Sully Erna photos taken by Lauryn Schaffner for AlternativeNation.net
Godsmack frontman Sully Erna was interviewed on the first episode of Alternative Nation’s new Desperate Times – 90’s Music podcast, hosted by Brando from Appetite For Distortion. Check out the Desperate Times – 90’s Music Facebook page as we will be live video streaming many podcast recording sessions on there. The podcast is focused on talking about the music of the 90’s, and bands who formed back then. Godsmack definitely fit the bill, as they formed in the mid 90’s, and Erna has a high level of respect for 90’s alternative rock bands. Godsmack are still going strong, having released their new album When Legends Rise last month. Click here for 2018 tour dates.
“In the early 90’s we were just still coming out of the hair band phase, I was more into the punk rock stuff, but we were still coming out of that whole era with Extreme, Motley Crue, and all those kinds of bands. So for me a lot of the hair band days in the late 80’s, because the early 80’s were more about Judas Priest and Iron Maiden, I was into that scene, the metal.”
Erna pointed out Alice In Chains and Stone Temple Pilots, fronted by Layne Staley and Scott Weiland respectively, as being two major bands who helped turn the tide into a brand new era of rock.
“As the hair bands began to get more prominent, I was kind of listening to more punk and stuff like that. Then the 90’s turned over, and all of a sudden there were bands like Alice In Chains and Stone Temple Pilots, and the whole Grunge scene took over. That kind of sucked me in for awhile, because it was interesting, it was dark, it was mysterious, and it was intriguing.
I fell into Soundgarden and all of that for awhile, I was really enjoying a lot of that. But I also fell into Nine Inch Nails and Ministry, I was listening to a lot of that stuff in the early 90’s. Still Metallica as well, I was actually in a band called Meliah Rage playing drums that was very similar to a Metallica style band, playing drums. There was an evolution that happened to me in the 90’s that went from this Grunge phase into more electronica alternative style bands like Nine Inch Nails.”
Brando mentioned Layne Staley’s impact on him, and Sully starting as a drummer, and asked if Layne wanted to make him start singing. Staley also started out as a drummer.
“It wasn’t quite Layne, but James Hetfield was a big inspiration for me as a singer, Steven Tyler was a big inspiration for me as a frontman, Layne definitely as a vocalist. There were a few different singers that I kind of looked up to that helped me find a style to become a singer, because I had never been a singer, I was a drummer my whole life. That transition was very awkward for me at first.”
Listen to the full interview below.