The lead single from Shinedown's fourth studio album, Amaryllis, was the first new music to be heard from the Florida-based hard rockers since all six singles from 2008's The Sound Of Madness topped the rock radio chart. The song was released on January 3, 2012.
According to our dictionary, "Amaryllis" is a bulbous plant, which is also known as the "belladonna lily" or "naked lady." It takes its name from a shepherdess in Virgil's pastoral Eclogues
. Shinedown drummer Barry Kerch explained to Bravewords.com
why the band named the album after the flower: "Really it becomes what the band is all about - a beautiful flower that comes out of a desolate area," he said. "There's an overall sense on this record of overcoming and rising up and being a strong person, and that's exactly what this band is. We've risen up; we're the strongest we've ever been at this point. It's really all-encompassing for where we are right now in our career."
Amaryllis sees Shinedown linking up again with producer Rob Cavallo (My Chemical Romance, Green Day), who previously collaborated with the band on The Sound Of Madness. The album was recorded at Cavallo's Lightning Sound studios outside of Los Angeles as well as both Ocean Way Recording and Capitol Studios in Hollywood.
This song is an anthem that addresses bullying. It sends a message of strength to those who are victims, reassuring them that they're not alone and there are many who have made it through. "We don't have to take this back against the wall, we don't have to take this we can end it all," sings frontman Brent Smith. Kerch told Bravewords.com that there wasn't any specific event that prompted to write a song about bullying.
"I think we've all witnessed it in our lives," he said. "It's definitely more in the news; it's a hot ticket item right now. But I think that also exists because of the social media outlets – Facebook and Twitter, things like that. Really the song wasn't about one specific occasion, just bullying in general. You can't let yourself get bullied in life; you have to stand up for yourself and have a sense of pride in yourself and don't take it anymore. It's for anybody of any age group, whether you're a kid being bullied around, or even in your work place being bullied by your boss; it's universal, it's for everyone."
Shinedown guitarist Zach Myers told Gibson.com the story of the song. He said: "I had the riff, and I wasn't even playing it thinking, 'Hey, let's use this for our song.' We were just chatting about what we were going to try to achieve that day. And we were saying, 'Do you want to go in and work on a new song or do we want to go in and keep working on another song?' And, bullying was sort of in the forefront of the news that in that couple weeks that we were working on that part of the album. There was a kid that very sadly had taken his own life because of his bullying situation, which is awful. I think it was one of those things where we didn't say, 'Let's write a song about bullying,' but we're proud of it, and we're glad that it's helping people. A lot of kids have been telling us that 'Bully' is helping them deal with being bullied, and that means a lot."
The song features vocals by the West Los Angeles children's choir.