In a brand new interview with The London Free Press, GODSMACK drummer Shannon Larkin was asked what advice he would give to young drummers. He responded: "It might not sound very sexy, but wear earplugs. When I was in my mid-30s, my wife and I would take turns getting up at night to feed my daughter and change her diaper, but I couldn't even hear my daughter crying even in the same room. The truth is, you'll thank me for that."
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, research suggests that 30 to 50 percent of musicians have hearing problems. To better protect their hearing, many musicians wear earplugs that are specially designed for people who play music. Musicians' earplugs let a person hear all of the music, but at a lower sound level.
Musicians can do other things to protect their hearing. Sound travels in a straight line, so the sound is louder when someone stands directly in front of, or behind a speaker. Professional musicians know to stand to the side of a speaker, or to angle the speakers away from them. Musicians also take breaks between sets of music or while practicing to give their ears a rest.
Dr. Anthony Kovacs, an audiologist, told KUNC that he isn't surprised that hearing protection hasn't been a big priority for many musicians.
"With hearing protection, it can be challenging to communicate on stage and to hear your instrument with as much clarity as you need to," he said.
"Musicians, sound engineers, even bouncers at a loud music venue who are just exposed night after night to really loud music, eventually that very well can take a toll on your hearing," he added. "When you rely on your ears for your livelihood, you really need to protect them."
GODSMACK is continuing to tour in support of its latest album, "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.