While most bands are conceding that touring won’t happen for at least the next several months due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Shinedown frontman Brent Smith says his band is planning as if they’re hitting the road this summer. As he puts it: “We are not afraid to play for you.”
Shinedown were forced to postpone their spring North American “Deep Dive Tour” due to the pandemic, but quickly rescheduled the dates for the summer, before health experts and government officials started predicting that concerts wouldn’t resume until 2021. In a new interview with Jose Mangin for Zippo Live, Smith explained that the band is still hoping to honor the newly scheduled dates.
“We are supposed to be on tour right now doing that tour, interspersed with headlining some festivals,” said Smith. “We rescheduled the tour for August and September — actually, the very first show is rescheduled for July 31st in Victoria, in Canada — but as of right now, that’s all a go. So we’re not backing off of that rescheduled timeline.”
He added, “Obviously, our number one priority is the safety of the public, but we also want the public to know something from us to all of them out there: we are not afraid to play for you. We wanna do everything safely and we wanna go by the professionals in the medical community and what we’re gonna need to do, but you can’t stay inside forever. Your immune system and everything about this virus, I want people to understand this, is that if you shelter at home for too long, it’s going to deplete your immune system.”
Smith continued, “Obviously, people that are older, if they have pre-existing conditions or they have a compromised immune system, yes, we need to be extremely diligent with them and make sure that they’re safe. But for people that don’t have compromised immune systems, not being around people right now and not being back at work, that’s actually hindering your immune system. We have to get back out safely.”
Thus far, bands like Rage Against the Machine, Iron Maiden, and Bad Religion have called off all touring in 2020. While Smith’s sentiments may contradict with assessments by health officials, he insists that the band would never put its fans in danger.
“We are doing everything in our power to make sure that when it is time for us to be able to do shows again, we want everybody to know when you come to a Shinedown show, you are coming to a safe environment,” said Smith. “We would never put anyone’s health at risk. But that being said, you’ve got to maintain a level of — being healthy is also working out, eating right, taking certain supplements to help boost your immune system.”
He concluded, “Don’t be paralyzed by fear. You can’t allow that to happen, because then this invisible virus, however you wanna put it, then it begins to win. And we can’t allow that.”
Update, May 12th: Brent Smith has issued the following statement to clarify his above remarks:
“I’d like to clear up any misunderstanding about our touring plans that may be out there as some of my comments were a little misconstrued recently in the midst of trying to stay positive in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. We’d like you all to know that while we can’t wait to play for you and see all of you on the road again, we will only do so when it’s safe. The health and wellness of our fans is what’s most important and something we take very seriously. We’ll be ready to perform for you when the time is right, and in the meantime, I encourage everyone to take this time to focus on staying healthy mind, body, and spirit, so that when we are able to come back together, we are all the better for this time apart. Stay strong and optimistic – we will get through this together. Onward and upwards we all rise together.”
If it’s not canceled or postponed again, Shinedown’s summer tour is slated to run from July 31st through September 12th, with tickets available here. The band had been touring in support of its 2018 album, Attention Attention, but the “Deep Dive Tour” promises deep cuts and B-sides from throughout Shinedown’s career, along with their many radio hits.
Watch Brent Smith chat with Jose Mangin in the video below. The part about touring starts at the 21-minute mark.
— SHINEDOWN (@Shinedown) May 12, 2020