During a new appearance on The VR Sessions' "Riff On It", GODSMACK frontman Sully Erna spoke about the progress of the songwriting sessions for the band's new studio album. He said (transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "We just started writing again — like, literally a month ago; not even. I bought a property down in Florida recently, because I just wanted to get away from all this nonsense that is going around the country. I don't wanna go down that whole conversation right now, but I've learned a lot from this whole political nonsense and crap that's happened with COVID about just people and the way everyone's behaved during it. And I just wanted to kind of check out for a little bit and go focus on myself, my life, my family and my band, who is doing great, by the way. So I bought a place in Florida, and I actually moved the studio that we had up here in the New England area down to Fort Myers area. And that's where we've been working. It's been going good. We have probably — I don't know — 12 songs written in the last three weeks. And, obviously, as everyone knows, a song isn't a song until the lyrics and melodies are done. So I just started diving into that. And I came home to take a little break from the band so I could literally catch up and start writing some melodies to some of these instrumentals that we have."
Sully continued: "We never, even last March when COVID started really becoming a thing and they were starting to shut down the country, I knew right away… There was bands that were, like, 'Oh, we're gonna push our tour back until the fall,' or, 'We're gonna go next spring.' And I don't know why I knew this, but I just knew this thing was gonna make a mess. So we immediately were, like, 'Okay, we're shut down and we're gonna not even think about 2020.' And 2021 is even shady and maybe a possibility by fall, but I still think that it's not gonna be quite ready yet. So we decided to just focus on this year being in one place, working on music with no agenda, with no timeline, with no even plan on what kind of music we're gonna write. It could be piano and acoustic ballads, it could be vintage road rock, it could be a big, fat, heavy rock song. We just said, 'Let's just go play and be happy playing together. And we'll just jam. And whatever happens happens. We'll throw it in different folders and we'll sort it out later.' And that's just gonna be our agenda for the rest of the year. We plan on trying to get a record finished by the end of the year, maybe two [records]. We might do like a specialty album and a big full-length rock record and then release it sometime in the first quarter of '22."
This past March, Erna told "The Mistress Carrie Podcast" that GODSMACK was planning to make "a full-length rock record" as well as "a really cool vibey acoustic album or EP." He also left the door open to once again collaborating with outside songwriters, just as was the case on 2018's "When Legends Rise".
"[On] the last record, I really enjoyed the process of not only writing by myself or writing with my band, but then I ventured out too, and I worked with some other writers who are just really great songwriters, like [John] Feldmann, who writes for BLINK-182 and 5 SECONDS OF SUMMER and a really weird list of bands that no one would ever make the connection of GODSMACK and those kind of artists," he said. "Great artists, but just a different style of music. Or Erik Ron. Or even Clint Lowery from SEVENDUST; I did some writing with him. And I enjoyed the process a lot, and out of that process, I got some great songs. And so, yeah, it does inspire me, and it makes me think outside the box."
Last September, GODSMACK's "Bulletproof" single was certified platinum by the RIAA (Recording Industry Association Of America) for accumulating one million certified units. According to the RIAA, one equivalent song unit is equal to a single digital song sale, or 150 on-demand audio and/or video streams.
"Bulletproof" was released February 28, 2018 as the first single from "When Legends Rise"; the track was previously certified gold in the U.S. and was also the most-played song at rock radio in 2018.
Originally released April 27, 2018 via BMG (the band's debut on the label), "When Legends Rise" marked GODSMACK's first album in four years. The album earned career milestones for the group: four No. 1 rock tracks (an accomplishment that makes GODSMACK one of only four rock acts to achieve this), and a record 11th No. 1 singles in the band's career with the album's fourth single "Unforgettable".
"Unforgettable" followed three previous No. 1 singles from "When Legends Rise": "Under Your Scars" and "When Legends Rise" plus "Bulletproof". "When Legends Rise" entered the Billboard Top 200 album chart in the top ten (No. 8), with four No. 1 placements on other charts: Top Rock Albums, Top Hard Music Albums, Top Independent Albums and Top Alternative Albums.
Last June, GODSMACK's music publishing catalog and master royalty stream was acquired by Primary Wave Music Publishing. The deal includes the Grammy nominee's publishing and master income stream for its compositions and masters across its entire career to date. Titles include their debut album "Godsmack", "When Legends Rise", "Awake" and "1000hp", as well as their Billboard No. 1 albums "The Oracle", "IV" and "Faceless", which features the Grammy-nominated single "I Stand Alone". Erna, who formed GODSMACK in 1995, wrote the single, which shot to No. 1 on the Mainstream Rock chart upon release. It went on to sell over a half million copies, helping "Faceless" to quickly go platinum. Also included in the deal are EPs and compilations, including "The Other Side" and "Good Times, Bad Times".