Brent Smith shares advice Brad Arnold gave early in his career

Everyone starts out as a new artist at some point, and while it might seem like Shinedown has ruled active rock radio for ages now, they had a lot of lessons to learn early on. In a new interview with Ryan Castle for Audacy Check In, Shinedown’s Brent Smith says 3 Doors Down’s Brad Arnold was his early mentor.

While Arnold hadn’t been out of high school for a long time when 3 Doors Down hit the music scene around 2000, by the time Shinedown was enjoying their breakthrough a few years later, they were industry veterans. In fact, 3 Doors Down, which rotated to support far from the sun at the time, took Shinedown on what Smith calls his “first real tour”.

“Just watching Brad interact not just with his team, how things were going and how he was so kind on stage to the fans…and it wasn’t in a cheesy way, not in a cheesy way, it was very real. But just watching him and being able to hang out with him and pick his brains out and hang out at the restaurant and sit with him and talk and befriend him [was crucial]”Smith said.

The singer went on to reveal that one of his favorite public sayings was actually borrowed somewhat from Arnold. “I always say in Shinedown we only have one boss, it happens to be everyone in the audience. But a lot of that comes down to Brad,” Smith said. “He was like, ‘You can borrow things from other people, but make sure that when you’re on stage and you’re the leader, you have to be up there, and that might take time, but Don’t be shy with him either. Explore a lot of different things. Eventually you’ll find what works for you. But you have to persevere and you’ll never be able to call him, which I never will.

In the chat, Smith also shared her own path to music, emphasizing the importance of dedication and determination. “You’re talking to a very, very lucky individual, and the reason I say that is because from the moment I stepped onto the earth, I’m doing what I’ve always wanted to do. I’ve always had a very precise knowledge of what I wanted to do, what profession I wanted to pursue, that I wanted to be an artist, that I wanted to be a performer, that I wanted to be a songwriter, that I wanted to be a singer and that I never looked back,” Smith says.

He adds: “I’ve often told people, don’t worry about having a plan B. Whatever your plan A is, do it. No matter how long it takes to get there, just make it happen. I think sometimes people are a little afraid of failure, but you need that in your life. I don’t think the foundation of your legacy will be built by your failure, I think the foundation of your legacy will be built by the fact that you refused to give up.”

The singer recalls getting a fake ID when he was 14 just so he could go play clubs and sometimes having to sneak out of the house to do so. But looking back to the early fights, he adds, “This stuff doesn’t become a painful thing when you’re in it. When you’re young and you’re hustling and bumping and struggling, you have still struggling to get on stage so you can express yourself and perform, because I always thought I had something to say, so not eating for a few days or maybe just having one meal a day, that’s didn’t really affect me when I was younger.”

These days, Smith doesn’t have to worry about having his ID handy so he can perform at a local club. In fact, the singer was recently given the key to Knox County, Tennessee by Mayor Glenn Jacobs (aka pro wrestler Kane) during a stopover in Knoxville. Be sure to catch Shinedown on tour and buy your tickets here.

Shinedown’s Brent Smith Talks With Ryan Castle During Audacy Taping

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