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Godsmack Pay Tribute to Chester Bennington + Chris Cornell, Discuss Direction of New Album

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Godsmack paid tribute to Chester Bennington and Chris Cornell last night (Aug. 9) during the group’s Musikfest performance in Bethlehem, Pa. by playing songs from each artist, both who died recently by suicide.

“I just wanna bring up something here quick; I don’t want to harp on this too long, because I want you guys to leave here in a really good mood with good positive feelings,” Godsmack singer Sully Erna said. “It’s been actually mind-blowing to me how many amazing performers, amazing voices we’ve lost to some really sad, tragic situations – and some of them were very close friends of ours.”

“We just decided to do this today. We haven’t really rehearsed this, but we wanted to do something for you guys and we wanted to do something in honor of our friends that have left us with some beautiful music on this planet,” he continued. “So I think this one is gonna kind of speak for itself.”

The band then went into a stripped down performance of the Linkin Park hit “Crawling,” followed by a take on “Hunger Strike” by the Seattle supergroup Temple of the Dog, which Cornell formed in tribute to his friend and late Mother Love Bone singer Andrew Wood, who died from a heroin overdose in 1990.

Earlier in the day, Erna and Godsmack drummer Shannon Larkin sat down with WFMZ-TV to talk about their Musikfest appearance, which would be the band’s final live performance of 2017, preceding their 20th anniversary next year, for which Larkin said they’d be, “touring our butts off.”

“Yeah, there’s gonna be a lot of roadwork to do,” Erna added. “There’s a lot of countries to hit. It’s a big world out there, and I think we’re gonna try to do at least two laps around the globe before we end this album cycle.”

The singer also talked about the new studio album the band are working on, which is slated for early next spring, and whether it was going to follow a particular theme.

“Not so much a theme, but we have made a conscious decision to kind of change the game a bit,” Erna said. “This show we’re kind of marking as the last of the nostalgic Godsmack shows, and from this point forward, we’re gonna kind of open a new chapter in our career and go for a new sound, a new stage and a new look for the band. We’re gonna change things up enough, maintain the integrity of what we are and what we do. But it feels so far that the writing is going a little bit more down into a commercial, mainstream kind of feel. But, again, without losing the power and the stuff that we built our heritage on.”

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