Godsmack is an American alternative metal band from Lawrence, Massachusetts, formed in 1995. The band is composed of founder, frontman and songwriter Sully Erna, guitarist Tony Rombola, bassist Robbie Merrill, and drummer Shannon Larkin. Since its formation, Godsmack has released five studio albums, one EP (The Other Side), four DVDs, one compilation album (Good Times, Bad Times… Ten Years of Godsmack), and one live album (Live and Inspired).
The band has had three consecutive number-one albums (Faceless, IV, and The Oracle) on the Billboard 200. The band also has 20 top ten rock radio hits, including 15 songs in the top five, a record number of top ten singles by a rock artist.
Since its inception, Godsmack has toured on Ozzfest on more than one occasion, and has toured with many other large tours and festivals, including supporting its albums with its own arena tours. Godsmack has sold over 20 million records in just over a decade, yet despite the decline of album sales in recent years, they have proven to be one of the highest-grossing artists in the United States.
The band’s primary influences include Aerosmith, Alice in Chains, Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin, Metallica, Pantera, and Rush according to Erna, Larkin, and Rombola. Erna has cited Staley as his primary influence. The overall sound of the band’s first two albums sound similar to the sound of the Alice in Chains album Dirt. More recently, Godsmack has attempted to distance themselves from the Alice in Chains comparison with Erna stating in an interview with Matt Ashare, “I’ve just never really heard that in our music”. On their more industrial songs Godsmack seems to have taken an influence from White Zombie, also covering their song “Thunder Kiss ’65”.
Rolling Stone Magazine describes the band as “hard as nails and cranked to eleven”, while Alternative Press praised the band for its “churning, riff-driven hybrid of all that is heavy, past and present”. Singer Sully Erna has cited Alice in Chains‘ former vocalist, the late Layne Staley, as his primary influence on singing.