Just a few days ago, we at Bloody-Disgusting got to announce that Shannon Larking, drummer of Godsmack, will be reviewing the BD Selects films! He started out with YellowBrickRoad, and will be continuing with more as each film comes out. In anticipation of this, I caught up with Shannon to hear more about his love of horror, what he expects from future BD Selects films and also what’s going on in Godsmack! Check out all the details after the jump!
How are you doing?
I’m doing good today. How are you?
Doing quite well! Pretty excited because YellowBrickRoad comes out in theaters today!
Nice! Yeah, that’s a good one!
I’m excited that you’re going to be reviewing the BD Selects films. What did you think of YellowBrickRoad? [Editor’s Note: Check out the full review HERE]
It’s more of a thinking mans horror film. It’s not just a bunch of gore. It builds the tension really nicely and it’s a good story. You know, something you’ve heard before, with the urban legend. The way they filmed it, with the audio being the scary part is really unique. It’s really amazing. There isn’t any monster to speak of, just the use of sound at the end as this punishing, violent thing. It’s very cool.
Where did this love for horror come from? Do you remember the first horror movie that you saw?
I don’t remember the very first but my passion for horror came from this thing called Creature Feature that would come on every Saturday night when I was a kid. My dad would wake me up, because I would go to bed around 8:30, because I was a kid, like nine or ten. So, my dad would wake me up and we’d watch Creature Feature, which had all the Hammer Horror films, the Dracula’s, the Mummy’s, the Godzilla’s. So I developed this real early love for horror. Then, when I was 11, my dad showed me Jaws for the first time and that was the first horror movie experience where I had nightmares. I love nightmares to this day, because it’s basically a free horror movie [laughs].
Then there was The Exorcist, a movie called The Antichrist, which scared the bejeezus out of me. Evil movies like The Omen, Rosemary’s Baby, those kinds of films really just creep me out and to this day hold up and still scare me.
Then later on it was movies like Dead Alive or Evil Dead. Actually, Evil Dead 1 and 2 are huge huge huge influences on what I like in horror.
Oh, I must mention Argento’s Suspiria, which freaked me out for WEEKS after I saw that.
It’s funny because I keep watching movies in the genre and thinking, “Okay, where can they go next?” and then a movie like The Human Centipede comes out and I’m like, “Damn! It takes some twisted minds to come up with that!”
Then there are the Japanese, who have films like Machine Girl. OH! And France! France really stepped up with movies like High Tension, Martyrs, Inside. Every time I think something gets old, something comes along and rocks me and gives me nightmares.
I also have to mention Lucio Fulci and his zombie movies. Awesome!
It’s funny because when management came to us [Godsmack] and asked if “…anyone was into horror?” everyone pointed at me [laughs]. He told me that he might be able to get me a gig writing reviews for your site, Bloody-Disgusting. I swear, I almost did a backflip. I frequent your site all the time.
Thanks a lot! Glad to hear that. I’ve heard that you have a notebook full of reviews for horror movies. What is the first movie in that book that you reviewed?
Well, I went alphabetical order, so the first one is a newer movie called Aaah, Zombies! It’s kind of like Shaun of the Dead, boy-meets-girl horror comedy.
But yeah, I have this notebook that I’ve been keeping for a while and sometimes it’s hard to write a review, but I’ll put in two sentences about a movie and then a star rating, with one being shit and five being awesome. If there’s a cool kills scene or eye gouging or something like that, I’ll make a note so that I can remember it. When you’ve got a thousand movies, it’s hard to remember each storyline [laughs].
So, like, if a movie gets two stars, it’s typically not worthy of my shelf space [laughs]. I mean, I might really enjoy it, especially because I know how hard it is to get a horror movie made, but there are other movies I’d rather hold onto. But anything three stars or above I keep in the collection.
Talking about this opportunity to review the BD Selects films, I’m wondering what types of movies you’re expecting to see?
Well, I’m more of a gore guy, like movies by Bava. One of the first movies, Demons, scared the shit out of me when I was a kid. So, I’m hoping they’ll send a bunch of gore. As for what I expect, horror movies! Bring ‘em on! Any kind! Who can say that Let The Right One In isn’t as powerful as, say, Inside? They’re two totally different genres of horror, but both of them affected me the same way. And any horror film that can make me think about it for days afterwards is definitely a four or five star film!
Switching gears a bit, I’d like to chat about Godsmack a bit. The Oracle came out just over a year ago and in one month, you guys will be hitting the Rockstar Energy Mayhem Festival. What are the plans after that?
Well, after that we hope to go to Canada. We haven’t been there in about five years, so we’re trying to set up the tour now. So, maybe a week or two off after Mayhem and then Canada and hopefully end up in Alaska, which is always fun to go and play. It’s weird up there. Scary!
After that, we’ll probably take the rest of the year off. Sully has a solo album and he’s touring the East Coast right now, so he’ll get back out there for a West Coast tour while Tony, Robbie and myself will enter the studio and record another Another Animal record. Then we’ll coast the year out like that, stay busy with side projects. Then we’ll take January off because that’s not a month that really has a lot going on in this business. Everything kinda shuts down for New Years. Then February, we’ll meet up in Boston, go out for dinner and plan out the whole 2012 year. When we’ll make the new record, when we’re going to tour and support it. But for now, it’s all about the Mayhem tour.
Has any writing or work been done for the follow-up to The Oracle?
The way we write is that we all four individually write using little handheld recorders, or the iPhone now which is great for that. Typically, Tony writes on guitar all day. He’ll get up in the morning, have a coffee, sit down on the couch and just record all day. So, to answer your question, yeah, we’re constantly riffing. When we meet up in the studio, we start playing these tracks and riffs that we’ve come up with. So maybe Tony has an awesome lick or Sully has a kickass melody or lyric, which we sometimes will write a song around.
What do you want out of the next Godsmack album? What are your expectations?
I want more of The Oracle! All four of us believe that we got to the meat and potatoes of what Godsmack is all about. We’re not about reinventing the band or anything. We’re pretty much a blue-collar heavy rock kinda band with our influences on our sleeve. We want to make music for our fans and for ourselves in the genre which we love most, which is heavy rock. Myself, I’d love to see the next album move like The Oracle moves, in which we can flex our muscles and do some instrumentals and show some metal riffage. But it’s all about crafting the great song. At this point, it’s more about the songs now, making sure we write these kickass songs that people will relate to and hopefully remember in ten to fifteen years. That’s really the goal, is to reach out to the hearts and longevity of our listeners.
Well Shannon, that’s all I’ve got for you. Any last words for the readers?
Oh man, horror forever! Keep it coming!
Thanks so much and I’ll see you in Detroit on the Mayhem tour!