SHINEDOWN's BRENT SMITH On Post-Pandemic Touring: 'Trucks And Buses Alone' Are 'Six Times More Expensive'

January 25, 2024

In a new interview with Germany's Rock Antenne, SHINEDOWN frontman Brent Smith was asked why he and his bandmates have not toured Europe very much in recent years. He responded (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "So, well, here's the thing about that. That's not necessarily true. It's just been the case for like the last two years. See, the thing is, when the pandemic hit, one of the biggest things that I tried to make sure early that people understood is that everybody was, like, 'What are we gonna do?' When it comes to the music industry, there's a huge brain trust of people, not just in America — globally — and that's the live touring industry. Like all of these engineers, these production managers, these assistants, pyrotechnics, audio staging, lighting, trucks, buses, just how that infrastructure is built when you're in an industry where you're touring for a living and you're presenting these shows. That all stopped. There was no, like, ease into it. It was just, like, you can't do your job anymore. And so my whole thing was, like, every single day, how do we take care of our people right now until we get out of this, until we can move forward from this. But also, too, I knew specifically that the finances, when we did return to this industry, that it was gonna be much different."

Brent continued: "I mean, to tour right now, trucks and buses alone, just in regards to any country, from 2019 to where we are now in 2024, the price difference that a touring act of any kind of music, of any genre, of any artist, is six times more expensive today than it was in 2019 — just for the trucks and the buses. So then you start to break that down with all the infrastructure, what happens is it becomes very… You have to get really creative with how you tour if you don't have the offset of the budget. So what happened with us was in, I think it was 2022, we toured that summer in Europe and did a bunch of festivals — I know we did [Germany's] Rock Am Ring, we did Rock Im Park — so there was that. And then that year, the back half of 2022, we played five arenas in the U.K. for the first time ever. We had played those buildings before, but never as a headliner. And so we literally sold out all five of those arenas, but we had a 25-day European tour that I'll just be very candid with you about it. Even to go bare bones to do that part of the tour, it was gonna cost the band 2.2 million dollars that we were gonna be upside down. and I had to make a conscious decision of whether or not we could do that realistically. And we just couldn't. However, since that has occurred, we are also now… We are working with our new international agent, which is Lucy Dickins, with William Morris Endeavor, who's the head of global. We have signed on with her here in the U.S., but she is now taking over everything that SHINEDOWN is doing from a global standpoint. And when I tell you she is going to work, I mean she is going to work. Because this band is a global band. We know that we have fans that have waited forever to see us back in Europe, fans that have been waiting 12, 13 years to see us in Australia, South America, Asia, abroad in South Africa, all of these elements from an international standpoint, we're working on it right now. So, we're coming for you. Just be patient."

In October 2022, SHINEDOWN announced that it was canceling its previously announced fall 2022 dates in continental Europe due to "economic and logistical side of touring".

ANTHRAX also scrapped shows in continental Europe as part of its fall 2022 touring activities, citing "ongoing logistical issues" and "costs that are out of our control."

SHINEDOWN recently topped the charts once again with its current single "A Symptom Of Being Human" officially landing at No. 1 at Active Rock. This marked SHINEDOWN's record-breaking 21st No. 1 song on the Mediabase Active Rock chart and extended their record for the most No. 1s in the history of Billboard's Mainstream Rock Airplay chart with 19 total.

SHINEDOWN's latest album, "Planet Zero", also featured the pop-rock anthem and No. 1 rock hit "Daylight", which People called one of "the most powerful of pop-rock songs created to remind us that we are truly all in this together." The band's video for "Daylight", set to the Amazon Original version of the song, was a love letter to their fans and shows the impact that the song's message — that you are never alone — had during SHINEDOWN's sold-out "Planet Zero" world tour. SHINEDOWN also released a music video for rock single "Dead Don't Die", a rousing declaration of survival and an anthem about the resilience of the human spirit after trying times.

"Planet Zero" boldly confronted the societal forces that perpetuate divisiveness while offering a restorative path forward through empathy and open conversation — ultimately serving as a reminder that it is our human connections that matter the most. The album debuted in the Top 5 on the Billboard 200 chart and the official U.K. albums chart, and at No. 1 on six other Billboard charts, including Top Album Sales, Rock, Hard Rock, and Alternative Albums.

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