Following their 2012 album Amaryllis, Shinedown is back with their brand new record Threat to Survival. Shinedown's new album includes 11 new songs, including their first single, "Cut The Cord."
Shinedown's Brent Smith and Zach Myers explain to iHeartRadio that "the world is in for a big surprise with this album." The guys say that Threat To Survival took a collective 18 months to create, and as a whole is "the largest sounding record that [they] have."
Speaking of surprises, one of them is that there are no solos on Threat To Survival, and the band meant it to be that way. Zach explains to iHeartRadio:
"I've already heard people talking about 'Oh, there's no solos on this record.' I'm like, 'I love the fact that there's no solos on this record.' Because we've done that. The last 2 records were so solo heavy, and this one we just did different things. And we all approached our instruments differently."
Shinedown on the story behind their new album Threat To Survival
"It's 11 scenarios. There's 11 songs on the record. It is by far the most autobiographical record that we have created as a band. But it's also the strongest record that we've created musically, as well. We were able to tap into not only the style that we wanted to portray for each individual song, because the complexity and diverse nature of each individual song is so dynamic, that we were actually able to, in a lot of ways, become fans of each other. It's definitely a roller coaster, but the whole record was built by necessity. Every piece of musicianship and sound that's on every specific song, those were all necessary for that individual song."
Speaking of the "11 scenarios," the guys tell us that the reason why they even called their new album Threat To Survival comes from the subject matter of those 11 scenarios inside the 11 songs. Brent also explains that there's one song in particular that really sums up the significance of calling the album Threat To Survival.
On the meaning of the album's title Threat To Survival:
"Whatever the intent of that song is trying to express, there's a threat somewhere linked inside the subject matter of each individual song. In a lot of ways, the album couldn't be titled anything else but Threat To Survival. If I have to pick a song on the record that describes the whole record, I would have to say it would be close to the song 'How Did You Love?' The whole dynamic of that song was, if you've been given the greatest gift in the world, what do you think that gift is? For me, it would be the gift of life, and with that, you have to understand that if you've been given life, you will eventually pass away, but in the meantime, in the middle of all that, what kind of life did you lead? Were you a good person? Did you give back to the world? To your community? Did you give back to society? Did you give to your family? Did you give more than you receive? It's looking back at your legacy, and every single day that you're on this Earth, you're always going to have some form of a threat to your ideas, who you are as an individual, you always want to be able to protect your family, so there's going to be a threat there of some nature. That particular song, and the record itself is about living your life before you pass away. What is that legacy, and are you proud of that before you move on into your next journey."
Zach adds, "Live your life the way you want to live your life."
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The album's first single, "Cut The Cord," was produced by the band's own Eric Bass and climbed all the way to #1 on Active rock radio, continuing the band's single release streak. Shinedown's 19 singles they have released over their decade-long career have all risen to the upper regions of radio charts, which no other rock band has achieved.
Both Brent Smith and Zach Myers describe "Cut The Cord" as "one of the best sounding songs on the record," and Zach explains to iHeartRadio that the track's main theme is addiction.
Zach Myers on what inspired the hit song "Cut The Cord"
"You [Brent] are talking about your addiction in that song. That's something that in our band, because we're so close, it's not just a heavy subject for you [Brent]. It's heavy subject for all of us, because we all lived through you [Brent] doing that. And we've all helped each other with our own addictions." He adds, "I think it's about setting yourself free from anything that's holding you down."
Brent shared a similar sentiment about their hit song. "Anything that's wrapped around you that would be a negative influence on your life, you should just cut it loose."
There's no doubt about it that "Cut The Cord" is a special song for the band, not just because it has performed so well on rock radio, but there are a few more songs on the album that are particularly personal for a few of the guys in the band. Brent tells iHeartRadio that for him, the most personal song on Threat To Survival is "Misfits," while Zach explains, for him, it's "Thick As Thieves."
Photo: Getty Images
Zach and Brent share which songs on the album are most personal to them
Brent says, "'Misfits' is the last song on the record, and it's about my first real true love. I was a teenager. It's someone that means a lot to me still to this day, because she, in a lot of ways, what we went through together at a very very young age, I look back at that, and it made me the man that I am today. But we were misfits when we were kids, and when we were in high school. This is someone that I told that I loved for the first time, and somebody that I lost my virginity to, and all those things. It was a very serious relationship. My first real relationship."
Zach explains, "For me, I got to say 'Thick As Thieves,' just because the subject matter in that chorus has been the subject matter of my life in a lot of relationships that I've had, albeit with women or whatever. And the story of messing up a ton of times, but you realize it's not about how many times you mess up, is that person going to be there for you no matter what? And now being married, and not living that life that I used to have, and coming out of that life on the other side, and making me a better person, as faulty and as broken as a road as it was, that song hits me hard."
Shinedown's Threat To Survival cover art is interesting. In front of a red background is a snake wrapped around an egg. The band themselves asked each other whether the snake is protecting the egg or if it's trying to eat the egg, and Zach says that the snake is protecting the egg.
On the meaning of the snake and egg in album art for Threat to Survival
"I think the egg is us protecting everything that rock and roll is, and everything that music is. I believe that the music industry is in a weird state of disarray in the business sense. The passion obviously is still there to make music, but I think that it's our way of saying that we protect this thing that we do. I think the snake is protecting the egg."
Shinedown tells us that Threat to Survival is definitely the most personal record they've ever written, and because of that, it will make fans feel something. The band hopes that fans who are listening to it, "magnifies, in a good or bad way, whatever situation a person is going through."
On what Shinedown wants their fans to take away from the new album
"This record will make you feel empowered. This is the most personal record that you've ever written, even more than Sound of Madness. Even if you took away the vocals on this, musically, it just makes you feel good. It makes you feel something. When you add how personal you got on this record, I'll think they'll take away whatever they take away from it. And I don't mean that as a non-answer. It will magnify whatever emotion they are going through in their life. Albeit a break up, or a birth of a child, or a great life where they just got a new job, or whatever. It will magnify that emotion times ten, because we got so personal on this record. We always say 'Well, we don't hide everything.' And we don't. And we've never sugar-coated lyrics, or tried to hide something because it may offend somebody. Or we may upset somebody if they know that we're writing about them."
Listen Free to Shinedown – Threat to Survival (Full Album) Below.
Threat To Survival Track Listing:
01. "Asking For It"
02. "Cut The Cord"
03. "State Of My Head"
05. "How Did You Love"
06. "It All Adds Up"
09. "Thick As Thieves"
10. "Black Cadillac"