Godsmack: We’ve ‘Never’ Made Money Touring Europe, ‘Ever’

Godsmack - Soul On Fire (Official Music Video): Produced by: Dimension 5 at @StudioLabNH, Directed by: Sully Erna, Godsmack, BMG, YouTube
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For some bands, touring life has been an ongoing struggle. There is the desire to share one’s art, perform for fans, and make some money on the road, but there also comes a plethora of financial concerns while touring (especially if a band has a rather big production setup). And of course, you throw the impact that the COVID-19 pandemic has had on touring, and the problems that already exist become even larger.

During a recent conversation with Metal-Roos, Godsmack drummer Shannon Larkin was asked if the band will be making their way down to Australia to play some of their new songs. But per the drummer, he doesn’t even know if Godsmack can financially swing such a trip. Per Larkin (as transcribed by MetalSucks):

“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.”

Larkin then goes on to talk about how massive Godsmack’s production is and all the theatricality they pack into their shows (such as including pyro and massive video screens). In mentioning this, he also shares how such a production impacts their traveling plans. Per the Godsmack drummer:

“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.”

Larkin concludes by sharing that, while touring Europe, the band has “never made money,” ever. Ultimately, per Larkin, they keep going back because they love playing for their fans over there.

“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.’”

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