According to The Pulse Of Radio, SHINEDOWN singer Brent Smith has opened up in a new interview with the Los Angeles Times about his four-year struggle with substance abuse that ended with him quitting cocaine, painkillers and alcohol at a drug rehab Tampa Florida. He also lost 70 pounds in the process. Smith said that the final straws were a warning from his girlfriend and an insult about his girth on national television. Smith explained, “I’ve toured for over 12 years, and for the first two records I was addicted to cocaine, OxyContin and alcohol. The coke and Oxy kept my weight down. But for the third album I quit the opiates and started to crave sugar. I was still drinking a lot of alcohol and started to pack on the pounds.”
SHINEDOWN appeared on the “Today” show in 2009, where host Kathie Lee Gifford said, “At first I thought he was Meat Loaf.”
Smith recalled, “It really stung. I’m a fan of Meat Loaf but she wasn’t talking about a musical comparison. My heart kind of fell on the ground — it was like the performance didn’t even matter.”
Next was an ultimatum from his girlfriend, with Smith revealing, “Teresa sat me down on the first of November last year and said, ‘Listen to me, I love you and I’m not going anywhere, but this lifestyle that you’re leading is not going to work.”
Teresa sent Smith, who weighed 222 pounds at the time, to a trainer. He added, “I felt like I’d been in a death spiral, and I realized I needed to be healthy and strong for my family. I have a four-year-old boy, and he was a huge motivation, and so were the fans. I had an epiphany working out with my trainer that day, and I haven’t had a drink since.”
Smith told The Pulse Of Radio a while back that he’s always felt like an entertainer has a responsibility to be a role model to the fans. “I’ve never said that we’re rock stars but I will say that we’re role models, because there are a lot of people in the audience that look up to you,” he said. “Sometimes, you know, it’s like, you’ll find that kid and they really want to be you, you know, or be like you. You have a duty to show them how to be a real artist, be a real entertainer, be a man or be a woman. That’s a duty upon yourself that you asked for, so respect it, and also respect the people that are watching you.”
Smith‘s trainer cleaned up his diet and worked out a fitness program that he could do on the road. The singer said, “I look completely different on stage now. The stamina I have in my lungs is so much better. I don’t have to wear a big jacket to cover the fat and get overheated. It’s amazing how much clarity I have and how my body feels so much better — health is such a big part of who I am now.”
SHINEDOWN will kick off a tour with THREE DAYS GRACE and P.O.D. on February 1 in Moline, Illinois, with dates confirmed through the end of March.
SHINEDOWN‘s fourth album, “Amaryllis”, came out earlier this year and hit No. 4 on the Billboard chart. The current single, “Enemies”, is the third track to make the Top 10 at rock radio.