Brent Smith Gets Our ATTENTION ATTENTION Ahead of 2019 Canadian Fall Tour Dates

ShinedownShinedown will be kicking off the Fall dates of their massive ATTENTION ATTENTION World Tour beginning September 17 in Roanoke, Virginia and heading into Canada for a handful of gigs in Quebec, Alberta and BC. The month-long trek is expected to travel across the United States and Western Canada. It’s been a long journey for the band, which has been on the road supporting the album since October 2018.

ATTENTION ATTENTION is the band’s sixth album and is by far their most raw and personal effort. It’s a story album that tells of a mental, emotional and physical journey that follows an individual from life’s lowest lows to the highest highs as anxieties dissipate and demons disappear.

The song “GET UP” became a crossover hit and racked up more than 45 million streams with its message of empathy, compassion and human connection. It was inspired by vocalist and songwriter Brent Smith, who watched his friend, Shinedown bassist Eric Bass, deal with clinical depression. Another single, “MONSTERS,” was influenced by his own past struggles with alcoholism and substance abuse that Smith struggled with around The Sound of Madness era of the band.

We caught up with Smith ahead of the tour and asked him about the concept behind ATTENTION ATTENTION and where it can go from here.

“We call it a story album because it’s a story about a lot of people just in the world in general,” Smith told us. “We want everybody to be able to find themselves inside of the album because it doesn’t matter whether you’re a man or a woman, whether you’re young or your older, the color of your skin, your religion. That’s nobody else’s business but yours. It’s kind of a navigation in a lot of ways because inside of the album too, this individual is going through not only a mental, physical, and psychological and sometimes spiritual journey to find themselves and dissect themselves in a lot of ways. I don’t want to say it’s the traditional thought process of like, break yourself down to build yourself back up; it’s more about really chasing every single dynamic in your life.”

Smith told us the band recently filmed something special in Los Angeles.

“I’m actually in Los Angeles at the moment and we’re getting ready to do something that has been in the works for over a year now,” he revealed.

ATTENTION ATTENTION is so much a part of the band at the moment that the opening and closing tracks (“DEVIL” and “BRILLIANT”) bookend the show at every tour stop. Each concert begins with “DEVIL” and ends with “BRILLIANT”.

The band has a soft spot for Canadian fans and specifically routed the tour to play some the country’s smaller cities.

“On the last album, we decided we hadn’t been to Canada for a while, so in 2015 when we were releasing Threat to Survival, we actually rotated through Canada quite a bit,” Smith added. “With ATTENTION ATTENTION, we started off in some secondary markets in Canada and then went up to Toronto for the first time in 10 years. Part of the structuring of that tour was to make sure that we did some very specific Canadian dates during that tour. We’re looking forward to it. We haven’t played Quebec in a decade.”

They’ve come a long way since performing one of their first shows ever at The Machine Shop Concert Lounge in Flint, Michigan. Folklore of the area says the band performed there for $100 that night.

“It’s true,” Smith said. “We totally played at The Machine Shop for $100 back in the early days. Kevin (Zink) who runs The Machine Shop there in Flint is a very, very dear friend of not only me, but the entire band. It’s funny because I have a side project with Zach (Myers) – it’s just called Smith and Myers, our last names. It was something that we started with the fan base a few years ago that kind of took a life of its own. The last time we played The Shop, we actually played three nights in a row and all three of those shows sold out in 15 minutes.”

Since that humble gig in the early 2000s, Shinedown has dominated the rock radio format, selling more than 11 million albums along the way.

2019 Fall Tour Dates:

• Sep. 24 – Laval, QC @ Place Bell
• Sep. 25 – Quebec City, QC @ VideoTron Center
• Sep. 27 – Buffalo, NY @ KeyBank Center
• Sep. 28 – State College, PA @ Bryce Jordan Center
• Oct. 01 – Grand Rapids, MI @ Van Andel Arena
• Oct. 02 – La Crosse, WI @ La Crosse Center
• Oct. 04 – Evansville, IN @ Ford Center
• Oct. 06 – Mankato, MN @ Mankato Civic Center
• Oct. 08 – Bismarck, ND @ Bismarck Event Center
• Oct. 09 – Winnipeg, MN @ Bell MTS Place
• Oct. 11 – Edmonton, AB @ Edmonton Convention Centre
• Oct. 12 – Dawson Creek, BC @ Encana Events Centre
• Oct. 13 – Calgary, AB @ Stampede Corral
• Oct. 15 – Penticton, BC @ South Okanagan Events Centre
• Oct. 16 – Abbotsford, BC @ Abbotsford Centre
• Oct. 18 – Kennewick, WA @ Toyota Center
• Oct. 19 – Boise, ID @ Taco Bell Arena

Photo: Sanjay Parikh