GODSMACK's Shannon Larkin has apologized for blaming the breakup of his THE APOCALYPSE BLUES REVUE side project on singer Ray "Rafer John" Cerbone's age.
Last month, Larkin gave an interview to The Sound Lab at U.K.'s Download festival in which he revealed that he decided to pull the plug on THE APOCALYPSE BLUES REVUE and relaunch the band as THE APOCALYPSE BLUES REVIVAL.
"We lost our singer recently, so we got a new singer," Shannon said. "Our old singer was an old guy; our new singer is a younger guy, around our age… Our [old] singer turned 70… We get in a van. We don't have these fancy tour buses. And we play clubs — blues clubs — in America, smoke-filled blues bars, with no roadies — one roadie. And our singer, a 70-year-old guy, couldn't do it. So we got a new singer. And now the REVUE wouldn't be the REVUE without our old singer, so we changed the name to REVIVAL. So it's THE APOCALYPSE BLUES REVIVAL — coming soon."
On July 9, Larkin took to THE APOCALYPSE BLUES REVIVAL Facebook page to express his regret over the "hurtful and stupid" comment he made about Cerbone's age and to explain the "real reason for the initial split of THE REVUE."
"I did an interview a few weeks ago in which I said Ray was 'old', and he couldn't do the 'hard touring' in a van with one roadie because of his age," Shannon wrote. "That wasn't the truth, and while there was a little truth to it (there were some issues with our touring in that regard), I was sent to a press tent that day and had to do a couple hours of press with a bunch of different outlets, getting shuffled from one interview to the next, and all before going on stage in front of a huge festival crowd, so I was trying to answer as quickly as possible, and was caught off guard with the question (it was supposed to be a GODSMACK interview), and blamed it on his age rather than try to explain the whole story. I meant no disrespect to Ray's age, and the fact that he's 'an old guy' is a badge of honor in this business that I hope someday I'll be able to wear (and I can only hope to be in as good a shape as Ray is at his age).
"Anyway, it sure didn't sound offensive when I said it, but seeing it after the fact made me feel like a dick, and I apologize for selfishly blurting out a quick answer that while not a lie, was just not the real reason for the initial split of THE REVUE, and was private band stuff that should've remained private. A casual remark to me in the moment ended up sounding callous and uncaring and it was unintentional but hurtful and stupid, and I vow to be more meticulous with my word.
"From now on, the past is the past, and after my post explaining this whole transition in novel-length detail, I can only speak of today and tomorrow. New songs, new band, new singer.
"I'm 52, and in this business, I'm very much an 'old guy' myself, and meant no disrespect. If I can age as gracefully as Rafer and still be doing this in my 60s and 70s then no matter what band I'm playing in, I win. So, no matter what the future of THE REVUE is (whether we can indeed write and perform together in the future) will remain to be seen when the dust settles... but I've said all I can about it (and tried to walk as lightly as possible so as to not hurt folks). In the end, it's never easy making a change like this, and believe me when I say it's not the first time for me (having been on both sides of the fence), and it sucks every time.
"I hope I can be forgiven by Rafer and anyone else I've offended.
"In the words of Casey Chaos, 'Create music, not drama', which is easier said than done in these trying situations.
"I'm trying, people.
"From this point on, I'll quote Joe Perry, 'Let the music do the talking'
"New song is a few days away..."
THE APOCALYPSE BLUES REVIVAL, which also features GODSMACK guitarist Tony Rombola, recently recruited Shane Hall as its lead singer.
Larkin described Shane as "one of my best and most trusted friends" who "has been my drum tech for the most part of the last 20 years of my life." According to the drummer, Hall "has a wonderful, versatile voice and has a style and flair that is undeniable. Tony and Brian [Carpenter, bass] also adore Shane as a singer, but just as important, as a human."
THE APOCALYPSE BLUES REVUE released its second album, "The Shape Of Blues To Come", in July 2018 via Provogue/Mascot Label Group.
In a July 4 Facebook post, Larkin explained the decision to end THE APOCALYPSE BLUES REVUE, saying that "The Shape Of Blues To Come" "did a little better than the [band's] first [album] sales-wise, but not enough for Provogue to continue with a third. And my vision of traditional blues had changed drastically into trying to create a new sound that incorporated more of a classic rock feel, psychedelic even; garnishing the foundation of the band which was, is, and will always be blues, with a new element.
"I think it's evident from the first to the second record my path was changing," he continued. "So with no record deal and no pressure from labels, management, etc. I wrote a bunch of new tunes with Tony and realized it was a different band, and I wanted a different approach and voice for the new material.
"My time is limited with the juggernaut that is GODSMACK rolling pretty constantly, so I didn't fuck around. I talked to Bri and Tone and pitched the REVIVAL idea, which they endorsed, called a meeting, and told Rafer. It fucking sucked. But he's a pro and a great man, so he didn't punch me in the nose, and our friendship remains.
"For those that question this change, I respond with it was my only choice to start a different band. I could've just fired Ray and remained THE REVUE with a new singer, but it would never be that band without Ray, and I want both worlds to co-exist. And I got no rules. I love Ray's voice and want to explore more writing with him, and it would be a shame to stop performing those records live... but that'll be down the road a bit. So, I created some confusion. But I did it... so blame me."