By Jonathan Matthews
We had the opportunity to speak to Shannon Larkin, the drummer of Godsmack in regards to their epic new album “When Legends Rise” which was released just last month and is quickly rising to the top of the rock and alternative charts with fresh sounding classic hit rock songs such as “Bulletproof” but even more ballad-esque moments.
SR. Hey, how are you today & how is everything going since the release of the new album “When Legends Rise”?
Great man, everything’s running like clockwork. It’s very exciting. We’ve got our first three shows under our belt with the new material, it’s such a great thing for the band, and we’re celebrating twenty years together. Some of our songs we’ve played a billion times now, so it’s really awesome to be playing some new stuff too.
SR. Your latest single “Bulletproof” seems to be taking off, tell me a little bit about that song.
It’s a song about a true story from Sully’s life, written by Sully. It’s about something he’s been through, and it’s the first song he’s written with another writer from outside the band, Erik Ron, who actually ended up being the producer for the record. He presented that song to the rest of the band and said that’s the direction he wants to go in, and we totally backed it. With this band, our connection with our fans is very important to us, and we like them to know that what Sully is singing is real and it’s true, because that’s what really touches people. I think that has been one of the key factors to our longevity as a band.
SR. What’s the meaning behind the song?
It’s about the affairs of Sully’s heart. Some people fall in love and get their heart broken a lot. It’s funny because, as a band, we’ve all been good friends for twenty years, as well as band members. We’ve watched him go through this, and it’s sad to watch him go through it, but on the other hand, we always know that we’re going to get some really cool songs out of the situation.
SR. I wanted to ask you about the song ‘Unforgettable’, which features some guest vocals by the C.A.T.S. (The Community Alliance for Teen Safety), are you involved with that group yourself?
C.A.T.S. is a Boston based organisation, and Sully is actually the only one left living in Boston. The rest of us all moved to Florida because we got sick of the cold weather *laughs*. But yeah, Sully is there so he got them involved, we had them come down to our big headquarters/studio/storage place in Massachusetts. When the kids came in I was there, and it was a really magical experience. About thirty kids came in, I was just sitting behind my drum kit being a fly on the wall, and it was an absolute pleasure to watch Sully direct them on the song. There was such a burst of good energy in the room, you could really feel it, and it was palpable. I like that song a lot.
SR. Were the kids pretty stoked to be involved?
Of course. We signed a whole bunch of vinyl records and gave them to the kids, Sully went to their school to visit them as well. They were all posting about the new record online when it was released, they were super proud and really felt like a part of the band. It feels really cool knowing that these kids are inspired, and they might go out and make their own bands because of that opportunity.
SR. With six number one singles on mainstream rock radio, do you think that you’ve got another one coming up from this new album?
Well it looks like ‘Bulletproof’ might go that way. Our previous singles have debuted at about fiftyish on the charts, but ‘Bulletproof’ actually debuted at twenty four, which is a good sign! That’s really high for us that soon after a release. So that one’s been picking up quite fast. It’s funny, when I hear one of our new tracks on the radio for the first time, I still get as excited as I did the first time I ever heard one of our songs on the radio, even after twenty years. It’s such an awesome feeling that never gets old. Even touring gets old after a while, but that feeling never will.
SR. Which song on the album means the most to you?
I think it’s “When Legends Rise”. We’re not saying that the legends are us by the way *laughs*. Legends is kind of like a metaphor for overcoming difficulties and rebirthing as a stronger person. That song means a lot to me, and it also has my favourite drum solo on the album.
“When Legends Rise” – OUT NOW