Shinedown Taking 'Carnival of Madness'  On Tour
shinedown

Shinedown is turning "The Sound of Madness" into a carnival this summer.

The Florida quartet is headlining the first Carnival Of Madness tour, a 27-date trek that begins July 16 in Jacksonville, Fla. The tour is intended to become an annual event, according to Shinedown frontman Brent Smith. The first year's lineup -- which also includes Chevelle, Puddle of Mudd, Sevendust and 10 Years -- all come from manager Bill McGathy's In De Goot Entertainment stable, but Smith tells Billboard.com that future editions will include acts from other companies.

"It's really a festival tour," explains Smith, adding that he and McGathy had talked about the concept "years ago...We wanted to bring the biggest tour of the summer to the public. I think what it was for me, personally, was to have a family environment on the road. I really want to have a lot of fun this summer, and I want the public to have a lot of fun. We really wanted to give them a massive show.

"Carnival Of Madness is something (McGathy) wants to grow into a major brand and a major tour, so he can continue to bring not only In De Goot bands but other bands into the picture and form a tour that when people see that emblem of the Carnival, they know a huge show is coming."

Smith says Carnival Of Madness will likely grow with the addition of two more bands and a carnival-style midway that will likely be modest this summer and evolve over the years. Shinedown, he promises, is bringing "the biggest production we've ever taken out," and there will be "a lot of interaction with the audience," including a between-acts video wall that will feature contests, text message exchanges and other diversions.

"We're definitely going to make it extremely entertaining," Smith says. "It's going to be the first year, so it should be absolute madness. It's gonna be crazy." Information and updates will be available at carnivalofmadness.com.

Shinedown, meanwhile, is on the road with Nickelback until June 3. The group is promoting the fifth single from "The Sound of Madness," "The Crow & the Butterfly," and Smith reports that the group has worked up "about 30 tracks" for its next album. The frontman plans to spend the interim between tours working on lyrics and melodies, though he doesn't expect recording to begin in earnest until early 2011, after Shinedown swings through Europe and Australia and then does a 25-date acoustic holiday tour at the end of the year.

"I would expect a new album by possibly the fourth quarter of 2011," says Smith, "but I can't guarantee that because 'The Sound of Madness' took 18 months to make. When the record's done we'll hand it in, but we're really, really meticulous as a band now."

Shinedown did record a new song, "Diamond Eyes (Boomlay)," for the upcoming Sylvester Stallone film "The Expendables," which releases Aug. 13. Smith, meanwhile, is among the guest vocalists on the upcoming Apocalyptica album "The Symphony," which is due out this summer.