GODSMACK frontman Sully Erna said in a new interview that the band will "open a new chapter" in its career by adopting "a new sound, a new stage and a new look" in time for the release its next studio album.
GODSMACK is currently at work on its seventh studio disc, which the band intends to release in 2018 to coincide with the group's twentieth anniversary.
Speaking to WFMZ-TV earlier today (Wednesday, August 9) prior to he group's appearance at Musikfest in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, Erna and GODSMACK drummer Shannon Larkin were asked if there was a specific theme running through the band's upcoming follow-up to 2014's "1000hp". "Not so much a theme, but we have made a conscious decision to kind of change the game a bit," Erna responded. "This show we're kind of marking as the last of the nostalgic GODSMACK shows, and from this point forward, we're gonna kind of open a new chapter in our career and go for a new sound, a new stage and a new look for the band. We're gonna change things up enough, maintain the integrity of what we are and what we do. But it feels so far that the writing is going a little bit more down into a commercial, mainstream kind of feel. But, again, without losing the power and the stuff that we built our heritage on."
Larkin went on to say that GODSMACK will celebrate its twentieth anniversary "by touring out butts off." Erna concurred, saying: "Yeah, there's gonna be a lot of roadwork to do. There's a lot of countries to hit. It's a big world out there, and I think we're gonna try to do at least two laps around the globe before we end this album cycle."
Erna's latest comments echo those he made last month in an interview with "Whiplash", the KLOS radio show hosted by Full Metal Jackie. Speaking about his songwriting is evolving, Erna remarked: "I'm not that young, angry kid that I used to be once. I'm a lot older now, I have a daughter of my own, I'm in a good place in my life. I don't have a whole lot to really be stressed out about or mad. And so the music has to evolve with that."
He continued: "So now where things are a little bit brighter and a little bit better, we're not gonna write about flowers and ice cream, but I certainly think that it's gonna have a little bit more positive of a message and I definitely think it's even gonna have a little bit more of a commercial edge to it. Because we're older now, and we wanna kind of continue to write and play music that we also enjoy and not always have to be in 'screamo' mode and chugging away."
Erna said that he wants to focus on composing "really well-written songs," adding, "I listen to a lot of great songwriters — Elton John, Michael Jackson, whoever it is that has been legendary and iconic. And I try once again to absorb and learn from them so we can put out the best record we can due to the year and the day and age that we're in."
The singer said that the hardest part of writing music is "just the challenge of getting up every day and putting in your time… As artists, it's no wonder that we become manic-depressive, alcohol addicts. We're always trying to beat our last thing, we're always wondering if our best days are behind us and if we've already done our best work."
GODSMACK's last release was a song called "Inside Yourself", which was made available in October 2015 as a free download at the band's official web site.
The new GODSMACK CD will be its first effort for BMG, following a split with the band's label home since 1998, Republic/Universal.