GODSMACK's SULLY ERNA Explains What An Album Producer Does

February 23, 2023

In a new interview with Lou Brutus of HardDrive Radio, GODSMACK vocalist/guitarist Sully Erna, who co-produced the band's upcoming eighth studio album, "Lighting Up The Sky", with Andrew "Mudrock" Murdock, was asked to explain what a producer does. He responded (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "Sometimes I'm not even sure what a producer does anymore, or what they're supposed to do, but I'm pretty sure when you produce an album, if you're a producer working with a band and your job is to produce that album, part of it is that you help them with arrangements. If you feel like, 'Hmm, that chorus is a little bit too long. I think you should chop it in half and get to the point quicker', all the way down to sonically how the record sounds, engineering it, making a decision. Even if you're not the engineer turning the knobs — I don't know how to do that stuff. I've been doing this my whole life, and I still don't sit behind the desk. I can do it to a certain degree, 'cause I've just done it for so long, but I don't know the details of that experience, to get, 'Oh, I want the kick drum to sound like this' or 'I want the vocal to delay like that.' I let them do it, but I'm there to guide them, and I'm there to verbally tell them what I'm looking for and how I want the album to sonically sound. So there's really a couple of different hats a producer wears, and one is the arrangement of the music and the other one is the sound of the record."

Regarding his working relationship with Murdock and the decision to get Andrew involved on "Lighting Up The Sky", Sully said: "I've worked with Andrew long enough, and he was the guy that produced our first two albums. But he knows me, and I've always got my hands in everything. And nothing goes out with the GODSMACK stamp of approval without me stamping it off.

"I chose Andrew, because this whole concept, when it really became about, 'Oh my God. This might be the last [GODSMACK album] ever', and it became emotional, I wanted to bring in… I wanna end this where it began, with the people that helped us create this in the first place and sent us on our way for success. And that's Andrew Murdock — along with Dave Fortman; Dave mixed the album.

"So, as far as producing, co-producing… I produced this record. I brought Andrew in to co-produce with me because I wanted him to be a part of this journey. I wanted to end this where it began. I felt like it was the right thing to do. And I have an immense amount of respect for him as a producer and an engineer. So it made sense. Same thing with Dave Fortman. He produced our '1000hp' [2014] and 'The Oracle' album [2010]. Obviously, we couldn't have three producers, so I just brought him in because he's great with sonically making a record sound good. And I worked with him on mixing. Ted Jensen mastering the record, from Sterling Sound. He's done all of our albums. Even bringing back our original management company and a lot of our original crew members on tour. I want this to feel like the family is back together and as many originals are here with me as we conclude this chapter in our lives."

"Lighting Up The Sky" will be released on February 24 via BMG.

The first single from "Lighting Up The Sky", "Surrender", which arrived in September, marked the first release from GODSMACK in four years, following their globally acclaimed and gold-certified 2018 album "When Legends Rise", which earned the Sully Erna-fronted outfit a No. 1 spot across U.S. Hard Rock, Rock, and Alternative album charts.

GODSMACK will embark on a spring 2023 tour with special guests I PREVAIL.

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