Shinedown’s Upcoming Album Urges ‘Freedoms of the Individual’

Shinedown's Brent Smith recently dove deep on the theme of the rock band's upcoming seventh album, Planet Zero. In a video interview, the lead singer summarized how the COVID-19 pandemic affected the group's writing process and concluded the album encourages individual freedoms. The musician invoked the Gettysburg Address when doing so.

That's what happened in a portion of Smith's appearance on HardDrive Radio on Feb. 17 as he discussed the lyrical inspiration behind the group's follow-up to 2018's ATTENTION ATTENTION with host Lou Brutus. Planet Zero arrives April 22.

Watch the full interview near the bottom of this post.

"In the most point-blank way I can say it, this album was written for the people, by the people," Smith (pictured above at far right) explains. "There's a lot to it. I'm not even talking about just in [the United States] when I say a statement like that. It's the freedoms of the individual from a global standpoint."

For the people, by the people is a colloquial paraphrase taken from a quotation famously coined by U.S. President Abraham Lincoln during the Civil War. He used it in the Gettysburg Address to refer to a "government of the people, by the people, for the people."

In the present, Smith continues, "We all know what we've been through in the last two years, entering year three of what is going on. But I think that the good thing is now people are starting to become more educated on things. They are starting to ask questions."

The Shinedown singer adds, "But when I rewind and go back to June of 2020 [when we started recording the album], when I left California, got to South Carolina with Eric [Bass, Shinedown bassist and producer], then the question became, 'OK, what do we write about? How do we do it?' And we even talked at a certain point in time about having kind of the crystal ball method, which is you're writing for three years from now. Because at the time, everything was in flux, and it was intense."

As many can relate, looking to the future helped Shinedown keep a goal in mind. Still, the realities of the pandemic continued to butt against the band's ambition.

Smith says, "When we were asking that question to each other, like, 'Let's talk about after we come out of this. Let's talk about what it's gonna be like when we come out of it.' And we were trying to do that, but it just kept getting more and more intense … with the virus."

The singer further illustrates, "It kept getting more intense with how people were viewing each other. How things were being presented in this glass box here from certain media outlets. And how that was becoming very divisive, and how clickbait became this new way of selling or getting your media out there."

In Lincoln's 1863 address, the president said those who died at the Battle of Gettysburg "shall not have died in vain — that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom — and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth." Over 900,000 Americans have died of COVID, according to The New York Times.

Shinedown's Brent Smith Appears on HardDrive Radio Online – Feb. 17, 2022

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