SHINEDOWN singer Brent Smith spoke to "Whiplash", the KLOS radio show hosted by Full Metal Jackie, about SMITH & MYERS, his collaboration with SHINEDOWN guitarist Zach Myers. In October, the duo released its new double album, "Smith & Myers Volume 1" and "Volume 2", via Atlantic Records.
Speaking about the fact that SMITH & MYERS is musically different from SHINEDOWN, Brent said: "I think that [fans] have to understand that probably the two biggest SMITH & MYERS fans are [SHINEDOWN drummer] Barry Kerch and [SHINEDOWN bassist] Eric Bass, and I mean that. There's nothing in the band that we're in — meaning SHINEDOWN; the four of us: myself and Zach and Eric and Barry — that we don't talk about.
"People ask about our longevity as a band and why we still seem to get along so well. It's because we love one another, and it's a marriage," he explained. "And no one goes to bed angry, and we talk to each other. We still ride the same bus, still take the same plane, still have the same dressing room — the whole nine. And still love making music together.
"And so with SMITH & MYERS, yes, it is two-fourths of SHINEDOWN. But we had the blessing from Eric and Barry also to do this. Because if we wanna do a SHINEDOWN acoustic record, believe me, we'll just go and do a SHINEDOWN acoustic record. But that's not what this is.
"I've told people this before," he added. 'I understand, obviously, there's gonna be a similarity or there's gonna be a connection with certain people because they know me and Zach from SHINEDOWN. But when you really dig into what this project actually is, if you take the time to really listen to all 20 songs and what's going on there, you will find that it is much, much different than the band that we're in. Because if we were just gonna make a carbon copy of the band that we were in, just acoustically, we would have just called it 'SHINEDOWN acoustic,' and Eric and Barry would be here. But because it's a different approach to this, it needed to be its own thing. And I go back to the fact that, at the end of the day, I think the two biggest fans of SMITH & MYERS [are] Barry and Eric. I think that's what allows us to be able to do it."
"Smith & Myers Volume 1" features five original tunes and five re-imaginings of fan-submitted songs, including Post Malone's "Better Now", INXS's "Never Tear Us Apart", Mark Ronson and Amy Winehouse's "Valerie", and THE RIGHTEOUS BROTHERS' "Unchained Melody".
"Volume 2" features five original songs, including "Bad At Love", a vulnerable and personal song about the difficulties of staying in a romantic relationship when you have a gypsy heart, full of clean guitar coils and finger-snaps and five re-imaginings of fan submitted songs including a grungy version of Billie Eilish's "Bad Guy", as well as an electrifying rendition of Peter Gabriel's "Sledgehammer", a euphoric version of OASIS's "Don't Look Back In Anger", and unique takes on Billy Idol's "Rebel Yell" and R.E.M.'s "Losing My Religion".
Both volumes showcase SMITH & MYERS's ability to pack power and soul into songs created with nothing more than a microphone and an instrument or two, highlighting their sonic versatility throughout a mix of poignant original songs and unexpected covers.
"Volume 1" and "Volume 2" are available as a double album on CD now. The double LP, an exclusive limited-edition 180-gram shiny black vinyl, was released November 13.
"Smith & Myers Volume 1", produced by Grammy Award winner and longtime collaborator Dave Bassett, was the duo's first full-length album and first original music since releasing a pair of acoustic cover EPs, "Acoustic Sessions, Part 1" and "Acoustic Sessions, Part 2", in 2014 when fans first fell in the love with the magic that is created between Brent and Zach in the studio and on stage, leading to SMITH & MYERS live shows that instantly sold out. With no boundaries on what their songwriting could discuss on the new album, Brent and Zach explore everything from certain personal topics that they have left largely unexplored until now, to commentary on children being ripped from their parents at the border, to the reactive nature of social media, to our national reckoning with racial and systemic injustice – focusing not on politics, but on right and wrong and our connection as human beings.