Jay Ramone of Rock 100.5 The KATT conducted an interview with GODSMACK drummer Shannon Larkin at this year's Rocklahoma festival, which was held earlier in the month in Pryor, Oklahoma. You can now watch the chat below. A couple of excerpts follow (transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).
On the four-year gap between 2014's "1000hp" album and this year's "When Legends Rise":
Shannon: "Typically, we take four years in between records anyway. Since I joined the band 16 years ago, [we released] 'Faceless', then four years later was 'IV', and so on and so forth. The thing we're most proud about in this band is the 20-year mark. It's hard enough just to get signed in this business, let alone have a successful career for however many years. So 20 years is our proud mark, and I attribute that to… Typically, we'll make a record and then we'll tour it for a year and a half to two years, and then we'll take a year off apart from each other. So that's why we're still together and that's why we're still friends. And it makes us excited for every new record that we make. After we take a year apart — Sully [Erna, vocals] does solo albums; Tony [Rombola, guitar] and I do THE APOCALYPSE BLUES REVUE — and we come back together and then we realize… We're so grateful. [We realize] how grateful we are for this band, GODSMACK, to have been together this long."
On the more melodic musical direction of "When Legends Rise":
Shannon: "Sully is our fearless leader. We trust him, we follow him, and he always has a vision of what our new record should sound like. The 'Faceless' record was a very militant metal record with David Bottrill producing. Then we did the 'IV' record four years later with Andy Johns from [LED] ZEPPELIN and THE [ROLLING] STONES fame; we wanted to make a bluesier record. And then on and on to this one, Sully came to us and wanted to make a more melodic record that kind of sounded more modern. So we got this producer, Erik Ron, to co-produce it with Sully and implement a lot of sounds that we'd never used, with synthesizers and processed guitars. These things we'd never done; we've always been so adamantly old-school with our sound. So I don't think that the songs themselves sound that much different for us, besides maybe 'Under Your Scars', which is the first ballad we've ever done on a record."
On how "Under Your Scars" came together:
Shannon: "That was the one we spent, actually, the most time on on the new record, because there's just such a thin line between it being cheesy. And make it this rock ballad, and everybody's gonna go, 'Oh, jeez, here they go.' So we spent a lot of time on it. There was 20 different arrangements of that song until we felt we got it into a place that we were comfortable with."
"When Legends Rise" is GODSMACK's first release through BMG after splitting with its longtime home, Republic/Universal.
GODSMACK will perform at several music festivals this spring and summer, before launching a tour with SHINEDOWN on July 22 in Clarkston, Michigan.