Brent Smith Says Shinedown Will Never Be Put In a Box – ‘Our Audience Allows Us to Evolve’
On April 3, Shinedown kicked off The Revolutions Live tour with Three Days Grace and From Ashes to New. As the tour continues through early May, frontman Brent Smith took some time to hang with Chuck Armstrong on Thursday's edition of Loudwire Nights (April 20) and talked about Shinedown's future and what it's like hitting the road with the world feeling more "normal" following years of shutdowns and limited touring.
"The big thing for us is that even during the pandemic, we were respectful of the situation but in all reality, in 2021, we were touring and we were pretty much full-on," Smith said on Loudwire Nights. "Last year, in 2022, we had one of the most successful years in touring that the band has had in over a decade. So, as we move into now, 2023, we are just taking things to the next level. Obviously, we're super excited because everybody feels a lot safer now, but ultimately with us, it didn't change our mindset."
Smith explained that for Shinedown, their "mindset" is to always bring an amazing live experience to their fans and to never rest on their laurels.
"Anybody that knows Shinedown knows that we have one boss in this band," Smith explained, "and it just happens to be everybody in the audience. We are never going to phone it in and we are always going to give them our 100-percent best."
Building Eclectic Setlists With 20 Years of Music
Anyone who has caught Shinedown live in concert knows that the band lives up to Smith's statement about giving 100 percent every night. For a band with such a large body of work—they currently have 31 singles from seven albums—the setlist for their live show is an integral part of their live experience and as fans may expect, it's a significant part of Smith's preparation for concerts, too.
"Obviously you're not going to be able to make everybody happy, but the way we look at it is we see what is relevant at the time, we see where we are in our album cycle for the album we're promoting and we do our best to draw in the best parts of the band," he told Chuck. "Some nights you might get deeper cuts from us, some nights it may be all No. 1s. During festivals or something like that, it's all killer, no filler. So really, it just depends on the market, on the city, on the country and kind of how we feel."
Keeping the band's "boss" in mind, though, Smith was quick to add, "We're always making sure the audience is the priority. We always try to be as eclectic as we can and produce a very broad setlist every tour we do."
Shinedown Will Never Fit In a Box
Whether they're on the road or at home, one thing that Shinedown have strived to give their fanbase is a peek behind-the-scenes at their lives. Some bands may see this as a bit too personal, but Shinedown believe in it so much that it has become a sort of movement with #AtHomeWithShinedown on their social media.
"We just wanted to show what we do when we're at home," he explained, succinctly. "For me personally, I'm all over the place at all times, so I'm not really at a home. My home is whatever hotel I'm at. If I'm not on tour with the band, I'm usually all over the planet anyway."
Not everybody in the band is like that, though.
"The homebodies are definitely Eric [Bass] and Barry [Kerch]," he said of Shinedown's bassist and drummer, respectively. "Barry has such a vast knowledge of hunting and cooking, and Eric has got so many things going on with the studio at his place...it's always cool to see what they're up to. As far as [guitarist] Zach [Myers] is concerned, I mean, again, he's very much a homebody with him and his wife and his boys."
Fans no doubt enjoy getting a unique peek at an average day in the life of Shinedown, and as far as Smith is concerned, fans will have plenty more time to get to know the band in the future.
"We're a band that will never believe in the idea that 'We've arrived,'" Smith said as he contemplated the future of Shinedown. "I think if that's the way you feel in your career, that you should probably stop for a minute and re-evaluate what you're doing...with the music, we do our best to never write the same record over and over again, we try not to write the same song twice. Our audience has allowed us to evolve these last 20 years and I would believe that Shinedown Nation and our audience in the future will continue to allow us to do that. The evolution is a big part of being creative."
Watch Brent Smith Thank Shinedown Nation For Their Support in 2022
After he said that, Smith reiterated how grateful he is for Shinedown's fans because, as he put it, "They've allowed us to evolve and be creative and they actually champion us to be creative and step outside the norm. We never wanted to be a band that you could ever put inside of a box."
As he considered Shinedown's next 20 years, Smith told Chuck that he wants to make sure they continue to grow and evolve.
"Every day is different, every song is different, every tour is different," he said. "At the end of the day, we are four very, very lucky individuals because we get to do what we love for a living. We don't take it for granted. We're very blessed in that respect...the way that we see it is we don't make it about the painter, we make it about the painting."
Watch Shinedown's Official Music Video For "Dead Don't Die"
Brent Smith joined Chuck Armstrong for Loudwire Nights on Thursday, April 20; the show replays online here, and you can tune in live every weeknight at 7PM ET or on the Loudwire app; you can also see if the show is available on your local radio station. Stream Shinedown's latest album, Planet Zero, at this location and then check out their full tour schedule.