Morley Seaver of antiMUSIC recently conducted an interview with GODSMACK drummer Shannon Larkin. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow:
antiMUSIC: The band has had great success with every release you've done. Is it difficult to think about if the record will live up to the lofty expectations of your audience while recording? Every band says, "No, we don't think about that. We just go in and write in." But somewhere in the back of your head, are you thinking, "Does this measure up?" or were you confident from the get-go?
Shannon Larkin: "It's one of those things. Everybody's different. Sully [Erna, frontman] doesn't ever seem to worry about it. He knows what's good and he's confident. He looks at the whole sign of the times and everything, I guess, but I always have that doubt behind my back, creeping up on me saying, 'Dude. If it doesn't sell, what are you going to do?' I'll have to get a job. And I don't want to have to go back to teaching drums for a living. But I'm 39 and I've been in this business for well over 25 years now. I just playing pretty young and haven't done anything else in my life. So I think I know what's good at least in my ears. And I'm not in a closet somewhere. I definitely keep up with what's new and fresh. Even if I'm old and I don't understand why kids like GOOD CHARLOTTE, I still know that they exist and they must be doing something right. Sometimes I think about it too much. And when it happens….you just have to believe in yourself and your band, you know. Because no matter how many millions of records you sell, it can all end tomorrow. I mean, I was in UGLY KID JOE and we got dropped. The band had a giant hit and then basically two flops and the label just said, 'See ya.' UGLY KID JOE made millions for Mercury/Polygram Records. We sold five million copies. And then the next records didn't sell and the label dropped us. And I lived through that. And that's a major label. And my first band was WRATHCHILD back in 1989, signed to Atlantic. We made two records and got dropped. Then we went to an independent label, changed our names and basically sold no records on this indie label and got dropped. That's probably why I have that insecurity that makes me think, 'Oh shit, I hope it sells.' And that's why Sully doesn't worry so much. Because he basically started the band and it's been a successful trip. But he actually know what it's like too because he was in a band that he played drums for that got signed and then dropped. So he had a little taste of it too. Tony [Rombola, guitar] and Robbie [Merrill, bass] are the ones…they're the golden boys. They got signed and never looked back and never failed. And come to think of it. Tony is the one who never worries or tips out about whether our record will sell or not. He's very confident and not egotistical or cocky, but just confident that as long as it's good at the end of the day, which we all believe our new record is, he's confident it will sell. He says, 'You know, we have a fan base. And even if only half of them buy it, we'll be OK at the label.' Because realistically if we went gold or something, the label would be very bummed out but they wouldn't drop us. But if we stiffed and sold 200,000 copies, you'd see how fast they'd turn on us."
antiMUSIC: It's been rumored that the band minus Sully has formed a side project. What can you tell us about that?
Shannon Larkin: "Yeah, it's called ANOTHER ANIMAL. And it has Whit Crane from UGLY KID JOE on vocals. My old buddy. I brought him back out. And he sounds better than ever. He sounds better than ever. Top shape. Top form. He's f*ckin' amazing, let me tell you. But I'm excited about the project. In fact, after this interview, I'm meeting with the head of the art department at Universal. She actually has a man by the name of Storm Thorgerson doing our record cover. He started a company by the name of Hipnosis, which was the company that did 'Dark Side of the Moon' and 'Wish You Were Here'. And to me, 'Dark Side' is the most iconic, but man, 'Wish You Were Here' is my favourite album cover of all time. So yeah, Lee Richards is the guitar player. Lee Richards was GODSMACK's first guitar player before Tony. He went on to leave the band because he had a kid. And that was before the band was signed. He went on to play in a band called DROPBOX. So he and Tony play guitar and Robbie is the bass player. I'm the drummer. And Whit is the singer. And we've already recorded the record in Boston. We have 12 songs, 11 of which will be on the record, and we'll keep the bonus track for Japan, Australia, that kind of thing. And the record will be mixed by Dave Fortman who is just finishing up the new EVANESCENCE record that he produced and mixed. He also did the first EVANESCENCE, the 15-million seller. He also did the new MUDVAYNE. And he also worked with SUPERJOINT RITUAL. So he's an ace and we're very proud…and ironically dude since you're a fan, he was the guitar player for UGLY KID JOE, back in the day. I thought that was so cool. It's a small world. And now he's a hot-shot A-plus producer. And he was my guitar player for five years. He's helping us out here to give us a killer mix. We have a definite advantage. Three of the guys are from GODSMACK. A major producer who is also a great friend. And a KILLER singer who has proven that his voice sounds great on the radio. And America loved it. We have a big head start. We're very, very excited. ANOTHER ANIMAL will come out near the end of summer."
Read the entire interview at this location.