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Shannon Larkin On Almost Getting Axed from Godsmack

Shannon Larkin

Shannon Larkin On Almost Getting Axed from Godsmack

It’s been over two decades since Shannon Larkin took the traps for Godsmack; a full 22 years of the kind of sturm and drang that’d make Wagner proud. It’s also made the kind of racket that charts glom on to, releasing three consecutive number-one albums (Faceless, IV and The Oracle), and tour managers notice. In fact, during this time Godsmack would go on to hit the road with Metallica – twice – plus headline Metal Mayhem (with Disturbed).

Before taking the traps for Godsmack back in ‘02, the now 56-year-old drummer was itinerantly linked to such bands as Amen, Candlebox and Ugly Kid Joe. He’s also played for Vanilla Ice, Glassjaw, Stone Sour and Glenn Tipton’s Baptizm of Fire.

But nothing has brought about the big banging quite like Godsmack. You can best hear his epic smashing on the Faceless track “Straight Out of Line,” which was good enough to earn the band a Grammy nod for Best Hard Rock Performance. Though the award finally went to Evanescence’s single, “Bring Me to Life”, its nomination put Godsmack firmly amid a fraternity that included Audioslave, Jane’s Addiction and Queens of the Stone Age. The track also found life in the vid game Prince of Persia: Warrior Within, as well as on the Vin Deisel flick A Man Apart.

The track truly is driven by Larkin’s drums. Its locomotive clang and boom is as relentless as it is persistent, giving the track a non-stop smack that, yes, could come straight from the gods. It is that ferocious.

A very special mention has got to go to the band for hooking up with Community Alliance for Teen Safety (C.A.T.S.) and recruiting band members from Gilbert H. Hood and West Running Brook middle schools in Derry, New Hampshire to provide supporting instrumentation on the clip for the song “Unforgettable”. The kids really came through – and so did Godsmack. It was definitely one epic move.

Almost Getting Axed

But none of that tells us how Shannon Larkin almost got axed from Godsmack. As he told Greg Kennelty at Metal Injection:

In fact, I was threatened to be fired from the band three times over the last 20 years. One of my issues, which is an issue that affects many alcoholics, is when you get too drunk, you black out. And when I blacked out, I would do crazy things like pick fights with way bigger people. “It was funny because I always attacked the people that were closest to me, the people I loved the most.

Attacking loved ones while blackout drunk was an issue Larkin addressed in rehab, where he went to put that shit to rest, once and for all.

Why do I attack the people I love the most?, was the main question. And they really helped me find out why. I’m not gonna tell the world all about it (let’s just say it’s an inner thing). Everybody has their issues. And so I think with alcoholism and drug addiction, it’s all about locating the issue, finding it, destroying it. Then finding your higher power, finding happiness within.”

“It’s pretty simple sounding stuff. But it’s not so simple to implement.”

Sounds like the Steps to us. A really good approach to the Steps at that. It also sounds like someone who was open to hearing advice from others; ironic considering Larkin was anti-therapy.

“I wasn’t a person that even really believed in head shrinks. I was kind of against it even, but after feeling like I was gonna die if I didn’t quit, I went for it.”

“And for what it’s worth, it worked, These people found all these hidden dark things that I wouldn’t have really even remembered if it weren’t for therapy. Despite my objections. I said I’m gonna go with this, and I’m gonna do everything that they ask me and jump through all the hoops.’ And it turned out that it changed my life.”

“So, I guess the moral of the story is rehab works – if you embrace it and go with it and believe in it. And it all comes from inside us; our happiness is in there. We don’t need drugs and alcohol.”

Larkin happened to find his piece of mind at Fort Lauderdale’s Recovery Unplugged, but there are a slew of reputable addiction treatment centers which can duly so the trick. Log on – or callSAMHSA for a reputable rehab near you.

Shannon Larkin Stays with the Band

Healing Properties applauds Godsmack for giving Shannon Larkin three strikes before kicking him to the curb for good. Letting him get control of his inner demons showed great patience and understanding; something more bands would do well to copy. Heck, it’s something every employer would do well do copy, rock band or otherwise.

We also applaud Shannon Larkin for exorcizing those inner demons, We know it isn’t easy, especially after decades of drugs and booze, that you pulled it off is something truly commendable. That you’ve continue to pull it off for eight straight years, makes it all the more commendable.

If you or a loved one is having issues with substance abuse, please reach out. There’s someone somewhere who’ll be there for you – in fact, more folks than you can imagine; once you find them you’ll be set.

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