American rock band Shinedown has always been known as being a bit out-of-the-box — and that’s just the way they like it. In fact, according to the band’s lead singer Brent Smith, Shinedown isn’t just a rock band, they’re pioneers of producing out-of-the-norm music and ideas. Smith and a few other members of Shinedown will join comedian Chris Porter at 92Y’s prestigious talk series next week to discuss the band’s latest album “Attention Attention,” dive into what human connection means to them and more. Smith sat down with Metro to give us the scoop on what to expect at the event on Sept. 12.
Shinedown’s Brent Smith gives the scoop on what to expect at their 92Y appearance
What inspired you to partake in this intimate event at 92Y?
I wasn’t aware of what 92Y was, and after I was sent some information on it, I started to review it and I thought it was a really interesting event. This event is going to be different from some of the other events they have done because we are incorporating a performance in with it, but it’s really about who we are, where we came from and where we’re going. [We brought in] Chris Porter to interview us because we’ve known him for quite some time and he’s a really brilliant comic— he has just a very interesting personality. With the album “Attention Attention” and what it represents, bringing someone of his stature in was because we wanted people to laugh. We wanted people to not take everything that we’re talking about super seriously, because a lot of the subject matter that Shinedown as a band deals with is very heavy. This is going to be something interesting though. It’s going to be fun for us and it’s going to be fun for Chris. I think it’s going to be cool for the audience, too, because they’ll see a side of us that they don’t normally see.
You’ll be touching on the band’s latest album during the event. What can you tell me about “Attention Attention”?
It’s something that we’ve been talking about doing for years and we finally pulled the trigger on it. “Attention Attention” is a story, but it’s not about one particular person it’s about everybody. Eric Bass who’s our bass player is the sole producer of the album. He’s the main engineer and he mixed “Attention Attention.” It was the first record that we did in-house as a band. I feel like what Eric did with this album is he pushed himself and pushed all of us to our highest level. This record is solely about the fact that we don’t want people to be afraid of their failures in life. You’re not going to be defined by your failures, you’re going to be defined by the fact that you refused to give up.
Would you be open to doing more events like this in the future?
We’re always open to do things that aren’t the norm, and 92Y was something that I didn’t even know about. When you research it, you realize, wow, this is really interesting.
Why do you like to do things that are out of the norm?
Because we don’t want to copy ourselves after we’ve created something. I don’t want to write the same songs over and over again. That’s one of the reasons why we’re not afraid of doing things outside of the box. Because, to be honest with you, we’re just not a band that can be put into a box. If you listen to all six Shinedown albums, they’re all different from each other and we feel very blessed that our fan base allows us to do that.
What do you hope audiences take away from the event?
What I want them to take away is joy. I think that joy is something that is becoming a bit extinct in society — I’m not just talking about America, I’m talking about globally. I think that social media is a very powerful tool that can be used for a lot of great things. But we’re not machines, we’re human beings. We have emotions and we have feelings and we have a general connection with one another. The more that I watch the social aspect of the digital side of communication with social media, I watch the level of human interaction kind of die. It’s sad and I don’t want it to happen. I don’t want people to lose their empathy for each other, and I don’t want people to stop encouraging each other. I do not want people to lose the art of conversation. It’s not specifically going to be all about that, but that’s one of the things we want people to walk away with. We want people to see how human what we do is, and if they walked into this event feeling kind of down, hopefully, they leave floating.
To learn more about 92Y (1395 Lexington Ave.), visit 92y.org