GODSMACK frontman Sully Erna has taken 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 recently 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 a new 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, the 53-year-old singer/guitarist 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."
This past March, 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."
With governor Ron DeSantis at the helm, Florida is considered to have the most lax COVID-19 restrictions in North America.
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."