Five Minutes, Five Questions: Shannon Larkin, Godsmack

Five Minutes, Five Questions: Shannon Larkin, Godsmack

It must have been 2003 when Godsmack played the Oklahoma City Zoo Amphitheatre with full pyro. It was … well, it was the moment I fell in love with the Boston band that you can call “metal” or “hard rock,” whichever suits you.

The last time I saw Godsmack was an acoustic show in Lawrence, Kan. — just as amazing, but completely different. In between then and now, Godsmack has had 11 No. 1 singles on mainstream rock radio, earned four Grammy nominations, been Billboard Music Award’s rock artist of the year and sold more than 20 million records worldwide.

Godsmack — Sully Erna on vocals and guitar, Tony Rombola on guitar, Robbie Merrill on bass and Shannon Larkin on drums — is on tour in 2023 to support their eighth studio album, “Lighting Up the Sky,” and Larkin took time to answer five questions for What’s Up!

Q. Which kind of show — arena or smaller theater — is more challenging, more rewarding, more fun?

A. Each one of us has a fave environment, and the different energies from say 50,000 people at a festival as opposed to 2,000 in a theater are two different highs, each bringing unique feelings to us individually, but both just as satisfying as a performer. I personally prefer amphitheaters; my fave venue ever is Red Rocks Amphitheater.

Q. Every time I’ve seen Godsmack (except the acoustic show) the entire audience has been shouting the songs along with you. How does that feel to know all these people know every word?

A. When our fans sing along, it’s as exciting as the first time, every time. Once in Germany we played “Serenity” from the “Faceless” album, and the crowd singing along moved me to tears. No sh*t.

Q. What was the moment in your life that inspired you to become a musician? And why do you still love it now?

A. While not musicians, my parents had music on all the time around the house and played records for me and my sister, so I remember always feeling happy when listening to music. Then I was 7 or 8 and heard KISS on the radio, saw a picture of them, and fell in love. But it wasn’t until I heard Rush and Zeppelin (in that order) that being a drummer called to me, and I never looked back.

Q. Is there one particular song — yours or someone else’s — that you would choose to tell your story?

A. “It’s A Long Way To The Top” by AC/DC is fitting to tell my story. I started playing night clubs professionally in bands when I was 13 and have never worked a “normal” job … but this music business is hard, demanding work in ways most folks can’t understand looking from the outside in. It is indeed a long and winding road.

Q. What’s life off the road like for you?

A. Life on the road is boring for the most part. It used to be everything I dreamed of — sex! drugs! rock ’n’ roll! — but eventually I realized what was important in my life (and that I wanted to remain living) so I quit drinking and focused on just the rock ’n’ roll. The excitement of the one to two hours on the stages playing each show is worth the other 22 hours of boredom, so it’s not a bummer.

But my home is where I’m truly happy; I’ve everything that makes me myself right here at home. I love my 36 koi fish, 28 turtles, all my bonsai and bamboo and a plethora of other trees and fauna, each planted by my own hands. I don’t watch many TV shows, but love horror movies. And football (Raiders!). My girl Heather is the only person who knows me.

I ride an ‘07 Heritage Softail by Harley-Davidson and drive a ‘64 Chevy Impala. I’ve kept all my drum sets through the years, and every room in my house has drums in them. I have a band that I will continue with until I die called Spirit Wheel that is psychedelic classic blues rock.

All that said, this Godsmack record, “Lighting Up The Sky,” is my favorite one of all, and I’m excited and looking forward to touring and playing these songs for our peeps.




With I Prevail

WHEN — 7 p.m. May 9; gates open at 5:30 p.m.

WHERE — Walmart Arkansas Music Pavilion in Rogers

COST — $35-$139.50

INFO — 443-5600 or

FYI — Reserved parking is available for an additional $20; “fast track” for early access is $10

Categories: Music