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Shinedown’s Brent Smith Goes In-Depth About ‘Amaryllis,’ Support From Fans + More

Shinedown Bully Still
Atlantic Records

We were lucky enough to have Shinedown vocalist Brent Smith join Loudwire Radio host, Sandman, as one of our very first guests on the newly launched show. Smith took Loudwire Radio into the depths of Shinedown’s new album, ‘Amaryllis,’ opened up about the track ‘Bully,’ discussed the significance of the album’s artwork and much more.

Here on Loudwire we have a very special guest this week, one of the guys who owns the number one song on the countdown, that would be Brent Smith, lead vocalist, chief songwriter for Shinedown. How you doing, brother?

I’m doing well, man. Thank you so much for taking the time to talk to me today.

Thank you for having great music. I mean, ‘Bully’ has been No. 1 for about three or four weeks on the Loudwire Top 20.

That is so unbelievably awesome, man. Thank you so much for the support. Yeah, man, we still get up everyday and pinch ourselves to make sure that it’s real, you know what I mean? We’re still unbelievably humble and we know how blessed we really are. We have the most amazing people that support us and our fans are just absolutely unbelievable. We’ve always said that we only have one boss, and that’s everybody in the audience, and we can’t thank them enough. We still are a band, we wake up and go, “Is this really happening, still?” You know? We still have to keep ourselves in check.

I’ve met you guys a couple times before, when you came to town, and you said it just like I would have said it — you guys are very humble, very appreciative of what you have and that’s what, I think, people like to see when they meet celebrated people, celebrities, rock stars, whatever you want to call that kind of person.

Well, I mean, the way that we look at it is that we do what we’ve dreamed of doing since we were very, very young everyday of our lives and we’ve been blessed enough to been able to have been given that gift of music and be able to share it with everybody around the world. So, we take it very seriously and we consider ourselves to be a fearless band when it comes to, not only performing, but making albums. We look at ourselves as visionaries and originals and we try to always make sure that we’re never complacent. You know what I mean? As a band we’re never satisfied, we’re always trying to out-do what we’ve already done and stay focused and understand that what we do matters because everybody around us matters to us. So, we’ve just always been a very focused band when it comes to who we are and what we want to do, and not only as people that are musicians but also in our everyday life.

So, the new album ‘Amaryllis’ came out this week, it’s an awesome album. The No. 1 song in the country, ‘Bully’, is on that record. There’s also, I read on Loudwire.com, an e-book that is a companion to this?

Yeah, it’s a complete companion to the record because ultimately, you know, we live in an age right now, as far as technology is concerned, [when] people want instant gratification when it comes to music and entertainment. Of course there’s still people that still go to record stores and buy physical albums, but for the digital consumers there’s not really been a piece — a companion piece — that gives you a complete album experience. And that’s what we’ve done with our e-book. Our e-book is completely interactive, it’s called ‘For Your Sake: Inside the Making of Shinedown’s ‘Amaryllis.’’ It’s the first of its kind and it’s basically a doorway into the mind and the world of Shinedown through 2011, which was the entire year we worked on, recorded, and wrote ‘Amaryllis.’ The e-book is going to show you never before seen, photos that we wouldn’t normally ever release of us in the studio where we were in song writing sessions — also, a lot of work where we were in the studio with producer Rob Cavallo. There’s commentary from everybody — not only myself but Barry Kerch, Zach Myers, Eric Bass, Rob Cavallo himself, [and] a lot of engineers that worked on the record.

A lot of the songs on the record have a 27 person orchestra and one of the songs on the record, which is a song called ‘I’m Not Alright,’ was the first time that we ventured into the world of horns because it’s the first song where we used a ten piece brass section. So it doesn’t just come as the elements that are inside the e-book — like I said, it’s a completely interactive experience. Also, there’s video commentary of myself talking about each individual song and where the song came from and what the song is about, and it’s just really well put together. It’s the first of its kind and it’s basically for today’s modern digital consumer, you know, everything is a lot more technologically advanced. For us, we wanted to put something together that was completely interactive and very visual and, yeah, we’re really proud of it so we hope people are really going to enjoy it.

I remember being a kid and going to the record store and people still, like I said, they still go buy physical records — but I remember going and getting ‘Super Unknown’ by Soundgarden and just putting it in the CD player when I got home and just listening to it, but also, that was, like, one of the first records where the artwork was so entrancing to me and that’s what we’ve done for the e-book for the new record ‘Amaryllis.’ There’s a lot of detail that went into, not only the album cover, but inside the record of the physical copy. We wanted to take that and go even further with the e-book and make a companion piece to the record on the digital side.

Yeah, looking at the cover of ‘Amaryllis’ I’m getting some ideas for some new tattoos already.

A lot of people have been saying that since they saw the album cover they were like, “Holy crap, I think I know what my next piece is gonna be.” That in itself is pretty wild. But yeah, there’s a lot going on on the album cover. The one thing about the album cover too, something to mention, is for the e-book, the last part of the e-book is actually about David Harrigan and myself and how we came up with the concept of the album cover. The album cover actually came from the idea of the Mandala and reaching spiritual enlightenment and that’s the whole formation of the circle and how everything is encompassed inside the album cover. But everything that’s inside there, every physical element that’s in the album cover, has to do with a specific song in the record. So the whole album is a circle and it ties itself in to make everything one. It’s pretty heavy.

Last year, when we were making ‘Amaryllis,’ it seemed like bullying was this epidemic. And I’m like, “It’s not an epidemic. It’s been going on since the beginning of time.” You know? I mean, the reality is that you have to stand up for who you are. You have to stand up for what you believe in. Like I said, no one has the right to push you around. Be an original. Be an individual, and understand that we all need to be able to communicate with one another. But if somebody in your everyday life is threatening you, or putting you in a position where you feel as if you have to be weak and turn the other cheek, don’t do that. Don’t feel programmed to be weak. Stand up for yourself. And that is what ‘Bully’ is about, just saying “Listen, I know who I am. I respect who I am. And whatever your problem with me is, I don’t understand why you have a problem with me, but as far as our day-to-day banter with each other, of you pushing me around, it’s going to end right now.”

Loudwire Radio’s interview with Shinedown’s Brent Smith will be broadcast this weekend all over the U.S. To see the full list of stations that showcase Loudwire Radio, click here.

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