Godsmack In Concert - Atlanta

Brent Smith, singer of Shinedown, promises, ‘We’re going to make sure we play everything the audience wants to hear,’ when the band hits Hard Rock on Saturday.

Talk to Brent Smith for a few minutes and it becomes clear that there’s never going to be any rest for Shinedown. Nor will the multi-million-selling, hit-generating rock band ever get stuck in its ways.

The latter translates to everything from switching up the band’s record-setting stage show to finding a way to navigate the tumultuous music industry that has seen sales of recordings plunge to new depths as live performances become ever more critical.

“There a great line in the movie ‘Moneyball’ where Brad Pitt tells Jonah Hill, ‘You’ve got to adapt or die’,” the Shinedown singer said in a recent phone interview. “You have to make a decision for yourself. You can’t be finger pointing. If you want to make a change, do it. It takes work and creativity.

“There’s nothing about this tour in the production that even resembles last year’s,” he said. “We believe in the theatrical. We believe in fire. We believe in pyro. We believe in make a spectacle of the show.”

The tour Smith is talking about is a headlining journey that began in February and continues into this fall. When Shinedown hits Hard Rock Hotel & Casino 7 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 21, it will be joined by Papa Roach and Asking Alexandria.

“You’re not getting a tired four-band slog,” Smith said in full tour sales mode. “You’re getting three bands at the top of their game. Asking Alexandria, they call them a lifestyle band. They’re insanely out of control. When you look at Papa Roach, at this point (that band) has legendary status and they’re showing no signs of losing it. Then you have us, and we have a lot to say with the new record ‘Attention, Attention’.”

Smith wasn’t sure how many songs from “Attention, Attention,” the band’s chart-topping 2017 concept album about overcoming negativity and being reborn as a new person, would make the show — although “Monsters” (which became the group’s 14th single to top Billboard” magazine’s Mainstream Rock singles chart) and the previous singles, “Get Up” and “Devil” (which both topped rock radio charts) seem like good bets. He was in Nashville, putting together the production and songs when this interview happened.

“I can tell you it’s an 18-song set,” he said. “It kind of goes back to the ‘all killer, no filler’. We’re going to make sure we play everything the audience wants to hear. We choreograph the show to a point. But there’s going to be four or five audibles a night. It won’t be the same set list every night. Every city will get a different set list — at least four songs from the show before.”

Shinedown figures to do more concerts in the coming months.

Last year, according to a study by Norman Records, Shinedown was the hardest touring band in all of rock, playing 136 shows and travelling 47,470 miles to do so.

“We break records every year,” Smith said. “We love what we do. I think it has to do with the audience, man. I’ve said this for years, we only have one boss. It’s ... the audience. This band is never going to get comfortable. We’ve been touring for 20 years and we don’t ever do the same tour. We don’t make the same album. We tour internationally. There are 8 billion people on the planet. That’s a lot of people to play for.”

Formed in Jacksonville, Florida, in 2001 by Smith, who was already signed to Atlantic Records, Shinedown is one of the last bands that flourished under the old system of major label promotion and support, generating radio play and CD sales.

“We recorded our first album “Leave a Whisper” — the fans consider the album the LAW — going back to 2003,” he said. “It was a different way of doing business. Did it help? Absolutely. We came right before, a couple years before, MP3s, downloading all of that. Everybody was going ‘it’s going to be fine.’ They said it was never going to replace the CD. I was like ‘Oh boy.’

“After our second album, ‘Sound of Madness,’ was when I started to look at where it was going. It was all about your website then,” Smith said. “Then all of a sudden, mySpace became a thing, especially for bands. I was upfront on that and seeing how much it was changing. Where we are today, there’s a whole generation who doesn’t think about paying for music. They don’t know anything about CDs. They don’t know what they are.”

Today’s audience gets most of its music via streaming services, which pay artists far, far, far less for their music than do sales of physical product and downloads. Spotify, for example, now pays $0.00437 per play. That takes a lot of streams to equal even the $2-$3 bands received from the sale of a CD.

“It’s the ‘Moneyball’ thing again, you’ve got to adjust,” Smith said. “I hear an older generation of bands pissing on streaming and downloading. Let me do you a service here — you’re essentially ruining your fan base by excluding a generation. It’s old guys and old girls complaining that they not making as much money anymore.”

Sign up to receive the area's top entertainment headlines delivered to your inbox every Thursday.

* I understand and agree that registration on or use of this site constitutes agreement to its user agreement and privacy policy.