Godsmack's Sully Erna predicts his band's upcoming North American tour with Shinedown — which kicks f July 22 at the DTE Energy Music Theatre in suburban Detroit — "can be the best rock tour 2018." And both groups feel that a big rock tour is exactly what the world needs right now.
"I think we both see eye to eye, and we're on the same page; We just want to keep rock 'n' roll moving forward," Shinedown's Barry Kerch tells Billboard. "All the tastemakers out there say rock is dead; Meanwhile we're playing shows that are sold out — 15,000 people, 20,000 people, some places 50 to 100,000 people. Rock is not dead, and we wanna keep that mission going."
Erna adds that, "I'm excited. There seems to be a real mutual respect there. We've known those guys for awhile. I think we took them on one their first big tours a while back, and I'm really proud that band and how they've grown over the years and become their own monsters. The music seems to be really compatible, and when this opportunity came about I spent some time on the phone with Brent (Smith, Shinedown's frontman) and we both felt like this could be a real home run."
Both bands are on the road supporting well-received new releases. Godsmack When Legends Rise debuted at No. 5 on the Billboard 200 following its April release, while Shinedown's Attention Attention bowed at No. 4. Each has spawned a No. 1 Top Mainstream Rock track with Godsmack's "Bulletpro" and Shinedown's "Devil." But Kerch says that "It's not a competition between the two us. We've known them for a very long time. We have a great relationship with them. I think both bands want to give the fans the best show they could possibly have, so we're gonna pull out all the stops." Erna adds that, "We've toured with them before, so I know what Shinedown's gonna do and I know what we're gonna do, and together it's just going to be a really, really big package. I know between us we're bringing a big show, and I don’t think anyone's gonna be disappointed, that's for sure."
The trek — which will feature Like A Storm and Red Sun Rising in support roles — is currently booked into mid-October. Erna, for his part, is hoping the two quartets will hang together even longer than that; "We're probably going to see if we can continue to do this as a world tour. We're really loving this idea, and if it keeps going in the direction we think it's gonna go in then we're thinking about staying together as a team and running this thing around the globe. We have a lot (touring) to do and we'd love to have them come along with everything if they want to."