Shinedown's evolution over the last 15-plus years has found the band pulling in a stream of new influences, but in a recent interview, singer Brent Smith talked about the bands that had a major impact early in the band's career. One of those groups, surprisingly, was death metal pioneers Death.

Going back to Shinedown's 2003 debut, Leave a Whisper, it's easy to pick out the various '90s influences such as Alice in Chains and, as Smith mentioned to Metal Injection, who conducted the interview, early Tool. What doesn't immediately stand out is where death metal came into the picture for the band, which the frontman explained had a more holistic effect on them as writers.

"From an instrumental type outlook on certain things, not that we use a lot of it, but the band Death — [there was] a lot to do with the fact that the bass player used a fretless bass," he said, referring to either 1991's groundbreaking Human and/or 1993's Individual Thought Patterns, both of which featured fretless bass player Steve DiGiorgio.

Continuing, Smith said, "And I remember thinking, 'Why does Death sound completely different than all these other death metal bands?' And you find out [about the] musicianship and what all went into that stuff."

Understanding of some of the less than favorable sentiments that surround the extreme metal genre, the singer expressed, "Some people think that it's just noise and it's the furthest thing from noise — that's a totally different level."

Elsewhere in the interview, Smith relayed that his real gateway to realizing the "wow factor" of metal was when Pantera released Vulgar Display of Power. "That just completely shifted everything for me," he said, praising the sonic qualities of the record as well as Philip Anselmo's confrontational lyrics.

"I'll never forget my favorite lyric in that record is in the song 'Regular People' where Phil goes, 'Most regular people would say it's hard, and any streetwise son of a bitch knows don't fuck with this,' and I just thought that was one the most amazing, most poetic things I ever heard," Smith testified.

As for Tool, the Shinedown frontman still holds Tool's Undertow near and dear. "When they got prog, it didn't throw me off, but Undertow is definitely my record. Some people don't consider that a metal record, but I do. I mean, it's all how you look at it, but that Undertow record was a huge influence on me," offered Smith.

Look for Shinedown to return to the U.S. in April of next year as they embark on a tour playing some rarities on the "Deep Dive" tour at the dates below.

Shinedown "Deep Dive" 2020 Tour

April 17 - Tampa, Fla. @ Amalie Arena
April 18 - Orlando, Fla. @ Central Florida Fairgrounds and Exposition Park
April 19 - Columbia, S.C. @ Township Auditorium
April 21 - Greensboro, N.C. @ Piedmont Hall
April 22 - Savannah, Ga. @ Johnny Mercer Theater
April 25 - Memphis, Tenn. @ Orpheum Theatre
April 26 - Little Rock, Ark. @ Robinson Center Music Hall
April 28 - Louisville, Ky. @ Louisville Palace
May 01 - Lake Charles, La. @ Golden Nugget Hotel & Casino
May 02 - Houston, Texas @ Revention Music Center
May 03 - Austin, Texas @ ACL Live at the Moody Theater
May 05-06 - Dallas, Texas @ House of Blues
May 08 - Catoosa, Okla. @ The Joint / Hard Rock Hotel & Casino
May 11 - Midland, Texas @ Wagner Noel Performing Arts Center
May 12 - El Paso, Texas @ Plaza Theater
May 14 - Los Angeles, Calif. @ Wiltern
May 15 - Indio, Calif. @ Fantasy Springs Resort Casino Special Event Center
May 16 - Valley Center, Calif. @ Harrah's Resort Southern California
May 18 - San Francisco, Calif. @ Warfield
May 19 - Las Vegas, Nev. @ Pearl Concert Theater at Palms Casino Resort

The 66 Best Rock Songs of 2019