Upon selecting up his very first guitar, a younger Zach Myers thought he’d have the ability to play it with one hand behind his again. No, the longer term lead guitarist of Shinedown wasn’t stuffed with an abundance of confidence at 12 years outdated. It’s simply that he had some attention-grabbing concepts about tips on how to play guitar within the first place. “I’m certain folks will make enjoyable of me for this eternally,” Myers says, “however after I obtained the guitar, for some motive, I didn’t assume you have been supposed to place your left hand on the neck, which is the dumbest factor you would in all probability ever assume. I used to be simply strumming the guitar with my proper hand, like an fool.”
This novel technique of enjoying guitar would work if Myers wished to solely play the introduction to Metallica’s “Nothing Else Issues,” but when he wished to advance past that, his left hand was going to must get in on the motion. Like so many youngsters selecting up the guitar, Myers discovered what he may from watching MTV. Particularly, from Bush’s “Machinehead” video.
“I used to be watching that video and I used to be like, ‘I can do that,’” Myers explains. “I began enjoying together with what I used to be watching on TV. Wanting again, it was in all probability like that scene in ‘The Wolf of Wall Avenue’ when he thinks he will get house positive after taking all the Quaaludes. I used to be in all probability enjoying it terribly. However in my head I used to be like, ‘Sure. This sounds sort of good.’”
Fortunately, Myers had the great sense to take some classes as an alternative of counting on selecting all the things up from grainy dwell movies on “120 Minutes.” Quick ahead a few a long time and Myers is enjoying guitar in three totally different bands—Shinedown (the rock band), Smith & Myers (the acoustic venture with Brent Smith, the singer of Shinedown) and Allen Mack Myers Moore (the folk-country outfit).
The place some folks may see this as spreading himself too skinny, Myers sees every venture as a strategy to scratch a distinct musical itch. For instance, as a child he dreamed about being Garth Brooks, and Allen Mack Myers Moore lets him showcase that aspect of him. “I at all times really feel prefer it’s bizarre when guys are in rock bands they usually go and begin a rock aspect venture,” Myers explains. “I’m like, ‘What are you doing?’ To me, should you’re in a band, you must get your creativity out with that venture. I might by no means begin one other rock factor. I get all the things I want out of Shinedown.”
Don’t ever count on Myers to expire of rock music to play—it seems the fellows in Shinedown are fairly prolific songwriters. Every album cycle, they find yourself with dozens of songs that by no means see the sunshine of day. “I believe there have been 78 demos for ‘The Sound of Insanity.’ We went right down to about 50 on ‘Amaryllis,’ about 31 on ‘Risk [to Survival],’ and solely about 19 for ‘Consideration Consideration,’” Myers says. “Both we’re getting higher at writing songs or we’re simply getting extra cocky about our songwriting means [laughs].”
Having so many songs within the financial institution proved particularly helpful again in Could. As the USA struggled to deliver the COVID-19 pandemic below management, Myers and crew knew they wished to do no matter they might to assist. As they appeared by means of their again catalogue they got here throughout “Atlas Falls,” a track that felt prefer it was written particularly for this turbulent second in historical past, though it had been penned for 2012’s “Amaryllis.”
The plan was to launch the track together with a T-shirt for $50 and to donate the cash, however the place to? With one thing like a pure catastrophe, it’s simple to know tips on how to get help in the suitable fingers. However with a pandemic that affects the complete world, who wants that help most and the way can the cash get to them most instantly? “Brett [Smith] discovered Direct Aid, which is a nonpolitical charity,” Myers says. “Actually their complete job is offering hospitals, clinics and testing amenities with their provides, scrubs, masks, gloves, testing merchandise and all the things they should do their job. They supply to frontline staff, who’re the folks we must be caring for probably the most proper now. They don’t have a option to go on the market and be concerned on this, they usually threat their lives and their household’s lives day-after-day doing so.”
As of early August, Shinedown had raised round $400,000 for Direct Aid, and that quantity will proceed to develop. “It felt actually good to discover a charity that has no bias in direction of something,” Myers says, “no agenda past simply serving to folks.”
In a standard 12 months, Myers finally ends up spending greater than 200 days on the street. However the pandemic has fully upended touring for the foreseeable future, and that breaks Myers’ coronary heart. Even after all of the years grinding, he nonetheless will get excited each time he performs a present. By no means jaded, the guitarist likes to point out up early and discover a seat close to the highest of the world so he can watch all the things replenish as soon as the doorways open.
Then again, Myers has been capable of spend a ton of time together with his household, together with his two younger sons. “I’ve simply been tremendous daddying and I’m attending to go on holidays that I’ve by no means gotten to go on earlier than,” Myers says. “I’ve been spending as a lot time with them as I can. We dwell on a lake, so we go fishing day-after-day. There’s positively some days I get up and assume, ‘Man, I want I used to be enjoying a present at this time.’ Nevertheless it doesn’t occur day-after-day, some days I’m simply actually glad to be house.”
His function as a doting dad comes throughout as he talks about his tattoos. He has a tribute to every of his sons impressed by songs that he sang to them as lullabies. After all, having a rock star dad means he wouldn’t at all times sing a “conventional lullaby,” however a Coheed and Cambria tune. “It’s humorous, I can put on a long-sleeve shirt and simply appear to be tremendous dad,” Myers says. “However then with quick sleeves, you see all of the paintings I’ve and it’s like, ‘Oh, OK.’”
Myers isn’t the kind of man to exit and get a tattoo on a whim. He’s a planner. Every of his items, together with his very first tattoo, has thought behind it. He already had a cohesive sleeve deliberate in his head—a Nintendo theme beginning off with the flying Mario from “Tremendous Mario Bros. 3.” Becoming a member of Mario within the 16-bit sleeve is Little Mac from “Punch-Out,” Mega-Man, the Paperboy and others.
“Everybody at all times rags on me for not together with Zelda,” Myers explains, “however the motive I obtained the sleeve was as a result of, after I was 14, my cousin dedicated suicide. I had a superb childhood, however I don’t actually bear in mind an excessive amount of from my childhood. I bear in mind enjoying all of those video games with my two cousins, Jacob and Justin. Justin died early, so within the paper that the Paperboy is throwing I’ve his initials within the headline. I assumed it was a cool tribute that wasn’t overt or blatant.”
The whole lot Myers does has a deeper layer of that means beneath it, from the tattoos he has to the music he performs, to the way in which he spends his time. In a world the place so many issues lack substance, it’s good to see a real man of goal.