On the brink of unleashing its third full-length album, FACELESS, the multi-platinum hard-rock group GODSMACK has already
achieved more than most bands could ever dream of.
The Boston-based group's 1998 self-titled debut has sold four-million copies, propelled by the riff-tastic sorcery of runaway
hits such as "Bad Religion," "Whatever" and "Keep Away."
Its critically acclaimed follow-up, AWAKE -- fittingly released by the scary-flick aficionados on Halloween 2000--has thus
far shipped nearly three-million units. That album's title track dominated radio request lines and broke chart records throughout
2000 and 2001. Another track from the album, “Vampires,” was nominated in the Best Instrumental category at the
2001 Grammy Awards.
In 2002, GODSMACK mainman Sully Erna was tapped by The Rock himself to A&R the soundtrack to The Scorpion King, the
third installment in The Mummy saga. The song that GODSMACK itself contributed lived up to its title: "I Stand Alone" was
the No. 1 single at rock radio formats and the most played Active Rock track in 2002. This track garnered two Grammy nominations
for Best Hard Rock Performance and Best Rock Song for the 2003 Grammy Awards.
The band closed out its promotional cycle for AWAKE with a victory lap of sorts: well-attended arena tour on which they
finally brought to life the over-the-top gothic staging the band members had always envisioned. GODSMACK's real triumph was
visible nightly from the stage when the band's high-on-fire pyrotechnics illuminated arenas across the world. Crowds would
explode with applause when guitarist Tony Rombola and bassist Robbie Merrill kicked off their dark, churning super-riffs.
And if you were to scan the arena during any one of those GODSMACK performances, the band's true feat quickly came into focus.
The quartet holds sway over a pan-generational audience of male and female hard-rock fans--not fickle trend-hoppers.
On this U.S. tour the band showed their patriotic side when, post 9/11, they donated 100% of the sales of their merch and
portions of the venues’ ticket sales to The Solidarity Foundation, an organization benefiting the widows and orphans
of New York City firefighters and policemen.
Sure, Erna has copped to a fascination with white magick. But that isn't how the band conjured its success. Through the
monolithic power of its tune-age, and a dedication to fans via the road, GODSMACK has inherited the love and respect generally
accorded metal mainstays such as Black Sabbath, Metallica and Pantera. Of course, the band didn't become the next link in
that chain overnight.
GODSMACK's earlier lineup solidified when Rombola joined in 1995 . His pitch-black riffage perfectly complemented Erna's
lion's roar of a voice. After honing its sound and songs on the club circuit, the band demoed an album's worth of tracks with
local producer-on-the-rise Andrew "Mudrock" Murdock. The cost: $2500. The result: fame.
A Boston radio station put a few of the band's tracks into rotation. Listener response was instantaneous. Soon, a local
record chain was selling 1000 copies per week of the band's self-released disc. Major labels took note. Shortly thereafter,
Rombola and Erna were able to quit their day jobs in carpentry and collections, respectively. Universal/Republic ultimately
won the bidding war for GODSMACK, and released a re-mastered version of the self-titled debut in summer 1998. Those above-noted
sales figures and accolades followed only after the band toured relentlessly, including wildly received stints on Ozzfest,
as well as on Woodstock '99.
Now, in 2003, GODSMACK is ready for round three: FACELESS. With the aid of veteran producer David Bottrill (Tool, King
Crimson) and new drummer Shannon Larkin (formerly of agit-rockers Amen), GODSMACK has evolved its sound in surprising new
ways, while retaining its unmistakable power and vision. As Erna puts it, GODSMACK is ready once again to "kick a new ass
in this planet." Remain on heightened alert, planet.