Godsmack’s Shannon Larkin Admits They ‘Never Made Money in Europe’
It’s hard to imagine, but Godsmack — one of the biggest hard rock bands in the world for a time — has never once made money in Europe. At least that’s according to the band’s drummer Shannon Larkin, who revealed that sad tidbit of information during a recent interview with Metal-Roos.
When asked whether the band planned on heading down to Australia in support of their latest release Lighting Up The Sky, Larkin questioned whether the band could even afford to make such a massive trip. It’s true that things have been hard for every band out there recently due to rising costs and logistical nightmares, but it sounds like the problem is a bit larger than just that.
“Not yet. And the honest truth is, can we afford to come? It sucks for us because we’re here. We’re big in America. We’re an American band. The radio loves us here. If it weren’t for them, we wouldn’t be a big band. And we didn’t really have the success worldwide that we have here.”
Keep in mind, we’re talking about a band that’s got three platinum records here in the States — one of which, their self-titled album from 1998 — went quadruple platinum. That’s millions of copies sold. Most bands dream of that kind of success, yet Godsmack didn’t see their influence grow as an international band.
Maybe they’re just too American sounding? That doesn’t really play since Volbeat pretty much bites off of Metallica’s sound and they’re huge across the pond. Maybe it’s the tribal tattoo aesthetic they’ve clung to since the late ’90s that would make circa 2006 Dave Bautista blush that’s turning Europeans’ sensitive disposition?
Whatever the case, Larkin thinks it’s ultimately because they’ve been unable to put on the type of performance that American audiences have gotten for years.
“We don’t run a bunch of tapes; we don’t do that shit. We’re a live band. But what we do like to do is people pay these exorbitant ticket prices and when they come to see us, we have a big show. And we blow shit up with pyro and we have video screens. And there might be lasers that night. We have moving drum risers — all this shit that’s part of us and it’s been us. Then we go to England and play, or Australia and play, and we’ve got a rag behind us and a drum set. And it’s not a crutch — we still went and we do it — but we never had the growth to where we were big enough, say in Australia, to come there and present what we do, like us live, this badass show that we’ve always done and that’s as much a part of us as our instruments. We perform and we love to do it. And so we’re proud of it and we have a lot of pride there. And so sometimes it feels like they’re not getting what we are because we can’t afford to bring all that shit.
“It’s just crazy, man, this business. We’ve got 20-some people on the road crew. It’s rooms and flights — it’s crazy how much it costs to tour the world, especially now after all this bullshit pandemic bullshit. Touring Europe, man, was just… You’re literally losing money. And we did it. We’d do it anyway. We’ve never — I’ll say this right here — we’ve never made money in Europe ever. Period. And we’ve been there 15 times or whatever. We keep going back because we have a cult following where we can draw a couple of thousand people in these rooms, and we love to play for ’em, but there’s never been a moment where we can say, ‘Here’s what we are.’”
This isn’t the first time Godsmack’s had to talk back potential international touring plans. Just earlier this month, they announced that they were canceling their South American dates due to a “lack of ticket sales.” That tour was supposed to take place from April 21 in Santiago, Chile and end in Buenos Aires, Argentina on April 27.