SHINEDOWN has officially begun working on material for its sixth studio album for a likely 2018 release. Frontman Brent Smith told Johnnie Walker of the WGRD radio station in Grand Rapids, Michigan about the progress of the songwriting sessions for the follow-up to 2015’s “Threat To Survival”: “Eric Bass, our bass player, when we were [on the road] with FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH in [the fall of] 2016 — we did those 36 cities — he instinctively, every day, at the beginning of that tour, he said he was gonna walk in every day and he was gonna write a composition and record it. So he actually has 22 pieces that I actually just heard five of them for the very first time. ‘Cause I didn’t wanna hear ’em when I was on the road, ’cause I was in a different mindset for myself, just with the production of that show that we were putting on last year. But, yeah, I’ve got a lot of homework, let’s just put it that way. Because what he has written — and it’s not lip service, man — what he has tapped into here, it’s quite remarkable. I think people might be looking at the first legitimate concept record from the band.”
Asked if he thinks SHINEDOWN could end up making a 22-song double album this time around, Smith said: “I can’t guarantee that all of [the song ideas] will make the record. ‘Cause we haven’t done that in a while, where I come in and I actually have a lot of music already ready for me to listen to. Because ‘The Sound Of Madness’  and ‘Amaryllis’  and even ‘Threat To Survival’, that was a lot of… We all got in a room together. It’s not necessarily that it was pulled out of thin air, but everybody was in the room with each other, and the concepts were drawn out at that time. It’s been a minute since I’ve walked into a room with compositions that are not necessarily finished, but they’re laid out; there’s some ground work done. So I’m actually looking forward to that. ‘Cause it’s inspiring. And it’s cool, because [Eric] was inspired every day, and you can hear it in the music.”
Smith also talked about SHINEDOWN‘s upcoming late-spring European tour as the support act for British heavy metal legends IRON MAIDEN. He said: “It’s a little bit overwhelming, in a good way. Quite frankly, because we played in June of last year, we did that whole month in Europe, and it was all festivals. So MAIDEN was… It was MAIDEN and RAMMSTEIN were, like, the headliners of all those festivals in multiple countries, so we were on that circuit with tons of other bands. And they actually saw us play live. We were at Download; it was the only U.K. show, and it was our first time on the main stage. So there was about 85 thousand people, and Steve Harris [IRON MAIDEN bassist] actually came up the last six songs of our set up there and went and talked to our booking agent. His name’s John Jackson, who’s actually also booked IRON MAIDEN for over 30 years. We just recently signed with him — about a year ago. He put the two of us together, and the band themselves — MAIDEN — they actually asked us if we would come and do this tour with them, and we were just really blown away by that. But they dug the band. They didn’t really know anything about us, which I thought was rad. Steve Harris came up, and he just dug what he heard backstage. But they’re being really cool to us. They’re giving us 55 minutes, and it’s just us opening up for them — there’s no other bands. So it’s a huge honor.”
“Threat To Survival” debuted at No. 6 on The Billboard 200 album chart, selling 65,000 copies in its first week of release. It was the third SHINEDOWN album to enter the chart in the Top 10, following “Amaryllis” and “The Sound Of Madness”, which debuted at No. 8.