American rock band Godsmack have had three consecutive number one albums on American Billboard charts and after being a band for almost 20 years, there is certainly no sign of them slowing down. The band have just released their new album ‘1000hp’.
Despite all of their successes, Godsmack have never made it down to Australia. Fortunately, they have just been announced for the monstrous Soundwave festival for 2015 and will be playing alongside Faith No More, Slipknot, Soundgarden and more.
Included in the list of Top 100 Heavy Metal Vocalists by Hit Parader is Sully Erna, who is stoked at the response from the new album after the band took about a year’s break. “We’re in a really great headspace, everyone’s recovered from the break, and we have worked through all of our issues so it’s nice,” he says comfortably. “We’re feeling very inspired, energetic and ready to start hitting the international marketing really seriously.”
After taking some time away from Godsmack, the band members regrouped to produce the new record, combining some of the old processes with the new. “We kind of do it differently every time we write and record,” the vocalist admits. “It was definitely a contribution from everyone, we all had musical ideas and I had a handful of songs that I brought to the table.
“We started carving them up, seeing which ones would make the record, and which ones were weak.” It took a little while for the band to engage in the cohesion they have previously experienced. “When songs like ‘1000hp’ was recorded, we started feeling the chemistry again, and once again felt really strong as a band.”
Erna is also really proud of the track ‘Something Different’ which sits early on in the album. “I think that’s going to be our next single after [the title track] and it’s songs like that which have taken our band places that we’ve never ventured before.” The frontman is confident that the song will do well as a single with its catchy musical background.
“I think it’s going to touch people on an emotional level, I think the melody and the musical arrangement makes it a big one on the record.” Launching into a mild self-review, he continues to describe ‘1000hp’. “I like ‘Locked and Loaded’ too, it’s really powerful as it has this Black Sabbath/Pantera kind of vibe.”
After coming out from a short hiatus, Erna is appreciative that – “the record has a lot of different textures, with some sounds familiar and other sounds unique.”
The 46-year old has faced some of the realities associated with being a ‘rockstar’. “It’s not all honey and roses like people seem to think, there’s a lot of bad periods. When the band was blowing up in the early stages, we realised that it’s a very ugly monster out there,” he says sternly.
“It’s full of bad places, you feel exhausted all of the time, you’re drinking a lot of alcohol and then you’re fighting because you’re hungover. After doing nine, ten, or eleven shows in a row, you realise that it isn’t that healthy.”
Godsmack learnt how to say ‘no’ to gig requests and ensured that there were days off to recover in the touring schedule. “If you don’t relax a little bit, then you’ll burn yourself out, and that’s what happened with us.”
The Massachusetts band are currently playing a string of dates for the Rockstar Uproar festival with bands like Skillet, Seether, as well as Escape The Fate who will be joining them at Soundwave.
“We’ve been catching Buckcherry on tour a little bit as well; it’s great to check them out whenever we get a chance. It’s still early on in the tour, so we’re still tweaking things for our own production, but the other bands are sounding great.”
Godsmack have confidently conquered the American market, but Erna admits to neglecting the international market on a wide scale. “There was a lot of politics going on with our record label and some of the decisions that were made,” he explains. “There was a merger, and long story short, it became too expensive for us to go overseas without the support. We had no records in stores; but now it’s got to the point where we acknowledge that we need to start touring internationally, and we have the support to do it.”
Godsmack are dedicating 2015 to doing as much international touring as possible and it looks like they will be kicking things off in Australia.