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Shinedown Singer Reflects on Being Only Child and ‘Second Chance’

When Shinedown released ‘The Sound of Madness’ in June 2008, there was no way the band could have predicted their massive success. The album itself went platinum earlier this year, and the single ‘Second Chance’ has sold well over two million units to date. The band recently released ‘The Crow & the Butterfly’ as their fifth single off ‘The Sound of Madness,’ a feat nearly unthinkable in today’s music landscape.

Like all good writers, the members of Shinedown culled their memories and personal experiences to create the tracks for ‘The Sound of Madness.’ ‘Second Chance’ is easily the biggest hit from the album, and Shinedown singer Brent Smith says the song came directly from his childhood. An an only child, Smith got all his parent’s love and attention. This also meant some great expectations.

“Right after this record got made and it was mixed mastered … right before we started touring, I went and saw a young lady. Not a therapist, but just someone to talk to because I just had some things that I just wanted to get off my chest and I didn’t really want to talk to any friends about it and I didn’t really want to talk to my family about it because it was about my family and about my upbringing,” Smith tells Noisecreep. “And there was just some things that I needed to let go of. Because I had written this song called ‘Second Chance’ and I was so terrified that my mom and my dad weren’t going to understand it because it wasn’t by any means being disrespectful to them, it was about telling them…”

At this point in the conversation, Smith resets his focus and delves in a little deeper. It’s been widely reported that ‘Second Chance’ is about Smith taking a risk, leaving home and pursuing a career in music. But what about the familial ramifications?

“I went through all the things in my childhood and what I had harbored and what made me angry and why I wish that it was different and this and that and the other,” Smiths continues. “And the word that kept coming up with me was that I wish it would have been different, or this should have been different, why wasn’t I different and why this this happen?

“And she [Smith's confidante] was like, ‘Whoa, slow down. You keep saying the word different. Now let me ask you a question. Do you think that you would be the man that you are today if it wasn’t for your parents being the way that they were to you and the way that they brought you up and why they loved you so much and they were so terrified of all of these things that you were involved in and that you wanted to do because it might have been alien to them and you fought them tooth and nail for better or for worse, but still, they brought you up the only way that they knew how. Do you think that you would be the man that you are today?’”

Smith answered his confidante, simply stating that he would be someone else entirely. This revelation wasn’t lost on either Smith or his adviser. In fact, the lady Smith spoke with urged the rocker to call his parents and thank them for their love and support.

Smith continues, “I am the way that I am because my mom and my dad. They love me very, very much. And I remember the first time they heard ‘Second Chance.’ My mom, she teared up, it’s her favorite song on the record and she totally understood what it meant. It meant that, ‘I know we might have had our differences but I’m not angry at you. It’s just [that] I’ve got to go out into the world and find my place and sometimes you’ve got to leave the nest and get what you want.’ But they definitely prepared me for the world. I have the greatest parents in the world.”

But what about being an only child? Did all the affection put undue burden on Smith or give him the encouragement he needed to create one of America’s biggest modern rock acts?

“My parents were always fixated on just me and they loved me more than anything in the world and they still do. And I think that definitely made me the man that I am today and I wouldn’t trade it for anything.”

Shinedown will headline the Carnival of Madness tour this summer.

Shinedown tour dates

7/16 — Jacksonville, FL
7/17 — Simpsonville, SC
7/18 Huntsville, AL
7/20 — Tampa, FL
7/21 — Estero, FL
7/23 — Knoxville, TN
7/24 — Charlotte, NC
7/25 — Raleigh, NC
7/26 — Virginia Beach, VA
7/28 — Columbia, MD
7/30 — Philadelphia, PA
8/1 — Boston, MA
8/4 — Uncasville, CT
8/5 — Holmdel, NJ
8/6 — Canadaguiga, NY
8/7 — Detroit, MI
8/9 — Cleveland, OH
8/10 — Pikeville, KY
8/11 — Chicago, IL
8/17 — Southhaven, MS
8/18 — Lafayette, LA
8/20 — Oklahoma City, OK
8/21 — Houston, TX
8/22 — Dallas, TX
8/24 — Casper, WY
8/25 — Billings, MT
8/27 — Spokane, WA
8/30 — Medford, OR
9/1 — Sacramento, CA

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