SHINEDOWN is planning to complete its new album by the end of the year for a tentative April 2018 release. The first single from the effort should make its online debut in January.
The timetable for the band's follow-up to 2015's "Threat To Survival" was revealed by singer Brent Smith and bassist Eric Bass during a July 11 interview with Wes Styles of the 97.7 WQLZ radio station in Springfield, Illinois.
Speaking about the progress of the songwriting sessions for SHINEDOWN's next album, Smith said (hear audio below): "We started the sixth SHINEDOWN record the middle of January. We entered the process of writing in the studio.
"For us right now, we're gonna finish this run that we're doing. And then we're actually going back to the studio, and then we've got a couple of shows to take care of in August — we finish up on August 9 — and then we're in Los Angeles recording for pretty much the rest of August. And then we've got three more shows to take care in September and then enter the studio again. Right now, we're working in Charleston, South Carolina."
According to Bass, the new SHINEDOWN disc marks the first time the band has "ever tried to write, tour and record all simultaneously. Right now we've written seventeen songs altogether, of which we feel really strongly about a handful of them that we feel certain that we like that will be either on the record or really close to it," he said. "So we're gonna get in and start tracking those while at the same time continuing to write other songs for the record. So it's been really interesting."
The next SHINEDOWN album will also be the group's first full-length release to be produced entirely by Bass. "Up until this point, I've only produced tracks for SHINEDOWN — 'Diamond Eyes', 'Cut The Cord', 'I'm Alive' on the 'Avengers [Assemble]' soundtrack, things like that," he said. "So, yeah, I'm stepping up and doing the whole thing and I'm gonna produce the whole record. But that's actually lot of fun for me, because normally I'm not a proponent of self-produced bands and that sort of thing, but I think this band has a different mentality and a different approach to things. Most bands are looking to self-produce so they can become a spaceship and fly off somewhere and do whatever it is they do. For us, it's always about the songs and the fans and just really trying to deliver great songs. So that's never gonna away, never gonna change."
Smith also said that the project may take a surprising turn. "The thing about it is we're about ninety percent sure that it's gonna be a concept record," he explained. "That's a very, very deep rabbit hole to go down, but I think we're ready to do it. The band's never done this before, and taking in that type of an atmosphere sonically is really taking an audience on a journey."
He continued: "We've always talked about our records being like a roller coaster, but this is a little bit more intense, 'cause there's a lot more themes involved and there's a storyline to be built, and there's also actual characters. So that in and of itself kind of puts us in a really cool spot, because it allows us to be very creative. But in the same breath, we're not gonna go in there — like Eric said so elegantly — we're not gonna turn into a spaceship. You know what I mean? We're not gonna in there and tinker with sounds and be looking at things because it really does come down to the songs."
The singer defended SHINEDOWN's decision to not use an outside producer this time around, saying: "Just because we've worked with a lot of producers and we've worked with a lot of engineers and we know a lot of producers and we know a lot of engineers, I personally don't think that anyone else could produce this next SHINEDOWN record but Eric, and there's a lot of reasons why. Not only are we writing the songs together, and the band is as well, but we're going into it and there's a bit more of a trust factor involved between Barry [Kerch, drums] and Zach [Myers, guitar] and myself when it comes to Eric. Because, like he said, he produced 'Diamond Eyes', he produced 'Cut The Cord', he produced 'I'm Alive', we've written tons of songs together. He knows exactly what he's doing and we're with each other 24-7 practically. And it was just time. He's ready to do it, and he's excited about doing it, and we're excited about the process of it being us four. Of course, we'll work with a couple of engineers here and there. But, I mean, in a lot of ways, man, it's something that we get to do together, and it allows us to really, really focus on the sound of SHINEDOWN and make sure that we're writing the most incredible material that we can come up with."
"Threat To Survival" contained the No. 1 rock radio hits "Cut The Cord" and "State Of My Head", along with the Top 10 tracks "Asking For It" and "How Did You Love".
SHINEDOWN recently completed a European tour as the support act for IRON MAIDEN.