The follow up to Shinedown's 2015 album Threat to Survival is finished according to guitarist Zach Myers, who says the new record is heavier than its predecessor. Myers revealed the news last Friday (Jan. 5) before an acoustic show with bandmate Brent Smith under the name Smith & Myers.

"The new album is done," Myers tells Wisconsin's Razor 94.7 in the video which can be viewed below. "Our part is done. Not all of our part; Eric [Bass, Shinedown bassist] is now mixing the record as well. He was just gonna produce it and someone else was gonna mix it. But now he's mixing the record. So Eric is not done, but the [rest] of us are done with our recording parts. So it is done. It's in the can."

Myers says 16 songs have been laid down for the album, with 12 or 13 slated to end up on the finished product. "It's the hardest album for me - I think for all four of us," he says. "And I'm not just saying this; everybody, when they make [a new album, says], 'It's the best thing we've ever done.' I'm being honest when I say it's the hardest record for me so far trying to cut a song from."

When asked about the sound of the music compared to previous Shinedown albums, Myers say, "It's heavier than Threat To Survival, but it's fresh, it's new. My favorite thing about our band is that we've never made the same record twice."

"There's so many bands you know on Active Rock radio that have their potion - 'I'm gonna pour this in here, and pour this in here' - and if it's not broke, don't fix it. And I'm, like, 'I have to be an artist first. All four of us do. I have to be a musician first, so I can't just cookie-cut the same sheet of dough and go, 'Well, here it is. It worked last time.' I'd rather not do that and fail than do that and succeed. And that's truly how I feel."

The as-yet-untitled effort will be the first with Bass handling all of the production and mixing. Previously, on Threat to Survival, the bassist was a co-producer. Myers calls Bass "the creative guy" in Shinedown who is at his best when working in the studio.

"He had already done three No. 1 songs, so it was, like, why not?" Myers says of the decision to have Bass produce. "Eric owns a studio in Charleston [South Carolina]. He owns a real studio that's not at his house; it's a real studio. That's where we did 'Cut the Cord,' that's where we did 'Diamond Eyes,' that's where we did a ton of songs. And it just made sense. And it came organically. It wasn't [like] we met with a bunch of producers and we didn't like any of 'em, it was, like, 'Why doesn't Eric do this?'"

"When we make records, that's the 'Eric time'; that's when Eric is at his best," he continues. "I was kind of excited for Eric to produce this entire record, and then I got even more excited once we started making it, 'cause it is my favorite Shinedown record as of right now."

Shinedown's Zach Myers Talks to Razor 94.7

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