Brent Smith Calls New Shinedown Record ‘Honest’ + ‘Historical’
Shinedown finally gave us a taste of their upcoming new album Planet Zero when they released the title track earlier today. Singer Brent Smith discussed the record's "honest" and "historical" nature in a recent chat with Loudwire Nights host Toni Gonzalez.
The band didn't start working on the follow-up to 2018's Attention Attention until after the global pandemic and its accompanying social unrest had already hit. Smith recalled that he and his bandmates actually had to sit down and make a decision as to whether or not they really wanted to tackle some of the subjects that came up in the lyrics.
"If anybody describes this band with one word, I would hope it would be honest," the singer said. "We just had to be honest with what we were seeing and what we were looking at, because everything was happening in real time."
One of the biggest things Smith and co. noticed happening in the world was a large dissonance between what the media was portraying, and what they were actually seeing with their own eyes.
"Go out into the real world, because in the real world, it's not happening the way that it's being presented on these mechanisms. People would say, 'What do you mean go out into the real world? Everybody was inside.' I wasn't, I didn't stay inside. I went out... in the real world, people weren't trying to destroy each other. In the real world, people were trying to help each other," he noted.
The frontman had previously described Planet Zero as "controversial," and during this chat, he elaborated more on what he meant by that.
"Not so much the fans — that's what I want the fans to do, is I want them to talk, I want them to discuss it," he enthused. "I think that certain media outlets will look at this and go, 'They're really gonna discuss this. They're a band that's known for being a certain way, and they're really going to go this far as to present...'
"It's heavy stuff. There's a lot of psychology to it... This band's been writing about mental health for 20 years. There's a lot of triumph on this record, though, too — an immense amount of triumph. But there's also elements here where some people will say that it's a big more aggressive than usual, but it's necessary, because the only way to get the point across in some of this material, we have to be aggressive. This was a record that was written for the people, by the people."
When covering touchy subjects, Smith is aware that Shinedown will face some scrutiny from a portion of their fanbase. But, he welcomes all reactions to the material.
"The record is not a complete political record, thought-provoking record in regards to, 'This is what we think and you should think that way.' It's the complete opposite of that," he added. "What it is, it's historical. Nobody writes records like these anymore."
To hear more about Planet Zero — which you can pre-order here now — tune into Loudwire Nights tomorrow (Jan. 27) at 7PM ET.