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Shinedown hoped to deliver a “banger” with latest number-one single, “Planet Zero”

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Shinedown‘s Brent Smith has often said that his band only has one boss: the collective Shinedown fan base. When it came time to prep the group’s next album, the boss had only one request: “Give us a banger.”

“Like, a real banger,” Smith tells ABC Audio. “Give us something that is going to give us confidence, give us something that is going to charge us up, that’s going to get us, like, ‘Hell yeah, man, let’s go!'”

Shinedown hoped to deliver on that request with “Planet Zero,” the forceful lead single and title track off their upcoming seventh studio album.

“Sonically, we worked really hard on that,” Smith says. “On the whole record, not just the first single, like, the whole record.

So far, so good: “Planet Zero” has hit number-one on Billboard‘s Mainstream Rock Airplay chart, once again giving Smith and company the record for the most leaders in the ranking’s 40-year history.

Smith describes the album Planet Zero as “massively emotional” and full of “peaks and valleys,” which requires an appropriately intense sound.

“It’s necessary,” Smith says of the record’s hard-hitting direction. “You can’t dance around it. You can’t go halfway, if that makes any sense. If you’re going to go to this level, then you’re going to need to go all the way.”

Planet Zero will be released April 22. The “Planet Zero” video premieres this Thursday, March 3.

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