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Posted September 19, 2012 by Always Acoustic in Interviews
 
 

Shinedown Interview with Brent Smith


Friday, August 29, 2008, 2:08 p.m. CST

Shinedown has delivered to the world their third album titled The Sound of Madness on June 24, 2008. This of course follows up Shinedown’s smashing success on Leave a Whisper, which went platinum, and Us and Them. Brent Smith and I discussed The Sound of Madness, “If you Only Knew,” “Devour,” “Second Chance,” their music featured on television, playing acoustically, Rock Band, funniest Shinedown comment by a fan so far and the almost near demise of Shinedown.

AARON KEKER: Hey everyone! This is Aaron Keker from Always Acoustic™ on the line with Brent Smith from Shinedown. How you doing Brent?

BRENT SMITH: I’m doing well man! How can you say your day is going my friend?

AARON KEKER: It’s going good! It’s going good!

BRENT SMITH: Good!

AARON KEKER: I’m talking to you; it can’t be any better than that, huh?

BRENT SMITH: I don’t know about that ––

AARON KEKER: [Laughs]

BRENT SMITH: Maybe, you know if a Victoria Secret model, you know, called you or something?

AARON KEKER: Yeah, maybe… But first of all, I would like to congratulate you on your recent engagement to Ashley.

BRENT SMITH: Thank you very much man! I appreciate it.

AARON KEKER: No problem man. “If You Only Knew” is Shinedown’s first ever love song, correct?

BRENT SMITH: It is, yes.

AARON KEKER: You were quoted as saying “I’ll never write a love song. I just never had a reason to write a love song before.”

BRENT SMITH: Correct.

AARON KEKER: “If You Only Knew” becomes one of Shinedown’s biggest hits; do you think that Shinedown will release any future love songs?

BRENT SMITH: It depends. I mean the fact of the matter is that, you know, the statement I made about the fact I would never write one… it was one of those things. It was exactly what I said I never would but we have known each other for twelve years and we recently, you know, have an eight month year old beautiful baby boy and she’s been with me from day one. During the process of recording the record, she was with me that entire time.

From the time she got pregnant was right about the time that I started writing the record. So the fact that she was with me during that time and, you know, not only the writing part of that but she was with me in L.A. when we were doing the record. Because we pretty much spent most of 2007 in Los Angeles and you know the day that she called me, I was in Atlanta, and she said, “I have something to tell you.” And I said, “what is it?” And she said, “you’re going to be a father,” which was something I never thought I would ever be and my son has completely changed my life.

As she has as well and I’ve never really had the words for, you know, such a song. And the words to the song they just came to me in a flood, it’s just from the bottom of my heart the way that I feel about her and the way that I feel about my son. The song is about the fact that our lifestyles between me and Ashley, she has known me for so long. She knows what I do. I am gone, you know, pretty much out of the twelve months of the year; I’m gone ten of those months.

We see each other periodically. We make sure that we’re never apart more than, you know, two months without seeing each other… For some reason I used to, and I still do to this day, I would always wake up at 4:03 in the morning… I mean I cannot even count how many times that happened. That’s why in the song it says “4:03 and I can’t sleep without you next to me.” The fact was, is that all of these emotions came to me when I wrote this song. It’s a song about missing the person that you love but just making sure that they realize that even though that you’re gone that they are always with you and that you remember them. And you think about them constantly. And you just don’t want them to ever forget… true love and that’s really where the song stem from.

AARON KEKER: Right. All right. Well I like that song. So, it’s one of my favorites off the album.

BRENT SMITH: Thank you.

AARON KEKER: How ––

BRENT SMITH: Thank you very much.

AARON KEKER: Yeah, no problem. How excited was Shinedown to have “Second Chance” played as a promo song for the upcoming season of Terminator – The Sarah Connor Chronicles?

BRENT SMITH: I thought it was awesome man. I think the way that they did it when I saw the trailer for the new season, I thought they did a great job for it. Before that I did not know much about that actual series until I kind of started seeing more about it and it got great ratings. A lot of people are really excited about the new season and they just felt like that it was the perfect song for that series. You know, it is an overwhelming feeling. We’ve been getting so much more exposure on this record than we’ve ever had on any of the others. Not only that, but we’re getting ready to come up with the song “Second Chance,” which is our second single. It drops on the 8th of September.

We’re going to roll it out hard core. I felt like that was by far the hardest song I had to write on the record. Not like as far as going in and recording it. It was about the subject matter, about the song and what I had to do in order to break down the walls around me to discuss what my childhood was like and my upbringing and where that song really came from. To have it finally, you know, be heard by the people was a big deal to me. So, it holds a very special place in my heart but I was beyond excited about it.

AARON KEKER: Right. Well, is this the first time Shinedown’s music has been featured on television?

BRENT SMITH: No. ESPN has always been really, really great to us. We’re always all over that. When they do SportsCenter, we’re always in the highlights of that. World Series, we’ve been in that. When Boston won against the Yankees, you know, we were all over that. WWE does a lot with us. There’s been, you know, a few things here and there. But we have a lot more that I really can’t discuss right now because it’s kind of in the works. But there’s a lot more Shinedown material coming out as far as movies are concerned and other television spots. So, it’s getting ready to kick off a lot larger than it was before. So, we’re really excited.

AARON KEKER: Right. All right. Well it sounds good. Do you handle a majority of the songwriting for Shinedown?

BRENT SMITH: I’m sorry, what was that?

AARON KEKER: Do you handle a majority of the songwriting for Shinedown?

BRENT SMITH: Yes, I do.

AARON KEKER: Okay. You remarked about The Sound of Madness that “I want the world to remember this as a record that needed to be made and that there was a reason for it.” Artistically, do you feel this is Shinedown’s best album to date?

BRENT SMITH: 100%, yes. This is the record that I had been waiting to find the part of me inside that I knew was there. That I just hadn’t had an opportunity to unleash yet… You know, its kind of one of those quintessential things –– you get your whole life to do your first record and than you get about six months to do your second one and that’s kind of what happened. Leave a Whisper was a long process and a lifetime to get there. Us and Them was done in six months. That was the writing, the recording, everything, and then it was in stores.

A lot of it was a miracle that record got made. On this album the idea was I remember making a trip to New York to talk to my chairman of Atlantic Records, who I adore Mr. Craig Kallman. And he said, you know, “what do you need this time Brent, you know, can we get another record in six months?” I just told him “there was no way.” He said, “what do you want?” I said, “I want no time limit. I don’t want to see a clock on the wall. I don’t want to see someone with a watch; that’s not what it’s about. When it’s finished is when it will be finished.”

And instead of being, you know, not 100% agreeing with me with that, he accepted it and also embraced me by it. He said, “take as long as you need.” That’s why it took eighteen months. There was never a time line; it’s just how long it took. I mean the fact of the matter was… that we wanted to push ourselves not only sonically but just as an artist how far could we really go as musicians. And really it was about, you know, the intense songs need to be the most intense we’ve ever done.

The ones that were more balladesque, the ones that were more mid-tempo, we focused a lot on melody. As far as the music, it wasn’t just about bass, drums, guitar, vocal; we used a lot of piano on this record. We used a lot of synthesizers, a lot of sound effects for the songs which happened to be “Second Chance,” “If You Only Knew,” “The Crow & the Butterfly” and “Call Me” have a twenty-one piece orchestra on them.

We definitely went over the top on this record for a reason. Wanted people to –– not only when they heard it –– we wanted them to take a step back and really look at what you can do with a record if you take the time on it. For the other fact of the matter, the fans don’t deserve any less. I’ve always said the same thing about the way we feel about our fans. We only have one boss and that is everybody in the audience. So it would be basically disrespectful to them to bring them a third album and to rush it.

I broke down a lot of walls on this record and a lot of barriers and was a lot more blunt on this album. And was able to discuss not only my personal issues but the things that were going on around me and be very up front about it. I’ve known in the past as being an individual that kind of paints pictures with his words.

This album was more like you’re watching a movie, every song is different, I believe, on this record more so than the others but they all fit. A lot of it has to do with the way that the album is sequenced. How each song comes right after the other because they’re all different, but they all make sense together. I think the focus of that was to really expand on the fact that you wanted the listener to go on the emotional roller coaster ride. So by the end of the record, you wanted to start it all over again and you didn’t want to skip through anything. You wanted to make sure that you got every single aspect of the record. And the record in my opinion is really not a first listen because from the other two records this is a completely different record.

We’re also known for every single one of our albums does sound completely different. We constantly try to evolve. It’s not so much about having a formula. I know a lot of bands have a formula they stick with it; it works for them. That’s just not the way we are. We are always trying to figure out what’s the next step. Where do we need to go from here? We just don’t follow suit really. We want to go and push ourselves as far as we possibly can. In order for not only us to feel as if we’re doing what we need to do as artists, but that the people need to hear the growth in the band and hopefully they hear that.

AARON KEKER: Right. Well I read online that Shinedown had over forty songs to consider for The Sound of Madness. Were there any songs ––

BRENT SMITH: We actually… got up close to sixty.

AARON KEKER: Oh, sixty?

BRENT SMITH: Yes.

AARON KEKER: So, were there any songs that you wished would’ve made it on this album?

BRENT SMITH: You know, I thought we worked so hard on every single one. We demo-ed every single one of them like a record. But when it came time to do the actual record, once we started working with Rob Cavallo, the one’s that are on the album, they raised their hand. It was really that upfront. We weren’t desensitized by any means as to saying, “oh, this would be good or maybe we should change this part.” There was very much an idea that songs going into it we knew which ones we were going to record because we knew what kind of record we were going to make.

Are there some that I wished that made the record? Yeah, there’s a few. But you know we did a bonus record, which was a limited edition, in which we gave everyone three extra songs. Because we recorded fifteen when we went in as far as like fully recording in a studio… You know, if it had been up to me… I know everybody talks about the double album, I would have done like a triple album. It would have been awesome to do something like that. But for right now these were the songs that I wanted the world to hear these songs. The other songs were good but they weren’t to the caliber of what we felt like we did on this album.

AARON KEKER: Okay. All right. Shinedown has dropped songs acoustically like “I Dare You,” “Fly from the Inside,” “45,” “Simple Man,” “Save Me” and “Shed Some Light.” Does Shinedown enjoy playing acoustically?

BRENT SMITH: We absolutely adore playing acoustically. Fact of the matter is all the songs, even the heaviest of the heavy, “Devour,” was written on an acoustic guitar. So anytime we get a chance to play acoustically, we love it. It’s a chance to be very, very intimate with an audience and to showcase the fact that it’s not a bunch of pro-tools tricks. That… the way it sounds is the way it sounds.

So it’s always, you know, a joy to play acoustically because basically all of the songs start on acoustic guitar… We don’t get into a rehearsal room and everyone starts bashing on their instruments and start writing a song. That’s not the way I work. I start with an acoustic and I start with a melody and the lyrics come next. That’s really the way it kind of works. Even though sometimes I’ll have a lyrical music but I won’t have a melody it always stems from the acoustic. So any time we get a chance to do acoustically we enjoy it.

AARON KEKER: Right. Well some of my favorite songs from The Sound of Madness are “Devour,” “Second Chance,” “The Crow & the Butterfly, “If You Only Knew,” “What a Shame,” “Call Me,” and “Breaking Inside.” Does Shinedown plan on releasing any of these songs acoustically on iTunes?

BRENT SMITH: We are absolutely in the works of doing that right now.

AARON KEKER: Cool. Shinedown released “Devour” on video on iTunes back in June of this year.

BRENT SMITH: Yeah.

I think that finally for the first time in my life I opened up a door that I was afraid to open up lyrically about the way I felt about a lot of things

AARON KEKER: What additional videos can we expect on iTunes in the next several months or so?

BRENT SMITH: We’re getting ready to film the video for “Second Chance.” We’re actually in Idaho right now. We play Idaho and then we go to Great Falls. You can get all this information on our web site, which is just Shinedown.com. There you just plug it in because right now basically we’re doing “Second Chance” and we’re getting ready to launch. And then an insane campaign for “Second Chance.”

Like right now on our web site we just started doing this thing where we have a huge blast. Our web site is extremely interactive right now. We worked very hard on it in order to make it very fan orientated. There is so much stuff that you can do on our web site. We want to talk to fans. We want video blogs. Sell streams on there. You can talk to us personally.

We have certain times of the day that we are actually online on our web site that, you know, we are actually physically there. We video tons of stuff and synch it right into our web site. But we’re doing this thing right now because “Second Chance” is released to radio on September the 8th, where we decided that we wanted to hear other people’s personal stories about their second chance because that’s what it’s about.

So, already we’ve been getting this massive amount of people writing and doing video blogs about, you know, their life and what their second chance was. We want to hear these stories. We want to talk to them. We want to know, you know, their day… that they woke up and decided that they wanted something better for themselves and they got the guts and the will to do that. So we’ve been reading a lot about their stories and we’re really trying to tap into how people feel about the song. And we want to know about their stories. So, we’ve got quite a campaign going on for this next song. And we’re just trying to stay as close as we can with our fans.

AARON KEKER: Right. Okay. Sounds good. You wrote “Devour” about the end of George Bush’s presidency, correct?

BRENT SMITH: I did basically, yes, in a way. When I say “in a way…” I’m sorry go ahead and finish your comment.

AARON KEKER: No. No. Go ahead. I just have a follow up to that.

BRENT SMITH: The thing was we went to Iraq a couple of years ago. And the only reason that we went was because it was 100% only about the troops. It was only about the men and women in the Armed Forces. We didn’t go over for any political reason or anything like that. We went to show our support. We went to play for them to give them relaxation, which I really can’t say was very relaxed because they went absolutely nuts when we got there, which was an amazing experience. We actually flew into Kuwait and played… Buehring for six thousand people. Then we took a C-130 into Iraq and played Fallujah.

We actually played on the Marines 231st Birthday in Fallujah. Then we played Al Asad and then we played TQ on Veteran’s Day. It’s just a huge honor to be able to finally meet these men and women face to face and to shake their hands and talk to them. I mean I shook hands with thousands and thousands of soldiers and talked to them and we all got to hang out. It was such a mind opening experience because I was watching a lot of news before I went over there as to what media was giving us over here. I can tell you firsthand, because I saw it, don’t get me wrong I was only there for about six days. What I saw was nothing what they show us over here.

These men and women put their lives on the line every single day. They’re on the front line and they’re extraordinary. The frustration I endured with this was that by talking to all of these individuals and these soldiers, you hear so many stories. I can recall one soldier that I talked to that had been there on his third tour of duty. And you have to understand a lot of these soldiers are over there because they want to be over there because they want to make sure their families are safe, our country is safe and we don’t have another attack. The fact is, like one soldier had told me, he’d been there so long that he had a three-year-old daughter that he had never even physically seen and this… was mind altering to me. The fact was when I got home this song came to me out of pure frustration as to why there is no answer to bring these men and women home.

We’re in an election year right now and the song was about this is what our president as of right now has done. This is the legacy that he is going to leave behind. This is what he’s done. And far be it for me to be the guy to tell you that I can be the leader of the free world because it is an insanely hard job, I know it is. But the thing is there’s not any compromise. There’s no solution being said. There’s one thing to talk about change. There’s one thing to talk about figuring out how to compromise. But there’s never really been any real foundation of that being done.

Everything seems to go around in this circle of this machine that no one wants to shut down and start really talking about what the major issues are in order to have some form of peace. Whether it will be world peace, I don’t know. I hope there will be but I’m not one to say that. There’s got to be eventually some kind of an answer in order to get these troops back home because they deserve it. I think that the countries around us, and this country in particular as well, we all have to figure out a way. You know, getting along is one thing and maybe that will never happen but a compromise, a solution, a real solution as to how we can somehow unite enough to where we can make this world a better place is what needs to actually happen.

Don’t get me wrong, there is always going to be people that are going to say, “that’s never going to happen… It’s just not going to happen.” But what does need to happen is someone needs to stand up and say, “okay, it’s not going to happen but this is what we’re going to do in order so that we can all survive.” At the end of the day it’s about survival. I do not feel any way, shape or form that these soldiers should be submitted to this when half the time they don’t know really why they are still there. There’s never an answer and that’s where the song came from. I hope in the future now, which is very soon, whoever the new President of the United States is they understand what is truly going on. They say they do but do they really?

AARON KEKER: Right.

BRENT SMITH: Because until you go over there you don’t see what is actually happening. In the song when I say, “stolen like a foreign soul,” I’m not talking about the people over there for which we are necessarily fighting against or the fact that we’re over there to protect, you know, not only ourselves but other people over there that want freedom like we do. But the fact is we’re the foreign souls. I feel like our soldiers’ souls have been stolen and that’s where the compromising needs to come into play.

AARON KEKER: Okay.

BRENT SMITH: And that’s really where I was saying to the president, as of right now this is it man, this is what you’ve done, this is what you have to show for it. Are you comfortable with that? Do you feel like you did a good job? That’s my right to say that.

AARON KEKER: Exactly! Well in the last couple of years, Shinedown has replaced Jasin Todd and Brad Stewart with Nick Perri and Eric Bass… Why did Jasin ––

BRENT SMITH: His name is Eric Bass.

AARON KEKER: Eric Bass.

BRENT SMITH: Eric Bass, Nick Perri and Zach Myers.

AARON KEKER: Okay. So, why did they leave Shinedown?

BRENT SMITH: With Brad it was one of those things where I believe that Brad… I just don’t think that he wanted to do it anymore. I could see that he was struggling a bit with not necessarily the road but the way that Shinedown was going. He didn’t really agree with the way that I felt about certain things and I don’t feel like he was happy. And the last thing that I want is somebody to be unhappy but this is my band. I put it together and Brad is an amazing person and a great musician but he wasn’t happy. And the fact was… that it was time to let him go because honestly I’m not going to be on the road with someone that’s not going to go to the next level with me.

If you’re not going to go to the next level then you need to move on and do what’s going to make you happy. As far as Jasin is concerned, there were a lot of personal issues that were going on in Jasin’s life, where honestly he just couldn’t handle it… Believe me I am not throwing anyone under the bus, it’s just the reality of it is that these individuals were not growing with the band and it was causing serious, serious problems. Because I was watching the demise of this band and it is the last thing that I will ever allow this band to have happen to and I will not let this band die. And a lot of it was just mutual.

It was hard but in the long run I must say this to you right now because it is 100% the truth. The gentlemen that are in the band now we’ve known for quite a long time and these were the only three individuals that could come in because we didn’t really have an audition period. We knew the people that we wanted to come in and we knew what we were doing and these are the individuals that we brought in. We asked them to come in and now I can say 100% this is the strongest that this band has ever been even from when it was first formed… and it has been reinvented.

AARON KEKER: Okay. Well I read online that you co-wrote “There and Back Again” with Chris Daughtry.

BRENT SMITH: I did.

AARON KEKER: What was it like working with Chris?

BRENT SMITH: Chris was an outstanding individual. I knew that he was a fan of the band. He called me up and he was doing his record. He had a lot of songwriters he was working with. He talked to his management company and said that, “he wanted to work with me.” I just happened to be getting ready to leave for tour. I had about two days. I was actually on the middle of the bus and tour at that time but I had two days off. I was in my home in Winter Springs, Florida and he called me up. It was a short distance to Fort Lauderdale that’s where American Idolwas doing their big concert with all the top ten contestants… He had time to do it so did I. So I flew down to Fort Lauderdale before I went back to tour and we wrote “There and Back Again.”

AARON KEKER: Oh, that’s cool. What did you think of Chris Daughtry’s performance on American Idol when he sang “I Dare You?”

BRENT SMITH: Well actually I was in New Orleans at the time and I was building a house with Habitat for Humanity for Katrina. He was calling me that day because they were doing spots in Los Angeles for it and they were having him sing it like five, six different times. He called me and was like “I already sang it like five times.” I told him, I said, “Chris you got to stop singing it man.”

AARON KEKER: [Laughs]

BRENT SMITH: “It’s not an easy song to sing dude.”

AARON KEKER: [Laughs]

BRENT SMITH: [Laughs] So, I finally got him to quit singing it to do the spots. I thought… they ragged him because I know how that stuff works. They ragged him pretty hard during that day… not ragged him but ragged his voice out. To be constantly… doing it all day long and then have to do it live, I thought he did a phenomenal job. Simon bashed it and didn’t know if he liked the song but Simon is going to say what Simon’s going to say, so whatever. But I thought he did a great job and I was extremely honored that he even picked the song to do. So, I was very proud of him.

AARON KEKER: Right. Well Shinedown covered and released “Simple Man” by Lynyrd Skynyrd and “Happy Xmas (War is Over)” by John Lennon. Has Shinedown recorded and released any other cover songs?

BRENT SMITH: … We actually released another cover song –– there was a tribute record for Queen. A lot of bands did and we did “Tie Your Mother Down” for that. You can find that pretty much anywhere. It’s just a compilation of all different kinds of bands doing Queen covers. It was like a tribute to them. The “Simple Man” thing happened by accident at a radio station in Boston at WAAS. What it was; was the night before well actually it was a couple nights before we were on the road with 3 Doors Down. I did it actually with Jasin as a thank you to Judy Van Zant because that is Ronnie’s widow and she owns a club in Jacksonville called the Freebird Live and I wanted us to do it as a favor to her. I sang it for her that night at a show and I’d thought I’d never sing it again.

And then a couple of days later we were in Boston with 3 Doors Down. That week they were having all the bands coming into the station and do cover songs… I was like “we don’t do cover songs –– we don’t really have any.” At the time they coerced me into doing it and the only reason why I didn’t want to do it was because I only had done it one other time and I thought I would forget the lyrics. [Laughs] Anyway they recorded it and we came back to Boston six weeks later and found out that they had put it on their web site and it had been downloaded over 500,000 times.

AARON KEKER: Wow!

BRENT SMITH: So we went back to the label and they re-released it and we were happy to do it. And very honored to do it but we don’t do the song anymore.

AARON KEKER: Right.

BRENT SMITH: The reason we don’t do it is because the fact is… that you don’t want to make something stale, you know, what I mean?

AARON KEKER: Right.

BRENT SMITH: We worked so hard on this record and we have ten singles now on rock alternative and active rock radio. You know it’s not one of those things you want to be remembered for, you know, a cover song. But I was honored to do the song. But, you know, we retired the song. I’m not saying I’ll never sing it again but for right now we don’t do it anymore. As far as “War is Over” that was brought to my attention from the label at that time of whatever year that was. I think it was a few years back. They wanted us to do a cover song, not a cover song but they wanted us to do a Christmas song. I always thought Christmas songs were kind of funky and I never really thought I’d be great at doing a Christmas song but come on it was… my favorite one. So I chose to do that one and I hope people like it.

AARON KEKER: Yeah. I actually downloaded I think on, I can’t remember if it was on iTunes or Napster or Rhapsody, one of them. So, I thought you guys did a good job.

BRENT SMITH: Thanks a lot man! I appreciate it!

AARON KEKER: No problem! Have you or any of your band mates played “Devour” or “Junkies for Fame” on Rock Band for Xbox 360, Playstation 3 or Wii?

BRENT SMITH: Have we played it ourselves?

AARON KEKER: [Laughs] Yeah.

BRENT SMITH: Yes. I can’t even get through the first verse. [Laughs]

AARON KEKER: [Laughs]

BRENT SMITH: It’s pretty insane. If you go on You Tube™ there’s like a bunch of kids like playing it and stuff. Like one kid did like “Junkies for Fame” like on extreme hard and it was the craziest thing I’ve ever seen in my life. I feel bad to a point because there’s all these kids in this generation that have Guitar Hero and Rock Band. And they’re like “oh, I want a real guitar.” And when they get the guitar they’re like “what the hell is this thing.”

AARON KEKER: [Laughs]

BRENT SMITH: [Laughs] So hopefully that won’t hinder them later on in life if they want to be musicians.

AARON KEKER: Right.

BRENT SMITH: But I think it’s a great tool man. You know it seems to be doing really, really well. I mean “Devour” is on the new Madden 2009 and of course we’re on Rock Band and Guitar Hero. We’re happy to be on all of those things. So I thing it’s a great outlet for music right now.

AARON KEKER: Yeah. Cool. Well I got two more questions.

BRENT SMITH: Sure.

AARON KEKER: Barry, Jack and you laughed out loud about a fan who wrote on Shinedown’s MySpace page that “the new album is amazing! You never fail to disappoint,” which was obviously a typo.

BRENT SMITH: [Laughs loudly]

AARON KEKER: [Laughs]

BRENT SMITH: I love that one. That’s definitely the best one that I have ever seen. That comment a lot of people saw it and they’re like what does this mean. I was like, guys, it’s very tongue and cheek. It’s a joke.

AARON KEKER: Right. Yeah.

BRENT SMITH: I thought that was one of the coolest things I’ve ever seen.

AARON KEKER: Right. Well does Shinedown ever respond back to their fans on their web site and MySpace page?

BRENT SMITH: Oh, yeah totally. I would have to say that Eric Bass and Nick and Zach are probably the most up to date on all of that stuff. I mean Eric had like 1,500 friends on his MySpace before he joined Shinedown and now he has something ridiculous like 200 and something thousand fans.

AARON KEKER: Wow!

BRENT SMITH: So, you know, it’s tough to get to all of them. But of course we do.

AARON KEKER: Right. All right. Well final question. After Shinedown’s tour concludes, do you think The Sound of Madness will have reached platinum status just like Leave a Whisper?

BRENT SMITH: You know what, I can’t say that because it will be a jinx, you know, ––

AARON KEKER: Right.

BRENT SMITH: … the fact is, is that I did say the statement, you know, I did say… “I felt like this is a record that the world needed, needed to be made.”

AARON KEKER: Right.

BRENT SMITH: It really all boils down to the people, you know. Like I said before, I only have one boss and that’s everybody in the audience. So, it really depends on them. But it’s one of those albums that you have to really sit with it and really kind of have to go inside this. Some people its different; it’s a first listen. But I think that finally for the first time in my life I opened up a door that I was afraid to open up lyrically about the way I felt about a lot of things and I think people identify with it. You know, all I can do is say that I am extremely blessed to do what I do. I dreamed about being a musician, a performer, a songwriter, a singer my whole life and I still wake up every single day and look at myself in the mirror and tell myself “this can all be gone tomorrow.” So, I give all the glory to the fans and the people that support it. As long as they continue to show up to shows and they want to be a part of Shinedown, you know, who knows how many records it will sell. You know, that’s up to the people.

AARON KEKER: Right. All right. Well thanks a lot Brent. Hopefully, next time, you know, that I talk to you guys that you’ll actually have a platinum album then.

BRENT SMITH: I appreciate it very, very much man! Thank you so much for your time and I hope you have a wonderful day!

AARON KEKER: You too man! All right dude! Talk to you later man!

BRENT SMITH: Bye! Bye!

AARON KEKER: All right! Bye!

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