Godsmack powers up something borrowed, something new on 1000hp

Grammy-nominated, multi-platinum hard rockers Godsmack preserves its rich Boston heritage with sixth full-length album, 1000hp. The Republic Records/Universal release is the follow up to 2010's The Oracle, which rounded out a streak of three No. 1 debuts on the Billboard 200—an accomplishment shared only by Van Halen, U2, Metallica, Dave Matthews Band, and Linkin Park. Sully Erna (vocals, guitar), Tony Rombola (guitar), Robbie Merrill (bass), and Shannon Larkin (drums) “leap forward” on the new record that’s billed as a return to the band’s hometown Boston roots. “It was about going back to basics,” says Erna. “You get a certain feeling seeing the city's skyline or walking through Southie. I thought it was time to take it back to where we began. That's the theme of this album.”

1000hp was recorded by Godsmack in an old warehouse that was converted into a fully loaded recording studio—complete with control room and live stage area. During 2013, the writing process involved Rombola and Larkin coming up with ideas in Florida, while Erna and Merrill were based in New Hampshire. The group eventually got back together in January 2014 with a “wealth of ideas” and a “fresh and fiery spark of inspiration.”

Erna says the first half of the record is a new sound. “It's still Godsmack. It's tough. It's powerful, but it's a little different than what we've done in the past because there's a punk-y influence.” The frontman adds the second half is “more traditional” and meant for hardcore Godsmack fans. “It's a hybrid,” he continues. “We wanted to broaden our horizons and open up what this band can be.”

Godsmack got back with The Oracle producer Dave Fortman (Slipknot, Evanescence) to co-produce the new album. The results “capture a booming intensity and raw energy that's equally anthemic and arena-ready,” reads an official news release. The title track first single “charges through the gates at full speed” with a “thrash-y riff and a walloping chorus” that announces Godsmack's return with a bang. “I felt it, and I wrote the song in one sitting," smiles Erna about the track that currently tops the Mediabase Active Rock radio airplay chart, and ranks No. 2 at Mediabase Rock formats.

The aptly titled ‘Something Different’ goes further down the band’s new path, boasting another “monstrous hook,” and Godsmack ventures into psychedelic territory in the tradition of early epics such as ‘Voodoo’ and ‘Spiral’ with a new track called ‘Turning To Stone.’ Erna states that 1000hp is Godsmack set to cruise even further. “I want fans to enjoy it like they enjoyed the first few couple of records,” he declares in the press announcement. “I think this album will make [fans] feel more at home like the first album did. It has that vibe. There are some new sounds and interesting things for sure to show our creative side. It's old school Godsmack with a new kind of twist to it.”

Boston mayor Martin J Walsh officially declared August 6 as Godsmack Day in Beantown. The band celebrated at a special event, where the first 500 fans who purchased the new 1000hp album got to meet the band for a special autograph signing. Godsmack is currently touring U.S. venues through Sept. 20, wrapping up the tour between Sept. 25-Oct. 5 with six shows in Canada.

Watch the official music video for ‘1000hp,’ the title track single off the new album from Godsmack.

As A Matter of Fact…

* Sully Erna decided to step out from behind the drums in February 1995 so he could start a new band as lead singer. He added fellow Boston musicians Robbie Merrill and Tony Rombola and hit the studio as Godsmack to independently record a CD titled All Wound Up. Drummer Joe Darco was added later and the band was soon earning a solid reputation and following around Boston.

* A local DJ put the CD track ‘Keep Away’ into heavy rotation, and the song was soon claiming the No. 1 spot at the station as well as being sold on consignment through a local record store chain. Godsmack recorded a follow up single titled, ‘Whatever,’ which also became a local favorite, while selling a thousand copies a week at the record stores.

* In 1998, Republic Records/Universal signed the band and Joe Darco was soon replaced by drummer Tommy Stewart. All Wound Up was re-mastered and the artwork changed to introduce Godsmack’s major label debut as a self-titled project. The band then hit the road by headlining The Voodoo Tour, gracing Ozzfest, and touring with Black Sabbath.

* In 2000, Godsmack released its second Republic CD, Awake, which dominated rock radio throughout 2000 and 2001—the latter date earning the band Billboard’s title as Rock Band of the Year. The CD's instrumental track, ‘Vampires,’ also earned Godsmack its first Grammy nomination.

* Godsmack’s contribution to “The Scorpion King” film soundtrack includes the track ‘I Stand Alone,’ a Grammy-nominated song that became a No. 1 single on Mediabase Rock radio formats, and the most played Active Rock song of 2002. A new lineup featuring Shannon Larkin on drums then headed to Miami to write and record the 2003 CD, Faceless.

* Godsmack released the acoustic EP, The Other Side, in March 2004. An accompanying acoustic side tour featured Godsmack filling in breaks for Metallica. The intimate acoustic shows gave fans a different perspective of the band in what became “one of the best acoustic performances of our time.” Subsequent albums include Godsmack IV (2006) and The Oracle (2010), giving the band sales of more than 20 million records worldwide.

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