GODSMACK's Sully Erna: "We're A Rock Band. We're Not A Metal Band."
20 years removed from their multi-platinum self-titled ball-buster, Massachusetts's own Godsmack are still churning out riffs aplenty, evolving with the times where many of their contemporaries have crashed and burned.
With their seventh studio album only a week away, fans have had a taste of what's to come through leadoff singles "Bulletproof" and the title track "When Legends Rise".
Suffice to say, many fans have noticed a glaring contrast between the group who brought such classics as "Whatever" and "Voodoo", and the more mainstream oriented quartet of 2018. Good, bad or indifferent? We'll leave that up to you.
Frontman Sully Erna addressed the metamorphosis of Godsmack in an interview with Metal Injection, and disputed any idea that the band are, at this time, heavy metal.
"I think it was more about growing and evolving and having people understand where we are in our lives right now," Erna says of When Legends Rise, the band's first album in four years. "I’m personally not the same young angry kid I was when I made the first record. There’s been a lot of things that have changed for me over the last 20 years. I need to be able to evolve with music, and the fans need to be able to evolve with the band, and we need to be able to evolve with the fans. Hopefully they’ll be able to come along for the journey.
"We’re not going to pump out the same record year after year and sound the exact same way," he adds. "I can’t do it anymore. I get bored with it and I start to feel like it starts to get dated if I continue to do the same thing over and over again."
On whether or not Godsmack considers themselves to be metal:
"It’s funny man, I never really considered us a metal band. I know we certainly have rode that line sometimes on some of the songs and some of the records. They’ve kind of rode that line about metal, but I’ve always considered us kind of a hard rock band. I think as we grow we’re showing people more and more that we’re a rock band, we're not a metal band. For me, I don’t have a whole lot of interest in being a screamo band anymore. I don’t really enjoy that.
"I don’t know if it’s maybe where I’m getting older or just regressing back to the things that I loved about music and the songwriters that I loved like Elton John and Michael Jackson and Alice in Chains or whoever they were. To me I’ve stopped categorizing music. It’s a good song, or it’s a bad song. Those are the only two categories that I have now. I listen to such an eclectic array of music. If you heard my iTunes playlist, I don’t think people would understand why I have those songs in there. It’s because I really just enjoy listening to great music, and I don’t care what the genre is.
"I don’t think we belong in a metal fest to be honest with you. I think if you create a metal fest you’re going to hear some real metal bands that deserve those props. I don’t think we’re that. I just feel like we’re a hard rock band."
Are you a diehard Godsmack fan? Dig the changes? Have the new album pre-ordered? Let us know in the comments below!
When Legends Rise will be released on April 27th. The band is set to embark on a summer tour with Shinedown on July 22nd. More details here.