GODSMACK guitarist Tony Rombola and bassist Robbie Merrill talked to Eonmusic about their rise to fame, their memories of PANTERA's Abbott brothers, and of the impact that touring on Ozzfest in the early 2000s had on their career.
Speaking at last month's Download festival, Rombola said: "Within six months [of the release of GODSMACK's debut album] we got a gold record, and within a year, we were doing Ozzfest, and we got a platinum record. So within that one year, we'd already gone platinum and had three singles on the radio, and me and [Robbie] were banging nails a year before that. So everything was happening really fast."
Merrill confirmed that both he and Rombola were holding down day jobs in the early days of GODSMACK's career. "We basically started playing in backyards and built it up on our own, and the next thing you know, we're playing within a two-hour radius, and then it got to a point where the local radio station was playing us, and it just got bigger and bigger," he said. "We used to laugh about it; we'd be out banging nails, listening to our song on the radio, and people looking at us. We were playing in big festivals, and the next thing we're up on the roof, you know."
Talking about adapting to their newfound fame, Robbie continued: "Once we got signed and got out there, it went pretty quick. It took a little bit of time to learn how to be a rock star. We went from nothing to mega success."
Paying tribute to the Abbots, guitarist Dimebag Darrell and drummer Vinnie Paul, the bass player went on to say: "We have fond memories of them. They were lots of fun. They were good dudes. We partied with them a lot. We learned what to do, what not to do. Yeah, you never would have thought that they would be gone in 20 years."
GODSMACK is continuing to tour in support of its seventh studio album, "When Legends Rise", which came out in April of 2018. The band recently announced a fall American tour with HALESTORM, which kicks off September 20 in Green Bay, Wisconsin.