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. As usual, the conservatives posting her miss the point entirely. That is scary.

    I find it odd that the pro-military/pro-Sully people are calling this an “ambush”. Clearly it was not. Its like they are all saying that you can’t be held accountable for your words and actions. The interviewer was up front about the subject and its actually a perfectly valid issue to address with this band.

    This was a fucking magazine interview, you conservative dolts! Journalism. I know that Fox News Channel doesn’t do much in the way of investigative journalism, or the reporting of reality, and won’t hold any politician accountable for their actions (except Bill Clinton’s penis, of course) so you aren’t used to a journalist doing his job, but you really need get your heads out of your asses.

    I thought republicans were all about personal responsibility? Or is that only meant for other people? Like them non-whites, them democrats? It would seem so given how republicans whine and cry when people hold them accountable for their words and actions.

    Listen you military/conservative boneheads- this guy in Godsmack is an idiot and he is a perfect representation of you, and sadly, much of America- proudly uninformed, and LOUD about it. And, like all republicans, he turns into a whiney little bitch when someone holds him accountable for his stupidity.

  2. If they talk about dying for principles that are bigger than life you
    say mister you’re a liar. Nothing is bigger than life. There’s nothing
    noble in death. What’s noble about lying in the gound and rotting?
    What’s noble about never seeing the sunshine again? What’s noble about hav-
    ing your legs and arms blown off? What’s noble about being an idiot?
    What’s noble about being blind and deaf and dumb? What’s noble about
    being dead? Because when you’re dead mister it’s all over. It’s the end.
    You’re less than a dog less than a rat less than a bee or an ant less
    than a maggot crawling around on a dungheap. You’re dead mister and you
    died for nothing. You’re dead mister. Dead. : Dalton Trumbo – Source:
    Johnny Got His Gun

  3. well, I’m a godsmak fan, and I did find what you did to sully kind of crummy, but you know what, I’d rather have people volunteering and joining the armed forces then having the draft come back and then have no choice in joining the war machine.

  4. This is NOT journalism, by any definition of the word. And yes, this was most definitely an ambush. I support our troops, I think this war was a good idea executed extremely poorly, and I work in advertising. I can assure you that using Godsmack or any other band in a commercial does not influence people to join up, and to think so is an incredibly naive and outdated view of how persuasion works. Godsmack may make people notice the ads, and remember them…it may even get them to choose the navy over the army…but it will not get them to choose the navy over, say, becoming a lawyer. Borrowing the equity of a performer merely creates brand differentiation within a category – it seldom creates interest in a category where none exists. But even if you don’t agree with me on this, this piece was still horrible, pathetic, and unethical, and it set the anti-war movement back three steps. With all due respect to Godsmack, Sully is irrelevant to this administration’s war efforts. If Jay Babcock really wants to make a difference, he should interview someone who matters. Finally, if you listen to the interview rather than read the transcript, you’ll note that Sully actually holds his own pretty well, and makes Babcock look like an arrogant, ill-informed moron. In the transcript, I felt sorry for Sully – it seemed like Babcock was beating up on a retard. In the audio, I rooted for Sully – he comes across as self-effacing, down-to-earth, and well-aware that he is just a musician, and not an expert in international relations. So what’s next, Babcock? Going to take on P-Diddy for promoting Pepsi and thus fostering childhood obesity? Talk about treating the symptom and not the disease. Please, stay out of “journalism” – you’re no better than Fox News.

  5. Alberto,
    This IS journalism. What you object to is that this wasn’t some ass-kissing sycophantic commercial for Godsmack that avoided all controversy (and/or that the interviewer challenged your and Sully’s ill informed views). This was a journalist who investigated the band, had the facts, asked important questions that were very relevant to the band and to our country today, and tried shed some light on some issues that seem to be central to the band (Bush/military support, the band’s actions in selling its music to use to recruit people, etc). There was never any pretense that the interview would be a Fox-esque avoidance of all fact in favor of spreading propaganda. And to deny that commercials are meant to recruit is Fox-esque reality avoidance to an extreme degree!

    I am always amazed that people on the right get so outraged when they are held accountable for their actions.

    And if you’re in advertising and you think that music or other aspects used don’t influence people, then why are you employed?

    So Godsmack can only influence people to decide which branch of service to join but it won’t influence them from choosing working for minimum wage somewhere or joining the military? (few if any of those entering the armed services have a choice between being a lawyer or entering the army). How do you figure that? And the music used has “no influence” over people’s choices yet the music used will “make people remember the commercial” and may influence people to decide between branches of service? Wow, you’re all over the map.

    I pity those who hire you for your advertising “skills”.

    If using music only creates brand differentiation where no interest may exist, then why advertise at all? Wouldn’t that be waste of money? Of course it would. The army could have used some Mitch Miller music to advertise, right? And that would have been unique and CLEARLY defined their “brand” more-so than using Godsmack, who sound like a generic late 90s US metal band. But Mitch Miller WOULDN’T APPEAL TO KIDS. Kids- who the army desperately wants to recruit. The point of advertising is to CREATE interest as well as define a brand (and defining a brand IS ALL ABOUT GENERATING INTEREST). If you work in advertising as you claim, it must be in the mail room.

    The words of the interview speak quite clearly to me. I don’t get how you can claim the transcript comes off different than the audio, where you claim Sully shined. Sully CLEARLY shows his ignorance whether you listen to his words or read them! He CLEARLY shows he hasn’t thought out his choices, hasn’t a clue as to what his government or military is doing, hasn’t a clue about anything, and that he’s a whiney little bitch when someone holds him accountable for his words and actions! Now, words are words- whether you listen to them or read them. Period.

  6. ALL YOU ARTHUR MAGAZINE READING, ANTI-MILITARY HIPPIE ASSHOLES NEED TO GO TO A HARDWARE STORE AND BUY A 6FT LONG ROPE, TIE ONE END TO YOUR NECK AND ONE END TO A BRANCH AND HANG YOUR SORRY,WORTHLESS ASSES. ALL YOU PEOPLE ARE USELESS SACKS OF SHIT. IF THIS COUNTRY IS SO BAD FUCKING LEAVE SO I DONT HAVE TO LOOK AT YOU OR LISTEN TO YOUR CRYING.

  7. Brian- You avoid all the valid points presented by the interviewer and the “hippie assholes” because you have no argument. You also assume that peoepl who point out the mistakes of the right are “anti-military” Is THAT what you’ve gathered from this discussion? You seriously need to open your mind if that is the case, because you have no clue as to what’s going on in the world, you have no understanding of the opposition and you have no solid footing on which to base your opinions. All you can do is call people names, say they should die and tell them to leave the country. Try defending your position rather than act like Bush and call for the death of those who expose your stupidity or who don’t agree with you. If you try to defend your position by researching reality, you will find you actually CANNOT defend your position- you will find that you are wrong.

  8. Tim, point out the invalid points of the interviewer. Point out the valid points of the pro-Sully people here. You can’t.

    Consider the fact that Godsmack have said on numerous occasions that they support Bush’s actions with the military, Godsmack willingly sold their music to advertise the military, they incorporate military imagery and themes dealing directly with the current wars into their live shows, etc. The interviewer wanted to ask about these aspects of Godsmack, which are well documented and admitted to by Godsmack themselves, right? Ok. So- as is obvious from some posts from right-wingers, the band’s words and actions should be off limits if it exposes their ignorance or poor choices. However, to a journalist they are not off limits. They are fair game. This isn’t Circus magazine and Godsmack should have known that before they granted the interview. So how is asking a band about their actions “ambush” as some have called it, or invalid?

    The interviewer asked perfectly valid questions. It was Sully, who was too oblivious so reality that he was unable to answer coherently, who is to blem for Sully looking bad. The interviewer simply asked questions. Sully provided the final nail in his coffin all by himself.

    Personally, I lost all respect for Godsmack when I began hearing their music advertising the US Army. So for me, this was an interesting interview because, rather than some god-awful typical pandering you see in the corporate music press, this interview dealt directly with a very central aspect to Godsmack and an issue that is VERY important to the world today, being that our own Generals (not to mention every study conducted by military institutions around the globe) says that Bush’s use of the military is creating more terrorism, not stopping it. And Godsmack have said in public that they support Bush and have lent their art to the effort of recruiting kids to take part in Bush’s actions. Why is this considered off limits by the right-wingers here? Why shouldn’t it be discussed by the interviewer?

    The interview clearly centered on the power of Godmsack’s music. The interviewer simply wanted to know why the band is willingly publicizing issues about which they display nothing but ignorance.

    Some are suggesting that the interviewer ambushed Sully. HOW?! By repeating his own words back to him? By citing Sully’s own decisions and artistic presentations? Any good interview is not a forum to disseminate propaganda, but a frank discussion to try to uncover some information previously unknown.

    I know most right wingers are so corporatized (and unaware that they are) and demand that everything be a commercial, and they can’t wrap their head around this concept- but seriously, REAL journalism asks the tough questions. It doesn’t kiss ass. Its not propaganda.

    If people are pissed because Sully came off looking bad then they have no one to blame but Sully and his dumb-ass decisions.

  9. My favorite part of this whole thing is that nothing anyone is saying makes any difference (not even this but I‚Äôm board so what the heck) I personally think it would make a bigger difference if everyone what has read this went out and voted once in a while, that seems to be the problem with us “liberals” we seem to argue about stuff then feel all warm and fussy when we make someone look stupid. While we are feeling wonderful that stupid person goes out and votes =Bush=Iraq war. The only thing Jay’s Dialog did was make Conservatives more Conservative and liberals more liberal. This is how our shitty two party system was derived people wanting to make their opponent loose more then their candidate win. I felt torn during this interview because I felt what Jay was saying was right but I love Sully because he’s a singer and a drummer (not professionally but for 20 some odd years). But it would take a much more persuasive interview for me to change my opinion and sully would have been significantly dumber for me to not like him. My Email is ineedacomputer@gmail.com if you have any questions write don‚Äôt want to be putting out any incoherent information, don‚Äôt want to get picked apart because that seams to be the theme for 209 comments

  10. “Although he’s not necessarily a Bush fan, he knows what he wants to see. “I’m a Republican. I want Republican,” Erna said. “I don’t necessarily want Bush to win. I don’t like that choice, but I gotta tell you, I don’t truly believe in the Democrats either, man. I don’t like the way they think. I don’t like, I don’t love Bush, I’ll tell you that, but I want a Republican in office.” ”

    That is a quote from Sully Erna. All you guys want to paint with a broad brush and say anyone who supports the military is completely in the Bush camp. Andrew, this interview was an ambush right from the beginning. Sully came off looking horrible because, to me, he was caught off guard and doesn’t sound like he’s the brightest bulb to begin with. The interviewer started off by asking him questions so that he could later play gotcha with him. My five year old could figure that out. He never even asked him a question about the new album which is what the interview was supposed to be about. Andrew, the fact that you said that you lost respect for Godsmack as soon as they gave permission for their song to be used for the military tells me exactly where you are coming from. You love to enjoy the fruits of the military’s labor while hating them at the same time. You say real journalism isn’t propaganda yet you obviously don’t know propaganda when you read it. Your the same type of person who believes that it is the press who gives us freedom of speech. Sleep well knowing that your protected by the military and pray your children don’t go off in a zombie like state to the Army recruiting office after hearing a Godsmack song on the radio.

  11. I would like to comment on the interlview. As a Graphic Design / Advertising major, I have been taught that one of the most important tasks as a promotor is to target your demographic. By using a Godsmack song, all it helped to do is to capture the attention of a targeted audience. It is their choice as to whether or not they believe in a cause. Take the song for what it is… simply an advertising tool that added a backdrop for a commercial. If you are giong to hold Sully and the guys liable for the turmoil our counrty is in today then you simply have your head up your ass and too much time on your hands.

    Oh, and on a personal note JAY…. “I FUCKING HATE YOU, YOUR’RE SUCH A LIAR!!” now “GO AWAY!!!”

  12. Well said Kristin. The point is that these liberals (they’re not journalists but liberal writers) do. They are so arrogant and condecending that they cannot fathom that someone may have a different viewpoint. They all want to call this assclown Jay a journalist but I don’t ever remember him doing an interview with Michael Moore asking him the tough questions and I must have missed the interview taking John Kerry to task for things he has said.

  13. No one is holding Sully responsible for Bush’s actions. This was simply an intervewer asking Sully about his choices. I hardly see that as an ambush. I mean, what are they supposed to ask abotu? What kind of guitar amp do you guys use? You like your fans? Come on. This was a real interview. I think some of the guys posting here were right, conservatives just hate being held responsible for their own actions.

    Tim- you are completely wrong on all your points. I don’t hate the military. I hate what stupid politicians do with the military. See- YOU’RE the kind of person who refuses to understand what the other guy is saying in a debate because you cannot stand being wrong or being on the side that might be doing something wrong.

    And supporting republicans is not that different than supporting Bush because virtually every policy is identical (see the Project for a new American century). Its republican policy that has caused so much havoc in the world. Not people questioning stupid people’s actions and words, stupid people who have an influence on kids or shape our public policy and the actions of our military like our politicians do.

    To clarify, I had no respect for Godsmack – as artists – prior to them selling their music to the Army, however I didn’t hate them. I was neutral. As soon as I saw that they’d sold out and were selling their music for use to recruit kids into the military, which is used by our corrupt government to wreak havoc on the world, then I completely lost any hope for respect. This in no way is an indication that I hate the military. If you think this then you are missing the bigger picture, all the points made by myself and the interviewer, and are generally very closed-minded (or not very bright).

    And Godsmack, by selling its music for use to recruit kids into the military while being totally uninformed on the issue was the point, and shows how most Americans are (especially conservatives)- uninformed and pissed off when challenged.

    Lots of conservatives still support Bush and blindly back the military’s actions UNQUESTIONINGLY. You can’t do that or else you have a dictatorship. You need to ask questions, you need to challenge the uninformed who are influencing our youth or elected officials making policy. You’d rather have people blindly follow those in power or support the military while ignoring the abuses of power, etc. THAT defines a republican, Bush or anyone else- don’t question, just blindly follow and condemn those who rock the boat.

    I don’t know propaganda? How do you figure that? WHERE is there ANY propaganda here? I’ve been pretty detailed in my responses while you’ve “painted with a braid brush”, assumed, haven’t addressed the issue, ignored and denied fact- while you’re condemning those who hold a republican accountable for his words and actions.

  14. “ALL YOU ARTHUR MAGAZINE READING, ANTI-MILITARY HIPPIE ASSHOLES………..”

    We interrupt this comment for some words from a Republican:

    “Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt.”

    Abraham Lincoln

  15. i would be willing to be that if you were to put Godsmack in a debate with System of A Down, System would show themselves much more informed on the current world issues. I would also bet that in a battle of common sense, even the Dixie Chicks would kick Godsmack’s ass.

    as for those who are vile and go straight to the “fuck you dirty hippie commie fags”; as one who has a family tradition of military service (including a brother who fought in Desert Storm 1), when you have no facts and all the facts are not in your favor- there is nothing else to do but attack on a personal level, or admit the hippie commies were right about Iraq all along.

    I got a quote too:
    “Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both.”– Benjamin Franklin

  16. ANDREW- I KNOW WHAT IM TALKING ABOUT I DID MY TIME OVERSEAS WITH THE CORPS AND I KNOW FIRST HAND WHAT GOOD WE ARE DOING WHEN YOU SEE THE LOOK IN THOSE CHILDRENS EYES. THEY ARE GLAD WE ARE THEIR SO THEY DONT HAVE TO LIVE IN FEAR OF AN EVIL DICTATOR AND HAVE THE RIGHT TO LIVE LIFE AS A FREE HUMANBEING, AND NOT BE PUNISHED FOR WHAT THEY BELEVE.SO UNLIKE YOU I HAVE EXPERIENCED THESE THINGS FIRST HAND. SO IN CLOSEING I HAVE DONE MY RESEARCH AND I CAN DEFEND MY POSITION.

  17. I am not really educated on the war the way I probably need to be. I do love my country and I am scared of my goverment, as a mother I will teach my children the best way to be and if my boys want to join the military I know I will do everything in my power to stop them because I know there is a great chance that I will never see them again. I watched the looks on there faces 9/11, the people jumping from buildings and towers falling and I know they want to protect us from that happening again and for those reasons I would step aside and ask the Lord to bring them home and also ask the Lord ” if they have to die please don’t let it be in vein” I may not agree with whats going on with the war and all but, the men and women who want to help protect us and do what they think is right then that’s who I support. When the day comes and my sons join the military I won’t be happy like I said but, I will be honored to have raised such brave, selfless, proud to be who they are americans. And on the way to see them off to there ship, plane or whatever I will more than likely be listening to Godsmack because we all love their MUSIC !!! NOT there OPINIONS on war or whatever. Remeber these were just Sully’s opinions.I read this thinking it was going to be an interview about the new album and the band, the direction it took was very fucked up. Yes a few questions would have been fine about it but, not the whole interview, not attacking him with some fucked up questions and yes he( Jay B.) DID switch Sully’s words around. Sully probably had a shit load of interviews to do and he probably rehursed everything he thought they were going to talk about and Jay acted like Sully is responsible for the kids wanting to join. I know exactly what Sully meant he figured since the Navy wanted to use their song, they were a liitle honored and since they are protecting us they can go right ahead. Also everyone has a song they like for each mood, one to make them work out better, one for sex and even one to make them want to whoop jay babcocks ass like” Whatever” from Godsmack. Because given the chance I would knock his ass out, jay is an angry little man . Sully and the guys are doing what they do, like Jay is doing what he does, Godsmack don’t attack people at all,they entertain us. If you don’t like thier music then don’t listen to them. all of our opinions are different and thats what makes this world great because we have some of the most fucked up heated arguments about shit we can’t change. But, believe you and me if Jay’s son or daughter went overseas to fight in this war and died Sully and alot of Americans will shed a tear for another brave soldier who just died for us. I respect Sully and his work and I will keep on listening to them. Jay needs to go on Fox News Live or CNN Headline News to argue his views on war. We all hate it innocent have to die and like I said I am not as educated on all this as I should be but , these rock groups are here to entertain us whether which bands are more educated in this matter than others , they are doing what we love and thats music and they support our troops just like us, and believe me go to a militarty base and see how much it means to these men and women that their favorite rock bands are pulling for them, and other entertainers to. We should be pulling together, not hating.

  18. Okay Jay, what the fuck are you talking about the band being selfish millionares, I bet they donated 10000s of times more money to orphanages, clinics, elderly, homeless, schools, and the military in the past week than you have in your entire lifetime. So before you start talking like a real shit talking punk try a little fucking research on the band so you don’t sound like such a jackass. And you Arthur, where the fuck do you get off telling Sully that type of shit, you should shut the fuck up and quit acting like you know everything about the government. I don’t like the government either but I don’t go telling people off and that their wrong about everything they say and so what if Godsmack supports the army. Dude, since you said your brother and sister died in the military you should be kissing Sully’s ass for supporting the war, especially after that bull shit talk to him. No one, in Wisconsin has ever heard of you fucking magazine so quit talking all high and mighty because obviously your magazine sucks nut and you should be honored that you even got such a kick ass band to even know of your exsistance because to them and even to me, a 16 year old without a dime to his name, you are a piece of shit. Why don’t you go and fight in the military and see what you think after that before you make quick aquisations, because you obviously don’t know jack SHIT!!!!!

  19. JAY – You are a fucking disgrace to this country man. Get off your fucking pathetic little tight MEDIA asshole motherfucker and go die in Iraq. You are a complete disgrace to this country and what we stand for. Have you graduated grammar school? WTF is wrong with you? You dont deserve to live here in the US. Go cry in your fuckin grandmothers lap dickhead and tell lucifer when you see him that your dicks up for the taking. What a complete ass you are. LMAO you should be so ashamed man, what a pity. You are the MEDIA that is starting to make this country absolutely embarrassing. Choke on this motherfucker!!!

  20. I think this whole interview had a complete lack of balls. In sullys case, just defend yourself. Yes we allowed the navy to use our song for marketing, yes we support our troops. You can support the troops and not the war. If you support the war.. cool say so. Your a vocalist for a rock band, not a military expert. On the interviewers side, if you want to do an interview about their military stance then have the balls to be upfront about it. Dont bait they guy then slam him. Half the interview sounds to me like sully is downplaying the military questions waiting for the real interview to start. If you want a real interview over the military and the government, pick someone that knows shit. Go do a survey i promise 0% of our troops joined the military because they used godsmack in their marketing.

  21. This interview was ridiculous. Why couldn’t Jay get the important questions out first? Simply make Sully feel like he really cares about the band and the new album and discuss the new album and then ask other questions that may arise. Jay and this magazine sound like a full fledged liberal who has an excuse to blame the government for everything that goes wrong and just expects the world to live in peace if we stay out of other “peoples business.” Sometimes you have to take an offensive before a situation forces you to take the defensive. People in Iraq and in other countries are dying and would be and will die, regardless if we’re there fighting, defending or whatever you want to label it as. All Jay sounded like he wanted to do was turn Sully’s words around to make him and the band more than what it is. Sully is correct in saying that no one is going to join the military because they heard part of a Godsmack song. The fact that a Godsmack song is being used for recruitment purposes doesn’t necessarily mean that they support everything the government is doing. They made some money from the government. It could be as simple as that. If Godsmack or Sully himself supports the government, so what? Everyone has a right to their beliefs, their opinions, their views. If you wanted to interview Sully about politics, you should have upfront about it. Instead you took the chicken shit way and acted as if you were interested in the bands new album. That is very lame. If it wasn’t for Godsmack’s website posting part of this interview, this webite would probably be dead. This site will likely die down again after Godsmack fans voice their opinions and then forget about Jay and his magazine and his website, which is what I will do.

  22. “I‚Äôm glad Godsmack‚Äôs doing their part to rid the United States of Godsmack fans by recruiting them into the military. I hope they all step on landmines that blow off their testicles so they won‚Äôt impregnate some obese military housewife who‚Äôll just end up giving birth to a deformed baby that they‚Äôll blame on Saddam‚Äôs chemical weapons (when we all know it was from depleted uranium courtesy of the United States).

    ps FUCK THE TROOPS, you‚Äôre not even protecting yourselves very well, let alone the United States! You‚Äôre raping Iraqis in Abu Ghraib and you want us to SUPPORT YOU for it? Don‚Äôt ask me for any spare change when you‚Äôre homeless because we know what‚Äôs really going on over there and we have the pictures to prove it!”

    I personally found the above to be one of the most ignorant and disrepectful things I’ve seen written. Exagerated or not, this type of generalization about veterans and those currently serving does nothing to support anyone’s cause. Yes, Sully may not be the brightest thing in the music industry… is anyone surprised? Would you expect someone in a similar poistion to be any more prepared? Yes, Jay’s interview tactics were less than professional, clearly taking advantage of the obviously unsuspecting musician. That aside, he is exercising the rights protected by the Constitution. Free speech is free speech, and to call someone a ‘fag’ for voicing his opinions regardless of your right to do so or how much you may disagree with tactics/method employed does nothing to change anything. At most, it makes the job of all of us seeking to disagree with said opinion much more difficult. Being a Marine, I’ve seen my share of praise and criticsm. You can’t expect everyone to support the things currently going on around the world. What you SHOULD be able to expect from them is a little common courtesy and human decency. Wildly attacking the spouses, children, and the veterans of PAST WARS is nothing but a cop-out used by those without the proper information to back up their claims. Hoping for more deaths is even more disgusting. Know it or not, this type of extreme ranting does nothing but make you look like a grade-A jackass. Unless you’ve had to write a letter to the wife or mother of a fallen Marine, or look someone’s Father in the eye at his son’s funeral, I don’t expect you to understand. What you can do, for all of us and our families, is spare us from having to deal with passages such as the one written. Free speech is free speech, but there is a point where you might want to restrain yourself.

  23. Its amazing how one interview with some shitty band can get so many people in an uproar. People forget sometimes that we are living with a war everyday, and obviously people are going to take sides. But I understand how Sully was blasted, and how he really didn’t have time to adjust to where the questioning was going. But his camp did ask for the interview, and obviously he was going to be asked current event quesitons, especially if they involve his music and his show. I mean, its 2006, and current events are always discussed. If Sully can’t defend his actions, he should take some time out of his busy schedule to figure out what the hell he is saying and actually defend it.

    “On the other hand- Maybe if the military had been using Devendra Banhart songs in their ads, and had gotten a lot of free-folk fans to join the military, their wouldn‚Äôt be as many civilian casualties and cases of sexual harassment. ”

    See that’s the funny thing, Devendra would have never promoted the war, obviously Godsmack did. Just take a side already and stop crying like you were mistreated, Sully. You should be able to stand next to your actions, you were the only ones that made the decision. And if the military asked for your song, how hard is it to say no? Maybe too hard when they had a big fat check in his face.

  24. Dear Jay – was checking out the Arthur website the other day, stumbled upon your chat with the screaming moron from Godsmack, and wanted to extend my congratulations.

    Speaking from my own experience, I’ve never known ‘metal’ nor its participants to constitute the most intellectually or politically astute subcutural force, nor to be ever particularly encouraging of points of view outside its tunnel-visionary frame of ref. Thus, that these guys would compound their basic amoral obliviousness by then taking military coin doesn’t seem all that surprising to me…but then, maybe I’m just cynical as all hell.

    Then there’s the whole matter of someone like Rollins doing USO shows and spouting all that ‘support the troops, oppose the war’ on-the-fence wetnap dreck, which is a whole ‘nother can of worms.

    Again tho, congrats for bringing such hypocrisy and stupidity to light – best of luck w/the Maron int.

    Michael Layne Heath, San Francisco

  25. Compare Godsmack’s ignorant stance to the metal band that topped the charts a week (or two) later, Tool. They have a song on their new album ‘10,000 Days’, called “Right In Two” with lyrics that read “Silly monkeys/give them thumbs/they build a club/to beat their brother down”. Some ppl. (including some of their fans) may never see Tool for anything more than an aggro-rock group, but they have tons more wit, insight, creativity and staying power than the brain-dead fools in Godsmack (who even rip off Tool’s videos). Also, imagine the Army coming to Tool to use some of their music in a recruitment ad!

  26. [quote]JAY: Well, I’ve never seen such a pro-military— [/quote]

    You know Hendrix was pretty disgusted by the vietnam war protests. This guy proves what happens to non libs in entertainment.

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

    [quote]7. Source: Department of Defense [size=24]1995 [/size]Sexual Harassment Survey (Arlington, VA: Defense Manpower Data Center, December 1996) Available online in PDF. [/quote]

    Under Clintons watch!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Holy shit this guy is fucking amazingly ridiculous. He calls all military men rapists practically and murderers and then claims to have lost 2,800 brothers??? Which is it…are they BABY KILLERS or your poor fallen soldiers.

    The new liberal hates the army and wants them all to die but can;t come out and say it so he makes mock pity!!!

    And then the fucker says we should GET USED TO terrorist attacks!!! Holy shit I have to start a shitty ass band and sell my music to the military so I can get interviewed.

    Wow what a flaming douche bag. Too bad you’re only good at ambushing semi talented artists who dared to actually take a different stand than most. Go avenge the poor liberal viewpoint by wiping out anyone who dares to say anything remotely conservative. Lets push it until we’re a bunch of pussies so whipped we’re sitting around worshipping Allah because we’re too scared to offend them by telling them we don’t want to worship their god…and since they believe everyone must. If you’re so anxious to “get used to terrorist attacks” don’t vote in a dem just move to europe or the middle east…they have them all the fucking time.

  27. You’re right—Hendrix, an ex-paratrooper (who loved the army so much that we purposely got caught jacking off and played gay to get booted out of service–how does that jive with your values system?) was suspicious of some of the Vietnam protester’s motives. He also got up on stage and played “Machine Gun” with acid in his headband. Any other bright comparisons?

    What the hell does Clinton have to do with that statistic? Never mind–in your soft pate, Clinton=sex, sex=bad, and he’s an easy scapegoat. Keep focused on the past. Moving on.

    How’s what Godsmack did possibly considered as taking a different stand? Let me put it this way—had this interview been with Toby Keith, he’s a redneck swine, but I’m sure he could’ve defended his views, if not more cogently, then at least with more conviction. Actually he’d probably say, “You don’t like Ameriky? Then GETTTTT OUT!” just like Sully, just like you. Nobody here wants to worship Allah, you stupid ignorant fuck. We also don’t want to worship King George, or his and your corporate masters. “Getting used to terrorist attacks” means being an adult and admitting that, yeah, this shit can and may happen anywhere at anytime, even here, and may just occur even if Bushy does really have Jesus on the main line.

  28. “If you‚Äôre so anxious to ‚Äúget used to terrorist attacks‚Äù don‚Äôt vote in a dem just move to europe or the middle east‚Ķthey have them all the fucking time.”

    Hmm, it was Americans from a pro-Irish group called NORAID that used to help raise money for the IRA to bomb Britain… That aside, it’s funny how many Americans seem to think that terror in the US began on September 11th, 2001. Funny and convenient, because focusing on Osama and his goons makes it easy to forget the quantity of home grown terrorists the US has produced over the years. Where should we begin? How about the Weather Underground bombing campaigns of the 1970s?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Weatherman_%28organization%29

    Or how about the Oklahoma City bombing of 1995 by ex-Gulf War veteran Timothy McVeigh? Yes, vets can be terrorists as well. (And they blamed that one on “Arabs” originally, remember?)

    How about the anti-abortion nuts in the Army of God who advocate the use of force–including bombing abortion clinics–to “defend innocent human life”? (Now there’s a tautology for you…)

    How about Eric Rudolph, the Olympic Park bomber? “Rudolph has also confessed to the bombings of an abortion clinic in the Atlanta suburb of Sandy Springs on January 16, 1997, a gay and lesbian nightclub, the Otherside Lounge, in Atlanta on February 21, 1997, injuring five, and an abortion clinic in Birmingham, Alabama on January 29, 1998, killing officer Robert Sanderson and critically injuring nurse Emily Lyons. Rudolph’s bombs were made of dynamite surrounded by nails which acted as shrapnel.” Eric is driven to murderous rage by homosexuals; judging by some of the comments from Godsmack fans on this page he might find some friends here.

    How about Theodore Kaczynski’s 18 year campaign as the Unabomber?

    How about… but I’m sure you get the point by now.

    Oh, and people, please… “Ambush”? Even if it was a genuine ambush (which I don’t believe it was), does a real man stand his ground and fight, or does he run away? What would you ass-kicking military types do? And what did Sully do?

  29. I’ve got no opinion on Sully one way or the other. Don’t especially care for his music or the type. That said, how much “standing his ground and fighting” could he do over the phone? He was obviously dealing with someone of greater intelligence who was prepared to argue the issue. Yes, maybe he should have done his research before agreeing to a phone interview with a guy like Jay Babcock. Yes, maybe he should think about the ramifications of who is liscensed to use his songs. Who cares… if Jay wants to have an intelligent debate about music and its influence on individuals or even just the war in general, maybe he should be interviewing someone else. Cheap tactics like those used here don’t make him come across as a solid journalist or decent person.

  30. If you want to interpret this interview as an attack then so be it – but how can you deny what Jay’s getting at? It’s possible to support the troops without supporting the Bush regime. Good on ya for putting the screws to clueless schlop like Godsmack. They’re obviously uninformed and in it for the $$. More twits need to be called on their stupidity and if they can’t back it up then what good are they?

  31. By the way, no one has noted that Godsmack took a chunk of our tax money for the Navy ads. Not that I’d want it to go to a band I like better, but you’d think conservatives would take a little more offense at taking tax money and denying that your product has any effect.

    BTW, a little history. The United States did not declare war on Germany in 1941. It declared war on Japan (the last time the U.S. declared war in the manner mandated by the Constitution, IMO), and Germany, Japan’s ally, declared war on the U.S. I assume that the U.S. would have gone in against Hitler and the Axis eventually. But, as it happened, the U.S. had no choice, first because Japan attacked, and second because the Axis fulfilled its alliance with Japan.

    The UK, France, the USSR and Canada had all preceded the U.S. in fighting Nazism while U.S. conservatives (mostly right wing isolationists) held the U.S. out. A glance at the casualty figures will show who bore the brunt of the war. The Civil War is still the most costly war to the U.S. military, even if you only count the people who fought and died in the U.S. military, leaving out the southerners who were not, after all, fighting for the United States.

    Don’t believe this because I say so. Read the history and come to your own conclusions.

  32. Hi, I am an 18-year old dude from The Netherlands, well-educated(just about to pass my final exams for pre-university education, and just to point out, I know what I am saying, I choose my words more careful than you might think. I am quite a fan of Godsmack, actually, it’s my favorite band next to Metallica, which I like most to listen to. I came here via the Godsmack website, actually searching for some new lyrics for their new album, to see if they were already put online. Instead, I stranded here…and I’m glad I did. I will tell you right away the effect of all this on me: Somehow this whole thing made me even more glad I’m living in The Netherlands, instead of in the USA(however I would like to visit SF sometimes…just for the Bay Area haha), how come you are all so proud of your country? In what way do you mean that? Do you really think it’s that bad with terrorist attacks in Europe? Just to let you know, we’re doing fine. So much for this message in a bottle.

    I have read the interview and all 232 comments stated above. Believe it or not, but I actually did. I find this whole issue to be highly interesting I must say.

    I have seen some very nice comments, with thoughtful content, and also some comments not to be taken serious, however, I am going to stick to my own statement, trying to make it as ‘neutral’ as possible. Since I am not a person to always pick sides, I am thus not going to here either.

    To mention the interview itself: I can’t say if this can be called professional or not, seen the fact I am not into journalism. But I what I CAN say, is that this interview man……it’s one of the oddest interviews i’ve encountered in my life, I can tell you that. While reading it, I was thinking: this is IMO a strange one.
    When it comes to putting words in someone’s mouth and twisting opinions and things like that…you can blame Jay for this, depending on what kind of magazine he’s working for, and I don’t know but, the way I noticed it, it’s just like Jay is working for some gossip-magazine, or I don’t know what you people call it, because what Jay is doing in the interview, is exactly the same as the people in our country do when they are working voor gossip-magazines(happy to let you know this is indeed a fact) From this intervieuw I cannot make clear if this man is actually up to mending with serious political issues, when looking at the way he is approaching the subject, and in this case the Godsmack-frontman Sully. In my opinion, serious political issues, should also be adressed in a serious way, apparantly not in the way this man dit it.
    However, I noticed that Sully was not able to defend himself properly, and it shocked me, and as a fan of them, it slightly disappointed me, but it did not even surprise me at the same time. I know enough about Godsmack and Sully and their music, to know that Sully was never up to defending himself from the start. Not in this way at least. And if you people all say that Sully’s behaviour represents a large part of the US citizens, then I certainly hope God DOES bless all of you, as your president never forgets to say that at even the smallest speech or meeting, which I find funny, because it would be a little more stable for a president and his government, to trust in himself through rational thinking, instead of a higher power never seen before(but that is my opinion, if that is ok with you)
    A respectfull interviewer would have known about the fact that Sully couldn’t have defended himself, (especially if Jay was so delighted, about the fact that he could ‘finally interview them in 3 years’). And supposing he DID know that, would make his behaviour even more strange.

    From what I have read in all the comments, I can safely say that most of the people here have little idea of what the band is all about, some of you already know Sully is into Wicca, which is, by the way a belief that does not support war, nor peace THROUGH war. It’s possible to think Sully is not a person to break with his beliefs over money, in fact, none of us can say what he would or wouldn’t do. In this matter, he probably had his eyes set on helping the troops already sent out, not on preventing the potential troops from going, and whether measures are preventive or just soothening, both can be suited to be the best thing one can do at a certain moment. Just by looking at Sully’s personal beliefs, it is hard to imagine that he would choose to get kids into war, as a higher priority to helping the ones already overseas.

    Sully has made some statements about politics, about him being in favour of something you call Republicans, instead of Democrats…(we do not have this oppossite sort of governmental thing, at least not in the dividing way that you people have it), well, maybe Sully ISN’T the brightest person when it comes to his views about politics, and I am not going to blame him for that, some people simply do not really dedicate themself to politics, they just belief in peace, or at least things that don’t offend others(again something that is in line with wiccan-beliefs), or just making kick-ass metal(my opinion again).

    Godsmack’s music, is music which is aimed at individual problems, people in depression, and sure, that could be a major part of kiddos around 14 or 15 years old, in rage with everything and anything. Whether this is a natural period in life or for some other reason, it doesn’t matter. To me their music is sometimes important to express my feelings when I feel sad, nothing more, nothing less. There are many people that don’t like their music, but then again, why should everyone love a band? That would get rather boring, right?
    When one wants to combine music with politics, one should listen to System Of A Down or Rage Against the Machine(R.I.P.), for your information, I like those bands really much as well.

    To make it all short:
    -I can blame Jay for being strange in his behaviour and not very professional approach on a serious matter, because to me, he did not achieve anything but more dividing, as some others here have already said.
    -I can blame Sully for being kind of dumb when it comes to preparation and research before having an interview, and being ignorant about what he did.
    Then again, Godsmack is obviously the wrong band to encounter when it comes to issues like the war in iraq. They(the media and the ones paying Godsmack for doing that which is now apparantly considered as government-asslicking) could have used bands which are considered far more influential. Just be glad they did not.

    Kind Regards, a dutchie.

    ps(is it really true that you guys sing your national song litteraly EVERY morning at school? Most of the people in my country don’t even KNOW the song by heart…not that it is considered of any importance, since our own army is not very big and not very much put under attention, but still…it’s such a small world, but with quite big differences…I just hope Bush or the follow-up president of your country would see that sometime.)

  33. After reading through I thought I wouldn’t bother to add a comment but I did notice something that no one pointed out.

    This interview parallels the way the public perceives conservatives vs liberals. Jay comes across as educated but unlikable (much like a certain Democratic presidential candidate). His attacks on an obviously less informed and prepared individual come across as mean spirited. Sully seems innocent and likelable even though he is obviously caught with his pants down (not unlike our current commander in chief). The veiwing public keys into the emotions being displayed more than the factual content of the words or the points being made.

    IMO Jay succeeded in shedding some light on the ethical issues involved in endorsing Military recruitment. On the other hand, he failed to create a real dialogue with Sully and treat him with respect. People are not Liberals or Conservatives, they are much more complex and so are the issues they argue over. I might hate the job that Bush has done in office but maybe I would find something that we had in common if I met him in person. We can’t figuratively kill people off because we disagree with them.

    Claiming to possess the absolute truth on any issue is simply not possible and quickly leads to arrogance. I agree that there is a desperate need for Americans to inform themselves about their government and to take an active role in our democracy, at the same time our behavior needs to reflect the principles of honesty, integrity and kindness. Lead by example.

  34. Since when is supporting OUR military a bad thing? Our ELECTED officials make the decisions. Too bad you don’t agree with them, there must not be enough people that agree with you, or different people would be elected.

  35. First off im in the military, and people sign up for their own reasons not because of commercials. If you are not going to join then very little is going to change your mind once its made up especially a fucking song. The only reasons those commercials are on is to present that particular branch of services benifits in a wide scale way so the people who have decided to join have a genearl idea as to what branch of service has to offer. The fact that Godsmack supports the military is not saying that they use their music to recriut young men and women who have allready made up their mind but 1. it was to sell their song and 2. show their support, not to say “Hey look if you like us then you should sign 4 years of your life over”. Godsmack is my favorite band and that stupid ass commercial had no sway on me when i joined hell i didnt even join that branch of service. The point being that people dont join the military because of songs that song was a powerful song but the way it is presented in the commercial is “we are a mighty force” so they used strong music, the commercil would not have had the same effect if Enya was playing in the background it would make the Navy look weak and people who previously wanted to join would look at other branches of service but it in no way “Brain washes people”.

  36. This interview is one of the worst i’ve ever read. First of all Jay Babcockfucker, your such an irrogant asshole! Twisting Sully’s words around just because you don’t like the band? GROW THE FUCK UP! If you don’t like the band thats your opinion/problem. But doing this interview just to make Sully sound ANTI-MILLITARY, is fucked. If you wanted to humiliate Sully/Godsmack, you should have done so personally, not in a “interview”, if thats what you want to call it. How dare you fucking insult a band about an issue they didn’t even bring up? If you really wanted this interview to be successful you would have talked about the new album, not Sully’s opinion on the war/millitary. Next time you decide to interview a band that YOU think is ANTI-WAR/ANTI-MILLITARY keep your fucking comments to yourself! And do an interview about the band and their albums, not shit that you want to talk about. So, Jay Babcockmuncher, GO FUCK YOURSELF!

    ~Amanda~

  37. Oh and one more thing, Jay Babcock was fucking manipulating Sully into answering his stupid ass questions. I mean, If I were Sully I would have told Babcockface to fuck off. About the millitary using Godsmacks song for their commercial doesn’t make the band want for their fans to ricrute into the millitary. The millitary wanted to use their song and Godsmack let them, thats their choice. And I’m pretty sure people wouldn’t sign up for the millitary just because Godsmacks song is on the commercial. People sign up because THEY WANT TO, not because a song told them to. Get a life and learn how to do a decent interview for christs sake! You know an actual interview where you ask a band about their influences and songs, not asking them pointless questions and twisting their answers into what YOU want to hear. And, Jay Babcock if you don’t like the war then get the fuck out of this country! Or better yet sign up for the millitary or the navy, marines…etc, etc. and see what the fuck its like for all the soldiers over their, then maybe your view on things would be a little clearer. And obviously you don’t have a family member in Iraq right now, or you would be a little more respectful about the album Godsmack did for the armed forces. Godsmack recorded that CD for America and its soldiers overseas, not for assholes like you to criticize. FUCK OFF BABCOCK!

    ~Amanda~

  38. Who cares if Godsmack is helping recruit poor uneducated kids into the miltary. Our freedom depends on these kids and others to protect our country, rights and freedoms. I really don’t care if Sully helps recruit them or not. Jay would not be allowed to interview who he wants and write what he wants without the brave souls who sign up, train and protect our country. Whether we should be in Iraq or not doesn’t even matter to me – We elected the Congress, the Congress voted for the invasion – it’s done. Now we need to go through with it. There have been other controversial military actions over the years, but the bottom line is it is still pretty safe to live in America and enjoy our freedoms. That fact is a direct result of kids continuing to join the military. It is not my concern how they joined – I’d only be concerned if they stopped joining.

  39. Lets sum this up with one word……$$Money$$ the reason for the war is money. Godsmack sold rights to use the tunes for money.

    The military needs to show a valid attempt to recruit thus money well spent.

    I don’t begrudge Godsmack for the feeling they have on regarding our soldiers. I feel the same way in some cases.

    Journalist can be bias at times. I just hate when they attack someone for their own beliefs or reasons. If they want to write about how they feel regarding the war, the military or anything else for that matter they should just take the facts that really matter, that really are major issues.

    It’s like I heard the other day that the gov is going to do something about this online gambling… Ya, that’s what’s important right now.

    But once again it’s the Money. The gov is missing out on the online $$ and they want their piece of the proverbial pie.

    It’s Money $$$$$$$$

  40. I Love Godsmack. I love ’em even more after reading this interview with Sully. babCOCK, You were “straight out of line” motherfucker!

  41. “ALL YOU ARTHUR MAGAZINE READING, ANTI-MILITARY HIPPIE ASSHOLES NEED TO GO TO A HARDWARE STORE AND BUY A 6FT LONG ROPE, TIE ONE END TO YOUR NECK AND ONE END TO A BRANCH AND HANG YOUR SORRY,WORTHLESS ASSES. ALL YOU PEOPLE ARE USELESS SACKS OF SHIT. IF THIS COUNTRY IS SO BAD FUCKING LEAVE SO I DONT HAVE TO LOOK AT YOU OR LISTEN TO YOUR CRYING.”

    Comment by BRIAN — 05/19/2006 @ 06:06:59 PM

    With fucktards like you in the USMC, I’m not suprised it’s become a joke of an institution. No one is leaveing the country to ignorant asshats like you, we’ll defend the Constitution that you so quickly piss on.

    Oh, try hitting the caps-lock key, it help.

  42. “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?”

    Comment by Chris — 05/07/2006 @ 04:55:11 PM

    Hint: 9/11 had nothing to do with Iraq, but keep on repeating those Rovian talking points.

  43. Brilliant, Jay…Brilliant. I didn’t even bother looking at this in the issue of Arthur mag that I picked up because I could give a rat’s ass about Godsmack, but wow–this interview. Razor sharp independent journalism at its finest!! bravo!!!

  44. Way to go, just blind side the guy with a bait and switch tactic. Why did you do that to him??? If you wanted to get his opinion on the war and the military you should have been up front with Sully in the first place. Instead you ask a couple of questions about the band to lure him in and then suckerpunch him. True sign of a coward. Maybe if you would have disclosed the nature of your interview Sulley could have prepared a little and not have stumbled and got upset. You may have had a good interview with him and came out with a better opinion about Godsmack and their music. Reguardless of your opinon on the war, the president and the military not everyone has to agree with you, including Sully Erna!! He is doing what his heart tells him is right. Sully is supporting the military the way he feels fits best for him…through his music.

  45. Jay, you’re a fuckin manipulator! As I was reading that interview, I couldn’t believe what I was seeing! There are so many things I wish I could’ve been there to say to your bitch-ass! Every damn thing you said to Sully was twisted and you know it! Well, maybe I shouldn’t say “everything” cause you might twist that around too! You coward! Were you planning that from the start, you fuckin weasel? You know that Sully didn’t let the military use his music to get impressionable kids suckered into joining it! And even if he did, he can do whatever the fuck he wants and doesn’t need your arrogant, condescending comments! You should shove a dick up your ass! Just because your whiney-ass doesn’t like what the military does, doesn’t mean you can pick apart people and try to make them say things they don’t mean! I knew what was going on when you first starting creeping your pussy-ass into the subject! Fuck you. People like you should be hanged! I hate how you critisized Sully and our fucking military! I’m not blind, somethings you said were true, but our military protects everyone! Even the people who don’t deserve it, like you! If you don’t like how our government operates then GET THE FUCK OUT AND MAKE DAMN WELL SURE THAT WHEN YOU REALIZE THAT YOU WERE WRONG AND ARE CRYING TO COME BACK, YOU DON’T COME BACK! PLASTIC PUSSY-ASS BITCH MOTHER FUCKER!!!!!

  46. thats horrible the guy from godsmack would just liscense his music out to anything and adopt stances he cant even defend. he didnt even know the name of the magazine hes being interviewd for. being a musician is his fulltime job. obviously he is completely unaware what hes attaching his name too. killing civillians should not equate to high energy rock and roll “athletic” music. even if your lucky enough to live through it you will be fucked up for life. once you take a human life you can never go back to a normal functioning society. its not some night vision jumping out of things videogame like this idiot described. furthermore you’re just a tool for larger forces you will never meet, or understand that could care less about your life one way or another. examples: insufficient body armor, shoddy meals and of course sending you into ground combat. your blood lines their pockets. think about it.

  47. I am not even going to get into the political aspect of this interview because, as Jay was completely unaware of, that is not the point. If you want to go on a political rant, write an editorial and do not try to disguise it as a music interview. The simple fact that you turned that interview into a political debate just goes to show you how twisted the media is. You did that simply to get readers, and it has obviously worked. As much as I should have stopped reading that after 5 minutes, I could not stop because I was deeply intruiged by the complete studpity that keep coming out of Jay’s mouth. So congrats Jay, you got your extra readers, a few more extra dollars into your bank account. Which brings me to my next point, the afterword that you included was one of the greatest examples of hypocrisy I have ever seen. You comment on how Sully is a millionaire and lives a very comfortable life, but didn’t you also say that this is your magazine? I am sure that you are not going through the garbage in order to feed yourself. Then you categorize apparent complaints about the article as “juvenile hatemail.” So while you are entitle to your opinion, those with conflicting ones are not. So congratulations Jay, while you go on about how Godsmack are millionaires getting rich off of people going to die, you are bringing in readers( and their money) by writing about the war simply because it is a hot topic and that it sells. So have fun as writing this off as “juvenile hatemail” because apparently you have a great way of twisting around other people’s opinions.

  48. “Every first world nation suffers terrorist attacks. Get used to it.”
    So Jay supports terrorism. (Wow, that’s really fun.)

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