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The Sound

Godsmack’s rebirth


Band celebrates 20-year anniversary

Four Emmy nominations. Six No. 1 singles. Rock Artist of the Year. Out of all these accomplishments, Godsmack drummer Shannon Larkin says one success isn’t listed.

“We’re most proud of our 20-year anniversary,” says Larkin. “It’s an amazing thing to be involved for 20 years.”

Godsmack performs, along with co-headliner Shinedown, at the Lazer Anniversary Show at Wells Fargo on July 29.

The band released its seventh studio album titled “When Legends Rise” in April. After its release, Godsmack now ranks fifth with 23 hits on Billboard’s Mainstream Top 10 Rock Songs, just behind Aerosmith. Larkin stresses the new album name doesn’t refer to themselves as legends, but rather it’s the rebirth of a new sound.

“We matured. We all turned 50, and our sound has changed over the years,” says Larkin. “Our music’s not all piss and vinegar, angry anymore. The album reflects where we’re at in our lives. We’re all in a good place.”

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Larkin dispels the myth of being a rock legend, saying, “I clean up dog shit in my backyard just like everyone else does.”

To avoid getting stuck in a time warp, the band’s music changes.

“Who wants to make the same record over and over?” he says. “It gets boring — not only for us as musicians, but for our fans.”

One example is the “Bulletproof” music video. The video idea was born from an actual conversation with the band members about how to make the video.
“All of the directors submitted material that seemed too cheesy,” says Larkin. “Sully (vocals and guitar) said, ‘What if I made it myself?’ ”

“Then I said, ‘Yeah what if you did make it, and everything went wrong?’ ”

The result? A parody of everything that could go wrong.

“We definitely made a conscious decision to make it funny,” says Larkin. “Making music videos is usually a boring, energy-sucking and monotonous process. This video was hilarious.”

Online social media alters the current music scene, and Larkin misses the old-school vibe. “I’m 51. I collect records, CDs, cassettes,” he says. “I used to take a record, study the artwork, lyrics and look at the band pictures. It’s just a shame kids will miss out on what I had.”

Part of their 20-year success is taking a year off every four years to regroup.

“We come back fresh after working together in very close quarters,” he says.

One way he remains creative during off times is through his blues band, “Apocalypse Blues Review” with fellow guitarist Tony Rombola, playing clubs in Florida.

At the concert, Shinedown and Godsmack will share production, lighting and designs.

“The good news is fans are gonna get two headline shows for the price of one. There’s lots of cool things happening,” he says. “You’ll just have to come and see it.”

Godsmack and Shinedown, along with opener Like A Storm, perform at Wells Fargo on July 29. Tickets cost $39-$79; available at ♦

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