Shinedown star Brent Smith has hit back at suggestions the band's new song condones the use of violence against bullies, insisting he just wants youngsters to have "self-respect" and "dignity".
The band's new track Bully focuses on the issue of schoolyard intimidation and contains the lyrics, "All you'll ever be is a fading memory of a bully... Push them to the dirt till the words don't hurt / Can you hear me? / No one's gonna cry on the very day you die / you're a bully."
The song has attracted accusations that the band is urging youngsters to take matters into their own hands, but frontman Smith is adamant they are not encouraging children to get violent.
He tells The Pulse Of Radio, "I'm not condoning violence in this song. What I'm condoning is survival. You want to be able to use your words in any situation, but the reality is, is (sic) that you have to make sure people realise that you think highly of yourself, and that you have self-respect and you have dignity. And the song is really about, if you push me, I will push you back, and if you hit me, I will hit you back."