Sully Erna, best known as vocalist and songwriter for the multi-platinum rock band GODSMACK, has announced six solo shows in the Northeast, kicking off at House of Blues in Atlantic City on March 22. The live shows will feature songs over the span of Erna‘s career, including those with GODSMACK and his solo debut, “Avalon”.
The seeds for “Avalon” were planted back when Erna was pre-GODSMACK, discovering Australian world fusion band DEAD CAN DANCE‘s 1993 album “Into The Labyrinth”. Their “eclectic, mystical, hand drumming” approach filtered into GODSMACK hits like “Voodoo” and “Serenity”. From there, an organic process of assembling the right musicians began. Erna recruited DEAD CAN DANCE percussionist Niall Gregory and longtime friend and blues vocalist Lisa Guyer, who introduced the guitarists, that lead to a keyboardist and cellists that would fill out “Avalon”‘s diverse sound.
Regarding what inspired him to explore this direction, Erna tells AOL‘s Noisecreep: “The basic answer is just that artistically, I really feel the need to go other places. Artists need to keep exploring and this is something that’s been in my head for a long time. As much as I love all the hard rock stuff, world music has also been extremely influential on me and this was my chance to put my own spin on it and take it down my own private rabbit hole. It was also a chance to work with a new bunch of guys, an incredibly talented group of musicians and the beauty of it was that on the album at least, we didn’t really know where we were going and when got there, we were all blown away. And I think the shows will have that same kind of energy.”
Asked how much a project like this will affect his relationship with GODSMACK, Erna says: “I’m actually thinking that it will make things better. You see, I’m learning so many things right now with the solo project that when it’s time to go back to GODSMACK, I think I’ll have a lot of fresh ideas and new approaches about how to tackle the kind of music that the band makes. This is a very important thing for me. I knew I had to get this music out of me and I really felt it when I would sit there creating music at the piano with my daughter watching and listening. I love creating acoustic music like that. As far as GODSMACK goes, I love the band and I love the guys, but you know we’ve been there and done that many times. You can’t keep eating chocolate all the time. Eventually you need some vanilla. But like I said, a solo project like this helps me stretch, it’s definitely my alternate personality, and I think it will help make GODSMACK stronger in the long run.”
Sully recently released a limited-edition “Avalon” box set that contains five DVDs, including “Avalon Live”, shot in his hometown of Boston at The Wilbur Theater. The box also contains 2 CDs — “Avalon”, the studio album, and “Avalon Live”, the live show from Boston. Other items include a limited edition coffee table book, an updated version of Sully‘s personal memoir, “The Paths We Choose”, a limited-edition autographed poster from the Wilbur show and a limited edition t-shirt, a Sully Erna hat and necklace, commemorative backstage pass from the 2010 tour, a guitar pick, and custom hand-made incense chosen by Sully.