Shinedown’s Brent Smith Previews Musikfest Performance, New Smith & Myers Single, “Bad At Love”

Photo: Sanjay Parikh

What began as a happy accident six years ago, Smith & Myers, a music project featuring Shinedown’s Brent Smith and Zach Myers, has quickly become one of music’s most ubiquitous duos. The pair’s latest single, “Bad At Love” continues that trend with a vulnerable and personal perspective detailing the difficulties of staying in a romantic relationship while realizing the breakup doesn’t always have to be a negative.

While the infectious new Smith & Myers single churns the Shinedown machine is gearing up for a round of touring following last year’s cancellations due to Covid-19. On deck is the band’s rescheduled performance at Musikfest in Bethlehem, PA on Monday, August 9th.

Shinedown is also set to release the long-awaited film, “Attention Attention,” which brings to life the story of the band’s acclaimed 2018 album of the same name. A visual and auditory experience, the film takes the viewer on a psychological and emotional journey from life’s lowest lows to the highest of highs. “Attention Attention” will be released on September 3rd.

I recently spoke with Shinedown’s Brent Smith, who previewed the band’s show in Bethlehem as well as the new Smith & Myers single, “Bad At Love.” We also discussed Shinedown’s upcoming film and more in this exclusive new interview.

What can fans expect from Shinedown’s upcoming Musikfest performance?

Smith: We’re back to doing large shows which is overwhelmingly emotional. This tour was ten months in the making, with everyone working to make sure we do this with extra effort into everyone’s safety. We’re bringing out the big guns on this one. All the bells and whistles and what the audience wants to hear.

Let’s discuss the new Smith & Myers single, “Bad at Love.” How did this project begin and what can you tell me about the single?

Smith: That first time we did an album as Smith & Myers was back in 2014. It was an all-covers album that the fans picked. This time we decided to do a double album; ten covers in the way that we do them and ten original songs that Zach and I wrote together. “Bad At Love” was the very first song that we wrote. In the song, being bad at love is not primarily a negative. What I mean by that is that traditional stories of romance are love is found, love doesn’t last, and love is lost. It’s a sad ending but it doesn’t have to be that way. I can count on one hand how many real relationships I’ve been in in my life. All of these women I’ve been with were heavy relationships and sometimes it just didn’t work out. Sure, we may not be together but we’re still friends. This song is about understanding that it’s ok. You don’t have to believe that love is always a dramatic sad ending if it doesn’t work out.

Bad At Love — Smith & Myers

Can you give me an update on the Shinedown film, “Attention Attention?”

Smith: It’s been a massive undertaking and a three-year journey but the film is finally ready to be released. It’s a visual journey through the record Attention Attention and built inside of multiple characters and people from all walks of life. It’s different scenarios but they’re all linked. Bill Yukich [writer/director] is a visionary who’s on a whole different level. We all agreed with each other there was no going halfway. It was all or nothing. There were so many emotions going on while we were creating it and Bill would continuously edit and revamp parts. We ultimately shot nine of the songs linking to the story in eleven days. It was ambitious but we pulled it off.

Are there any other projects you’re currently working on?

Smith: A lot of the emphasis now is on what me and Zach are doing, but Shinedown is getting ready to take the front row with the touring we’ll be doing and the new film. For the back half of the year the band is in the mix phase of the Shinedown 7 album. It’s going to be a bit more aggressive this time around. We’re pushing the envelope but not taking away from what Shinedown is.

What excites you the most about being be back on the road and this next phase of the band’s career?

Smith: More than anything it’s the evolution. The human spirit is a powerful and amazing thing. We all understand that we’re still in the middle of this thing with Covid but we all have to move forward together. For years mental health was something that was swept under the rug and now it’s thankfully being brought to the forefront. That’s why music and songs are so important. It’s cathartic and a therapy that gives people hope, positivity and encouragement. We want to be a part of that encouragement and a positive force for everyone to not only understand and respect each other but also to be educated. In order to do this, we’ve all got work together. We can do it, we just have to believe in one another.

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