Shinedown has been on the road non-stop since the release of 'The Sound of Mandess' in 2008. In between shows and real life, the band has somehow carved out time to write songs for a new album. Just don't expect 'The Sound of Madness: Part 2.'

"I can guarantee you that [the new album] won't be 'The Sound of Madness,' for better or worse," Shinedown vocalist Brent Smith reveals to Noisecreep. "'The Sound of Mandess' is its own self. It was a time in my life where the subject matter of the songs were things that I had harbored for many, many years and some things that were going on in my life at the time at present day. And those were the songs and the words that came out of me and this was the music that was filtered through us."

Smith continues, "Actually, I shouldn't say 'filtered through' [because] none of it was filtered. We just let it fly on 'The Sound of Madness.' We said everything that we ever wanted to say. That's why I think the record connects so much with everyone. I'm not dreading the comparison of the next record to 'The Sound of Madness' any more so than I would be dreading the comparison to 'Us and Them' or 'Leave a Whisper.' Because the fourth record will be its own identity. The fourth record will be every single thing that it needs to be, and it will be subject matter-wise what is going on in our lives at that time. And believe me, I've got a lot to talk about. It's been a very interesting two years."

Shinedown worked on 'The Sound of Madness ' for 18 months. Smith says he doesn't expect the band's new one to take as long to create just because the writing process has been different from the start.

"I don't think it's going to be as long as 'Madness' because we've writing on the road a lot. We've gotten a lot of the musical parts of everything and the groundwork is already being laid out for me as far as being able to start the lyrical part of it," Smith says. "But for me, what I wanted to do with the next record is -- quite frankly -- to make it completely different than the other three. 'Leave a Whisper' doesn't sound anything like 'Us and Them' and 'Us and Them' doesn't sound anything like 'The Sound of Madness' and 'The Sound of Madness' doesn't sound anything like the other two. The idea with this band is always about growth and always about what's the next step."

While Shinedown are excited about a new record and creating fresh music, don't expect a release date for an album anytime soon. In fact, Smith says he doesn't like to work under strict time constraints. While negotiating the contract for 'The Sound of Madness,' he even included clauses that no one was allowed to wear a watch around him and no clocks were allowed within 50 feet of his vicinity.

"Everybody thought that was a joke but that was actually put in the contract because I didn't want to see or hear or feel any dimensions of time. I wanted to just be an artist and just be a songwriter," Smith admits. "We will still be taking that approach on the fourth record. You wouldn't want us to release something that we felt wasn't 100 percent everything that we were. And we wouldn't do that to begin with."

So what is Smith's final word on the upcoming Shinedown release?

"I can promise you it will be every single ounce of our mind, body, soul and spirit and everything above and beyond and in-between."