Sully from Godsmack Speaks

As I sit here trying to come up with something witty or appropriately grandiose to introduce this interview, a stray thought occurs to me. Does Godsmack even need an introduction? Maybe not. They are ubiquitous in all corners of alternative music, hard rock and heavy metal, their name synonymous with the past decade of mainstream metal history and success. I was privileged enough to recently have a conversation with singer/songwriter/frontman Sully Erna. Here's the results.

More than ten years together, world tours, headlining festivals, multi-platinum albums.  Is there anything you feel you still have to accomplish as a band?


Yes.  Making money.  We're broke.  Ha!!!

Sully, I know you wrote a book about the trials and tribulations of working up the music ladder to stardom.  What's it like to be at the top, and do you ever have moments where you look back and are just in awe of it all?

There was a time when all I wanted was to be a simple regular guy.  Then I wanted to be a rock star, and thankfully the stars lined up after many many years of hard work and suffering.  And I enjoyed that ride as much as I could. And I still enjoy it from time to time.  But life is funny, and now, the more successful I’ve become, the more I just crave to be a simple regular guy again.  


What was the moment when you knew Godsmack had "made it" as a band?

I believe for me it was the day we stepped off a redeye flight from LA to NY after finishing a 3 month tour on the Ozzfest, and onto the stage at woodstock 99' and looked at 250,000 people holding up Godsmack signs and singing our songs.  That was a day I’ll never forget.


You've said in other interviews that The Oracle is a return to the musical roots of Godsmack.  What should fans expect from the album?  

They shouldn't expect a single thing.  But they should KNOW that this record was built and written for them only.  This is not an album that is trying to reinvent music or get all fancy shmancy with.  We just wanted to write what we feel the fans have been asking us to sound like all along.  So enjoy!!


What was the writing process like?  Did The Oracle end up being a return to Godsmack's roots through a conscious effort, or did it just happen that way?


 

It was truly an equal collaboration between all four of us.  We all sat down and discussed what we wanted and expected from each of us on this album, and God Damn it, we delivered every speck of it.  


Will there still be something on the album that long-time fans will have never heard before?

No.  This is us just doing what we do.  Love it or Hate it, i don’t give a fuck!  This record rocks!!


What drove the decision to leave "Whiskey Hangover" off of the album?

I hate the song.  It's boring and we were forced to write it to be on Cruefest.  It sucks!!


The Oracle was recorded one song at a time.  What's the benefit of recording that way?





It was decided that way because in the past, we've always done one instrument at a time and it takes twice as long, and half the members of the band are gone once their parts are done.  This way we all got to enjoy the entire process together and every two days we could hear a rough mix of what that specific track sounded like.  


Sully, how was it combining production forces with Dave Fortman, who has some pretty solid musical chops of his own?  Did he bring anything to the table that you wouldn't have had otherwise?

Let me tell you this...  I will DEFINITELY record another record with him again.  If not every one. 
That dude is not only the funniest guy I’ve ever met, but he really knows how to produce and make suggestions that are relevant and important to the decision of the song.  Great fucking guy!!


What about The Oracle are you most proud of?  Is there any part you'd do differently if given the chance?

No.  Everything happens for a reason.  And in this case, only The Oracle knows that reason.


So, based on "Cryin' Like a Bitch," I suppose you won't be touring with Motley Crue again anytime soon?  Given the brass ring, who do you dream of touring with?

I'm a fan of Motley Crue, always have been.  Still great friends with Tommy Lee.  And Mick and Vince were also very very cool guys to all of us.  That's all everyone, right??  Eh Hem!!  So anyway....

We've been blessed with having the opportunities to open for some of our childhood hero's, Ozzy, Black Sabbath, Metallica, etc... So in our eyes, there's only one band left on this planet that we would consider opening for.  AC fucking DC!!  If not them, we'll headline ourselves.


Along those lines, who are you all listening to right now?  Are there any bands or musicians, mainstream or underground, big or small who really impresses you?

Love the last Alanis Morrisette CD.  No bullshit.  She's amazing and I think she writes really powerful lyrics.


The videos chronicling the recording of the album.  Who's idea, and what do you hope fans take away from watching them?

My idea.  Just wanted to have the fans be able to follow us through the work progress and let them into our world a little. They’ll be a DVD of the making of this record accompanying the CD.  So make sure you get one of the first batches they release.  It won't be on all of them.


Speaking of videos, you've made a number of them, and they're pretty high quality stuff.  Do you guys have a favorite?  Are there big plans for future videos?

The newest one we're working on now for Bitch is for sure the best one yet.  Godsmack performance and the best of the UFC knock outs!!  Killer stuff.

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