In a brand new interview with Austria's Mulatschag TV, GODSMACK frontman Sully Erna was asked when the last time was that he spoke with RUSH drummer Neil Peart. Erna responded (see video below): "He actually did an interview for the [GODSMACK] documentary that's gonna be coming out at some point and did a review on me and Shannon's [Larkin, GODSMACK drummer] drum battle. And it might have been the last time he went on camera, because he'd been retired. He literally is done — he shut off that part of his life now. He feels he's done everything he can do. Literally, he told Shannon that right to his face. Shannon's, like, 'Aren't you gonna play a little?' And he's, like, 'Nah, I think I'm done.' Shannon's, like, 'Yeah, but you're not even gonna have a drum set in your basement?' He goes, 'Son, I think I've done everything I can do on the drums.' Shannon was, like, 'Yes, you have, sir.' [Laughs] And so he was done, man."
Sully continued: "We got to meet him a few times, and I'm very good friends with his personal assistant. And he agreed to do an interview, and we have that on video, luckily. And we're very, very proud of that. That's an extremely important thing for me and Shannon, especially after all the work we've put into that drum battle, to hear the actual icon of drumming praise us for the work that we did is a real honor… [He's] one of my biggest inspirations in the world. He changed my life, for sure."
Erna told The Pulse Of Radio a while back that meeting the RUSH drummer was a highlight of his 20 years as a recording artist. "Being able to meet Neil Peart a couple of times, I didn't need to meet anyone else after that," he said. "As much as I love the Steven Tylers and the Joe Perrys and the James Hetfields, you know, I quit school because of RUSH. Really, that's all I did is I studied RUSH, you know. I sat home and strapped on headphones and played 'Moving Pictures' and 'Exit… Stage Left' and 'Signals' and all these great albums."
Last year, Erna told Classic Rock magazine that RUSH's "Moving Pictures" was one of several albums that changed his life.
GODSMACK's third full-length album, 2003 "Faceless", featured a track called "Serenity", which Erna wrote after reading the book "Ghost Rider: Travels On The Healing Road", penned by Peart.
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.