The members of Shinedown are well aware that "Enemies," the third single from their latest album, "Amaryllis," arrives to some formidable expectations.
Each of its "Amaryllis" predecessors -- "Bully" and "Unity" -- topped the Mainstream Rock Songs chart, giving the group a run of four consecutive No. 1s and eight total amidst the group's 15 Top 10 hits. Bassist/pianist Eric Bass, who co-wrote "Enemies" and "Unity," tells Billboard.com that "you never get used to that" but says the success streak makes each new single release a "nerve-wracking" experience.
"It's not a foregone conclusion that just because we're in Shinedown that we're going to have a No. 1 song, you know?" Bass says. "Any time you have a Top 10 hit you feel humbled. And every time we've released a song it's like throwing a baby bird out of the net and hoping it's going to fly. We have confidence in what we do, confidence in what we've written -- or we wouldn't have thrown it out there -- but, yeah, we're always apprehensive about it. You have to write good music and once you're doing it it's out of your hands, really."
Bass says he "had 'Enemies' in my back pocket for a few months" before getting together for a writing session with Shinedown frontman Brent Smith and frequent collaborator David Bassett.
"The guitar riff and the kind of lead solo line was some stuff I'd had for a couple of months. We were kind of going through subject matter that we wanted to write about and going over some things about people who have pissed us off from the past -- somebody who's really divisive, who wedges themselves in between people and tries to tear people apart. That was the genesis for it, lyrically."
Shinedown is pushing "Enemies" and the rest of "Amaryllis" -- which debuted at No. 4 on the Billboard 200 and No. 1 on the Rock Albums chart after its March release -- on the Rockstar Energy Drink Uproar Festival through Sept. 30. The group heads to the U.K. in October and plans to be on the road "probably another two years" supporting the album, according to Bass. He also says that a film crew has been documenting "every show, every meet-and-greet, everything that happens. I think that there's talk of doing another live DVD at some point, and we're going to have plenty of behind-the-scenes footage for when it happens."