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Interview:
Shinedown Overcomes Adversity On New Album
 

By GARY GRAFF
Of the Oakland Press

» See more SOUND CHECK

Brent Smith wasn’t about to let anything deter his band, Shinedown, from making its third album — not a sharp decline in sales between 2003’s “Leave a Whisper” and 2005’s “Us and Them,” and not the departure of two original band members.

“The Sound of Madness,” which came out in June and debuted at No. 8 on the Billboard 200 chart, “is a record that needed to be made,” according to Smith, 30, who co-founded Shinedown with drummer Barry Kerch in 2001 in Jacksonville, Fla.

“I said, ‘You know what — when I’m dead and gone, when everybody in this band has passed or what have you, I want this record that way, and that there was a reason for it. That was a lot of the determination of this album — and part of the reason it took so long to make.”

“... Madness” was produced by Rob Cavallo and includes a few firsts for Shinedown, including Smith’s first political song, “Devour,” which was inspired by the group’s visits to troops in Iraq, and, more importantly, a straightforward love song, “If You Only Knew,” something Smith did not write for either of the previous two albums.

“A long time ago I said, ‘I’ll never write a love song. I’m not that guy,’ “Smith recalls with a laugh, explaining that “If You Only Knew” was inspired by his girlfriend Ashley, who gave birth to the couple’s son in late 2007.

“I just never had a reason to write a love song before. I don’t mean to be corny, but it’s just a song that expressed how much she means to me and how she has given me more than I could ever imagine. I’ll spend the rest of my life trying to repay her and thank her for everything she’s done for me.”



Shinedown, Theory of a Deadman and Blackstone Cherry perform at 7:30 p.m. Saturday (July 26) at the Fillmore Detroit, 2115 Woodward Ave. Tickets are $25. Call (313) 961-5450 or visit www.livenation.com.

Web Site: www.livenation.com

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