GODSMACK’s SULLY ERNA: ‘Who’s Going To Dwarf METALLICA?’
Mitch Lafon of “Dropping The Needle ” podcast recently conducted an interview with GODSMACK frontman Sully Erna. A couple of excepts from the chat follow below.
Dropping The Needle: You’ve referred to “Avalon” as ‘the’ project. Is this the only time you’ll do a solo album or do you see yourself doing more in the future? If yes, would it be similar music?
Erna: I’m pretty sure it will be [different]. I don’t know if it will be “Avalon” again. It took on its own life and, although, I am writing new music I’m not sure what direction it will go in. I didn’t know what direction I was going in when I wrote “Avalon”. I was just writing music and the songs that stuck and sounded attractive we kept working on. The songs that weren’t growing legs we tossed in the trash and kept moving on, so this is the collection of music we came up with. I think we’ll approach it the same way this time. I’m not even sure I’ll work with all the members, but I’m pretty sure I’ll work with most of them because they are just so talented and multi-instrumentalist. They’re just really great players and I know I can get anything I want from them [in terms of musicality]. I don’t know how it’s going to sound. It could be more stripped down and cleaner like an Adele-styled record or it could be more composed and orchestrated like “Avalon”. It’s hard to say. What I do know is that what worked well for us with “Avalon” is that it was a curveball, for the most part, and it wasn’t what people expected me to do coming from GODSMACK. With that being said, I want them to not expect this to be another “Avalon” record. Hopefully surprise them again with something a little from left field.
Dropping The Needle: Let’s talk GODSMACK. What’s going on with the band? Is there a new album coming soon?
Erna: We’re just taking a break. We just finished a two-year cycle, so we’re going to lay low for a little bit and give it a break. We’ll contact each other at sometime near the end of 2013 and talk about when it’s right to do another record, but right now we’re taking a hiatus to rest and hang out with our families and friends. I’m going to work on some solo stuff and I might dabble in some TV and movie opportunities… Work on me for awhile.
Dropping The Needle: On GODSMACK‘s “Live Inspired” album, you covered METALLICA‘s “Nothing Else Matters” and, of course, in 2004 you opened for METALLICA on tour. What does that band mean to you?
Erna: They are the kings of metal. They’ve been such a huge inspiration to me and my life. Not only for their music, but as a frontman. I learned so much from James Hetfield, Steven Tyler and all the great frontman out there… When I was transforming from drummer to singer and not really knowing what to do and how to perform and get it together; I had to learn and figure it out. I made a lot of mistakes and some things didn’t work. Some things came together, but over the years I feel that GODSMACK has been able to become a great live band because of a lot of the people that we’ve honored as childhood heroes and METALLICA is right up there on the top of the list. I couldn’t think of a better group of people. Those guys just treated us amazing. They were so cool with us. They didn’t limit our sound, our lights, our pyro or whatever. They were like, “Bring it on and don’t worry about us; you are not going to dwarf us.” I was like, “Fucking A, man — that’s the shit.” You couldn’t ask for a better group of people than that. Hetfield and all of them were just super… Probably the nicest guys that I’ve ever met in my life.
Dropping The Needle: It must be nice to work with a band that isn’t trying to sabotage you.
Erna: Who’s going to dwarf METALLICA? Bands at that level— RUSH, AEROSMITH, METALLICA and all that — are the cooler people. It’s the mid-level bands that sometimes have more of an ego. These guys are set. They know that they have their millions of fans. They know that back in the day this is what is used to be. It was all about the headliner and the opening band putting on a great show. It wasn’t about trying to squash somebody and making yourself look like the best. People are there to see and hear music and they [METALLICA] just want both bands to put on a great show. It was the first time since I started touring on a national level that I was able to go back to playing in arenas with two bands and selling them out every night. It was really awesome to be part of that. We were into the Family Values tours, Ozzfests and all that where it took seventeen bands to sell out a shed. Here we were with METALLICA; we played the whole world with them. Two bands on a stage in an arena and we blew it out every night. So, fuck…
Read the entire interview from the “Dropping The Needle ” podcast.