Discs Of Doom: Brent Smith, Shinedown

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Brent Smith chooses his favourites…

The first album I bought was…

MÖTLEY CRÜE, GIRLS, GIRLS, GIRLS [Elektra, 1987]

“No BS! Back when there was such a thing as cassettes, there was a store called Record Bar in the mall back home. It was the first time I got something with my own money because I worked a summer job at a really young age. It was also the first time I felt I was doing something naughty, something really bad.”

The album with the best artwork is…

TOOL, UNDERTOW [Zoo, 1993]

“Tool always capture what you’re going to hear; they really paint a picture of the variation of each different song. Undertow’s got that black cover with the red thing in the middle that you don’t even know what it is… that cover fits what’s going on when you listen to it. They take a lot of interest in their artwork, from their first EP, Opiate, to 10,000 Days, which opened up with 3D glasses.”

The album I wish I’d made is…

FLEETWOOD MAC, RUMOURS [Warner Bros, 1977]

“There’s a beautiful amount of tension that spilled into a record – you had Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham, who were together, then you had Christine McVie and John McVie, then Mick Fleetwood on drums and the array of relationships he was going through at the time. It’s not very metal but it’s brilliant.”

A kid asks me what metal is, I hand them a copy of…

GUNS N’ ROSES, APPETITE FOR DESTRUCTION [Geffen, 1987]

“You’d think I’d go for Black Sabbath or Led Zeppelin, but I’d start here – there’s a reason why it still sells hundreds of thousands of records a year! You can branch out into heavier stuff and get to Zeppelin and Sabbath afterwards. I’ve read historians say the first time the term ‘heavy metal’ was used was in Steppenwolf’s Born To Be Wild, but I don’t think there’s any rules with heavy metal, you just go for it.”

The album that broke my heart is…

LIVE, THROWING COPPER [Radioactive, 1994]

“It was their big album with five huge songs. Lightning Crashes broke my heart. There was a lot of heartbreak going on at the time, but I don’t regret it – it made me who I am today.”

The most underrated album is…

SCREAMING TREES, DUST [Epic, 1996]

“Their big record was Sweet Oblivion; this was the follow-up. They recorded an entire record and scrapped it because it wasn’t good enough, then started over again and that’s what became Dust. Every song is one of those unforgettable melodies. It’s seriously underrated.”

The album that reminds me of school is…

DANZIG, DANZIG [Warner Bros, 1988]

“I had many different types of friends so I found out about a lot of music at school, but this album has got Am I Demon and She Rides – it’s great. I listened to it all the way through high school.”

No one will believe I own a copy of…

LADY GAGA, THE FAME [Interscope, 2008]

“I was listening to Lady Gaga very early on. The production on it was really locked into what a lot of artists ended up copying. It’s brilliant.”

The album I’d want to be remembered for is…

SHINEDOWN, THREAT TO SURVIVAL [Atlantic, 2015]

“It was an innovation for us because it’s a record that’s built by necessity. We’re known for making epic records with massive production, but this went a different way, musically and lyrically. There’s an urgency to everything. It’s 11 songs and there are 11 scenarios – it’s not a concept record but it’s a very truthful record.”

The album I want played at my funeral is…

OTIS REDDING, LOVE MAN [Atco, 1969]

“The title track would reflect the kind of person I was. I don’t need a big song like Wind Beneath My Wings… no offence to Bette Midler!”

Shinedown’s new album, Threat To Survival, is out now via Atlantic