GODSMACK will release a brand new single, “Surrender”, on Wednesday, September 28. A teaser for the track is available below.
This past April, GODSMACK frontman Sully Erna told the 101.1 WJRR radio station that band’s new studio album was “finished; we’re done recording it. You should probably be hearing new music by summertime — mid to late summer — and then following it up with a second single and the full record by the top of ’23,” he said. “That’s the plan. And then we’re just gonna hit it one more time hard and heavy. And I’ve gotta tell you, this might be the last one for us — it might be the last record for us.”
In February, GODSMACK drummer Shannon Larkin told the “Stop! Drop & Talk” podcast that he and his bandmates were “writing music” in a “really different” way “this time. We’re taking a couple of weeks on and however long off and then till the man calls, the genius calls. When Sully gets a spark, then we get together. There’s no plan. For however long we can get together, we get together and create together. So it’s a beautiful time.”
Last November, Erna spoke to Minneapolis. Minnesota’s 93X radio station about GODSMACK‘s plans for a new studio LP. He said: “People always ask us about this gap of how come it takes GODSMACK four years to put out new music. Well, for us, it’s a blink of an eye. And the reason is because we take about six months to a year to write and record a record, ’cause we go for quality most of the time, not quantity. And then it’s touring on it, which lasts another 18 months to two years. And then, obviously, when coming off a big world tour like that, before we do another record, we’re taking six months off or something like that, and then it’s another six months to a year to write [a new album]. So four years goes by very quickly is my point. Obviously, with COVID, it even bumped it up a little bit more. We are planning to hopefully release something late ’22, with the intentions of getting out there by early ’23 — in the States. We may start a little sooner in Europe first, but the States, I think, ’23 for a big new-look world tour kind of thing [in support of a] new album.”
Erna went on to say that GODSMACK had originally planned on putting out new music in 2021 but decided against it once it became obvious that touring would be delayed further by the ongoing pandemic.
“When this [pandemic] thing happened, then we were, like, ‘Okay, well, this gives us some time, ’cause I wanna set up this place and get the band ready in a new studio’ and whatever,” Sully explained. “Then we finished the studio and we went right to work. We were in there for two, three months or whatever, and we started grinding and pumping out music, and then we were going, like, ‘Wait a minute here. Why are we in such a hurry? We’re not gonna tour yet for a while.’ And Tony [Rombola, guitar] was, like, ‘Yeah, I wanna kind of do some projects around my house,’ and Shannon the same, and Robbie [Merrill, bass] was going through something, rebuilding his personal life. And I’m, like, ‘There’s no reason. We just toured for more than two decades straight, and now we’re rushing to get right out there during a pandemic when we’re not gonna be able to get out there?’ So we just went, ‘Eh. Shut it off. See you next year. Let’s go enjoy our summer. Let’s enjoy our families and our friends and our houses.’ And we took this year off. And that’s why we’re looking at probably like a late summer, early fall [of 2022] release for a new single. And then [a full-length] record following that.”
Earlier this year, Erna opened up about his battle with COVID-19, saying he “got very sick. I was sick for five and a half weeks, but I was in the hospital for four days.” When asked if he thought he was going to get COVID-19, Erna, who was apparently unvaccinated, said: “I didn’t. I take really good care of myself. I’m a runner. I’ve boxed for over 20 years. And I’m onstage two hours a night. I have pretty big lungs, so even thinking if I was gonna get it, I figured I’d get sick like the normal flu get sick and then you push through it, but I definitely didn’t expect for it to knock me down the way it did. I just got some bad luck and bad timing. Part of it was I got hit during the Christmas holidays, so all my doctors were on vacation; there was only substitutes. They were kind of guiding me over the phone. And what happened was the COVID left my body within seven to 10 days, but then pneumonia developed, and that’s what got me [really sick]. I ended up getting blood clots in my lungs and stuff like that. That’s when everything went down. It was pretty gnarly for a while because my oxygen had dipped to 76. And if anyone knows anything about oxygen levels, you’re not supposed to go below 95. If you go below, you go to the hospital and 70 is, like, [when they put you on a] ventilator. So I was pretty emotional, pretty nervous about wondering if I was coming out of this. But thankfully I was in the shape that I was in, and my doctor thinks, like, that proved to him… He goes, ‘I know exactly how good of a shape you’re in now, because,’ he goes, ‘I’ve gotta tell you, man, when you came in, I was really nervous for you. And most people that come in in that condition, they don’t leave with a happy ending.'”
After the interviewer noted that COVID-19 affects people differently, Erna concurred. “It’s pretty random,” he said. “I think it has something to do with the blood type and DNA; they’re testing for that kind of stuff now. But regardless, I got to the other side of it. I’m doing better than I ever have. It was a very humbling experience and a crazy journey. It puts things in perspective for you. So, that being said, I’m here to just do what we do, man. There was a reason for all of this, and it’s made me appreciate life more and my career more and music more and things like that. But I’m also not overjamming my schedule like I used to. I’m taking time for my family, my daughter, the people that I love the most. And I’ll play music when I wanna play music now, not because I have to.”
In September 2021, GODSMACK‘s latest album, “When Legends Rise”, was certified gold on by the RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America) for sales in excess of half a million copies. In addition, two more of the LP’s singles (the title track and “Under Your Scars”) were also officially certified gold by the RIAA. The album’s first single “Bulletproof” earned a platinum digital single award in September 2020 and was previously certified gold in the U.S.
“When Legends Rise” was the seventh studio album from GODSMACK. Produced by Erik Ron and Erna, it was the band’s first release in four years and was recorded at their now-former headquarters (GSHQ) in Derry, New Hampshire. The album went on to garner a multitude of career milestones for the group: four No. 1 rock tracks (an accomplishment that makes GODSMACK one of only four rock acts to achieve this),and a record 11 No. 1 singles in the band’s career with the album’s fourth single, “Unforgettable”. “When Legends Rise” entered the Billboard Top 200 album chart in the top ten (No. 8),with four No. 1 placements on other charts: Top Rock Albums, Top Hard Music Albums, Top Independent Albums and Top Alternative Albums.
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