In a brand new interview with Syracuse.com, SHINEDOWN singer Brent Smith was asked if he thinks there is more freedom these days for bands to explore different genres and not pigeon-hole themselves into one type of music. He responded: "I think we have more freedom only because we've never allowed ourselves to be a 'one-trick pony.' If you look back at our body of work up to now, you will see a lot of different things, including our latest album, 'Attention Attention'. We did a lot of things on this record like creating it in-house. Our bass player, Eric Bass, is way more than just a bass player. He produced the record, was the main engineer, and mixed the album. We did everything in his studio in Charleston, South Carolina. It was an overview of looking at ourselves first and foremost. It's a very personal record. It also looks at the human psyche, mentally, physically, spiritually. It's not a concept record by the traditional sense, but it is a story album. We're working with only one director to film all songs because it will be turned into a feature film next year.
"The chairman of Atlantic Records [SHINEDOWN's record label], Craig Kallman, he's always allowed me to be myself," Brent continued. "He's never tried to censor me. And he's always given me time. There's never been a clock, per se. It's always been a 'turn it in when you're ready' kind of thing. Granted, there's been times when I've turned in a certain amount of songs and think I am album ready and he politely says, 'You're almost ready. We need a few more.' When I was younger, I would kick the door and say, 'I am so done writing songs, I just want to make a record.' He's always been that guy though that was, like, 'It's gonna come, kid. You can't rush it.' I feel very fortunate that I had those experiences and continue to have those experiences.
"I'm not very big on labels; I never have been," the singer added. "I know that sometimes in the industry there has to be a genre created so that people know how to categorize you, but when people ask what kind of band is SHINEDOWN, all you really have to say is that we're just SHINEDOWN. It's that simple. When I look at rock and roll, I don't look at it as a genre of music. When Ice Cube got on stage with N.W.A. when they were inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame, he said, 'Rock and roll is a spirit.' He's absolutely right. You can't categorize rock and roll. It's not a genre; it's a way of life. That community is very welcoming to anyone and everyone. It doesn't matter where where you've come from, where you're going, whether you're young or old, man or woman. The color of your skin is irrelevant, your religion is totally up to you, but it's about 100% emotion. Music and song are the only things I know that can create an emotion from nothing. If you're in a bad mood, it can put you in a better mood; if your heart's broken, it can heal it. I've watched music cure cancer. That is why it is so powerful.
"The community and the public are realizing there are no rules. In the guitar world, they will say there's only 12 notes. That is so asinine to say because there are 12 notes, but unlimited tunings and it's how you play those 12 notes. A big example of that right now is Billie Eilish. She's a 17-year-old girl who knows exactly what she is doing. Some people might say it's frightening that someone so young has that much control, but it's freakin' awesome. She did all of this with her brother. They didn't use any big-name producers, write with anybody else, or record with anybody else. It's just him and her. They've created this unique musical and visual thing. I love seeing stuff like that. That young lady is getting me on my game because it's just so cool watch how there's no formula to it. It's just very real and emotional. I commend those two."
"Attention Attention" debuted at No. 5 on the Billboard 200 album chart back in May 2018.
The band is on the road for the summer leg of its 2019 world tour, which will hit Burgettstown, Pennsylvania on July 10 with support from BADFLOWER, DINOSAUR PILE-UP and BROKEN HANDS.