Talking to GODSMACK about what they use they use their music for [Arthur, 2006]

Godsmack are a millionaire hard rock band who have sold millions of records in the last eight years. Their fourth album, “IV,” was released on April 25, 2006. It sold 211,000 copies in its first week in the USA to debut at Number One on the Billboard chart.

Several weeks previous, I had been solicited by Godsmack’s record label and publicist for press coverage. Ken Phillips, the band’s publicist told me on May 3, after the interview had been conducted, that he had “assumed that it would be a feature about the new cd, tour and what the band has been doing since the last release.” The latter is all that I was able to discuss with Godsmack frontman/lyricist/producer Sully Erna on Monday, May 1 by telephone before he hung up on me mid-sentence, and refused to answer any further questions over the following days.

Here is the full transcript of our conversation. — Jay Babcock (Editor, ARTHUR Magazine)

Feature article published in Arthur No. 23 (July 2006)

LISTEN TO THE INTERVIEW.
(Initial audio digitizing courtesy Bobby Tamkin!)

JAY BABCOCK of Arthur Magazine: Alright let me get the tape rolling here. How you doing?

SULLY ERNA of Godsmack: I’m good!

JAY: How was the Jimmy Kimmel show on Friday? You were outside playing, right?

SULLY: Yeah it’s always cool to do that because it’s so set up for musicians, you know. Big stage, live crowd. It’s not so like indoors with a camera rehearsals. It’s a lot easier.

JAY: Yeah. So you got to be back out in front of your fans.

SULLY: Yeah. It was good. It was fun.

JAY: What kind of people listen to your music, do you think?

SULLY: Ummm, I’ve seen ’em range as young as 8 and as old as 68. [chuckles]

JAY: Yup.

SULLY: So it’s…

JAY: Well, you’ve seen a lot more of ’em than I have, and I’m trying to get an idea of what it feels like when you’re out there–to you, on the stage. Do you think there’s a lot of teenagers in the audience? A lot of guys in their 20s? Chicks?

SULLY: Ah you know…

JAY: Is it a dude audience?

SULLY: I would say, if I had to guess what our age group is, it’s probably between 18 and 40.

JAY: Oh yeah?

SULLY: I would have to say that’s kind of where we’re at, maybe more, majority would be 18-30? But I, we definitely, we recruited a lot of new fans off of that acoustic record…

JAY: That did it, huh?

SULLY: …an older audience. And this record seems to be drawing in a different kind of audience as well, so. You know we’re just trying to continue to expand and not have a ceiling over our heads.

JAY: Right. You guys are still having a good time making music after all these years?

SULLY: Of course. We’re musicians, that’s what we do. It may not always be great music, but we love making it! [laughs]

JAY: Cuz music has a power…?

SULLY: Mmm hmm. It’s a universal language.

JAY: So what you say with it, and what you do with it, has an effect…?

SULLY: Of course.

JAY: Right?

SULLY: [emphatically] Of course.

JAY: So I notice you guys have been really involved with promoting the military. [1]

SULLY: Well, they actually came to us, believe it or not. Somebody in the Navy loves this band, because they used “Awake” for three years and then they came to us and re-upped the contract for another three years for “Sick of Life.” So, I don’t know. They just feel like that music, [laughs] someone in that place thinks that the music is very motivating for recruit commercials I guess. And hey, I’m an American boy so it’s not… I’m proud of it.

JAY: You’re proud of recruiting your fans into the military?

SULLY: Well, no. [laughs, then playfully] Don’t be turning my fucking words around, you!

JAY: Well, tell me what you mean. You said your music is powerful, it’s got an effect, like you said, and you’re letting the military use it. The military, who are they recruiting? 18-to-30-year-olds, right?

SULLY: I guess. I don’t know what their recruit age is. I know it’s at least 18.

JAY: Yeah, they do down in the high schools now.

SULLY: My thing is… Listen, here’s my thing with the military. I’m not saying our government is perfect. Because I know that we make some mistakes and we do shitty things BUT, BUT. You wouldn’t have your job, and we wouldn’t have our lives, if we weren’t out there protecting this country so we could lead a free life. So there’s kind of a ying and a yang to that. Sometimes it’s not always the best choices that we make, or we stick our noses in other people’s shit, but at the same time, we protect this place enough that we’re able to like pursue careers and do what a lot of people in other countries aren’t able to do. They’re kind of picked and they’re chosen to be whatever they become. I’m proud to be an American, I’ll tell you that.

JAY: So your country, right or wrong?

SULLY: Uh, no. Not right or wrong. But I’m proud to be an American. I love my country. I’ve seen the depressions and how people live in other countries and how they’re told what to be, and they don’t have the choices that we have. I do love that about our country. So, you know… And I actually sympathize with a lot of the soliders, and the military in general, that are trained to go out and protect FOR us, and what they have to go through, it’s really kind of shitty in a sense that these young kids have to go over there and die, sometimes, for something that isn’t our fucking problem. And that kind of sucks. So what I have to do is at least support them, because they don’t have the choice that we do.

JAY: They don’t have the choice because…?

SULLY: Because they’ve decided to fight for our country.

JAY: And they decided to do that because…?

SULLY: [laughs]…

JAY: Of your song…?

SULLY: Aw, come on. It’s not like that.

JAY: Well I have a quote from you here: “We’ve always been supportive of our country and our president, whereas a lot of people I thought” — and you said this in 2003, to MTV News, you said — “a lot of people I thought lashed out pretty quickly at what we did and I thought the government did everything pretty cleanly and publicly as possible.” [2]

SULLY: Yeah?

JAY: Well, what are you talking about?

SULLY: That was my opinion at the time. The whole war thing, and trying to keep us up to date like… If you remember, back in other wars, we didn’t have the opportunity to follow it through the media, and CNN, and the news, live updates and that kind of thing. And I thought that for the most part you know we were allowed to follow it as best we could through the media sources that were feeding us information.

JAY: [incredulous] You didn’t think the media was being controlled by the military?

SULLY: Well, it could be. I don’t know.

JAY: You didn’t look into it?

SULLY: Listen. Are you a fucking government expert?

JAY: I’m not telling people to go join the military and then not knowing what the military is doing.

SULLY: I don’t tell people to go join the military!!

JAY: You don’t think using your songs—the POWER of your music, which you were talking about—has an effect on the people that hear it when it goes with the visuals that the best P.R. people in the world use?

SULLY: Oh man, are you like one of those guys that agrees with some kid that fuckin’ tied a noose around his neck because Judas Priest lyrics told him to?

JAY: You were telling me how powerful your music was, and what age the people are that listen to it, and you must have thought, ‘Well the Navy sure thought it was useful,’ so you tell me.

SULLY: Hey, listen. The Navy thought… It’s the same reason why wrestlers work out to the music, and extreme motorcross riders listen to the music and do what they do. It’s ENERGETIC music. It’s very ATHLETIC. People feel that they get an adrenaline rush out of it or whatever, so, it goes with whatever’s an extreme situation. But I doubt very seriously that a kid is going to join the Marines or the US Navy because he heard Godsmack as the underlying bed music in the commercial. They’re gonna go and join the Navy because they want to jump out of helicopters and fuckin’ shoot people! Or protect the country or whatever it is, and look at the cool infra-red goggles.

JAY: You said to MTV, “We’re not a very political band but we’re supportive of the U.S. military and how they approach things.” [2]

SULLY: Listen. Someone turned that around. I never said “and how they approach things.”

JAY: Okay. So that’s a misquote. Or something–

SULLY [interrupting]: Wow, what?

JAY: What about this? In 2003 you did a show that started with video footage of Apache helicopters”honing in on a desert target interspersed with the words ‘We will prevail…Stronger than them all.”

SULLY: Say that again?

JAY: I’m reading from a Boston Globe review of a show you did at the Tweeter Center.

SULLY: Yeah.

JAY: In front of 13,000 people on May 22, 2003.

SULLY: Yeah, but tell me what it said again.

JAY: Yes sir. It said “Godsmack’s ferociously high energy 90-minute set started with video footage of Apache helicopters honing in on a desert target, interspersed with the words ‘We will prevail…Stronger than them all.” [3]

SULLY: Yeah…?

JAY: So you’re using military imagery with your music at your concerts?

SULLY: First of all, it was a COMPUTER image, a computer-animated helicopter that didn’t… There was no scene of a desert in there. It was a helicopter that rose up from the screen and scanned the audience. It was an EFFECT. And then it shot out missiles that hit the stage.

JAY: Uh huh…

SULLY: Because the intro to “Straight Out of Line” has the sounds of like, a war thing going on.

JAY [trying to decide if Sully is dissembling or just obtuse]: Oh I see. So it’s just sort of a concept thing. [pause] Well, you’ve done a lot to help out the guys who are in the military, who are stuck there now, whether they chose to be there or they got hoodwinked into being there. For whatever reason, they’re in the military. And they’re doing their job. You guys did a show for them at Camp Pendleton–

SULLY: Yup.

JAY: –called “Rockin’ the Corps.” And so you’ve been doing a lot of benefit shows…

SULLY: [interrupting] Well, like I said, Listen you know, there’s a lot of young kids that die for our country, man, and they don’t have the choice once they’re in there.

JAY: That’s right.

SULLY: So I just feel well you know whatever we can do to say “thank you for protecting our country” is what we try to do. I’m not trying to make this a big political issue.

JAY: Okay. Have you done anything to prevent people from joining the military?

SULLY: No.

JAY: To maybe educate them as to what’s in store for them?

SULLY: I don’t have enough education in the military to educate them in anything.

JAY: Would you let your music be used for anti-military recruiting advertisements?

SULLY: I don’t know, I’d have to see what that was about.

JAY: But you’d be open to it?

SULLY: We’re open to whatever, as long as it’s not a Maybelline commercial.

JAY: [laughs] Maybelline’s more offensive than the military…?

SULLY: No. That doesn’t quite go with what we do.

JAY: But the military does?

SULLY: Listen. Where are we going with this thing? Is this interview about the government–

JAY: Well, I’ve never seen such a pro-military–

SULLY: Sounds like this is a personal attack or whatever.

JAY: Well I’ve never seen such a pro-military band as you guys. [4]

SULLY: But we’re not! I think [chuckling] you’re making us out to be a little bit more. When we’re asked about something, we just answer the question. We don’t go spend 23 hours out of our day supporting the military and what they do.

JAY: Um hmm.

SULLY: We just simply, an opportunity came up, they wanted to use some music for a recruit commercial. What are we gonna say, no?

JAY: Yeah. How hard is it to say ‘no’?

SULLY: Why would we, though?!?

JAY: Because…

SULLY [interrupting]: Is it because you don’t feel the same way about the government that we do, makes you right and us wrong?

JAY: Yeah. What do you feel about the government? Tell me what–

SULLY: Aw, that’s crazy, man! That’s just an OPINION.

JAY: I can back my opinion up from here to tomorrow if you would like to talk to me all day long.

SULLY: Well obviously you’ve done a lot of research and you’ve–

JAY [interrupting]: That’s right, because–

SULLY: –got a different opinion. We don’t know that stuff that you know, so–

JAY [impatient]: Why don’t you do some research before you get involved with these sorts of things? You’re talking about young kids’ lives. You’re talking about kids–

SULLY: [yelling] Would you rather not have us be protected so they can come and overrun our country?!?

JAY: Do you know what a “fool’s errand” is?

SULLY: I’m asking you a question!

JAY: No one is threatening–

SULLY [interrupting]: Would you rather us not be protected?!?

JAY: You know what I’d like, Sully? A Department of Defense, not a Department of Offense that attacks other countries — sovereign nations — who do things in a different way than us, who we have no right to go over and invade and change their governments. Would we want someone else to do that to us?

SULLY: I’m not saying —

JAY [interrupting]: How hard is that to think about?

SULLY: I’m not saying that we were right on every war that we’ve created. I know that we’ve been damn wrong at times about stuff–

JAY [interrupting]: When have we been wrong?

SULLY: [yelling] but they have also been wrong too!

JAY: When have —

SULLY [interrupting]: I don’t trust someone like fuckin’ Sadaam and Osama to come in here and try to control–

JAY: [interrupting, incredulous] When did Sadaam try to come in here and control our country?

SULLY: Dude, [yelling] WHY DON’T YOU GO LIVE IN IRAQ THEN IF YOU HAVE SUCH A PROBLEM WITH AMERICA? Why are you here?

JAY: Why am I here?!? This is the top country in the world, my friend!

SULLY: Well, why do you think so? Because it’s PROTECTED.

JAY: No, it’s not because it’s–

SULLY [interrupting]: –ruled our country.

JAY: No one is attacking us, my friend. Certainly not Iraq. Every first world nation suffers terrorist attacks. Get used to it.

SULLY: I am used to it. I don’t have a problem–

JAY: Get used to it.

SULLY: [laughs] Sounds like you do.

JAY: You’re the one that’s saying it’s alright to not know about stuff and then to send other people to die in our name.

SULLY: I never said that! Don’t put fuckin’ words in my mouth.

JAY: I’ve got it on tape, bro.

SULLY: You’ve “got it on tape, bro”?!?

JAY: Yeah.

SULLY: You got me saying it’s okay for us to attack other countries?

JAY: I got you on tape saying they’re protecting us by attacking, by going over there and taking out people.

SULLY: Listen, don’t fuckin’ turn my words around to make it to what you want it to be! That’s not what I meant and you know that.

JAY: Okay I’m sorry. Then tell me what you meant.

SULLY: Listen, I’m not gonna get into a political fuckin’ conversation with you. This was supposed to be an interview about the band. Where is this going?

JAY: We’re talking about the power of your music and what you’re using it for.

SULLY: What is this for anyway? Who are you working with?

JAY: I’m working for my own magazine, my friend.

SULLY: What’s it called?

JAY: [laughing in disbelief] What do you mean, what’s it called? Are you serious?

SULLY: Yeah, what’s the magazine called?

JAY: It’s called Arthur Magazine. You guys are the ones that set this up.

SULLY: Hey I was just told to do press today, man.

JAY: Hey man, you guys–

SULLY: I got a checklist in front of me, and I don’t have time for a lot of this bullshit.

JAY: Oh yeah?

SULLY: So write whatever the fuck you wanna write, because your magazine obviously is that popular.

JAY: It’s doing pretty good…

SULLY [interrupting]: Yeah I’m sure it is. All three thousand copies of it… [5]

JAY: On our own, without any corporate support.

SULLY: I wish you the best of– Why would you waste your time calling a band like us when you don’t even give a fuck?!?

JAY: I certainly do “give a fuck.” Cuz you know what?

SULLY: What is this about?!?

JAY: Because listen man! You know there’s 2,800 people, my brothers and sisters, have died over in Iraq?

SULLY: Yeah?

JAY: You know 30,000 Iraqi humans WHO NEVER DID SHIT TO US have died because of the attacks we’ve made over there? [6]

SULLY: [in disbelief] And that’s Godsmack’s fault?

JAY: Did you know that 78% of women in the military report cases of sexual harassment? [7]

SULLY: [sarcastic] And that’s Godsmack’s fault.

JAY: No, man–

SULLY [interrupting, sarcastic]: That has to do with our new record.

JAY: Okay, let’s talk about your new record.

SULLY: I can’t believe this. This is [inaud]

JAY: Let’s talk about that new record, my friend.

SULLY: Get a life. [hangs up]

JAY: Let’s talk about the new album…

AN AFTERWORD FROM JAY BABCOCK, SATURDAY MAY 6, REGARDING THIS INTERVIEW

Regarding the nature of the questions that were put to Sully: it was determined by what’s unique about this band, which is their public pro-military, pro-war stance and the extent of their involvement with US military recruiting campaigns. They’ve spoken about this stuff in public before, so there was no reason for me to think that they wouldn’t be willing to speak about it again. Thus, the interview.

After Sully hung up on me, I called back. The band’s publicist, Ken Phillips, told me that Sully had emerged from the room shouting at the top of his lungs, and he wasn’t sure if he could get him back on the phone with me so that we could talk about the album, Wicca, karma — all interests of Sully’s — that I had hoped to explore. Two days later I was told by Phillips that there would be no further interviewing and the band would rather the feature not run.

Why?

Who knows? Perhaps it’s the way Sully characterizes people who join the military as guys who want to jump out of helicopters and shoot people and use infrared goggles. That doesn’t really jibe well with them being “brave souls” or honorable freedom-protecting people, does it?

Perhaps it has to do with Sully’s attitude towards the Navy’s recruiting efforts. Essentially he is saying that the Navy wasted their money by licensing Godsmack music for their advertisements, since the music has no influence/impact — none, zero — on the viewers.

And so on.

I suppose to a degree it’s like shooting fish in a barrel, but… lives are on the line. People need to be held accountable. I’ve been trying to interview this band since 2003. I finally got my chance. It’s stimulated a ton of discussion — check out blabbermouth.net’s various threads, or the number of blogs and rock news sites that are now picking this up, or the comments below, or the endless barrage of juvenile hatemail we’ve been receiving — and it’s embarrassed the band into silence on the issue, which is better than the jingoism they’d been spouting previously.

Finally: Please keep in mind that Sully is a MILLIONAIRE living in a comfortable life. His band is using their music to help recruit poor, under-educated, foolish, impressionable kids into the military at a time of worthless, pointless war, the consequences of which we — all of us — will be feeling for the rest of our lives. If he doesn’t care to discuss this — all of this — he shouldn’t do interviews… especially with anti-war publications.


ENDNOTES

1. from MARCH 7 – 13, 2003 LA WEEKLY:

“Selling War: How the military’s ad campaign gets inside the heads of recruits” by Greg Goldin
The Navy’s tweaking of this theme is “Accelerate Your Life,” which promises
“adventure, travel, career, patriotism, technology, education, honor.” Set to
music from the band Godsmack, a voice-over intones, “If someone wrote a book
about your life, would anyone want to read it?”

2. from06.19.2003 – MTV.COM–<
While Metallica, Ozzy, Audioslave and others travel America, the Boston band will head oversees where the touring circuit isn’t quite as crowded. “We zig when they zag,” frontman Sully Erna said at Saturday’s KROQ Weenie Roast.
…They’ll return to the States for a headlining tour in the fall, which like the current outing will offer $10 tickets to U.S. soldiers.
…”We’ve always been supportive of our country and our president and stuff like
that, whereas a lot of people, I thought, lashed out pretty quickly at what we
did, and I thought the government did everything pretty cleanly and publicly as
possible,” Erna explained. “We have a lot of respect for the military and stuff
like that, and we just wanted to give them something back for what they did for
us, letting us live in a free country and that kind of thing. We’re not a very
political band, but we are supportive of the U.S. military and how they approach
things.”

3. from http://archive.unearthed.com/?news,2003,05,0000018118 – May 26, 2003
Steve Morse of the Boston Globe reviewed Godsmack’s homecoming concert at theTweeter Center on Thursday (May 22) before a crowd of 13,000. A large part of that crowd – 2,000 to be exact – were members of the military who had bought $10 tickets in the reserved section on the lawn. Godsmack have taken a pro-military stance this spring, and they loaned their song “Awake” for use in a Navy recruitment ad. Godsmack’s ferociously high-energy, 90-minute show started with video footage of Apache helicopters honing in on a desert target, interspersed with the words, ”We will prevail … stronger than them all.

From Godsmack fan:
“The show was May 23, 2003. I know, I was there. The video did have a military theme. Besides the helicopter there was images of fighter jets, stealths, and troops. Also not only did the words ‘WE WILL PREVAIL./STRONGER THAN THEM ALL.’ appear on the screen so did ‘UNITED WE STAND.’ “

From another Godsmack fan:
“Here is the EXACT way I saw the show start in 2003:
[digital video text starts]
[something about being in this time]
We, as Americans citizens, need to unite
Supporting our troops, our country, our freedom.
And, in the end, we will prevail and remain….
Stronger than all!!!!
[end digital text]
[pictures of a tank, jet fighters, troops jumping out of transports & out of helicopters fully armed, another fighter dropping bombs, bomb exploding on the ground, more bombs exploding, helicopters taking off]
[Shannon starts drum intro to Straight Out of Line]
[Helicopter in video shoots missles and pyro explodes on stage like the missles hit there]
[song starts]”

4. MTV News – Fat Joe, 3 Doors Down, Godsmack Speak Out About War In Iraq – JANUARY 22, 2003

“Unfortunately, there were some really bad things that happened [involving the Middle East], and I think if we don’t cut out the cancer while it’s still young, then it’s gonna grow to be this entity that we may not be able to defend ourselves against,” Godsmack frontman Sully Erna said. “I applaud the government and President Bush for doing what they’re doing, and I think our military are some of the bravest souls, much braver than I could ever be.”

5. Actually, it’s 50,000.

6. Although they have been criticized for grossly under-reporting civilian deaths caused by the initial U.S. bombing campaigns, Iraqbodycount.org is probably the best current source on how many Iraqis have been killed during the invasion and US occupation.

7. Source: Department of Defense 1995 Sexual Harassment Survey (Arlington, VA: Defense Manpower Data Center, December 1996) Available online in PDF.


THINKING ABOUT ENLISTING?

BEFOREYOUENLIST.ORG

WHAT IS IT LIKE TO BE IN THE U.S. MILITARY IN IRAQ?

OPERATION: DREAMLAND


Categories: Arthur No. 23 (July 2006), Jay Babcock | Tags: , , , , | 302 Comments

About Jay Babcock

I am an independent writer and editor based in Tucson, Arizona. In 2022: I publish a weeklyish email newsletter called LANDLINE = https://jaybabcock.substack.com Previously: I co-founded and edited Arthur Magazine (2002-2008, 2012-13) and curated the three Arthur music festival events (Arthurfest, ArthurBall, and Arthur Nights) (2005-6). Prior to that I was a district office staffer for Congressman Henry A. Waxman, a DJ at Silver Lake pirate radio station KBLT, a copy editor at Larry Flynt Publications, an editor at Mean magazine, and a freelance journalist contributing work to LAWeekly, Mojo, Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, Vibe, Rap Pages, Grand Royal and many other print and online outlets. An extended piece I wrote on Fela Kuti was selected for the Da Capo Best Music Writing 2000 anthology. In 2006, I was somehow listed in the Music section of Los Angeles Magazine's annual "Power" issue. In 2007-8, I produced a blog called "Nature Trumps," about the L.A. River. From 2010 to 2021, I lived in rural wilderness in Joshua Tree, Ca., where I practiced with Buddhist teacher Ruth Denison and was involved in various pro-ecology and social justice activist activities.

302 thoughts on “Talking to GODSMACK about what they use they use their music for [Arthur, 2006]

  1. these comments from the godsmack fans et al are fucking HILARIOUS. the dude who said “Anyone in the country can donate supplies, but only Godsmack can give a Godsmack show” would probably drink a bowl of sully’s jizz if sully asked him. hey guy, sully and the gang are lining their pockets, giving lip service to supporting the troops while the u.s. govt can’t be bothered to give the troops enough food to eat. do you fucking get it??? the govt is spending big money to make commercials with godsmack music while troops are dying because they don’t have adequate body armor. sully and company can throw as many concerts as they want, but they’re still supporting a war run by incompetent lunatics.

    I also love the people whining about how babcock was a jerk or how he ambushed the poor sully. it’s like yeah, sully is clearly a fucking retard and there might not be any fun in running rhetorical circles around a special-needs child, but sully should think about what he does and be able to give cogent, logical answers to questions about how he makes his living … as we all should.

  2. Depressing interview with just another stupid fuckin’ whore who gets paid for ‘doing something’, but is too fuckin’ ignorant to know what it is they are doing.

    Just another stupid fuckin’ whore.

  3. I find it interesting that most of the people in this thread who appear to support the war and “protecting” America’s freedom are the same ones that use the most profanity. Why do supporters of the war feel the need to call people “fag”, as if that has anything to do with their opinions about the war?
    “Fuck you”.
    Uh, huh. Way to go in getting your point across, guys. Really clever.

  4. >> “I find it interesting that most of the people in this thread who appear to support the war and ‚Äúprotecting‚Äù America‚Äôs freedom are the same ones that use the most profanity. Why do supporters of the war feel the need to call people ‚Äúfag‚Äù, as if that has anything to do with their opinions about the war?”

    Any psychologist will tell you that the guys who are most ready to shout “fag” are invariably doing so out of fear that their own latent homosexuality will be exposed. The neo-Nazi closet queen in ‘American Beauty’ is indicative of a type in this respect. As far as supporting the war goes, those comments are a gross insult to the many gay soldiers from several nations serving in Iraq right now, whether closeted (as they’re still forced to be in the hypocritical US army) or not.

    I’m more interested in the way that so many people who disagree with even vaguely leftist positions in America these days immediately retreat to a position of utmost belligerence and hysteria. Splenetic demands that someone be killed because they dare to disagree with you is desperately juvenile but also an admission of defeat, showing an inability to form a coherent argument of your own.

    Right-wing discourse in America is being severely damaged by this plague of hatred, making discussion of any of the country’s numerous problems difficult, if not impossible. Reaganites used to talk about trickle down economics; what you’re seeing at the moment is “trickle down hate”, from Dick “Go fuck yourself” Cheney, down through the Limbaughs, O’Reillys and Coulters, and on to the dumb bottom feeders like the goons posting comments above, demanding Jay’s head on a platter. To return to the point of these comments, Godsmack’s childish refusal to discuss an important issue around their music would seem to be a reflection of a wider problem in the country as a whole, with a far-right agenda being foisted on the country and the world at large, and none of the people involved willing to actually discuss the mounting trouble for all of us that’s resulting from that agenda.

  5. Is anyone actually counting how many times Jay’s sexuality has been thrown into question? Not to mention all suggestions that he be poleaxed or whatever.

    Here’s what I consider to be the #1 quote on this page.

    “Dude the interviewer should be shot in the head. He‚Äôs a fucking asshole and it suppossed to be talking about the album. ”

    Because it depends on what the meaning of the word “it,” is. The meaning of the word “suppossed” is perhaps also in question. But give that guy a ribbon man.

  6. Jay you did an excellent interview, thanks for sticking with it. I would love to publish it in our
    newspaper Seven Days here in Burlington Vermont. If they would publish it. Let me know what you think You keep on doing the good work. Love roz

  7. Nice. Accountability is something that needs to be spread around more. Although the way Sully answers his questions….. sounds like you were verbally beating a half-wit part-time employee at a shit job about the corporate politics he blindly endorses everyday but can’t believe he actually got called on it. who is godsmack again?…

  8. Godsmack originally signed on to the “War against Iraq” Navy commercials 6 months before the attack on the World Trade Center.

  9. This was not an “interview”, it was an attack with an agenda. I’d never heard of this little fanzine until they mentioned the interview on the local radio station. You people should go smoke another doobie instead of accusing someone of “recruiting” people into the military because of a song. That’s just like blaming teen suicide on heavy metal. Anyone reading this and agreeing should attend their little “concerts” (listed on the main page) and showing these dumb-fucks what you think.

  10. Jay – you’re a fuckin weenie…. attatcking him and his band like that…. you fuckin wanker. Hopefully you meet Sully face to face, so he can beat your fucking ass, you piece of shit, pussy ass mother fucker.

  11. >> You people should go smoke another doobie instead of accusing someone of “recruiting” people into the military because of a song. That’s just like blaming teen suicide on heavy metal.

    Earth to morons… No one pays teens to hang themselves. Given the quality of some of the comments above maybe someone should give it a try.

    The military was paying Godsmack for their music in order to make their ads more exciting and appealing for an audience of potential recruits. No one spends millions of dollars on an ad campaign without carefully considering stuff like this. Or maybe the lumpen apologists for a dumb band know something the multi-billion dollar ad industry doesn’t?

  12. These comments are hillarious. It looks like Godsmack’s fans are trying to show us that they are just as clueless as their band’s frontman. He tried to hide behind the wall of ignorance, but Jay didn’t let him do that and rightly so.

  13. I’ve been a hardrock fan all my life and love songs like The Trooper, Manditory Suicide, and other songs that deal with war, but when I fisrt saw the Navy comercial, that was it for me listening to Godsmack.

    Great interview! Rich little sh!ts like Sully need to have their feet put to the fire.

    Great job Jay.

  14. I’m not certain as to what to say about this interview. I read about it on a metal news site and for some reason it caught my attention so I clicked the link to see this interview. I honestly think that was a very dirty tactic in which Jay used to conduct this interview. I understand that Jay may not agree with Sully and the bands stand on politics and may have formed opinions about him and the band but to blindside him and attack him for selling a song to be used in a military commmercial is just disrespectful and just shows that your only intent was get Sully angry and frustrated and use his actions as a benefit to you. You play it off like Sully and the band were laughing as they signed the contract making sure that kids would be manipulated into joining the military and were sent out to these countries to die. I don’t support our current regime and I’m not a big fan of our current military occupations but I support the people who defend this great nation and our rights. I don’t see where your attack on Sully is going to do much other than making you and your followers have something to laugh and talk about while people like you continue to do nothing but sit back and complain about how terrible this country has become. People may agree with me or disagree but if it weren’t for our military in the United States we wouldn’t have the right to discuss things like this so openly and your lack of respect for that is just disrespectful and ungreatful.

  15. Let’s talk about some other “dirty tactics”: insufficient troop numbers for battle, insufficient body armor for those troops, armed forces recruiters in high schools, depleted uranium rounds littering the land, refusing to sign treaties outlawing landmines, torture prisons and mercenaries shooting people in the street on the government dime. Sully? Yeah, let’s see him tour the VA hospitals and meet the quadruple amputees and we’ll talk about how he was “attacked”. What no one has pointed out thus far is that the armed forces campaign chose a Godsmack song called “Sick of Life”. I guess you’d have to be sick of life to enlist!

  16. About dying in Iraq….
    The military death toll for operations “Iraqi Freedom” and “Enduring Freedom” over the past 3 years stands at about 2,600 lives in 21 different countries and many regions. This includes about 650 non-hostile deaths. This means anything from illness to falling off the back of the truck.

    In the year 2002 there were nearly 30,000 injury related deaths to males age 20-35 in America. These range from car accidents to drowning to slipping on banana peels. The US population of 20-35 year old males was approximately 35 million in 2002. This means that the percent of males age 20-35 who suffered injury related deaths in 2002 was .086%. This does not include the deaths of 18-19 year olds or the deaths caused by illness. So this percentage could be slightly higher.

    There has been a rotation of roughly 2 million troops since the start of the war on terror in 2003. 2,600 deaths to 2 million soldiers is a death rate of .13%. This means that an American male is about 1.5 times more likely to die as a soldier in the war on terror than they are staying safe at home. Think about that: 1.5 times more likely to die, not 20 times more likely, not 10 times, but only 1.5 times. That’s a very interesting number considering how much more our soldiers contribute to our way of life as compared to the average Joe sitting at home.

    Keep in mind that we lost nearly 3,000 innocent Americans in one single day. I have looked an Iraq veteran in the eye, shook his hand and thanked him. Can you say the same?

  17. Godsmack is certainly endorsing the war. If they want to do that they should be willing to answer questions about that. If they are too stupid to formulate a coherent position then they deserve what they get.

    As for the Wicked Nick s of the wolrd your level of discourse shows wo the real “Weenie” is and it ain’t the interviewer.

    AS for the various idiots who claim that Iraq has something to do with 9-11: What planet are you living on?
    1) there was no Niger Unaranium deal (see Valerie Plame)
    2) There were no WMDs
    3) Iraq NEVER attacked the USA or its interests. EVER!
    Pay attention to that NotADoucheLikeArthur because it seems to me you are.

    I’ll add NotADoucheLikeArthur that your view of history is very one sided.

    ” The United States and Middle East:

    Why Do “They” Hate Us?

    (revised, 12 Dec. 2001)

    By Stephen R. Shalom

    The list below presents some specific incidents of U.S. policy in the Middle East. The list minimizes the grievances against the United States in the region because it excludes more generalized long‚Äëstanding policies, such as U.S. backing for authoritarian regimes (arming Saudi Arabia, training the secret police in Iran under the Shah, providing arms and aid to Turkey as it ruthlessly attacked Kurdish villages, etc.). The list also excludes many actions of Israel in which the United States is indirectly implicated because of its military, diplomatic, and economic backing for Israel.

    Whether any of these grievances actually motivated those who organized the horrific and utterly unjustified attacks of September 11 is unknown. But the grievances surely helped to create the environment which breeds anti-American terrorism.

    1947-48: U.S. backs Palestine partition plan. Israel established. U.S. declines to press Israel to allow expelled Palestinians to return.

    1949: CIA backs military coup deposing elected government of Syria.1

    1953: CIA helps overthrow the democratically‚Äëelected Mossadeq government in Iran (which had nationalized the British oil company) leading to a quarter‚Äëcentury of repressive and dictatorial rule by the Shah, Mohammed Reza Pahlevi.

    1956: U.S. cuts off promised funding for Aswan Dam in Egypt after Egypt receives Eastern bloc arms.

    1956: Israel, Britain, and France invade Egypt. U.S. does not support invasion, but the involvement of its NATO allies severely diminishes Washington’s reputation in the region.

    1958: U.S. troops land in Lebanon to preserve “stability”.

    early 1960s: U.S. unsuccessfully attempts assassination of Iraqi leader, Abdul Karim Qassim.2

    1963: U.S. supports coup by Iraqi Ba’ath party (soon to be headed by Saddam Hussein) and reportedly gives them names of communists to murder, which they do with vigor.3

    1967‚Äë: U.S. blocks any effort in the Security Council to enforce SC Resolution 242, calling for Israeli withdrawal from territories occupied in the 1967 war.

    1970: Civil war between Jordan and PLO. Israel and U.S. discuss intervening on side of Jordan if Syria backs PLO.

    1972: U.S. blocks Egyptian leader Anwar Sadat’s efforts to reach a peace agreement with Israel.

    1973: Airlifted U.S. military aid enables Israel to turn the tide in war with Syria and Egypt.

    1973‚Äë75: U.S. supports Kurdish rebels in Iraq. When Iran reaches an agreement with Iraq in 1975 and seals the border, Iraq slaughters Kurds and U.S. denies them refuge. Kissinger secretly explains that “covert action should not be confused with missionary work.”4

    1975: U.S. vetoes Security Council resolution condemning Israeli attacks on Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon.5

    1978‚Äë79: Iranians begin demonstrations against the Shah. U.S. tells Shah it supports him “without reservation” and urges him to act forcefully. Until the last minute, U.S. tries to organize military coup to save the Shah, but to no avail.6

    1979‚Äë88: U.S. begins covert aid to Mujahideen in Afghanistan six months before Soviet invasion in Dec. 1979.7 Over the next decade U.S. provides training and more than $3 billion in arms and aid.

    1980‚Äë88: Iran‚ÄëIraq war. When Iraq invades Iran, the U.S. opposes any Security Council action to condemn the invasion. U.S. soon removes Iraq from its list of nations supporting terrorism and allows U.S. arms to be transferred to Iraq. At the same time, U.S. lets Israel provide arms to Iran and in 1985 U.S. provides arms directly (though secretly) to Iran. U.S. provides intelligence information to Iraq. Iraq uses chemical weapons in 1984; U.S. restores diplomatic relations with Iraq. 1987 U.S. sends its navy into the Persian Gulf, taking Iraq’s side; an overly‚Äëaggressive U.S. ship shoots down an Iranian civilian airliner, killing 290.

    1981, 1986: U.S. holds military maneuvers off the coast of Libya in waters claimed by Libya with the clear purpose of provoking Qaddafi. In 1981, a Libyan plane fires a missile and U.S. shoots down two Libyan planes. In 1986, Libya fires missiles that land far from any target and U.S. attacks Libyan patrol boats, killing 72, and shore installations. When a bomb goes off in a Berlin nightclub, killing three, the U.S. charges that Qaddafi was behind it (possibly true) and conducts major bombing raids in Libya, killing dozens of civilians, including Qaddafi’s adopted daughter.8

    1982: U.S. gives “green light” to Israeli invasion of Lebanon,9 killing some 17 thousand civilians.10 U.S. chooses not to invoke its laws prohibiting Israeli use of U.S. weapons except in self‚Äëdefense. U.S. vetoes several Security Council resolutions condemning the invasion.

    1983: U.S. troops sent to Lebanon as part of a multinational peacekeeping force; intervene on one side of a civil war, including bombardment by USS New Jersey. Withdraw after suicide bombing of marine barracks.

    1984: U.S.‚Äëbacked rebels in Afghanistan fire on civilian airliner.11

    1987-92: U.S. arms used by Israel to repress first Palestinian Intifada. U.S. vetoes five Security Council resolution condemning Israeli repression.

    1988: Saddam Hussein kills many thousands of his own Kurdish population and uses chemical weapons against them. The U.S. increases its economic ties to Iraq.

    1988: U.S. vetoes 3 Security Council resolutions condemning continuing Israeli occupation of and repression in Lebanon.

    1990‚Äë91: U.S. rejects any diplomatic settlement of the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait (for example, rebuffing any attempt to link the two regional occupations, of Kuwait and of Palestine). U.S. leads international coalition in war against Iraq. Civilian infrastructure targeted.12 To promote “stability” U.S. refuses to aid post‚Äëwar uprisings by Shi’ites in the south and Kurds in the north, denying the rebels access to captured Iraqi weapons and refusing to prohibit Iraqi helicopter flights.13

    1991‚Äë: Devastating economic sanctions are imposed on Iraq. U.S. and Britain block all attempts to lift them. Hundreds of thousands die. Though Security Council had stated that sanctions were to be lifted once Saddam Hussein’s programs to develop weapons of mass destruction were ended, Washington makes it known that the sanctions would remain as long as Saddam remains in power. Sanctions in fact strengthen Saddam’s position. Asked about the horrendous human consequences of the sanctions, Madeleine Albright (U.S. ambassador to the UN and later Secretary of State) declares that “the price is worth it.”14

    1991-: U.S. forces permanently based in Saudi Arabia.

    1993‚Äë: U.S. launches missile attack on Iraq, claiming self‚Äëdefense against an alleged assassination attempt on former president Bush two months earlier.15

    1998: U.S. and U.K. bomb Iraq over the issue of weapons inspections, even though Security Council is just then meeting to discuss the matter.

    1998: U.S. destroys factory producing half of Sudan’s pharmaceutical supply, claiming retaliation for attacks on U.S. embassies in Tanzania and Kenya and that factory was involved in chemical warfare. Evidence for the chemical warfare charge widely disputed.16

    2000-: Israel uses U.S. arms in attempt to crush Palestinian uprising, killing hundreds of civilians.

    Notes

    1. Douglas Little, “Cold War and Covert Action: The United States and Syria, 1945‑1958,” Middle East Journal, vol. 44, no. 1, Winter 1990, pp. 55‑57.

    2. Thomas Powers, The Man Who Kept the Secrets: Richard Helms and the CIA, New York: Knopf, 1979, p. 130.

    3. Andrew Cockburn and Patrick Cockburn, Out of the Ashes: The Resurrection of Saddam Hussein, New York: Harperperennial. 1999, p. 74; Edith and E. F. Penrose, Iraq: International Relations and National Development, Boulder: Westview, 1978, p. 288; Hanna Batatu, The Old Social Classes and the Revolutionary Movements of Iraq, Princeton: Princeton UP, 1978, pp. 985‚Äë86.

    4. U.S. House of Representatives, Select Committee on Intelligence, 19 Jan. 1976 (Pike Report) in Village Voice, 16 Feb. 1976. The Pike Report attributes the quote only to a ‚Äúsenior official‚Äù; William Safire (Safire’s Washington, New York: Times Books, 1980, p. 333) identifies the official as Kissinger.

    5. UN Doc. # S/11898, session # 1862. For a full list of U.S. vetoes in the Security Council on Middle East issues, along with full text of the draft resolutions, see the compilation by David Paul at http://www.salam.org/policy/veto.html.

    6. Zbigniew Brzezinski, Power and Principle: Memoirs of the National Security Adviser, 1977-1981 (New York: Farrar Straus Giroux, 1983), pp. 364-64, 375, 378-79; Gary Sick, All Fall Down: America’s Tragic Encounter with Iran (New York: Penguin, 1986), pp. 147-48, 167, 179.

    7. Interview with Zbigniew Brzezinski, Le Nouvel Observateur (France), Jan 15-21, 1998, p. 76.

    8. See the sources in Stephen R. Shalom, Imperial Alibis (Boston: South End Press, 1993, chapter 7.

    9. Ze’ev Schiff, “Green Light, Lebanon,” Foreign Policy, Spring 1983.

    10. Robert Fisk, “The Awesome Cruelty of a Doomed Poeple,” Independent, 12 Sept. 2001, p. 6. Fisk is one of the most knowledgeable Westerners reporting on Lebanon.

    11. UPI, “Afghan Airliner Lands After Rebel Fire Hits It,” NYT, 26 Sept. 1984, p. A9.

    12. See, for example, Barton Gellman, “Allied Air War Struck Broadly in Iraq; Officials Acknowledge Strategy Went Beyond Purely Military Targets,” Washington Post, 23 June 1991, p. A1. See also Thomas J. Nagy, “The Secret Behind the Sanctions,” Progressive, Sept. 2001.

    13. Cockburn and Cockburn, Out of the Ashes: The Resurrection of Saddam Hussein, chap. 1.

    14. Cockburn and Cockburn, Out of the Ashes: The Resurrection of Saddam Hussein, chap. 5. Albright quote is from CBS News, 60 Minutes, 12 May 1996.

    15. On the dubious nature of the evidence, see Seymour Hersh, New Yorker, Nov. 1, 1993.

    16. See Seymour Hersh, New Yorker, Oct. 12, 1998.”

  18. Question,

    Have u seen Rolling Stone.com They have animated Hellicopters that fly across the screen telling kids in inlist. Why not go after them too

    2. Do u feel the director of the Advert in which THE godsmack song is in is responsible too. And further more, editor,dp,the light guy,the boom, the caterer?….. Im not taking any blame away from the band, i want to know how many ppl u feel are responsible

  19. Hey Chris, if it’s so safe to be a soldier in Iraq, you should actually go help out rather than thinking your handshake is worth a shit.

  20. Soldiers in Iraq are contributing to my life how?
    That’s right they don’t not even a little. In fact it is costing us billions and billions of $$$ to keep screwing up in Iraq. No one gets anything from this except dead. Iraq is worse off not better and we are torturing people while going on about how bad “they” are. People who never attacked the US and who had no means to attack us.
    Sorry I support the troops too. I want them home where they belong. I want those that ordered our troops to break the law put in jail where they belong. I want the torture to stop and I pray that our boys (and girls) will never have to be on the recieving end of what we’ve been dishing out. (Waterboarding anyone?)

    Our adventures in Iraq are nothing more than a recruitment drive for Al Qeida and a costly excuse for a power grab by the Bush administration.

    To all the “love it or leave it” types: You have completly failed to understand what being an American is about. Freedom of speech is not just about the right to say what you believe but actually using it. Every time I see a “love it or leave it” type waving a flag it makes me want to puke. There is little as base as that. Waveing a flag and believing all of our current president’s lies doesn’t make you a great patriot, but thinking it does, does make you a servile idiot.

    All that said if Godsmack believes the war is good and they want to support it good for them but they should be able to talk about it and answer questions in an interview with out resorting to: “WHY DON‚ÄôT YOU GO LIVE IN IRAQ THEN IF YOU HAVE SUCH A PROBLEM WITH AMERICA? Why are you here?”.

    To critisize them for selling to the millitary is absolutly fair. They could have justified it rather than resorting to the fallacy of deflection. To call them war profiteers is absolutly on the mark. As was pointed out they are thrilled to make money off the war (by selling songs to the navy) and we don’t see them enlisting nor did we see them enlisting when they were younger.

  21. y’all missin the main issue.

    US govmint’s paying a rock band for propaganda – official government lies – to enlist footsoldiers to die to support a war whose only purpose is to expand the interests of a select few petrocorporations in the mideast.

    these are the same people who profited from the death of JFK. there is no war on terrorism – it’s a lie. if there was, bin laden would be in the looney bin by
    now. heard any reports lately on the search for the dog? you ain’t, cause there ain’t none. ain’t no oil in the afghan,dudes.

    the syntactical similarity of responses on arthur to the publication of the intervieware remarkably similar in tone. attacks on other publication and individuals who have exposed the naked lies of the leader of the coup detat and his minions are often the recipients of the same bull – “i agree with (arthur or anyone’s) right to disagree with the (president, vp, sec of defense, etc.) but the manner in which (he or she) (conducted, constructed, wrote, spoke, etc.) about the
    (official, issue, event, idea) was downright (unpatriotic, unamerican, unsomething or other)

    that is the horsedung formula in wide distribution and employment by all the government cheese who are compensated in one way or another to respond with tons of their spew to any truthtelling that takes place in any media.

    hey, cheese, check it out – you stink in the light of day, and that’s where you’re standing.

    your patriotism is as thin and shallow as your ideas. opposition to this war in Iraq in no way constitutes an acceptance of terrorism at any level in this country or any other.

    this band should have a “PAID FOR IN PART BY THE UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE” label on their CD’s and tour material.

  22. First off, Godsmack are a lame ass highly derivitive band.

    Secondly, if a band lets the military use their music like they have, they better be ready to explain their airtight reasons behind doing so. Their management and press people must have known sooner or later an interview of this type would happen.

    I would have had much more respect for Mr. Sully if he would have just said “we really don’t know why we let them use the song except we like the royalty checks”, because we all know that is why they did it, and not some vague notion of patriotism and stopping Sadam from invading the US.

  23. ignorant right wing dumbass shocked that he is expected to defend his own comments, pretty typical if you ask me. the real point to me is that godsmack obviously just wanted the money the navy offered and gave little to no thought about any repercussions of their actions. agina pretty typical of the way things are today.

  24. It seems that the Godsmack fans dislike the interview because they feel that Jay didn’t “play fair”–he took Sully by surprise, he had his facts prepared ahead of time, practiced dirty journalism, etc. All valid points.

    But here’s what’s funny to me.

    Godsmack ASKED FOR THE INTERVIEW, clearly not checking ahead of time to find out that the magazine was an antiwar publication, then during the interview, Sully clearly hadn’t prepared ahead of time to the extent of even figuring out who was interviewing him. So yes, thanks to his stupidity and lack of preparation he was taken by surprise by an enemy who wasn’t playing fair.

    Kind of like the whole Iraq war, isn’t it? Perhaps Godsmack and the US military ARE made for each other.

  25. Sorry, not a fan of Godsmack, but I am a fan of fair journalism and I have to find this to be on the same level as the tripe you would find if a Freeper or DU poster made audio interviews. It’s point blank, subpar gotcha journalism peppered with idiotic commentary after it was pulled too cook from the oven. Example (from Jay’s afterword):

    “Finally: Please keep in mind that Sully is a MILLIONAIRE living in a comfortable life. His band is using their music to help recruit poor, under-educated, foolish, impressionable kids into the military at a time of worthless, pointless war…”

    These are the only people influenced by these ads? They’re all foolish? Where is the evidence for this? And this is supposedly a magazine? Good God, we’re doomed. Reads more like a rant than a coherent argument. Move on.

  26. Well; at least we know where some of that 30% comes from. Please tell me, those of you who are willing members of the fasist right, do you ever get tired of being almost always wrong and looking very stupid when you try to defend the indefensible? Very good interview. It just goes to show you that you can be a tool at any income level.

  27. “Fuck that faggot jay and his shit magazine.
    Comment by Ryan Smither ‚Äî 05/08/2006 @ 10:24:54 AM”

    Good one Dude!!!! You really showed him!!! Keep on listening to a lame Alice In Chains rip off band and driving your SUV because you’re really supporting the troops. I know let’s outlaw homosexuality and call anyone who disagrees with you, Ryan the blatantly monosyllabic Neanderthal, a “fag”. Then we can impose a death sentence on “them” all and completely wipe them off of the earth. Nice! You’d make a great Hitler:) Why don’t the Godsmack fans let the adults talk and discuss the article, was the interviewer gunning for Sully yes. Sully however should hire a better PR person to line up these interviews, if he doesn’t want to be “ambushed” then he should not grant interviews with blatantly liberal magazines. I‚Äôve seen his cribs the guy can afford to have a good PR person trust me. Is it unfair to be held accountable for your business practices? No, if the US government kept the big business accountable we wouldn’t have McDonalds and Enron running rampant in highly religious countries like Iraq, Iran and Afghanistan which are pissing off people like Bin Laden who by the way DOES NOT LIVE IN IRAQ!!!! Godsmack fans get a better vocabulary before attempting to communicate with the rest of world, or does Godsmack not have other words to learn in their songs besides fuck and fag?

  28. I think the guy who did this interview should be commended for asking tough questions. I mean I will give the band Godsmack some credit in the fact that they probably have no idea whats going on with their PR and stuff like that, but the fact remains that their music has just gotten more arrogant and jingoistic as time has gone on. Once a band becomes as big as Godsmack it becomes a big business in and of itself.

    I don’t blame the band as much as I blame the people marketing. It doesn’t seem like Sully really has much of a passion for what his band is promoting either.

    Here comes another band that had a lot of potential starting to appeal to the lowest common denominator. I can think of a few other bands that appealed tot he same audience as Godsmack, like Guns N Roses. No matter what you say about their message, these guys still had better music ability and a lot more common sense not to whore themselves out to the highest bidder

  29. I’ll agree with the person who said this was a bit Hannity like if you switch the positions around. However, I’ve no pity for Sully. As was noted, his people set up the interview. If they don’t want to talk politics, they can set that in advance. Now, considering this is a band that does have music featured in recruitment ads, I’m more amazed that one of their members doesn’t have a ready position on politics and use of the military. His excuses about just not knowing about things are lame. If you want to play the ignorant card, then play it completely and just admit to being like every other #1 band in America over the past 10 years (aka. a whore).

    It’s obvious that Godsmack is nothing but another entertainment industry call girl. It’s ultra-pollished, safe and formulaic garbage that generally appeals to young kids who are just discovering music. What a shocker that those kids happen to be around recruitment age? Sully should have just been honest and said, “Look, man. We really didn’t think about it like that. We write and perform music to make money and realise that we probably won’t be around forever. So, when the Navy offered us a contract to use our music in some ads, we were fine with that.” There are no shortage of bands that would have taken the money.

    I’ve got nothing against bands trying to maximize on profits either. But, when you tie yourself in with entities that are commanded by politics in life and death situations, and incorporate that into your music and stage shows, you’re just a bad liar when you can’t take a position. These guys are whores that tried to avoid taking a position. I would have had more respect for Sully if he just said he supported the war efforts and didn’t want to talk any further on politics. But, he acted like a crybaby, pulled the love it or leave it crap, and still never took a real position. And how could he? Top 40 bands that take real positions on issues often result in their sales slumping.

  30. Thanks, Jay, for a great interview. I have the highest respect for people like you who use their access to hold the perpetrators accountable. Keep it up!

  31. LOL! Hey Jay – I think the ONLY reason you were able to get away with this was because you conducted the interview on the phone. Had I been Sully, and you approached me that way in person, you would be in the hospital right now.

    You, Jay Babcock, truly are a peice of shit.

  32. Everyone seems to be missing the biggest point— that Godsmack, which puts itself out there as a hard rock band, has literally SOLD OUT TO THE MAN by licensing their song to the U.S. government, of all places. Fucking WEAK.

    PS: Wonder what that Sully guy, with all his faux Paganism and Wicca bullshit, thinks of the U.S. military forbidding the use of pentacles on the graves of slain soldiers who self-identify as pagan? What a hypocritical pussy. Looking forward to reading about his enlistment any day now…

  33. This quote by Jay Babcock is stupid: “His band is using their music to help recruit poor, under-educated, foolish, impressionable kids into the military at a time of worthless, pointless war, the consequences of which we ‚Äî all of us ‚Äî will be feeling for the rest of our lives. If he doesn‚Äôt care to discuss this ‚Äî all of this ‚Äî he shouldn‚Äôt do interviews‚Ķ especially with anti-war publications”.
    1. Godsmack is not using their music to help recruit anyone. The navy is using Godsmack’s music to help recruit. Godsmack is using their music to make money. It is about intentions and I doubt anyone in the band ever had a goal set in mind to recruit people into the Navy.
    2. Everyone I have known who joined the military was upper middle class, so why do you assume that people who join are poor? Of course they are under-educated! Why the hell would anyone join the military after they graduate college? Foolish? That is an unfair assumption. Until you meet somebody how can you classify them as foolish? Impressionable Kids? Who is not impressionable? Everyone can be influenced at any age on any subject.
    3. “all of us will be feeling for the rest of our lives” How do you know what I will be feeling?
    4.”anti-war publications” I guess you think America should not have gotten involved in WWII..I am glad we did, so I could read the interview in English instead of German.

    I think I am going to go listen to War Ensemble by Slayer.

  34. Great interview…never heard of Godsmack. Won’t buy their record. Don’t have time to read 142 comments. My 2 cents is this – it really is pathetic that 2,800 of our soldiers have to die for a lie (not to mention countless wounded, maimed, returning homeless and God only knows how many Iraqis), and the only musician we can rely on to “speak truth to power” is a Canadian.

    Face it, dudes. I think it will take what is technically termed a “bitchslap upside the head” to shock people into coherence at this point. We are all in exile.

  35. To all of you hilarious jokers who claim that having a bad-ass military is what makes us “free,” or keeps us that way, think on this for a moment, or however long it takes you to produce thought: Is our nation the first one to have a mighty military? The only one in history? Let’s take a look. The various Greek city-states in the old days, pretty tough; they’d plan on about a ten year stretch for a war. Peloponnesian War went 27 years, plenty of staying the course to go around. See also The Great, Alexander. On to the Roman legions – they conquered basically everybody from England to Kuwait. Know for extreme discipline in the ranks. The Mongols staked out a nice little plot of about two-thirds of the land mass of the entire world. Pussies need not apply. To shorten things up a bit, let’s move to the twentieth century. Godwin’s Guy put together a pretty rough-and-tumble bunch of storm troopers, didn’t he? If we were attacked by them in 1939, instead of Japan in ’41, things might have been different; tooling up for war goes a little slower when your homeland is being bombed, instead of some countries across the sea.
    What do all these military forces have in common? Extra credit if you said “they’re all gone now,” as well as having been thought by many of their day to be virtually invincible. Not to mention the fact that it didn’t produce freedom for the subjects of their respective nations.
    You may use the search engine of your choice to find Constitution of the United States, which is both the document which brings our freedom, and the document which GW Bush calls “just a goddamn piece of paper.” Get rid of that fucker, and and see how long before you have the freedom to do whatever the rich guys tell you to, at the point of the guns of the military.
    BTW, Godsmack doesn’t suck because they cash large checks written by the Pentagon, however “rock-n-roll” they may be by doing so, they suck because they just do.
    Good job, too, Jay.

  36. Are you going to go after Keith David next? Are you going to interview him the same way? What about all the networks that accept money from the Navy to air the commercials? Will they be next in line? Since the commercials have such an affect on whether or not someone joins The Navy. I am sure across the nation are kids sitting in their living rooms watching T.V. and as soon as they watch the commercial they run out the door to join the Navy. Next you can go after Richard Gere for his role in An Officer and a Gentleman for making it look like a positive experience. Oh wait then you have to interview Michael Biehn for his role in Navy Seals for making it look cool. Be sure to ambush him too.

    The interview would go something like this:

    Jay: “Michael Biehn don’t you think that the way you portray a Navy Seal makes it look exciting and will lead to kids to join The Navy?”

    Michael Biehn: “What the hell are you talking about? It is just a movie”

    Jay: “Because of that movie people are dieing”

    Michael Biehn: “Are you off your meds?”

    Jay: “Yes, but that is not the point.”

  37. While it’s great that everyone you know who enlisted is upper middle-class, Mike, the numbers for those recruited, along with where you’ll see the most enlistment billboards, don’t happen to show a high enlistment of the upper middle-class. The upper middle class usually goes to an academy to be an officer.

  38. This comment about Americans speaking German keeps resurfacing. Of course America had a large impact in the outcome WWII, but let’s not pretend they were the only country involved against Hitler’s fascism just because it had more of a positive outcome than America’s other war escapades. Making a hypothesis about what might have happened otherwise is as useful to our everyday lives as imagining a current American government that is not and never was the Bush adminstration.

    Godsmack Inc. are an obvious sham. Their cds are future landfill, or at best, material for building shelter after the world goes to shit (and no thanks to them for that).

  39. There isn’t much to add… Other than I think calling Godsmack “artists” is insulting to all the truly talented people in the world who call themselves an artist.

  40. Skuzz,

    I think the purpose of the comment about Americans speaking Germans was not to state how much of an impact America had in WWII or how much of an impact America had againts Hitler’s goals, but to make a point against having a blanket opinion on war. For one to make a statement of being anti-war instead of making a statement of being against this war is wrong. One should look at it on a war by war basis. If someone makes a blanket statement of being against America going into war they are saying we should not have been involved in WWII.

  41. I took this as it was. Just another anti-war v pro-war argument. Though I doubt Sully really wanted to get into such a debate. I’m against the war in Iraq and disagree with Sully’s political views here. However, to turn a music interview into a soapbox for the interviewer is unprofessional. I don’t like these kinds of attacks when Bill O Reily does it and I don’t like it in this case.

    I never cared much for Godsmack and their pro-war stance has no bearing and still will not have any bearing on my views of the band as musicians.

    Jay is right. Sully shouldn’t do interviews with anti-war publications. He should stick to music publications.

  42. Godsmack takes money for the use of their music in recruiting. As such, it seems a legitimate question to ask in an interview with them. Certainly CNN had no problem asking Neil Young about the politics of his latest record. It’s an awesome album, btw.

    Sully clearly hadn’t thought about the implications of licensing the music. That’s his problem.

    Wish we had a DC press corps that would do the same for the gray old men who are sending brave men and women over to a civil war zone with too little equipment and no end in sight.

    Ever thought of applyin for White House press credentials, Jay?

  43. WTF?

    Music is music…military bs is military bs… and money is money. People don’t go out and fucking join the military because some song made them, asshole. Godsmack, like everyone else in this country, this FREE country, does the same thing. You can’t blame them for trying to make a buck. I’m sure you make some cash selling your magazine, right?

    Secondly, I would like to address your statistic of woman claiming to be sexually harrassed in the military. I am a female, and I have served in the USAF. Have I been harrassed? Probably, but guess what, I KNEW what I was getting myself into. I KNEW that this was a guys world. I think that made me work harder to prove that I could work just as hard as the guys. Granted, some work should be left to the guys and some work she be left for the chicks, but regardless, it’s a team effort. I think your statistic is way off.

    Bottom line, you may not support the cause, but support the troops…even if you think they are stupid enough to join because GODSMACK’s music convinced them too.

  44. Good, stuff, Jay.

    While I feel a little sorry for this Sully character, and feel like he could have been given him a bit more of a “heads up”, his publicist could’ve at least let him know who the fuck he was talking to.

    To somebody who has no fucking clue who Godsmack is, this shows quite clearly the band has just been sort of opportunistic and naive, happy to take the cash from whoever.

    They certainly aren;t the first rock and roll band in history to do it, and they won’t be the last.

    I applaud you for risking your livelihood by standing up for your political beliefs — particularly when they’re so critical important to the survival of humanity. Each and every one of us who compromises themselves by refusing to recognize and stand on their own principles (on either side of the political spectrum) just as strongly cheats themselves, their associates, and their country.

    A little cognitive dissonance is good for the soul.

    peace.

    http://aliberaldose.blogspot.com/2006/05/at-rubicon-us-asks-turkey-to-host-iran.html

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