also click here to check out Shinedown’s official website, with access to streaming links, music videos, merch, and forthcoming concert dates.


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