GODSMACK frontman Sully Erna has confirmed that the band has officially left its label home of nearly two decades, Republic/Universal, and signed a deal with BMG.
Erna's first release for BMG will be his sophomore solo album, "Hometown Life", which will arrive on Friday, September 30.
In the latest webisode documenting the making of "Hometown Life", Sully explained GODSMACK's decision to change its record company. He said: "It's been a really interesting year so far, too, for me this year. Besides coming out with this new album, there's been a lot of changes I've been making in my life in general, and one of them was departing... After a sixteen-, seventeen-year relationship with Republic/Universal, our contractual obligations were up and we decided to move on and sign with BMG, which has been a real pleasure so far. Because it's coming back to having control as the artist and not being controlled by the record label. Not that we had a bad experience with Republic or Universal — they were great to us; we're still like family, and we really admire and respect those guys for everything they did for us — but, you know, years move on and things change, and so the industry changes, and so our relationship, as artists, to the industry has to change as well. And so it was just time. It was a good opportunity to try something new, and also be in a position of control again of our own music and of our own career."
Erna last year said that a disagreement over the launch of the "Something Different" single from GODSMACK's 2014 album, "1000hp", fractured the band's relationship with its record label beyond repair.
GODSMACK originally wanted "Something Different" to be the lead single from "1000hp" but was talked out of it by Republic/Universal, which convinced the band to go with the title track first, a move that Erna said was a "mistake."
"The label made some big promises to us, that ['Something Different'] was gonna be the big push, so we went with ['1000hp'] first, to just kind of crack it open, and then they just kind of bailed on us on [the 'Something Different'] single," he explained during an appearance on HATEBREED frontman Jamey Jasta's official podcast, "The Jasta Show". "And because of that, we don't think we're gonna be working with the label anymore. I mean, it was a big mistake on their behalf, we believe, and it's a song that I still believe in and it reacts live, and you'll see it every night."
He continued: "It was a big learning lesson for us, because from now on… You know, 'once, shame on you, twice, shame on me' kind of thing. So never again will I allow that to happen. From now on, we're gonna launch [each album] with whatever we feel is the biggest song on the record."
Erna added: "We knew that song should have been the biggest hit on the record. There was something about it; it just felt right. But our mentality at the time was, 'Let's drop ['1000hp']. It kind of tells the story of the history. It's just kind of a straight-up, standard GODSMACK song that at least will kick the door open again. We haven't had a song out in four years. And then, once it settles in a little bit, boom, drop the bomb and hopefully it will explode, right? But I'll never do that again. From now on, they're just gonna get whatever we feel is the best one and we'll work our way through it from there. Because if that song would have hit like we hoped for it to, I really, really think it could have maybe put the band onto another level. It felt like that kind of crossover song. But whatever… Lesson learned."
GODSMACK in October 2015 released a new song called "Inside Yourself" as a free download at the band's official web site.
"1000hp" sold approximately 58,000 copies in its first week of release to land at No. 3 on The Billboard 200 album chart. The disc followed up 2011's "The Oracle", which topped the chart with sales of 117,000 copies in its debut week.