Brent Smith is a singer-songwriter who tends to be best-known because of his role as the leader of Shinedown, a famous rock band. In recent times, interested individuals might have seen his name in the news because of his gift of $10,000 to Spiritbox, according to Loudwire, for the purpose of helping said band cover their lost tour expenses.
1. Born in Knoxville, TN
Smith was born in Knoxville, TN. Currently, it is the third biggest city in the state, having been beaten out by both Nashville and Memphis. However, it is interesting to note that Knoxville was the first capital of Tennessee. Eventually, westward settlement made its location too inconvenient, with the result that it was replaced in that role by Murfreesboro. The latter is now a suburb of its own replacement Nashville.
2. Only Child
It isn’t uncommon for musicians to work out their issues through their music. For instance, Smith used his childhood experience to create “Second Chance” off of The Sound of Madness. He is an only child, with the result that he received all of his parents’ attention but also all of his parents’ expectations. Having said that, Smith has said that he wouldn’t be who he is without those things, which is why he wouldn’t trade his childhood for anything.
3. Had a Couple of Bands Before Shinedown
Before Shinedown, Smith had a couple of other bands. First, there was a high school band called Blind Thought. Second, there was a band called Dreve.
4. Formed Shinedown Because Atlantic Records Didn’t Like Dreve
Dreve was good enough to get a record deal with Atlantic Records. However, this state was short-lived, seeing as how the band was dropped before they had even managed to release their first album. Atlantic Records’s dissatisfaction didn’t extend to Smith. Instead, it thought that he was worth retaining as a separate artist, which is why it gave him a development deal. Part of this process involved helping Smith out with his songwriting skills. Similarly, part of this process involved helping him form a new band, thus resulting in the creation of Shinedown, the rock band he’s famous for now.
5. The Debut Album Was Certified Platinum
First, Smith recruited the bassist Brad Stewart thanks to his contacts in Jacksonville, FL. Second, Smith recruited the guitarist Jasin Todd, the fiance of the owner of the studio where the two were recording their demos. Third, Smith recruited the drummer Barry Kerch, who was the seventh individual to audition for the role. It seems safe to say that this initial line-up worked out very well. After all, Shinedown managed to get the go-ahead from Atlantic Records for a full-length album in short order, thus resulting in 2003’s Leave a Whisper. Said album was certified platinum in the United States, which isn’t the kind of number that just any album can fetch anywhere.
6. Has a Side-Project
Smith has continued making music ever since. So far, Shinedown has released a total of six albums. On top of that, Smith has an acoustic side-project called Smith & Myers. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the other individual involved in the side-project is Zach Myers, another singer-songwriter who is involved with a number of acts. For example, he was once the bassist for Shinedown but is now the band’s guitarist. Similarly, he is both the lead singer and the guitarist of his own band called The Fairwell. On top of that, Myers is even managing another band called Sore Eyes because he has his own artist management company.
7. Was Once Addicted to Drugs
In the 2000s, Smith managed to get addicted to drugs. To be exact, he got addicted to cocaine, which is quite problematic because of how it impacts the brain’s reward pathway while also inducing tolerance to its effects as soon as the first dose. Furthermore, Smith also got addicted to OxyContin, which is a brand name for the opioid oxycodone. Chances are good that interested individuals are familiar with either one or both of these two names. After all, it is one of the most commonly prescribed drugs in the United States, which is connected to its role as one of the contributors to the opioid abuse crisis.
8. Gained Weight Because of His Addictions
Besides those two, Smith was also addicted to alcohol. While he was doing cocaine and OxyContin, he kept his weight down. However, once Smith managed to get off of those, he started craving sugar. Combined with his alcohol abuse, this caused him to gain a great deal of weight in not a great deal of time. In 2009, Smith was apparently quite hurt when Today host Kathie Lee Gifford joked about thinking that he was Meatloaf, which was quite understandable under the circumstances.
9. Got Convinced to Change By His Ex-Girlfriend
Eventually, Smith was convinced to change his lifestyle by his now ex-girlfriend, who told him that his lifestyle wasn’t going to work. Something that made him realize that he was in a death spiral, which was particularly problematic because of the potential impact on his son as well as the rest of his family members. As such, his now ex-girlfriend found him a trainer, who changed his diet as well as came up with a exercise regimen that he could do while he was on tour. Thanks to this, Smith dropped almost 70 pounds, which had a huge impact on his condition and thus his performance as a musician.
10. Had a Bad Slip-Up in 2014
It is rare for addictions to be over and done with. After all, there is always the potential for a recovered addict to make a mistake, which could very well send them back into the spiral that they have pulled themselves out of. In Smith’s case, he apparently had a bad slip-up in this regard in 2014. It didn’t last very long, but even so, he was still feeling the effects the following year. Thanks to that, his band-mates had to cover for him while his performance was suffering because of him experiencing the effects of withdrawal.