GODSMACK's SULLY ERNA On Possibility Of Releasing Standalone Singles After Final Album: 'I Don't Think So'
February 27, 2023
In a new interview with the "Everblack" podcast, GODSMACK frontman Sully Erna spoke about the recent announcement that the band's eight album, "Lighting Up The Sky", will likely be its final collection of new material. Asked to confirm that GODSMACK is not actually planning on calling it quits and will instead focus on touring, Sully said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "Yeah, that's the plan. We're not announcing a breakup or a farewell tour. We're just letting people know that this is probably gonna be the last body of work recorded for GODSMACK. And there's so many reasons behind that, but it's been an emotional decision to make, because music is something we've always done with our entire lives. And so we're just thinking that maybe it's time to kind of be smart about this, to honor the fans.
"When you go see your favorite bands, and you go see METALLICA and AEROSMITH, are you really looking forward to [hearing songs from] their new record?" Sully continued. "Maybe there's a song or two that you're digging, but most of the time when you go see AEROSMITH, you wanna see 'Walk This Way' and 'Same Old Song And Dance' and 'Train Kept A-Rollin''. How do you not play those songs? They are the soundtrack to people's lives? And I'd like to think, after 26 Top 10 singles now, and five No. 1s, if we pull another three or four off this album, which is very possible — it has the material — we'll be at 30 Top 10 singles. That means we could do back-to-back nights in an arena and play 15 songs a night and never play the same single twice, let alone the 'B' cuts. So at one point you need to honor that career and go out and give the people what they wanna hear. And that's what we're looking forward to.
"It's not the end; we're just ending one chapter in our lives and we're gonna open up a new chapter and start to enjoy the sunset years by creating a greatest-hits show," Erna clarified.
Asked if he can foresee GODSMACK releasing standalone singles in the future instead of full-length albums, Sully said: "I don't think so. I don't feel that right now. I mean, you can never say never, but right now it feels right. The way this record laid out, the story it tells and how it ends, and how this record ends where the first record begins, it feels very resolved right now and it feels very complete. And I don't even know how I would top that."
Last fall, Erna told Pablo of the Minneapolis, Minnesota radio station 93X that "Lighting Up The Sky", which arrived on February 24 via BMG, is "the most important record" he and his bandmates have ever written and recorded. Sully said: "I've never been that artist who says, 'Oh, this record is our newest record. It's our best work ever.' You can read any interview you want over my whole career, and you've never heard me say it," he continued. "I've always loved our records [and] I always knew there would be some good singles on it and hoped it did well, but I was never the guy that said, 'This is our best fucking work ever.' And I'm telling you right now this is our best fucking work ever. And it's because it's emotional, man. This is the last record we're ever gonna do. This is the last run around the mill for us. We put every single ounce of energy and emotion into this album. Especially for me, when I wrote a lot of these songs, it was about my life journey. That's really what the sequence of this album becomes about. Not that it was planned that way, but this really kind of mystical thing happened where I felt like the universe wrote this record.
"We went in there with no plan, no ideas — very minimal ideas, just jamming. And, 'what's gonna be the topic? What am I gonna talk about now? How many times can I talk about a broken relationship?' Blah blah blah. And then it just started happening where song after song that was written, as I'm sequencing it and putting it in the order that I would like people to hear it in… We're still old school and we like an album to have a flow from front to back. I love vinyl — I want people to listen to side A and side B. And this one really told a story. And when I started to realize that, I'm, like, Okay. Let me shuffle these around a little bit more.'"
According to Erna, GODSMACK plans to hit the road after the release of "Lighting Up The Sky" and never stop. "That's forever now. It's forever now," he said. "From the point we start touring, we will always tour. We may take some breaks here and there, but we're now gonna start setting up the greatest-hits show, because we feel like we're able to do that. We can now play the best of the best that the fans have identified as what they've enjoyed the most over the years and why these songs became hit singles."
Erna concluded by saying that "Lighting Up The Sky" does not represent "an ending" but is rather "a new beginning. This is a new beginning of an era — it's the beginning of our sunset years," he explained. "And in our sunset years we wanna create something really special for the fans live where we can take every cool moment that we've ever done in every album cycle — the 'Awake' album had certain things we featured in the live show; the 'Faceless' record had certain things we featured from the live show; and so on — now we can create a montage of all those special things in each tour and just do a 'holy crap' show. That's what I wanna create. We're gonna try to make it big and special and important, filled with all special moments that people have enjoyed over the years. And I think that's gonna be really satisfying to us as well, 'cause it takes a lot of pressure off of us to know now we can just go out and enjoy what we do. Playing music is what we love the most — live. And it gives us more time to connect with the fans, connect with the live show and just enjoy the best part of why we do this for a living."
Last September, GODSMACK released the first single from "Lighting Up The Sky", a song called "Surrender". The track marked the first release from the band in four years, following their globally acclaimed and gold-certified 2018 album "When Legends Rise", which earned the Erna-fronted outfit a No. 1 spot across U.S. Hard Rock, Rock, and Alternative album charts.
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