Out today (Friday, Feb. 24) is the new Godsmack album Lighting Up the Sky. It's the group's eighth overall and first in five years. It's also going to be Godsmack's last album, according to the band members. Frontman Sully Erna tells us that after 26 Top 10 Billboard Mainstream Rock chart singles — 12 of which have hit No. 1 (including 'Surrender' from the new album) — he and his bandmates are satisfied they've done all they can: “We've enjoyed decades of doing this in the studio and sacrificed a lot of time…If you think about it, that's exactly what we've done; maybe we just get to the point where we've pushed so hard for so long… and we just got burned out and we just knew that we had to start, how do I say it, treating ourselves based on the amount of time we’ve been out there and our ages and we can't kind of grind like that anymore — nor do we want to, because it's exhausting…At some point, y'know, you got to kind of know you've got to start tailoring this thing so you can also enjoy all these things that we've earned and to be able to enjoy, even if it's just family and time with them. It's just time.”
Erna is quick to add, however, that Godsmack is not breaking up. The group will be touring in support of Lighting Up the Sky and then in future years play shows to spotlight its career: “This isn't ending. We're just ending one chapter in our lives but we're opening a whole new chapter for our sunset years, to be able to create now a greatest hits show and enjoy the rest of our career playing live, which his really what the reward is for all the world that we do in the studio… We're gonna build the show as big and beautiful as we can make it and honor the best of the best songs we've written, that had the most success, and the ones the fans have chosen to be their favorites.”
Godsmack recorded Lighting Up the Sky in Florida with producer Andrew Murdock who worked on the group's multi-platinum Godsmack and Awake albums as well in 1998 and 2000, respectively. The new album includes several references to Godsmack's past, in fact — most specifically on the title track, which incorporates a riff from “Moon Baby,” the first song on the band's self-titled major label debut. The song “Best of Times,” meanwhile, is a “thank you letter” from Erna to his bandmates for their dedication over the years. Making the album, Erna says, “It really got emotional for us. We sat in the studio a few different times and shared tears and just talked about how fulfilling it feels and what a bittersweet it is. But all in all we have no regrets, and we feel pretty complete at this point.”
Godsmack hits the road starting April 21 in Santiago, Chile. The group begins a May run of U.S. shows with I Prevail opening, starting May 4 in Denver and including the Sonic Temple Art + Music Festival on May 25 in Columbus, Ohio. Godsmack plans to cover North America primarily this year, then eyeball other territories during 2024.