Few bands have so consistently and successfully championed the cause of hard rock as Godsmack.
Since the release of their self-titled debut (1998), the Boston quartet - Sully Erna (lead vocals / guitar), Shannon Larkin (drums), Robbie Merrill (bass) & Tony Rombola (lead guitar) - have notched up a remarkable set of facts 'n' stats in the US and beyond: these include 4 Grammy nominations, 4 Platinum Awards, 20 million records sold, 3 consecutive US #1 albums, unmatched airplay records at radio, and many more.
Now, in 2014, The 'Smack are back with both a new single - '1000hp', a #1 debut on the US iTunes Rock Chart - plus a rekindled desire to take their signature sound to the international arena, with the single a potent point of attack.
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Listen to the '1000hp' single on YouTube here:
"I think you can hear a real hunger in the sound," says Erna. "We're all pretty fired up at the moment, and that extends to taking our music overseas. It's time to give some real focus to our touring activities outside of North America, and we think this new single will make our intentions clear. It's one for the fans, and that means our fans everywhere..."
Taken from the forthcoming album of the same name, the follow-up to 2010's 'The Oracle' (one of the aforementioned chart-toppers), '1000hp' sees Godsmack in fifth gear right from the start - a raw, thrashy, punked-up call-to-arms that documents the band's journey from the Boston clubs, promoting a debut album recorded over a weekend for $2600, to the arenas of the world.
That first outing was subsequently picked up by Republic Records/Universal and has now sold in excess of 5 million copies, but it's the backs-to-the-wall struggle of the early days that Godsmack sought to tap into for '1000hp', single and album alike.
"Yeah, we made a conscious decision to go back to the streets of Boston for this one," reflects Erna. "It doesn't just capture the spirit of the city. It's Godsmack!"
"It's a kick-ass rock tune from what I feel is our most kickass record!" says Larkin about the single, which leads off the album. "There's a punk edge and a different energy."
Produced & mixed by Dave Fortnam (Slipknot, Evanescene, etc.) working closely with Erna, '1000hp' (the album) was recorded in Godsmack's new HQ just 30 minutes from the heart of Boston, and the band's calling-card weight, groove, power and spiritual tone are in evidence throughout, tempered here an' there by more reflective moments, and - in certain cases - something of a new drift.
But it's '1000hp', the single, that sets the tone for the record (10 tracks, plus bonus cut 'Life Is Good'), with its "bad ass" '65 Chevelle engine bursts and "turn that sh*t up louder!" refrain, and it must surely feature in the live set when the band hit the road for the US 'Uproar Festival' tour this August.
In the past, the four have appeared at a host of major events (Ozzfest, Mayhem, etc.), and toured alongside some of rock's foremost legends, the likes of Black Sabbath and Metallica; now it's time for Godsmack to build their story on a truly global scale, with European dates already being discussed.
"We've had some great experiences playing overseas in the past," concludes Erna, "and we can't wait to return to the roads of Europe and beyond. The new single looks back to our earliest days as a band, when we were starting to build a following, so our history is all about growing the Godsmack name through hard work and hard touring. We're ready to show everyone what Godsmack stands for!"
In the meantime, "turn that shit up louder!" seems as good advice as any.
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