Sully Erna is best known as the founder member, front man and creative force behind American hard rock band Godsmack and he has also produced solo work.
Sully Erna, full name Salvatore Paul “Sully” Erna was born in Lawrence, Massachusetts in 1968. He is of Italian ancestry and his family were musical. His grandfather was a composer and his father was a professional trumpet player.
Sully Erna started playing the drums as a three year old; moving onto the guitar aged 11. His early rock influences were Led Zeppelin, Aerosmith and Motorhead.
Sully Erna played the drums in most of his early bands but formed Godsmack in 1995, positioning himself as the front man and lead singer. The band played at local venues in the Boston area becoming a popular act and recorded their first CD “All Wound Up” in 1996.
With the increased popularity of the band as a live act over the next two years, the CD was played by local radio station Boston WAAF (FM) bringing Godsmack to a wider audience. Local shops sold the CDs and increased sales bought the band to the notice of Universal records who signed the band. For Sully Erna with a long history and not much previous success, this was a breakthrough.
Universal remastered “All wound up “in 1998, changing the name to “Godsmack” and releasing it as the band’s debut album. It went on to certified 4x platinum in 2001.
Godsmack toured the album and toured Europe supporting Black Sabbath as well as touring Ozzfest and Woodstock 1999. Since then the band have performed on numerous Ozzfest tours, and have toured in their own right as well as supporting big name bands such as Motley Crue. Godsmack have released five albums to date – the most recent “The Oracle” in 2010.
Sully Erna is attracting a lot of attention as a solo artist with the recent release of his debut album “Avalon” released in September 2010 a work that he has taken seven years to complete. This melodic album with Native American drumming influences as well as Eastern European and blues influences shows a different side to Sully Erna.
However, Sully Erna has insisted that his solo work will not disrupt Godsmack. The band carry on touring and producing new material for the legions of fans.
Sully Erna is a multi talented musician. A tireless vocalist, he also plays guitar, harmonica, drums, piano, keyboards and percussion.