20 years since the release of their debut album and 20 million album sales later, GODSMACK are an even stronger animal than before. The proof is in the grooves of WHEN LEGENDS RISE, their first album in four years that’s due out April 27 via BMG and marking their debut on the label. The album is available for pre-order now (here) with instant grat track, “Bulletproof.”
Arriving to radio today, February 28, the first single is “Bulletproof,” which shows the band–Sully Erna [vocals, guitar], Tony Rombola [guitar], Robbie Merrill [bass], and Shannon Larkin [drums]–doubling down on their combination of tightly wound riffs, rhythmic fury, naked emotions and pushed-to-the-edge vocals, all fired up with melodic precision and tight songcraft. An official music video is coming soon.
What inspired the songs on WHEN LEGENDS RISE? “It was just about evolving as a songwriter,” says singer and songwriter Sully Erna. “I wanted to stretch my wings out even further to use all the experiences I’ve had with writing different types of music over the years and applying that to find a way to introduce a newer, fresher, more mature sound, but still maintaining the power of Godsmack.”
WHEN LEGENDS RISE, the band’s seventh studio album, was recorded at their headquarters (GSHQ) in Derry, New Hampshire and produced by Erik Ron and Sully Erna. Sonically intense and layered, it pushes the band forward and kicks off with the title track which begins with tribal-style drums and lethal riffs. “When Legends Rise” speaks to “the band and our journey,” says Erna.”It’s been an amazing road we have traveled through all the ups and downs. But being able to conquer those challenging times with alcohol and egos and everything else that can tear a band apart is what we are the most proud of. To be able to stand strong again and do it better than we ever have. It’s about burning it down and building it back up. It’s the Phoenix rising from the ashes!”
Emotions run strong on “Bulletproof.” Says Erna: “I always write about things that have affected me on an emotional level. I think everyone knows that about me by now. But if I choose to do that, I have to be prepared to be honest and vulnerable. And so the challenge is figuring out how ‘exposed’ you want to be with personal information. But I’ve also learned over the years that for me, being transparent, even to the point of embarrassment sometimes, is so much better than holding it inside and extending that pain longer than you need to. ‘Bulletproof’ is just another moment in my life when I allowed myself to be vulnerable and got hurt. It’s this kind of carelessness from other people that eventually hardens you and forces you to put up that wall to protect yourself. So when and if they circle back around and try to get back in, you make yourself bulletproof.”
Another album standout is the anthemic “Unforgettable” with its towering, massive sound and some special vocal guests. “It’s my favorite song on the record,” says Erna. “And thanks to an organization I work with called C.A.T.S. (Community Alliance for Teen Safety) that focuses on helping young kids stay on the right path, I invited a bunch of kids from the DERRY Middle Schools of New Hampshire to sing with me which I feel really brought this song over the top! They were incredible, and the song is Unforgettable!!”
WHEN LEGENDS RISE is also highlighted by the powerful string-laden ballad “Under Your Scars.” “I come from a very broad background in music,” explains Erna. “My great uncle was a famous composer in Sicily, and my dad is still a musician and runs an Italian band in the Boston area. So as I’ve grown over the years as an artist, I’ve regressed back to ALL TYPES of music and instruments I love working with and composing. So I called upon my dear friend Irina Chirkova to lay down the cello parts and Zvezdelina Haltakova (both from Bulgaria) did all the violin parts for me. And I really feel that this specific track will be something people will gravitate towards since it’s the first real ballad we’ve put on a Godsmack record. I think like it or not, they will gravitate towards it to explore it out of curiosity. But again, it’s about taking risks and expanding.”
WHEN LEGENDS RISE follows the success of 2014’s 1,000 HP, which entered the Top Billboard 200 chart at #3, with two #1 debuts (Billboard Top Alternative Albums: #1 Billboard Top Hard Rock Albums: #1).
One of rock’s most explosive live acts,GODSMACK will perform at seven U.S. festivals, between April 27 and July 14 (see the dates below), to be followed later this year by a major outdoor amphitheater tour (details TBA).
The WHEN LEGENDS RISE track listing is:
“When Legends Rise”
“Every Part Of Me”
“Take It To The Edge”
“Under Your Scars”
“Just One Time”
“Say My Name”
“Let It Out”
“Eye Of The Storm”
GODSMACK’s initial 2018 tour dates are as follows:
4/27 – Jacksonville, FL – Welcome to Rockville
4/28 – Sunrise, FL – Fort Rock Festival
5/5 – Concord, NC – Monster Energy’s Carolina Rebellion
5/18 – Columbus, OH – Rock on the Range
5/25 – Pryor, OK – Rocklahoma
7/12 – Oshkosh, WI – Rock USA
(7/12-14) – Cadott, WI – Chippewa Valley Rock Fest
Godsmack stand strong as 21st century hard rock titans. With an unbreakable spirit and diehard work ethic evocative of their hometown, the Boston quartet fought hard to secure a place in music history since first smashing their way on to the scene in 1998. To date, they’ve notched a staggering six #1 singles at mainstream rock radio, including “Awake,” “Straight Out of Line,” “Cryin’ Like A Bitch,” and “I Stand Alone.” Moreover, they’ve enjoyed 20 Top 10 hits at the format-the most of any act since February 1999–as well as four Grammy nominations, and were winners of The Billboard Music Awards Rock Artist’s of the Year in 2001. Selling over 20 million records worldwide, the band has also unleashed three consecutive albums at #1 on the Billboard Top 200-namely Faceless , IV , and The Oracle. This places them in league with Van Halen, U2, Metallica, Dave Matthews Band, and Linkin Park who have also enjoyed the same streak. Moreover, the accomplishment on the road remains staggering with headlining sets everywhere from Mayhem and UPROAR to Rock on the Range. Godsmack released the successful and acclaimed 1,000 HP in 2014, and their domination continues with the release of When Legends Rise,their seventh full-length album in 2014. They still stand alone.