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Godsmack’s Shannon Larkin on Loving the Olympics, Covering Phil Collins

Ethan Miller, Getty Images

Godsmack drummer Shannon Larkin barely has time to rest at home on the Florida coast these days. With the big UPROAR Tour starting in just a couple of weeks, he’s getting in some rehearsal time with ‘Smack guitarist Tony Rombola, who also lives in the Sunshine State, but before that trek, he’s doing a South American run with his other band, Ugly Kid Joe.

Larkin will arrive back in the States just in time to kick off UPROAR, and amid his busy schedule, Noisecreep caught up with him the day before he hopped a flight. We’re glad we did.

Shannon, your schedule sounds crazy.

It is! But it’s all good. I’ve had some time here at home to do nothing but relax a little bit in the beautiful Florida sunshine and get ready for these awesome tours. Tell you what, though — I have been GLUED to the Olympics. Watching the games is what I will miss most.

What sports do you like best?

I love the swimming. The volleyball. The basketball is amazing. I like the gymnastics, too. It’s all good. I am addicted to watching the Olympics.

So, the cover tunes you guys did on the album Live & Inspired — why those four songs? What made them special?

Well, the only two bands we ever covered are Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin. So now we’re thinking what to do next. Since Aerosmith influenced Godsmack, being another Boston band like us and all, since they did “Come Together” back in the ’70s, we thought doing that one made a lot of sense. Of course, we gave it a heavy twist to make it ‘Smack.’ Pink Floyd influenced everyone I’ve ever known in music, so I’m glad we did a tune of theirs, “Time.” And see, back in the ’80s, I was in a band called Wrathchild America. We were a thrash band that played with Slayer, Metallica, Pantera — everyone. We did a version of “Time” back then. Our singer today, Sully, liked our band back then and remembered we’d covered it. So, he was like, “Dude, we have to do ‘Time!’”

Watch “Come Together” Video

And you cover Metallica and Joe Walsh.

Metallica, that’s our biggest influence — we wear that on our sleeves. They heaviest band ever, but you can’t touch them when it comes to guitars, so we went the other way and did it without guitars. A whole different mood. As for Joe Walsh, believe it or not, the first song I ever played live in my life was that one, “Rocky Mountain Way.”

Can you explain?

I was 11. My band was playing a Pagan keg party — a biker kind of thing. And that was the first tune we played, so it’s still near and dear to me. I am so glad we covered that song.

You were only 11?

Right. And my parents were so cool. In West Virginia, where I grew up, I would have needed a work permit to play anyplace alone — parties, bars, whatever. But if they were there, it was cool, so that’s what they did — hung out in all of these stinking bars listening to me crank out AC/DC covers. That is love!

Well, it’s a great selection of covers.

I’ll let you in on something else. There’s one that didn’t make it to the album. We did a very cool industrial-sounding version of the Phil Collins song “In the Air Tonight.” It just didn’t fit what was happening on the record. But I’m hoping we find a place to release it at some point. I think we will. Trust me, it is very cool.

Universal Republic

Godsmack’s Live & Inspired is available now on iTunes and Amazon.

Catch Godsmack on the UPROAR Tour along with Shinedown, Staind, Papa Roach, Adelitas Way, P.O.D., Deuce, Fozzy, Redlight King, In This Moment, Thousand Foot Krutch, and Candlelight Red on the following dates:

Date Market Venue
Friday, 8/17 Kansas City, MO Capitol Federal Park at Sandstone *
Saturday, 8/18 Little Rock, AR Arkansas State Fairgrounds (KDJE Radio Show) *
Sunday, 8/19 St. Louis, MO Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre **
Tuesday, 8/21 Grand Rapids, MI Rock The Rapids (downtown)
main stage bands only
Wednesday, 8/22 Chicago, IL First Midwest Bank Amphitheatre *
Friday, 8/24 Holmdel, NJ PNC Bank Arts Center *
Saturday, 8/25 Syracuse, NY TBA
Sunday, 8/26 Mansfield, MA Comcast Center *
Tuesday, 8/28 Scranton, PA Toyota Pavilion at Montage Mountain *
Wednesday, 8/29 Buffalo, NY Darien Lake Performing Arts Center **
Friday, 8/31 Pittsburgh, PA First Niagara Pavilion *
Saturday, 9/1 Saratoga, NY Saratoga Performing Arts Center *
Sunday, 9/2 Bristow, VA Jiffy Lube Live *
Wednesday, 9/5 Simpsonville, SC Charter Amphitheatre at Heritage Park *
Friday, 9/7 Detroit, MI DTE Energy Music Theatre ***
Saturday, 9/8 Noblesville, IN Klipsch Music Center ****
Sunday, 9/9 Cleveland, OH Blossom Music Center ***
Tuesday, 9/11 Raleigh, NC Time Warner Cable Music Pavilion at Walnut Creek ***
Wednesday, 9/12 Atlanta, GA Aaron’s Amphitheatre at Lakewood ***
Thursday, 9/13 Tampa, FL 1-800-ASK-GARY Amphitheatre ***
Saturday, 9/15 Houston, TX Woodlands Pavilion ****
Sunday, 9/16 Dallas, TX Gexa Energy Pavilion ***
Tuesday, 9/18 Denver, CO Comfort Dental Amphitheater *****
Wednesday, 9/19 Salt Lake City, UT USANA Amphitheatre ***
Friday, 9/21 Spokane, WA Greyhound Park and Events Center ***
Saturday, 9/22 Auburn, WA White River Amphitheatre ***
Sunday, 9/23 Portland, OR Sleep Country Amphitheater ***
Tuesday, 9/25 Boise, ID Idaho Center Amphitheater ***
Saturday, 9/29 Phoenix, AZ Ashley Furniture HomeStore Pavilion ****
Sunday, 9/30 Albuquerque, NM Hard Rock Casino Presents: The Pavilion ****

*Thousand Foot Krutch will not be performing at this show
**Fozzy and Thousand Foot Krutch will not be performing at this show
***In This Moment will not be performing at this show
****In This Moment and Thousand Foot Krutch will not be performing at this show
*****Fozzy, Redlight King and In This Moment will not be performing at this show

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