During a new appearance on "The Mistress Carrie Podcast", GODSMACK frontman Sully Erna spoke about the progress of the songwriting sessions for the band's new studio album. He said (transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "We are working hard this year and isolating and locking ourselves in the studio to not write one record but to write two records. We always listen to our fans and we pay attention, and although we write the kind of music that we love and that we wanna write that satisfies us, we still like to hear and try to honor the fanbase that's stuck by us for the last 26 years. So one of the things they've always asked us, 'When are you gonna do another acoustic record? That was so cool that one you did.' But that acoustic record [2004's 'The Other Side' EP] really was nothing more than our own songs stripped down into acoustic cover version of 'em with a couple of originals on it. So this year, what we wanna do is create a full-length rock record, but we also want to go back and create a really cool vibey acoustic album, or EP, so we can launch a couple of records, or at least have 'em in the can. And that's our goal. We're gonna be in there all year just writing music. And if it's a big fat rock song, it's gonna go in one folder, and if it's kind of a cool piano piece or acoustic track, it's gonna go in another folder, and then we're gonna record everything and then pick our favorites and put out a couple of albums' worth. So we have no [intention] of slowing down whatsoever right now."
Asked if GODSMACK has brought in any outside songwriters this time around to help inspire the band's creativity, Erna, who recently moved to Florida, said: "Not yet, but I wouldn't be surprised if I do at some point. 'Cause the last record, I really enjoyed the process of not only writing by myself or writing with my band, but then I ventured out too, and I worked with some other writers who are just really great songwriters, like [John] Feldmann, who writes for BLINK-182 and 5 SECONDS OF SUMMER and a really weird list of bands that no one would ever make the connection of GODSMACK and those kind of artists. Great artists, but just a different style of music. Or Erik Ron. Or even Clint Lowery from SEVENDUST; I did some writing with him. And I enjoyed the process a lot, and out of that process, I got some great songs. And so, yeah, it does inspire me, and it makes me think outside the box.
"I'm way past the ego side of this business and who writes it and trying to hero everything myself," he explained. "If I write it, great. I enjoyed it. I wrote 'Unforgettable', I wrote 'Under Your Scars' — those are two big songs that became No. 1s on the last album. But I co-wrote with 'Bulletproof' and 'When Legends Rise', and I'm not embarrassed to say that or shy about it. I have no ego when it comes to that.
"I have always been someone who has endorsed the thought of 'do what's best for the song,'" Erna added. "And whoever needs to get credited for that is the person that gets credited for it. But for me, it's just about writing the best music I can write and continuously evolving into the best songwriter I can be. And that's my goal. I look up to — Elton John is my favorite all-time artist for songwriters. And I would like to be able to just have the music live on and be able to evolve into being a timeless songwriter one day. 'Cause that's gonna be my legacy — that's the only thing I have on this planet to leave behind and do my small little miniscule part on this planet to help people."
Last September, GODSMACK's "Bulletproof" single was certified platinum by the RIAA (Recording Industry Association Of America) for accumulating one million certified units. According to the RIAA, one equivalent song unit is equal to a single digital song sale, or 150 on-demand audio and/or video streams.
"Bulletproof" was released February 28, 2018 as the first single from "When Legends Rise"; the track was previously certified gold in the U.S. and was also the most-played song at rock radio in 2018.
Originally released April 27, 2018 via BMG (the band's debut on the label), "When Legends Rise" marked GODSMACK's first album in four years. The album earned career milestones for the group: four No. 1 rock tracks (an accomplishment that makes GODSMACK one of only four rock acts to achieve this), and a record 11th No. 1 singles in the band's career with the album's fourth single "Unforgettable".
"Unforgettable" followed three previous No. 1 singles from "When Legends Rise": "Under Your Scars" and "When Legends Rise" plus "Bulletproof". "When Legends Rise" entered the Billboard Top 200 album chart in the top ten (No. 8), with four No. 1 placements on other charts: Top Rock Albums, Top Hard Music Albums, Top Independent Albums and Top Alternative Albums.
Last June, GODSMACK's music publishing catalog and master royalty stream was acquired by Primary Wave Music Publishing. The deal includes the Grammy nominee's publishing and master income stream for its compositions and masters across its entire career to date. Titles include their debut album "Godsmack", "When Legends Rise", "Awake" and "1000hp", as well as their Billboard No. 1 albums "The Oracle", "IV" and "Faceless", which features the Grammy-nominated single "I Stand Alone". Erna, who formed GODSMACK in 1995, wrote the single, which shot to No. 1 on the Mainstream Rock chart upon release. It went on to sell over a half million copies, helping "Faceless" to quickly go platinum. Also included in the deal are EPs and compilations, including "The Other Side" and "Good Times, Bad Times".