Godsmack Smack Attack

August 27, 2008 by  

GodSmack Sully Erna playing Gibson Les PaulWho says you need a big budget, a hotshot producer or a fancy, gazillion-track studio to make a hit record? Not Godsmack, a Boston-based band that sounds more like Seattle (their name actually comes from an Alice in Chains song). Godsmack’s selft-titled major label debut originated as a self-produced demo recorded back in 1996 for just $2,500—which the band had to borrow from a friend.

Recorded at Boston’s New Alliance Studios, Godsmack’s debut is a no-frills, no-nonsense dose of hard, brooding rock which, despite its low budget, sounds totally awesome and champions substance over flash. “We did it ourselves,” relates Godsmack guitarist Tony Rombola in a thick Boston accent. “We pretty much did all the basic tracks in two days. The whole thing—including vocals, mixing and mastering—was done in two weeks. A little bit of tweaking can go a long way.”

In line with this low-budget philosophy, Rombola—whose roaring rhythm work and biting, wah-wah-fied licks power the album—had to borrow a guitar to record the album’s impressive array of heavy tones. “I’m really a big blues fan,” says Rombola. “I love Stevie Ray Vaughan, B.B. King, Albert King. So I actually play Strats a lot at home. But with this band I wanted a guitar that had a thicker sound. So I borrowed a Les Paul Studio model to record the album. That was the one that worked the best with my Mesas.”

Of course, recording on a low budget does have its disadvantages. “The solo at the end of ‘Keep Away’ is a gobbled mess,” admits Rombola. “I probably should have fixed it but I ended up leaving it in.”

[% oiopub-banner-3-left %]————————————————————

A DJ at Boston’s WAAF took a liking to “Keep Away” and began playing it on his late-night show. Despite scant distribution—only one store, Newberry Comics, would carry the album—the band was soon selling up to a thousand CDs a week and ultimately landed a deal with Universal Records. So what’s the best thing about being on a big label? “I got all new gear,” says Rombola. “I picked up a Les Paul Custom with a nice flame top, three new Mesa Dual rectifiers, and I built myself a big pedal board with all the effects I ever wanted.” Classifieds is an eBay alternative. Come sell your used guitar and amps with us, for FREE!

Speak Your Mind

Tell us what you're thinking...
and oh, if you want a pic to show with your comment, go get a gravatar!

Time limit is exhausted. Please reload CAPTCHA.