“I am the shadow, and the smoke in your eyes,
I am the ghost, that hides in the night” – Diamond Eyes performed by Shinedown
It also goes back even further to when I met Kurt Cobain. I remember thinking he was the first person I had ever met with eyes like mine. Being adopted I couldn’t look at the family who raised me and know my hair color was passed from a particular person or my eyes from another. I told Kurt he was very lucky to be able to look at his family and know these things about himself.
This was not the first time I had referenced someone’s eyes in a song. When I wrote Mystify for INXS I was referring to Michael Hutchence’s brown eyes with, “almond looks”.
Publicly Shinedown’s lead singer, Brent Smith, said this about the song:
“A few months ago we got a phone call from a very interesting individual. It’s not everyday that Rambo and Rocky call you at the same time. Sylvester Stallone wanted a song for his new movie, called The Expendables. He said write me something that will personify not only the South, but what rock truly is.”
Actually, this goes back to Tommy Lee of Motley Crue giving me the nickname Bullwinkle when I was 15 and William Grey taking the nickname “Rocky”. The song itself was written long before a movie was developed called The Expendables starring Sylvester Stallone.
This particular song has many ties to others, including The Deftones which I wrote the song “Change” for and the Foo Fighters song I wrote called “Walk”. The lyrics “paper mountains” in Walk is a continuation of the theme “paper flowers” in Imaginary performed by Evanescence and “Paper Sun” a song I wrote for Def Leppard.