During a new appearance on the “Stop! Drop & Talk” podcast, GODSMACK drummer Shannon Larkin spoke about the progress of the songwriting sessions for the band’s new studio album. He said (transcribed by Phoosi.com) “GODSMACK, I’ll just say, we are all happy and healthy and love one another. And we’re writing music, and we have some cool music happening. And we’re blessed enough to have time… We’re doing it really different 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 [Erna, GODSMACK frontman] 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.”
He continued: “I know it’s a horrible time [during the pandemic], but kind of, for me and this whole hermit thing, I’m digging it — for now. It’s been a cool change. I write music with my friends now, it feels like. We’ll have to put a record out someday. But right now, it’s like we’re just kind of reflecting even on, wow, what we’ve done the last 20 years together. It’s crazy, man. You try to make the best out of everything that we’re given. So we got given this pandemic. Let’s just make the best of it for now.”
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. So, in a nutshell, the plan is gonna be we have some shows we’re gonna honor this April and May coming up from back when COVID hit and we had to cancel some — just a handful. And then 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 [Larkin, drums] 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. So now we’ve committed to getting in there January 2 and we’re gonna work through the end of April to try to button up a record. And that’s why we’re looking at probably like a late summer, early fall release for a new single. And then [a full-length] record following that.”
Last September, 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.