Asked by Canada’s PureGrainAudio if SHINEDOWN ever feels pressure to come up with radio hits while working on new music, bassist and producer Eric Bass said (hear audio below): “You would think that there would be this pressure, and I’ve never, ever felt that with this band. It goes back to knowing and feeling that you’re always gonna get it. [Singer Brent Smith] and I look at each other when we’re in writing sessions or especially making records and we go, ‘When it’s done, it’s gonna be amazing.’ And that’s it. If you didn’t get it today, you’ll get it tomorrow. If you don’t get it that day, you’ll get it the week after. There are enough things out there trying to stymie you, being a creator, you don’t need to stymie yourself with putting pressure on yourself. Are some songs harder to write than others? Yeah. There are moments of looking at your collection of songs and going, ‘We need another song. We need one more.’ But I never get stressed out about it.”
Added Brent: “The other side of it, too, is that from a charting position, also, in the very, very beginning of the band’s inception, going all the way back to 2003, we had this idea that it was going to be on the cover of Rolling Stone, the magazine, they’re gonna play all of our music videos on MTV, and it’s gonna be awesome. That didn’t happen. It didn’t happen, because a lot of those fundamental outlets were, like, ‘This band sucks. They’re ugly. We don’t get it. We don’t understand it. We don’t like ’em. They’re gonna be lucky to sell five copies.’ So what we had to kind of do was we had to look at it from a different perspective. And one of the things that I did was I started to ask questions about radio; I started to ask questions about how does radio work. What makes it tick? Why does it work the way that it does? And obviously in North America first, and then now, going almost 20 years into it, you learn so much more about the evolution of the music industry and things of that nature.
“We never have written a song because we wanted to be famous; we wrote the songs because we had something to say,” he continued. “And at the end of the day, I like stuff that’s got a hook. I like to sing it. I mean, look at what I do for a living. I’ve just always been attached to melody. I remember when [2008’s] ‘The Sound Of Madness’ came out, we toured that record for 37 months. And people were, like, before [2012’s] ‘Amaryllis’ came out, they were, like, ‘How are you gonna top ‘The Sound Of Madness’?’ And I’m, like, ‘We’re not gonna top ‘The Sound Of Madness’, ’cause ‘The Sound Of Madness’ is written. It’s there forever. We don’t make the same record twice, and we don’t write the same song over and over again.'”
Continued Eric: “There’s something really freeing about that when you’re being creative. [2018’s] ‘Attention Attention’ is an amazing record for us, and it was so much fun to make, and it’s your child, and I love it very much — the last thing I’m gonna do is try to make that record again. So, going into the next record, it’s, ‘What can I mine now that I haven’t mined before — that’s in my head, that’s in the ether, that’s in his [Brent‘s] head? What can we grab from that we haven’t grabbed from yet.”
Said Brent: “What do you have to say? Because we’ve got a platform that the audience gave us, and we’re very respectful of that. We’ve got one boss — it’s just everybody in the audience. They’ve given us the platform to be ourselves, so the last thing we’re ever gonna do is fucking phone it in.”
“Attention Attention” came out last year. The disc debuted at No. 5 on the Billboard 200 album chart back in May 2018.
Next month, SHINEDOWN will launch the fall leg of the “Attention Attention” North American tour with support from PAPA ROACH, ASKING ALEXANDRIA and SAVAGE AFTER MIDNIGHT.
This content was originally published here.