GODSMACK's SULLY ERNA Returns To Social Media, Explains His Long Absence

October 10, 2022

GODSMACK frontman Sully Erna has explained his long absence from social media.

The 54-year-old vocalist/guitarist, who is promoting a new single from his band, took to his Instagram late Sunday (October 9) to share a video message in which he said that he wanted to take a break from posting online content to focus on being "an entertainer".

Erna said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "Okay, so I'm back after a very long break from social media. Actually, I think it's been well over a year and a half since I posted. And I wanted the first video to be an explanation, although I'm not gonna go too far down this rabbit hole on why I've been gone. But I felt obligated to give you somewhat of an explanation on why I chose to dip out for a while. And it's mainly because after the world tipped itself upside down a few years ago, and I started noticing every normal person had a professional political view and every celebrity, all of a sudden, was a medical expert in COVID, which I think is so wrong, because they're scaring people one way or the other. I chose to take the position of, I'm an entertainer; I get paid to entertain, therefore that's what I'm gonna focus my efforts on to create as much great music and videos and content for you people as I can.

"So we'll start with we have a new single out. It's called 'Surrender'," he continued. "And if you haven't heard it yet, you can get it on whatever your favorite music platform is. And we also are very excited to share with you that we have a new record coming out. And I'm not gonna tell you what the title of it is yet. And I'm not gonna tell you when it's coming out. What I will tell you is in the 30 years I've been with this band, I don't think once have I ever said in an interview or to a friend that this new music is the best work we've ever done. I know a lot of artists say that every record they put out: 'This is the best we've ever done.' I'm just gonna tell you that this is the best fucking work we've ever done. I mean, it is packed with great melodies, really big hooks. And what I love about it the most is it tells the story of our journey and our career. So it's been a really emotional record for us, because we really believe that this could be the last body of work that you hear from GODSMACK. That doesn't mean that I'm saying we're breaking up. I don't wanna put that false illusion in anyone's head. We are here. We are getting along better than ever. We plan on continuing to tour, continuing to build the greatest-hits show, which we're really excited about, and just start enjoying our lives after all the hard work we've put in. But this could very well be the last body of music that you hear from the band. So we encourage you to go out and get this record when it comes out and listen to it from to back because it really is great. And it gave us closure. And because of that is why I feel that this could be the last of the music.

"So after this video, all the videos will be fun or informative," Sully added. "But for now, I just wanted to say hi, wake up the audience again, let everybody know we're back and we're gonna have some fun. So stay tuned."

In a recent interview with the Minneapolis, Minnesota radio station 93X, Erna said that COVID-19 "kicked" his ass at the end of last year before he got better. "I was one of the unlucky ones that had to be hospitalized for it for four days," he said in part. "But I beat it, and I feel good now. All my taste, my smell, that came back — hmmmm — I wouldn't say a hundred percent, but probably 85, 90 percent. It's still a little bit different when I smell or taste now — a hint of bitterness versus what it used to be. But [it's] pretty close. And I just got COVID for the second time a couple of weeks ago. But now they have these antiviral meds and I jumped right on it and I knocked it out within three days. So I'm hoping I'm done with COVID now for good, 'cause I think I got all the strains that they offer it in. [Laughs]"

Erna's personal battle with COVID-19 came less than a year after he said that the coronavirus was not as deadly as health officials had made it out to be. "I'm sorry, man, and there may be some people that may get mad at me about saying this, but COVID is not a global killer," he said during a March 2021 appearance on "The Mistress Carrie Podcast". "It's doing damage, and it's certainly affecting the elderly, and we pray for them, and we are really sympathetic towards that, and that's why we're all wearing masks, that's why we're all doing our job. Because there's a lot of us that aren't afraid of COVID, and we know that we're probably gonna blow right through it. But we don't wanna roll the dice with our loved ones, so we're being responsible. But at the same time, the reality is this isn't a global killer. It's gonna pass, we're gonna get past it, and we need to get back to normal. So we have to influence the strong to get out there and start working and start going to school and doing what they need to do so we can create population immunity. That's what's gonna get us through this. And then we'll be able to get back to normal."

At the time, Erna also repeated a narrative pushed by conservative media and disputed by health experts that suggested the official death count from the coronavirus in the U.S. was inflated.

"There's been a lot of things proven within the media, the news, to who's on what side of what, and whether some of this was a political agenda to begin within, whether the numbers are accurate enough to be able to base it on, those half a million people dead," Erna told "The Mistress Carrie Podcast". "Because there was a lot of people coming forward, a lot of doctors and everything, saying, 'Why the fuck are we being asked to put COVID on everything? Why did someone just die of pneumonia, and we have to write 'COVID'? Why did someone come in and have a heart attack, and we're being told to write 'COVID'?' So whether that half-a-million number is correct, that's the part that I feel like we need to be responsible enough to try and be optimistic about not steering people down one rabbit hole, because that's what CNN does on one side and Fox does on the other side. So CNN delivers one side of this, and Fox takes you down a different rabbit hole."

Last November, Erna took a swipe at celebrities, including fellow musicians, who have used their high-profile voices to encourage medical behaviors, saying they should "shut up and let people live their lives."

Erna, who confirmed that politics played a part in his decision to relocate GODSMACK's headquarters to Florida — which leans Republican in presidential elections — on a part-time basis while maintaining a home in New Hampshire, discussed his views on celebrity health campaigns in an interview with Mindy Novotny of the Milwaukee radio station 102.9 The Hog. Speaking about the fact that star-studded vaccine endorsements have become a major part of public health messaging in the pandemic era, he said: "I get paid to be an entertainer. That's the position I've chosen. So I'll focus on entertaining, making people smile, healing people through music. And anybody else that's out there in a celebrity status that's pushing people one way or the other when you have no experience as a medical expert or a politician, my advice is shut up and let people live their lives because you don't know the consequences when you push them one way or the other. So why don't you just do what you're great at and entertain, because that's what you are. That's the position I've taken and that's the position I'm gonna stand with. I'm gonna write my music, I'm gonna put on great live shows, and I'm gonna help people escape a lot of their daily problems, hopefully, that they have to face regardless."

In March 2021, Erna told "The Mistress Carrie Podcast" about his move to Florida. "I'd been looking at an alternate home area for a while now. And California was kind of on my radar, just because I have a lot of friends there, my business is there, [and] I love the weather. But when all this political shit went down, it really turned me off to just the thought process and ways of being for a lot of the liberals and people that I just can't connect with on that wavelength. So it kind of bummed me out to a point where I'm, like, well, I don't really wanna go three thousand miles across the country to pay triple the amount of money to live in that kind of nonsense and be locked down."

He continued: "So, yeah, corona and politics played a piece of my decision to divert to Florida. And I honestly just went down there to buy a property with a little bit of room and a decent little house, and I wanted horses. And I knew that Shannon [Larkin, GODSMACK drummer] was kind of in horse country, 'cause it's in North Fort Myers. So I just came across this really great deal with this lady who had a 20-acre horse ranch, but she also owned a 30-acre pasture next door to it, which is just an open pasture that some guy leases to pasteurize his cows on. And it gives me a tax break 'cause it's agricultural. And I get a half a cow a year. [Laughs] So, yeah, I'm a meat eater too. Not only am I not a liberal, I'm a fucking meat eater."

Erna has been more vocal about his political opinions in recent years, saying in a July 2020 episode of his Internet show "Hometown Sessions" that if "Trump stays in [office], COVID's gonna be a big, messy pain in the ass, and there's gonna be more people burning down Wendy's fucking restaurants. If Trump fucking is gone, all of a sudden they're gonna have this miracle vaccine that those fucking liars have been holding on to."

In February 2020, Erna came under fire for sharing a post that was flagged as part of Facebook's efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its news feed. The post in question criticized then-Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders's plan to raise the minimum wage and provide universal health care to all Americans. It also cited Sanders's Medicare For All plan, a single, national health insurance program that would cover everyone who lives in the United States.

Back in 2004, Erna revealed that he was not in favor of the Democratic candidate for president in that year's election, telling Launch Radio Networks: "I'm a Republican. I want Republican. I don't necessarily want [incumbent Republican president George W.] Bush to win. I don't like that choice, but I gotta tell you, I don't truly believe in the Democrats either, man. I don't like the way they think. I don't like, I don't love Bush, I'll tell you that, but I want a Republican in office."

Last month, Erna told the Minneapolis, Minnesota radio station 93X that GODSMACK's upcoming album will be called "Lighting Up The Sky". He went on to say that the second single from "Lighting Up The Sky" will arrive in February and will coincide with the release of the full-length effort.

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