The state of Massachusetts has long been a home to a virtual who’s-who of rock legends and underground icons.
“America’s Greatest Rock ‘n’ Roll Band” Aerosmith formed in Boston in 1970. The indie stars of Dinosaur Jr. got their start merging hardcore with the sounds of classic rock in the hills of Amherst during the ‘80s. And most recently, rapper Dr. Westchesterson shifted the state’s focus back to Western Mass. with his viral hit “413.”
Now, despite having crossed paths numerous times on their home soil, Bay State hard rockers Staind and Godsmack are joining forces to tackle the rest of the country this spring on the appropriately-titled Mass Chaos tour, which also features the Pennsylvania-based band Halestorm.
“We’re New England brothers, man, and we’ve been playing together since even before we were signed,” says Godsmack singer Sully Erna.
While his group isn’t supporting a new studio album on this tour, Erna remains excited about the band’s first live release Live and Inspired, which hits shops next Tuesday, and about hitting the stage strictly for the fans.
He says, “I think that’s what we’ve been known for is the live show. And so it’s nice to capture that finally and put together this CD, and I think we just have the mentality of going out for like kind of a greatest hits tour rather than supporting new music. We’re just going to put together a really fun set. Obviously we’ll have the drum battle that Shannon [Larkin] and I do and we’re just going to try to put together the best songs we can, the most energetic songs that we can, and stuff that we feel is going to be the most interactive for the audience.”
Staind guitarist Mike Mushok agrees that the fan experience is very important. Though his own band is touring behind the release of its new self-titled album, Mushok notes that anything extra you can give to an audience is a bonus for those deciding where to spend their entertainment income during an economic downturn.
Watch the video for “Eyes Wide Open” from Staind’s new album here:
“I think in this economy it’s tough for people to have extra money to be able to go to a show. It’s kind of like a little bit of a luxury. So, I mean, the more bang for the buck you can give them, I think the more likely chance you have of getting people there and, hopefully, giving them the most value for their dollar,” he says. “That was really the idea for us. We had this record, and we were looking for who we could play with and [the name] Godsmack came up. We were like, ‘That would be fantastic if those guys wanted to do it.’ So, we went and were able to put it together.”
Still, even amidst all of the audience bonuses, with two big names on the bill there is bound to be talk of which band is going to headline the show on a given night. In the past, other co-headlining tours have seen groups switch back and forth between the roles of opener and closer. But Mushok and Erna profess that such a tactic will not be employed. In fact, each man seems quite content with his band’s role in Mass Chaos and both are excited about some possible on-stage collaboration.
Mushok says, “There was talk about swapping back and forth, but I have no problem with Godsmack closing the show at the end of the night. We’ll play the same amount of time, with the same production, so as far as I’m concerned, it doesn’t really matter to me. I’d love to do a collaboration thing.”
Erna agrees. “I feel like either band could close. I mean, both bands are strong; all three bands are strong. The whole line-up is great. Any single one of these bands could go on first, second, or third; it wouldn’t matter. I mean, the whole package is really strong and I’m really excited about it,” he says. “As far as collaborating, Mike and I have spoken about it. We’re going to try to figure out a handful of songs that a bunch of us could jump up and just have some fun with at the end of the night, which we’re all about. We don’t know what those [songs] are yet, but we’re definitely going to consider it and we’re going to try to put something together that just tops the night off and becomes fun for everybody.”
The Mass Chaos Tour 2012 featuring Staind, Godsmack and Halestorm with openers Brookroyal, May 13, 6:30 p.m., $42.50, Broome County Veterans Memorial Arena, 1 Stuart St., Binghamton, New York, (607) 778-6626, http://www.broomearena.com.
Come back soon for a review of the show. And for more information or to see other tour dates please visit http://atlanticrecords.com/news/the-mass-chaos-tour-2012/.
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