As Shinedown wind down from a busy year of touring in support of their latest album, Planet Zero, frontman Brent Smith joined Loudwire Nights on Tuesday (Nov. 14) to dive deep into their new single, "A Symptom of Being Human."

"'Symptom' was a gift," Smith told host Chuck Armstrong about the song. "You don't get a lot of gifts. What a gift is — it's the song when you're in the middle of making an album or you're in a writing session and it kind of utilizes you as the vessel."

Smith said when he was writing "A Symptom of Being Human," it was in the middle of the pandemic lockdown and he realized so many people he knew were feeling scared, frustrated and angry.

"They were trying to make sense of everything that was going on," he said, "but that song is literally about the human condition and that we're all a work in progress and you can't lose that connection that you have, that we have as human beings, no matter where you come from."

Along with "A Symptom of Being Human," Smith explained that there have been two other songs in Shinedown's 20-year career that he considers gifts.

"As a band, you don't get them on every record, but definitely 'Second Chance' was a gift. '45' was a gift. And 'Symptom' was a gift. These songs were written very quickly and it was odd because you know, as the lyrics are coming out, you take a step back and then you see what it is. You're kind of like, 'Did I write that? Where did that come from?' But you don't question it, man. You just hold on for the ride and go."

Brent Smith Names the Bands He Thinks Are Necessary in Rock and Roll

Along with the discussion on "A Symptom of Being Human," Smith shared his thoughts on a couple of acts that he considers to be really important for the future of rock and roll.

"You talk about what's necessary in rock and roll and just music in general, and when I think of what's necessary and when I think of a band that's necessary, it is 100 percent Papa Roach," Smith admitted. "Those guys are on a different level, man. They're a different breed and they make you better. They make you want to be better."

Shinedown brought Papa Roach out on the road for the second leg of their Revolutions Live tour, so Smith is very familiar with what it's like to follow Papa Roach in the live setting.

"I love those guys so much," he said. "Me and Jacoby [Shaddix] have known each other for two decades now and I was a fan in the beginning. I remember the very first time I got a chance to meet him and then I remember the very first time that we were on a festival show together. He was so welcoming and caring and he's been the same dude today that he was, you know, 22 years ago."

As the conversation progressed, Smith revealed another artist who he considers necessary in the rock world: Country superstar Jelly Roll.

READ MORE: Jacoby Shaddix Wants Fans to Find Hope in Papa Roach's Music

"Talk about somebody that is 100 percent necessary," Smith said.

"I love that man. I'm so happy for him and it is so awesome to watch his rise and it could not be more deserving to a guy — it didn't happen overnight. This dude has been working his ass off...he is a hard, hard worker and it is so inspiring the watch. He's a dear friend and I love him so much."

What Else Did Shinedown's Brent Smith Discuss on Loudwire Nights?

  • What the next few years look like for the band: "Collaborations are definitely in the future."
  • Why he started caring about his personal health during the writing of Shinedown's fourth studio album, Amaryllis
  • Why it's important for Smith to focus on the message of his lyrics

Listen to the Full Interview in the Podcast Player Below

Brent Smith joined Loudwire Nights on Tuesday, Nov. 14; the show replays online here, and you can tune in live every weeknight at 7PM ET or on the Loudwire app; you can also see if the show is available on your local radio station and listen to interviews on-demand. Stream Planet Zero at this location and check out Shinedown's full tour schedule.

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