Terrie Carr of WDHA-FM 105.5 FM, the rock music station licensed to Dover and Morristown, New Jersey, recently conducted an interview with GODSMACK frontman Sully Erna. You can now listen to the chat at this location.
Speaking about how difficult it is to keep GODSMACK from interfering with his solo career, Erna said: "It's very easy to separate 'em, because [my solo] music was designed to be nothing like GODSMACK, so it doesn't compete with it in any way and it doesn't confuse the audience. They know it's a clear separation from anything I've done in GODSMACK. But, you know, sometimes I like to mix it up too [when I play solo shows]. And so, what I'll do is I'll do stuff from [Erna's 2010 solo album] 'Avalon' and I'll do stuff that… Like, since we're working on some new material, sometimes I'll introduce a new song. And maybe some covers, have some fun, give people something they're really familiar with and they can sing along to. And sometimes even throw in some GODSMACK acoustic stuff that GODSMACK doesn't necessarily play live on the big shows anymore. So I like to kind of give people a full variety of stuff. And even do some storytelling and things like that. 'Cause there's so many people that come out to see the solo show, and over the years I've gotten so many e-mails and requests about different questions about the book that I wrote or my life in general. So it gives me an opportunity to expose some of that stuff and give them a peek behind the scenes of things that I don't really talk about in the press."
Erna also spoke about how some of the more melodic approach of his solo material might have found its way onto the latest GODSMACK album, "1000hp" (One Thousand Horsepower), particularly the band's new single, "Something Different". He said: "I think what's happening for me is that, over the years, I'm just trying to continue to learn how to grow as a songwriter. The older you get, and the more your life changes, and the more experiences you have, things just… they just change. And for me, I'm just interested in writing really big, hooky hit songs."
He continued: "I've grown out of that phase where I was just trying to be the cool guy that wants to stay underground and be playing in the nightclubs and that kind of thing. I like to write stuff that, for me, is something that appeals to me. And I've always grown up listening to the biggest of bands — bands like METALLICA and JUDAS PRIEST and AEROSMITH and RUSH and BLACK SABBATH and LED ZEPPELIN… even people like Tom Petty and THE EAGLES and these people that put out huge hits. Elton John, Ray Charles… I'm attracted to really great songwriters, and so I'm trying to continue to learn how to develop and grow into just being a great songwriter, and sometimes that evolution happens over time. And now it's getting to the point, for me, where I wanna write stuff that's more melodic and stuff that feels attractive to me."
Erna added: "'Something Different' is one of those songs that… it's probably my favorite song on the record, because it does have that commercial aspect to it and that real big hook in the chorus, but it didn't lose the power and the integrity that GODMSACK has built our fan base on."
Sully played a series of solo shows earlier this month. The trek kicked off on December 3 in Verona, New York and concluded on December 14 in Boston, Massachusetts.
"Avalon" featured a very different style than what Erna does with GODSMACK, incorporating world music, female vocals, keyboards, cello, hand percussion and other diverse sounds.
GODSMACK's sixth studio album, "1000hp", was released on August 5.