Sully Erna has a theory as to why it’s taken six years for his band to return to San Antonio.
“We suck. We’re lazy, and we don’t care,” the Godsmack vocalist says.
Don’t fret, Alamo City. It’s merely Erna’s harmless sense of humor at work. The boys from Boston have a soft spot for San Antonio, and Erna is looking forward to coming back when Godsmack co-headlines with Staind and special guest Halestorm inside the Alamodome’s Illusions Theater on Wednesday, May 2, as part of the Mass Chaos tour (buy tickets and VIP packages here. Complete tour dates here).
“No, we really do (care), but we’re like any other band,” Erna told me by phone from Fort Lauderdale, Fla. “We’re four guys trying to touch the world. It takes a long time to get around this planet sometimes. I love San Antonio, I’ll tell you that. Every time we play there, we have an absolute blast. I love most of Texas. Great cities in Texas, great people, great fans.”
Godsmack’s return comes nearly two years to the day of the release of their fifth studio album The Oracle, which came out May 4, 2010, and features in-your-face rockers “Cryin’ Like A Bitch” and “Love-Hate-Sex-Pain.” The record, certified gold in the U.S., was their third in a row to debut at No. 1 on the Billboard Top 200. Godsmack have sold more than 15 million albums since the 1998 self-titled debut with four platinum records and four Grammy nominations to their credit.
“It’s just one of those things that between touring and trying to hit Europe and Japan and everywhere else in the world, and then making your laps around the States, sometimes you don’t always get to the same cities, and it just takes years to come around,” Erna says. “And then of course, taking breaks and things like that adds to the time.”
Godsmack is prepping its first live album Live And Inspired, which was recorded in Detroit and is slated for release in the spring — probably sometime around the Alamodome concert.
“I think that’s what we’ve been known for, is the live show,” Erna says. “And so it’s nice to capture that finally and put together this CD, and I think we just have the mentality of going out for, like, kind of the greatest hits tour of that supporting new music. So, we’re just going to put together a really fun set.”
Godsmack’s absence from San Antonio had been frustrating for a couple of reasons:
- Over that six-year span, Godsmack played frequently in Dallas and Houston, including shindigs such as the Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival. That annual fest is one of many San Antonio concert casualties that has resulted from the shutdown of the Verizon Wireless Amphitheater in late 2008.
- Erna took his solo act on the road last year in support of the tribal and acoustic gem Avalon. That too skipped San Antonio.
But you know what they say about good things coming to those who wait.
“Obviously, we’ll have the drum battle that me and Shannon (Larkin) do, and we’re just going to try to put together the best songs we can, the most energetic songs that we can, and stuff that we feel is going to be the most interactive for the audience,” Erna says of the Mass Chaos tour. “So, this is actually kind of a vacation for us a lot in the sense there’s no real work behind prepping for a new record and all that stuff. This is kind of let loose and have fun with it.”
With fellow Massachusetts natives Staind sharing co-headlining status, and the Grand Canyon-esque echoing vocals of Halestorm singer/guitarist Lzzy Hale setting the tone, you can expect the Alamodome to be massively rocking for Mass Chaos. The question is, which band will go on last?
“There was talk about swapping back and forth, but I have no problem with Godsmack closing the show at the end of the night,” Staind guitarist Mike Mushok says. “We’ll play the same amount of time, the same productions, so as far as I’m concerned, it doesn’t really matter to me.”
Erna spreads the love even further.
“I feel like either band could close. I mean, both bands are strong; all three bands are strong,” he says. “The whole lineup is great. Any single one of these bands could go on first, second or third; it wouldn’t matter.”
Of the three bands, Staind performed in San Antonio most recently. They headlined Sunken Garden Theater last Oct. 21 (see my review link below) a mere three days after playing in Germany. Halestorm, meanwhile, has experience playing the Illusions Theater, as they opened for Stone Sour last April 8. (Stay tuned to this space for Hale’s lookahead to the show and discussion of forthcoming album The Strange Case Of . . .).
So it’s Godsmack’s long-awaited return that figures to have a good chunk of the Alamodome crowd releasing its demons come May 2. And don’t be surprised to see an all-star jam of sorts conclude matters.
“We’re going to try to put something together that just tops the night off and becomes fun for everybody,” Erna says of a collaboration between the bands.
If so, it could give Erna some overdue new memories of South Texas.
“When I think of San Antonio,” he said, “I think of Ozzy peeing on the Alamo.”
For related Staind, Godsmack and Halestorm coverage, see the links in blue below.
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