Interview with Shannon Larkin of Godsmack
By Logan LenzAfter years of sitting atop the throne of the alternative rock world, Godsmack will return in April with a new album entitled “IV.” The band not only promises one of the best albums they’ve ever made, but they also slate this time around as being “only the beginning” of their already lengthy career. I, fortunately had the chance to speak with Godsmack heavy-hitting drummer, Shannon Larkin, who went on telling me about the art of rock drumming, the band’s upcoming album, future touring plans, and what exactly the name “Godsmack” really means. Entertainment World: First of all, I would like to thank you in advance for this interview and pay my respects to you and your career thus far. Being a drummer myself, I can’t begin the interview without stating how much of an influence you are to the drumming world.
Shannon Larkin: Wow! Thank you very much! I just like to hit ‘em!
Entertainment World: Being such a great and well-known drummer in the metal world you have found yourself playing for many accomplishing names in the field before ending up in Godsmack. How has the overall experience been as a member of Godsmack?
Shannon Larkin: Great! It was sort of weird for me at first. Not a lot of people know that Sully was the drummer for Godsmack on the first two records. Sully is Godsmack. He writes every song and every lick. So, I thought I was coming in to a situation where I would have no freedom. But, it’s really been a pleasure. The album “Faceless” had pre-written drum parts that Sully wrote, but the new album “IV” is finally the time where Sully was confident enough to allow me to come up with my own drum parts.
Entertainment World: How sick is Sully’s drumming? Honestly?
Shannon Larkin: Really rad! He actually played for a speed metal band called Meliah Rage prior to Godsmack. I believe they put something out on Epic Records. It’s funny because Sully and I will play to some speed metal tracks and look at each other and just shake our heads. It’s just so crazy! It wasn’t until after that band, when Sully realizes he needed to step out front and be the frontman of his own band. He wanted the control and wanted to be able to write his own songs. That’s why he formed Godsmack.
Entertainment World: So, Godsmack has a new album coming out on April 25th called “IV.” Tell me a little about what the fans can expect from this album and how it compares with your previous releases.
Shannon Larkin: Our fans can expect the same tough Godsmack sound. There are some really heavy songs like what were on the first record. And there’s also an acoustic song called “Hollow” for all of the fans of our acoustic record “The Other Side.” The heavier stuff on this album just sounds more epic. This time around Tony, Robbie, and myself had freedom enough to write complete songs on our own which ultimately makes this album have different sounding songs.
Entertainment World: I can’t help but notice that a new song on the new album is titled “Voodoo Too.” Is this a continuation of the original “Voodoo” song or is it just a clever title to a song with a similar feel to it?
Shannon Larkin: It’s just a similar feel. I wrote the song with a bass guitar and a drum beat. I thought about how the original song “Voodoo” was really cool when I first learned it after joining the band. I tried to repeat somewhat of the same feel to form a newer version of a great song. We actually think it’s just as good, if not better than “Voodoo.”
Entertainment World: The question is often asked, “What do those guys mean by the name ‘Godsmack?’ What exactly does the name mean and how did the founding members come up with it?
Shannon Larkin: It’s the name of an Alice in Chains song. The name eventually took on a meaning of its own, though. One day, the original drummer Joe, showed up to a photo shoot with a cold sore on his lip. Sully and the guys were all making fun of him. Then about a week later, Sully showed up with one on his face. So, it was then that they realized that ‘God’ had ‘smacked’ him in the face for making fun of Joe. It’s sort of like a karma thing.
Entertainment World: Has any religious groups ever protested or expressed any displeasure regarding the band’s name?
Shannon Larkin: No. I haven’t seen anything yet.
Entertainment World: What is your favorite Godsmack song to play live?
Shannon Larkin: “Straight out of Line” is definitely up there on the list. I love the drumbeat and the verses. Off of the new record, I’d have to say “Livin’ in Sin.” “One Rainy Day” is great too. It’s got a bluesy feel to it. I think that’s what I’m going to be doing when I’m sixty years old and retired. I’ll be jamming out and playing the blues.
Entertainment World: What can we expect to see from you guys in the near future other than the release of your new album, IV, on April 25th? I’m expecting a huge arena tour, right? What can we expect from that?
Shannon Larkin: We’re leaving America to tour Canada, Japan, South America, Mexico, and Australia. We won’t be back until late August. Then we’ll hit America hard. We don’t know what type of venue we will be playing yet because of the crash of the music industry. It’s harder to sell records these days. But, wherever we play, we will certainly bring a show. We’ll bring the pyro, extra percussionists, and dancers if we need them. We will bring the shit! But, it all depends on how well the record does.
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