Shannon Larkin Discusses Final Godsmack Album: “We’re Not Going Away, We’ll Still Be Out There Playing The Hits”

After over 20 years and eight studio albums, Godsmack have decided they won’t be recording any new albums for the foreseeable future. In Modern Drummer‘s August 2023 cover story with Shannon Larkin, the band’s longtime drummer, Larkin confirmed that the band’s latest LP, February’s Lighting Up the Sky, would indeed be their last.

“It’s been over 20 years, we’ve had success, and we’re very grateful,” Larkin tells Modern Drummer, “But we all started really young, and we have been doing this for years…  When I joined the band the next three records were number one on Billboard, we climbed that mountain. Historically, after most bands reach their mid 50s and get into their 60s and 70s, you go from selling out arenas to playing the State Fair. I mean absolutely no disrespect, but I don’t believe Godsmack could get any bigger.”

Larkin goes on to discuss how the grueling cycle of recording, promoting, and touring leads to burnout and alienation — hence the decision to focus their efforts towards playing great live shows. “The anxiety and pressure of making records, touring, and the pressure of being in this machine becomes like Groundhog Day. You make another record, and you have to go tour to promote it. You always have a product to sell. The band had a sit down and just talked about it. Sully asked, ‘What if this was our last record?’ Playing live is really where we get our reward and that’s where we make our money.” Advertisement

Once they established that Lighting Up the Sky would be the final Godsmack record, Larkin felt like a weight was lifted. “We realized that we have a two-hour set, and we have ten or twelve #1 hits, we actually realized that our sets aren’t even long enough to play all of our top five singles. Then we started thinking, what if we could jump out of the machine now and not have to sell anything because we’re all financially stable. We can actually play a greatest hits set right now!”

“We don’t want to alienate our fanbase and do a blues record, a piano record, or a covers record,” Larkin says. “We figured the best thing we could do for ourselves physically and mentally is not break up and not do the cash cow final tour and charge $400 a ticket. We figured that we would just announce that we’ll stop making records. We’re not going away, we’ll still be out there playing the hits.”

Elsewhere in the cover story, Larkin discusses his journey of joining Godsmack 20 years ago, his musical and drumming influences, and how he’s itching to keep working on his side project, Spirit Wheel. Advertisement

Earlier this year, Godsmack’s Sully Erna spoke with Heavy Consequence about why Lighting Up the Sky would be the band’s last album. Check out the interview here.

Read Shannon Larkin’s cover story here, and grab tickets for Godsmack’s 2023 tour here.