GODSMACK bassist Robbie Merrill and guitarist Tony Rombola were interviewed by "Mike James Rock Show" at this past weekend's Download festival, which was held at Donington Park in Leicestershire, England. You can now watch the chat below.
Speaking about the more accessible musical direction of GODSMACK's latest album, "When Legends Rise", Tony said: "I was pretty excited when I was hearing a lot of the early stuff Sully [Erna, guitar/vocals] was coming up with, where it had a different sound to it. I could tell that it was a different direction for us. We've always tried to do different things, but we end up sounding… You always try to sound different, but you end up sounding similar. And this one, there was some different twists and turns. But I heard what was good about it too."
Added Robbie: "Yeah, I heard the first couple of demos. 'Bulletproof', it took me a second to really zone in on it, but by the middle of the chorus, I'm, like, 'All right. This could work. If we record it right and get the right sounds that we're looking for, it could work.' And then [the] 'When Legends Rise' [title track] was a fun song, funky song. Then he also had some GODSMACK-ish-type songs — 'Eye Of The Storm' and 'Say My Name', which we play live. So it had a variety of 'newness,' and it also had what we are about. And we also stepped it up with the vocals too — a lot more harmonies. We weren't sure how we were gonna play it live, but we ended up just doing it, just pulling it off. We worked real hard with the vocals and that kind of thing."
Despite the slightly more commercial nature of some of the material on "When Legends Rise", the members of GODSMACK are thrilled with how the final product turned out.
"Every record we do, we really work hard at it, we believe in it," Robbie said. "And the songs, if we don't believe in them, we get rid of 'em. So we're proud of everything that we've done. Same thing with this record. Like I was telling Tony earlier, there's some songs on some of the other records that I didn't like, but they're okay — they're good. And you listen back 10 years later, and I still don't like 'em, where this record here, every song on it was good. There's not a bad song on the CD."
GODSMACK is continuing to tour in support of "When Legends Rise", which was released in April 2018. The disc follows up 2014's "1000hp" and is the band's first release through BMG after splitting with its longtime home, Republic/Universal.
"When Legends Rise" was recorded at GODSMACK's headquarters (GSHQ) in Derry, New Hampshire and produced by Erik Ron and Erna.