Catching Up With…

Godsmack’s Shannon Larkin

The massive success of Godsmack’s 2010 comeback album, The Oracle, kept the band on the road for nearly two years and produced the tour document Live & Inspired, which includes a four-song bonus disc of classic-rock covers. The band members then took some much needed time off, only to reconvene in 2013 for some festival slots—better off for the break, according to drummer Shannon Larkin. “We didn’t rehearse before those festival shows,” Larkin says. “We just went for it, and it reignited us. We realized that we have magic as a band, and that we needed to get back into the studio to start writing.”

Larkin and guitarist Tony Rombola, who both live in Florida, put together about twenty songs, while singer Sully Erna, who, along with bassist Robbie Merrill, lives in the Boston area, began writing independently. “By the time we all got together for preproduction at our studio in Florida,” Larkin explains, “we had a boatload of riffs.

“We never want to make the same record,” Larkin continues. “Faceless [2003] was a precise metal record; IV [2006] was a bit more bluesy, paying tribute to our idols, like Sabbath and Zeppelin; and The Oracle was the heaviest record we could make for Godsmack fans. With 1000hp, we felt more of a punk-rock feel right away. The tempos were faster, and there was more raw energy without changing our overall sound.”

The band’s rekindled passion was a driving force that allowed the songs on 2014’s 1000hp to maintain a purity of purpose. “In the past,” Larkin says, “there was some mystery as to where everyone’s priorities were, due to different side projects and solo projects. We’re no longer starving artists, so we’ve always said we’d do this until it isn’t fun anymore. This record wasn’t done for money, or even for the fans. We just felt this magical chemistry between the four of us, so we put all negativity in the past and enjoyed playing and writing songs together.”

David Ciauro