Tag Archives: Deftones

Diamond Eyes Shinedown Origin

“I am the shadow, and the smoke in your eyes,
I am the ghost, that hides in the night” – Diamond Eyes performed by Shinedown

The idea for the song Diamond Eyes goes back to all the artists using an eye as cover art for the albums and even Michael Hutchence using it as the artwork for the movie Frankenstein Unbound. 

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.


Sweet Sacrifice Origin

I’ve written about the origins of Evanescence in an earlier post, but here are just a few words about the songs.

Sweet Sacrifice and the duet Broken were two of the first songs I made up at 15 and told them the artist I wanted to perform it would be called Amy Lee.   

The title to Sweet Sacrifice was to tie into Pour Some Sugar On Me which I wrote with Joe Elliott of Def Leppard and to Sugar Walls which was performed by Sheena Easton. 

Sweet Sacrifice 

It’s true, we’re all a little insane.

But it’s so clear,

Now that I’m unchained.

I used what I knew at the time which was making reference to albums my brother had and I would listen to while he was not home.  His collection of albums included Aerosmith, Van Halen, Billy Squier, and ELO.  ‘The definition of Aerosmith’s Toys In the Attic (meaning insanity) influenced the first line, where Van Halen’s Unchained is mentioned in the third.

The line “Blow me away” from Sweet Sacrifice I used in another song performed by the Deftones named Change when I was 15 or 16 (’83 or ’84).  The title for Change was taken from David Bowie’s Changes, but the song itself was inspired by the ’46 movie The Big Sleep starring Humphrey Bogart, Lauren Bacall, and Martha Vickers as Carmen (pictured). 

“Vivian is spoiled, exacting, smart and quite ruthless. Carmen is a child who likes to pull wings off flies. Neither of them has anymore moral sense than a cat. Neither have I. No Sternwood ever had.”– General Sternwood

Another line from The Big Sleep inspired the song Something In Your Mouth performed by Nickelback.

“If I did, she’d just suck her thumb and look coy. (about Martha Vicker’s character Carmen)”-General Sternwood

Years later Kurt Cobain decided to cover the band Flipper’s ’84 song “Sacrifice” and Def Leppard members wrote the lineA whole lotta somethin’ you can’t sacrifice” for the ’87 song Women.

The idea for the 2006 The Open Door album started with an 1844 photograph at The Getty Museum of the same name by William Henry Fox Talbot http://www.getty.edu/art/gettyguide/artObjectDetails?artobj=71564

The change I wanted to make for the design of the album cover came in wanting it to show the image of Amy Lynn Hartzler walking out the door from the inside.