John Morrison takes Shinedown to the Palace of Wisdom
Enter the Palace of Wisdom with WWE Tag Team Champion John Morrison and Brent Smith, lead vocalist of Shinedown. The band's song "Devour" is the official theme for this Sunday's Night of Champions, which airs live at 8/7 CT, only on pay-per-view. Don't forget to check out Shinedown's third album, The Sound of Madness, which is in stores now!
John Morrison: Hi, this is WWE Superstar John Morrison.
Brent Smith: Hey, what's going on?
Morrison: Not much. So let's talk about "Devour," the theme song for Night of Champions. I'm a fan of Shinedown. You guys tour a lot, right?
Smith: Yeah, anyone who is familiar with us knows we're kind of road dogs. When we do a record, we like to take it to the people. On our first record, we toured for 24 months straight. … It's just what we love to do. Our second album we toured it for 18 months. We got off the road after 18 months of Us and Them -- which was the second album. Then basically, we spent 18 months, oddly enough, again, writing The Sound of Madness. Here we are again -- back out on the road and planning on touring the record for 2Ã‚Â½ to 3 years.
The one thing about this record that's really killer for us is that it's being released in 15 countries, which didn't happen for the previous other two records. That gives us more of an open door to walk through as far as touring the rest of the country and being able to stay out longer. It's a genuine thing -- we just really love to be on the road.
Morrison: With all the time you guys spend on the road, are you fans of WWE?
Smith: I'm a fan of any athlete who goes out there and pushes himself to the breaking point, which is what you guys do. So yeah, man, I'm totally a WWE fan. I love what you guys do. I love WWE because they've been very respectful and so supportive of this band since day one and we've tried to, in turn, be that way toward them. Yeah, I'm definitely a fan of WWE, man, come on! Of course I am!
Morrison: That's cool. What's "Devour" about? Your songs are about things, right? What does it mean to you?
Smith: About 2Ã‚Â½ to 3 years ago, we had a very important trip that we were waiting to do for a long, long time because we had to put a lot of things together in order to do it. So we took a trip to Kuwait and Iraq to visit our soldiers. A lot of people don't realize it, but the only reason we went over there was for the soldiers -- it had nothing to do with politics -- it was just for them, for those men and women.
Morrison: We do that, too, and I feel exactly the same way you do, I think.
Smith: Don't get me wrong, I was only over there for five days, but in the course of five days, I tried to shake as many hands as I could with everyone who was there. I tried to physically, one-on-one, talk to the men and women over there and ask them how their days were going, what they do over there, what their lives are like when they're over there. The reality is, they keep us free, they keep us safe.
Morrison: Whether or not you support the war, you have to support the troops. You can't argue with what they're doing over there.
Smith: I remember one individual very vividly. He was a really young guy with a 3-year-old, little girl who he had never physically seen. I got really upset, I won't lie. I came back home and this song, "Devour," kind of came to me. I just felt like that in a lot of ways I was writing a letter to the President of the United States and this was the way I felt.
I was just trying to express myself. It's not like I'm talking about this song like "Oh look at me, pay attention to me." I don't care at all what it has to do with me, but I am kind of trying to raise awareness. I'm not just saying something out of being naïve or being ignorant. I'll actually do what I say I'll do. If I say I'll go out and do something, I'll go do it.
Morrison: The key to good art is to make something that means something to you. People can tell by the tone of your voice, and by your inflection and your passion, that if you write something that means something to you, it appeals to more people. With "Devour," someone else can listen to that and it can apply to high school, or some social situation.
Smith: Definitely. That's the beauty of music -- it's universal.
Morrison: See -- it's the theme song for Night of Champions.
Smith: There you go! When I found out WWE picked that song, I was so stoked, especially for that event, which is a huge event, Night of Champions. We're really honored. Anything you guys do is killer, man. And we keep up with it. WWE and everything you guys do, it's massive. … You guys pack like 80,000 to 90,000 people in arenas night after night -- it's kind of insane.
Morrison: We're like a train, constantly moving. We're this mainstream thing. … So, The Sound of Madness is coming out tomorrow?
Smith: It comes out tomorrow, finally, man. … We're actually going to be in a place where we've never actually had the chance to play in the U.S. It's a place called Pharr, Texas, where you literally can throw a rock and you're in Mexico. That's where we're going to have our CD release party, in Pharr at this crazy shindig. We're stoked about it.
Morrison: That's cool. "Devour" you released as a single. Have you released any other singles or is it just the whole album coming out tomorrow?
Smith: Not just yet. "Devour" has only been on the radio technically for a month and a half. It's done well so far. We got in contact with the actual homepage of MySpace -- where everyone has to log in to. And for four days, MySpace put the whole record up on the music page in the music section right there. It was a massive, massive thing because you could actually stream the whole record. So people have been hearing it that way. I think the second day we were up there, we had about 386,000 streams.
Morrison: Wow, that's huge.
Smith: They were absolutely brilliant with us. They allowed us to put it up there. As far as the next singles to come, we're just ready for everybody to get the record, finally, and be able to hear the music. So it's been a long time coming for tomorrow. We spent 18 months on the thing, and we're just ready for it to come out.
Morrison: That's awesome. I think "Devour" is awesome and will be great for Night of Champions. I'm looking forward to listening to the whole album.
Smith: It's definitely a different thing, man. "Devour" is the only one of its kind on the record. Not one song is like the other, but they all make sense together. It's definitely the most massive-sounding record we've ever done. We had an amazing engineer and an amazing producer. Rob Cavallo produced it -- he produced American Idiot and Dookie for Green Day, he did the last My Chemical Romance record and Dizzy Up the Girl for the Goo Goo Dolls. It was all about making it bigger than we could ever make it. I got to fulfill a dream of mine since I was like 10-years-old, to sing behind an orchestra. Four of the songs feature a 21-piece orchestra on them. It's a very, very large-sounding record. It's definitely way bigger than the other two we released. That's why it took a lot of time. It's the most intense we've ever done, and it's the most crossover we've ever done. We're beyond happy with it and we hope that everybody really enjoys it.
Morrison: I'm sure everyone will. Thanks for the interview.
Smith: It's been my pleasure, man. You're awesome. I appreciate you taking the time out of your day.