"Sound of Madness" as written by Brent Smith and Dave Bassett....
Yeah, I get it you're an outcast
Always under attack always coming in last
Bringing up the past no one owes you anything
I think you need a shotgun blast a kick in the ass
So paranoid
Watch your back!

Hola, here we go

Another lose cannon, gone bi-polar
Slipped down, couldn't get much lower
Quicksand's got no sense of humor
I'm still laughing like hell
You think that the cryin' to me
Looking so sorry that I'm gonna believe
You've been infected by a social disease
Well, then take your medicine

I created the sound of madness
Wrote the book on pain
Somehow I'm still here to explain
That the darkest hour never comes in the night
You can sleep with a gun
When you gonna wake up and fight?

I'm so sick of this tombstone mentality
If there's an afterlife then it'll set you free
But I'm not gonna part the seas
You're a self-fulfilling prophecy
You think that cryin' to me
Looking so sorry that I'm gonna believe
You've been infected by a social disease
Well, then take your medicine

I created the sound of madness
Wrote the book on pain somehow I'm still here to explain
That the darkest hour never comes in the night
You can sleep with a gun
When you gonna wake up and fight?

For yourself
I created the sound of madness wrote the book on pain
Somehow I'm still here to explain
That the darkest hour never comes in the night
You can sleep with a gun
When you gonna wake up and fight?

I created the sound of madness
Wrote the book on pain somehow I'm still here to explain
That the darkest hour never comes in the night
You can sleep with a gun
When you gonna wake up and fight?
For yourself?
When you gonna wake up and fight, for yourself?
When you gonna wake up and fight, for yourself?
When you gonna wake up and fight, for yourself?
For yourself?


Lyrics submitted by animated lies, edited by Owlflame, KristenDG, ShinedownArmy

"Sound of Madness" as written by Brent Smith Dave Bassett

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.

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Sound of Madness song meanings
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  • +8
    General Commentto me this song is about a friend or someone who keeps blaming on bad things that happens to them, on other people, "social disease" and that the singer is saying with the chorus, hey look at the stuff that ive done and im still here.
    but thats me
    Plums72on June 25, 2008   Link
  • +8
    Song MeaningThis song really spoke to me. "I created the sound of madness, wrote the book on pain, somehow I'm still here to explain that the darkest hour never comes in the night. You can sleep with the gun but when are you gonna wake up and fight for yourself?" To me it says, "I've been there, I've done that and I've lived through it all. You hide behind the bottle but when are you going to sober up and face it." "Social disease" to me is talking about the disease of addiction. The song is basically talking about being sick of your BS excuses, get some help and get over it! That may not be what the song is actually about, but when I first heard this song it stopped me dead in my tracks. I have been dealing with my mom, dad and my bio father who are all alcholics and drug addicts and they refuse to see it or get help. They blame all their problems on everyone else and I am left to deal with the messes they make. I have actually given it a year's thought as to whether or not I will get the chorus tatt'd on my side. I have chosen to walk away from them all until and unless they get help for themelves. I have four beautiful children and I refuse to put them around these things or raise them the way I was raised. I want to get the tattoo to remind me of what they have done and what I will not be.
    tcloustonon July 23, 2011   Link
  • +3
    General CommentThis is the song on the album that really caught my attention! It is probably still my favorite song on the album and I see why they titled the album after it! Anyway the reason it really caught my attention is from my work as a nurse on a psychiatric ward. This is what I think... I believe they are referring to an actual social disease (depression is one, but so is bi-polar disorder which is usually much more severe). Many "social diseases" are seriously stigmatized and have links to the ways you grow up (socially isolated, rejected, paranoid, etc.). Sometimes it only takes one thing for a flare up or onset of the disease to occur, "another lose cannon gone bi-polar." Sometimes these individuals feel like nobody understands and have no hope, therefore no sense of humor. Medications help with these disorders, but it requires the individuals determination and will to stay on the medications and other interventions to really recover.

    Stop sleeping with a gun, which sounds like the on the verge lifestyle these people live always flirting with suicide, wake up and fight for yourself, is the determination it takes to recover. It seems like the song is saying, I've been there, I've had that disease, but I worked at it and I'm here to tell you about it. It's saying get a swift kick in the ass and get up and help yourself! This may be to literal of an interpretation, but it sounds to me like someone in this group has experienced bi-polar disorder or depression, so it would make some sense to them.
    itcouldbeon March 06, 2009   Link
  • +2
    General CommentOh, I'll also add this to my idea.

    Social disease... Emos? Matches perfectly. Brent thinks their false pity is a joke, really.
    Ryokuon June 29, 2008   Link
  • +2
    General CommentFirst I'm gonna say that who ever in Shinedown that actually writes their songs is really very good... This song is great.
    I would say that it isn't specifically about Emos but they fit into the part very well. Everyone has a friend or knows someone out there that fits the description of this song... they have to complain about everything, the world is against them, nothing is ever right, they are never satisfied, the grass is greener... blah blah blah... Its also about how you know people like this and you need to try and not be that way yourself.
    I just really like how its written, it antagonizes the hell out of the "victim" its very playful but in a way that says "what your the only one with problems, I have had shit happen to me too so get over yourself".
    (No offense to anyone of faith here) "Get off the Cross someone needs the wood".
    DARKPILATUSon February 04, 2009   Link
  • +2
    My OpinionI listened to DC101 and Shinedown was doing an acoustic show. He said he had friend that he loved will all his heart, and he'd do everything to help him out, but the friend constantly kept messing up. There was one thing that he said that stuck with me, "Sometimes you just got let them go...If they're going to destroy themselves, they'll destroy themselves." Thats what i got from it.
    benwhymeon February 05, 2011   Link
  • +2
    Lyric CorrectionAlso, it's supposed to say "Oh my," not "Hola." And there's than one "for yourself" through out the song
    Ryuseishinon November 29, 2011   Link
  • +1
    General CommentOK this is a really awesome song. It could have one true meaning but heres what i think so far. The character is like a father or mother figure, and they are yelling at their child because they think that he's making the wrong decision. Unlike the parent, he knows what he wants to do and is trying to show them that this is the right path. They think that he needs a "kick in the ass" that knocks some sense into him. This parent is obviously very mean, and thinks that its humorous that their child is in this stage of childhood where he thinks he's right and he knows everything, and he's ready for the world. They tell him that in life "Quicksand" its not gonna play with you its just gonna take you in and absorb you. And they're just sitting there watching them sink. They're saying "I told you so". They try to help but he's gone and pissed his life away ,and its too late to save him now.
    In the song the chorus could be the child telling his parents his view, but I'm not sure. His view would probably be that he's gonna leave soon but he's not sure why he hasn't already left yet. He's tired of preaching to his parents and has pretty much give up on them. Telling them that they have to quit relying on other people to fight their battles for them.He thinks that they don't know what they're talking about. He's saying he knows what the risk is, and he's prepared. He's gonna go through with it. The parent think that he is gonna grow out of it, but he's not. He's gonna continue and make it his profession.

    Basically he's a kid telling mommy that he's gonna be a songwriter when he grows up. The mom thinks its a stage, but it isn't. He's bound and determined that hes gonna do it. The mom has no support for his childish decision.
    upperman66on June 25, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThis song was made to sound like Metallica, mainly the drums. They had an interview + pre release listening thing on the radio. =P

    Let me add my opinion straightforward.

    Brent hates emos. That's all I think about this song. The chorus is talking about how they think they have a bad and they're doomed and shiz but Brent tries saying how bad he had it and he's still around to tell of it.

    Wonderful song too.
    Ryokuon June 29, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General CommentJust a thought... From a lyrical standpoint, when reviewing the thematic elements in Brent Smith's "Sound of Madness" and comparing them to those in Iron Maiden's "Virus" they turn out, at least from what I've come to believe, to be identical. However, the viewpoints displayed by each artist in their dealing with an identical subject prove to contrast greatly. This realization has piqued my curiosity, and as a result I am going to deduce and explain exactly what makes the messages promoted in both of these songs so radically different.

    -F.Y.I. This subject heading may appear to be quite random at first glance, but it has been an issue that has led me to deep thought many times lately, and I think it definitely deserves an in-depth exploration. Once you read further on, should you choose to do so, I believe my interests in this topic that some of you may currently assume fruitless will indeed prove valid. This seems to be a good forum for the type of fiery discussion that I like to encourage, and I sincerely hope that the arguments I offer further down in this post will help generate intense thought and debate among readers. Honestly, if only a handful of thoughtful readers take the time just to read my post I will be quite content. I definitely value the input of intelligent people, whether we are in agreement or not, so if you do happen to have a differing opinion than mine feel free to mount a rebuttal. Also, If the ever so rare instance of total consensus occurs I know that I would receive a great amount of benefit from hearing whatever you might have to add. After all, two truths are better than one.

    Moving on... I seriously doubt Brent chose to intentionally dis Iron Maiden with his chosen lyrics, but the fact remains that both "Sound of Madness" and "Virus" explore the same subject matter while at the same time displaying almost completely opposite viewpoints regarding these topics. I am now almost positive the fact that certain identical terms appear in both songs is purely coincidental. One of the aforementioned terms is the "social disease" reference made in each song which you will notice as I list some lyrical content here very shortly. Regardless, this is a negligible and moot point of interest for me. My main interests lie in the contrasting messages of these songs, which I will explore much more conclusively later.


    To start things off I will present some lyrics that I believe to be integral in order for me to set up a proper case.

    One of Brent's lyrics taken from his song "Sound of Madness":

    "...You think that by crying for me
    Looking so sorry that I'm gonna believe
    You've been affected by a social disease
    Well then take your medicine..."

    Some sample lyrics taken from the song "Virus" (circa 1996) by Iron Maiden:

    "There's an evil virus that's threatening mankind
    Not state of the art, a serious state of the mind
    The muggers, the back stabbers, the two face elite
    A menace to society, a social disease

    Rape of the mind is a social disorder
    The cynics, the apathy one-upmanship order

    Watching beginnings of social decay
    Gloating or searing at life's disarray
    Eating away at your own self esteem
    Pouncing on every word that you might be saying...

    ...Without a conscience they destroy
    And that's a thing that they enjoy
    They're a sickness that's in all our minds

    They want to sink the ship and leave
    The way they laugh at you and me
    You know it happens all the time

    All in your mind
    All in your head
    Try to relate it

    All in your mind
    All in your head
    Try to escape it..."

    First, allow me to explain the reasons I chose to bring up the song "Virus" at all. "Virus" was written by four members of the British heavy metal band Iron Maiden and it was released in 1996. I have known this song well for years now, and it is one of my favorites. When I heard the lyrics of "Sound of Madness" this song immediately came to mind. "Virus" is a song about depression, paranoia, and "social disease[s]" in general. There are other subtexts in play in this song, but these are the main ones. "Sound of Madness" is also a song about depression, paranoia, and "social disease[s]" in general. The difference being that Shinedown's (Brent's) view of these concepts is skewed to the point that it makes me laugh heartily. "Sound of Madness" is a song that may seem fairly simple and straightforward at first, but I can almost guarantee that once you find out just how outrageous the contradictions and hypocrisies that exist in this "simple", "straightforward" song you will be laughing too... and probably throwing up some as well. Now I love Iron Maiden, but let me make it clear that my goal is not to persuade anyone to love (or even like) Iron Maiden. I am also not attempting to somehow prove to you that Iron Maiden is a better band than Shinedown. I could argue that point until I'm blue in the face, and as with any art form in my opinion it will always come down to a matter of personal taste. Therefore, any debate over that issue is futile. I just want to show you some of the pathetic truths in Brent Smith's character that have surfaced recently through his lyrics. If you think Brent is not a hypocrite after I've said what I need to say (or if you just like hypocrites) then that's fine with me. To each his own, but if you're a logical thinker I really don't think that you'll be able to ignore in good conscience the blatant contradictions that I will show you via Brent's lyrics in "Sound of Madness" and one other short statement he has made that I will type verbatim. "Virus" will serve as an example of a song done in good taste about the aforementioned subjects.

    It is clear, at least it is to me, that "Virus" presents an empathetic outlook toward people who feel a certain degree of inferiority and alienation from society, whereas Brent proclaims that those suffering basically 'just get over it'; This is a fact that most of you have hopefully already discerned, so I will elaborate further...

    Let me just say that I am not depressed, "emo", or whatever nor have I ever been for any notable length of time. Like I said, I am not an "emo", but I do know quite a bit about certain mental disorders because A. I can read, and B. I've taken four college level psychology classes, so I'm thoroughly confident in my knowledge of that subject. I also know that I'm not going into the psychology field for work, so I have absolutely nothing to gain by lying to you (promoting my business, etc.), but if for some reason you don't believe some of the more "technical" stuff I might say then you obviously have the internet so feel free to just look any of this stuff up.

    Anyway, Iron Maiden takes the initiative in their calling of attention to certain happenings in our society that cause people to become anti-social, paranoid, etc. They offer up insightful and constructive commentary on these certain "evils" that so often plague the minds of the disenchanted. "Virus" is not a song that encourages ruminating on personal problems like so many "emo" or (sadly) current mainstream rock songs seem to do. It also doesn't make off-the-cuff and totally unsupported claims that a "shotgun blast" or a "kick in the ass" is the best treatment for someone with a psychological disorder. The guys in Iron Maiden are intelligent enough to know that in the vast majority of cases people with mental illness, namely depression and bi-polar disorder in this case, do not simply get out of bed one day and are fully healed, nor do they recover if they try to go it alone. The fact is most people require clinical treatment (either medication therapy, behavioral modification therapy, or a combination of the two) in order to get better. It is a song about the mental pain, but it is not a song that promotes self-pity or self-loathing. In fact it aims to accomplish quite the contrary. - Again I quote:

    "...All in your mind
    All in your head
    Try to relate it

    All in your mind
    All in your head
    Try to escape it"

    "Virus" successfully describes and pinpoints the causes of many fears that commonly afflict a person struggling in his or her fight against mental illness. It accomplishes this from a perspective of anger and disgust that is not directed at the sufferer (as is the obvious view presented in "Sound of Madness"). The song instead directs its wrath toward the people who might serve as catalysts for such irrational fears in struggling individuals:

    "...The cynics, the apathy one-upmanship order...

    ...They want to sink the ship and leave
    The way they laugh at you and me..."

    I now believe that Brent Smith has become one such offender described in the previous lines. It is painfully obvious that Brent want's to "sink the ship and leave", calling out people for being emo, yet in absolutely no way does he offer a rational solution to the very problem that he is bringing attention to. He suggests that a "shotgun blast" or a "kick in the ass" might do the trick, which is a thickheaded and bullying thing to suggest doing to someone weaker and more vulnerable than yourself, even though he is speaking figuratively. Since when has a proverbial "kick in the ass" helped anyone overcome a major depressive disorder or bi-polar disorder? This type of attitude more than likely will drive a person further down the spiral. People with depression suffer from low self-esteem, and the more a depressed person is insulted (i.e. told that they are annoying and depressing to be around) the more that person will suffer and as a result the chances that they will get better will go down. This is because most people who are depressed tell themselves that they are worthless, annoying, depressing, or any other negative thing you can think of. These thoughts do not need to be entertained much less confirmed. If a person is depressed it is almost as if they have another person with them wherever they go all the time who's only job is to point out both the real and nonexistent flaws in the depressed person. This person is almost impossible to kill without getting professional help, but I guess Dr. Brent knows best. It's also common knowledge that "depressed" people can be "depressing" to be around. This is especially true if they have a "woe is me" type attitude, and most do. Many internalize all of these feelings, but those that externalize their emotions can be very annoying to be around. Nobody likes a complainer, but one would think that someone like Brent, who has admittedly been through depression, could understand where these people are coming from. What Brent seems unable or unwilling to grasp is the concept of empathy. He even seems to have so much disdain for the mentally ill that he makes a veiled attempt to coerce "emos" into suicide.

    Example:

    "...I'm so sick of this tombstone mentality
    If there's an afterlife, then it'll set you free..."

    Here Brent is just like "Screw it. I'm fed up with your depressing garbage. You're annoying the hell out of me and haven't amounted to anything so go ahead and kill yourself." At least this is what I make out of the lyric, but admittedly this is one of the few I'm on the fence about. He also has a great deal of nerve speaking out so shamelessly against people who are suicidally depressed, etc. considering the fact that he used to be one (more on that below). He also goes on to say the following:

    " ...I created the sound of madness
    Wrote the book on pain
    Somehow I'm still here to explain..."

    This is quite possibly one of the most arrogant statements I've ever heard in my entire life. The above lines are both arrogant and "emo" at the same time and they serve to definitively contradict the rest of the song's stance on "emo"-bashing. I get it. He's saying he's been through some rough stuff, but it's not quite as simple as that. He "created the sound of madness". This is as if Brent's saying that his irrational behavior and thinking was crazier than anyone else's irrational behavior and thinking in the history of the world. He invented madness. If you're thinking about complaining about being screwy then sorry pal, but Brent's got you beat. It doesn't matter who you are. He was the craziest person ever and he got over it, so you have no excuses. According to him he's the top dog when it comes to insane, so screw you Charlie Manson! He then says that he "wrote the book on pain". So this dude's mental anguish was so incredibly great that he might as well have invented the concept. That's totally not "emo". "Somehow I'm still here to explain"; Ok, so Brent's depression and insanity were on a level so intense that no other human can even comprehend it... Understood. So you think you know pain, huh? Well, Brent has established that he "wrote the book on pain", so he is claiming (or at least entertaining the concept) that he has suffered more than your depressed loser behind ever has or ever will, and get this... He made it through! So if the guy who has suffered more mental pain than anyone in human history can make it through life without blowing his brains out then so can you, wimp! Brent says you have no excuses so stop your whining. The fact that the three lines above are "emo" on an epic scale yet so brazenly self-indulgent and arrogant solidifies Brent's status as a hypocrite in one single song. Brent says I should be disgusted at "emos" but instead I'm left feeling only disgust for him. So, actually I guess there is one "emo" I'm disgusted with after all.

    In "Virus" Iron Maiden offers words of encouragement and hope (in as metal a way as possible of course) not only to the sufferer of mental illness, but to any "average Joe" who feels jaded and looked down upon every once in a while. After all, these are feelings that most every human being experiences periodically in life. The only people who should not take away a positive message from "Virus" are those who preach disdain for those suffering mentally. And as with any disease when it comes to depression and related conditions you must always diagnose the "Virus" before you can cure it, right? As Iron Maiden points out it is often times people like Brent Smith that are the "Virus", and I don't think they make a vaccine for him.

    Basically, from what I've gathered, people who bring up problems all the time and then offer no rational solutions for solving them (Brent) are nothing but complainers, and complainers are very annoying and probably just need a "shotgun blast" or a "kick in the ass" to get them to shut up and get over their issues, right?

    On a final note, whoever said that Brent was hypocritical when he wrote ".45" and then "Sound of Madness" was absolutely correct in my book. We've already established that Brent Smith is a walking contradiction. But hey! This is just icing on the cake!

    Here is what Brent has said in regard to ".45":

    "... Because I’ve been in that situation where I didn’t know if I wanted to continue going on and I didn’t know how to necessarily make myself comfortable with who I was, trying to find a way of learning more about myself. And you come from a dark place sometimes, and that’s really the reality of the song. It’s about overcoming and about moving forward..."

    After reading this it is certain to me that Brent did not get over his afflictions in one day. His process of "overcoming and... moving forward" clearly took time and a great deal of work on his part, so for him to suggest that people simply 'get over their issues' serves only to demoralize and degrade the very type of person that he admittedly used to be.

    This whole Brent issue has been irking me for a while, so it's been good to get that off my chest if nothing else. In closing I'll leave you with a few telling lines from "Virus":

    "They want to sink the ship and leave
    The way they laugh at you and me
    You know it happens all the time...


    ...The rats in the cellar you know who you are...
    Or do you?

    Watching beginnings of social decay..."
    LeadEnemaon June 28, 2009   Link

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