GODSMACK's SULLY ERNA On Switching From Drums To Vocals: 'I Was A Horrible Singer'

GODSMACK's SULLY ERNA On Switching From Drums To Vocals: 'I Was A Horrible Singer'

The 92.7/96.9 WRRV radio station recently conducted an interview with GODSMACK frontman Sully Erna. You can now listen to the chat in the YouTube clip below.

Asked how he went from playing drums in his earlier bands to eventually becoming the frontman in GODSMACK, Erna said: "Well, I didn't plan on [it]. That was, actually, an experiment that just kind of turned into what it was. 'Cause, as you know, I spent my whole life playing drums, ever since my first band, [which] I put together I was eleven years old. And as I got into my teens, I started to get more serious about it, playing out and doing that kind of thing. And so, all the way up until I was about 25, 26 years old, I had been in just dozens of different bands and even signed a deal with Warner/Reprise Records with a punk/metal band called STRIP MIND. And then, once that band kind of self-destructed, I was kind of losing sight of my dream, because that was the moment that I thought, 'Well, I got my record deal,' and then it fell apart. Sometimes you don't really get that opportunity twice in a lifetime, so I quit music at that point and I just cut my hair and went to work for an attorney, and doing collections; it was a very straight, narrow path for me. But about a year into it, I started to get the bug again, and I was just, like, 'I can't stop playing. It's the only thing I know how to do really well.' So when I put a band together, I decided that, you know what?! Instead of following other people's direction and just being the drummer in the background, I'm gonna do this my way and put a band together. And at that point, some friends of mine had shown me some guitar chords and I was playing piano, and I just started to write my own stuff. And then I contacted Robbie Merrill, my bass player, who was a mutual friend of my sister's, and us two got together and then pulled in a couple of other guys, and it was really supposed to be like a studio project, an experiment. And then people started hearing the demo and were really digging it, and so we kept going from there."

He continued: "I was terrible, man; I was a horrible singer. I mean, I'm not even kidding. When I first did my vocal tracks for the very first few songs that we did, I did all the drum tracks, all the guys did the guitar… all the music was done. And I stepped in the vocal booth and I started singing the first few notes, and I literally watched my bass player walk right out of the studio. I'm, like, 'Wow! Hang on, dude. I'll get this.' But that's kind of how it evolved, in a nutshell. And then from there, I realized I had a lot of work to do if I was gonna step out and be in front. And I just started watching frontmen that I thought were great frontmen — James Hetfield, Steven Tyler, people like that. It took a little bit of this and a little bit of that, and I kind of made it into my own thing eventually, but it was definitely a process."

Erna revealed in a new interview with The Rock Revival that he recently finished shooting a role in a pilot for a proposed TV series along with Drea De Matteo of "Sons Of Anarchy" and "The Sopranos" fame. Along with some potential film appearances, Erna said he hopes to continue building his acting resume.

The singer just completed some solo dates and will return to the road with GODSMACK in 2015.


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