Godsmack's Robbie Merrill Talks ShipRocked Cruise, Tequila, Gambling, and Sushi
Godsmack is so heavy metal that only a bodybuilder can pick up a copy of The Oracle. They've put out more hits than Mike Tyson, Muhammad Ali, and Chuck Liddell combined. They make music so brutal that World War II is jealous.
Later this year, they're playing ShipRocked, the heaviest cruise on the high seas. So we spoke with bass player Robbie Merrill about boozing, gambling, and great food. Here's what he had to say.
Ever been on a cruise?
Robbie Merrill: I have. We did ShipRocked with Another Animal, this side project I'm in with some other guys from Godsmack. The guy that runs ShipRocked is a smart man. He got three members of Godsmack to do it. We really had a blast. We had so much fun that we talked Sully into it.
Sully was like, "I don't like boats." But we talked him into it. You play to your fans, you get a vacation, and you get a paycheck. Plus, we told him that there's gambling. Sully likes to gamble. He does that poker game. Texas Hold Em'. I don't gamble. I drink tequila. As soon as you get on the boat, it's non-stop 24-hour drinking if you want.
You're in a big band that's used to big arena shows. How's it feel playing for a smaller crowd?
We were raised in clubs, then we went to theaters, then the big festivals. Going to Europe and playing for 100,0000 people gets distant. It's just this massive sea of people. I like the smaller places, there's more atmosphere and energy. The boat has an awesome theater.
Is there a pit, people moshing?
There might be moshing up top. The theater is seated. But you never know.
What kind of set do you play?
It's months away, so who knows. But we have an hour and a half, and we play twice. It is a full boat, thousands of mayhem-crazed fans.
What do you like best about the experience?
I love getting off the boat, the snorkeling. I bring my wife. I get to play. I get paid. It can't be beat.
What opportunities are there for fans to interact with musicians?
You can go do Jeep rides with the bands, snorkeling with the bands, bass lessons, there are all kind of activities. A lot of the guys bring their wives and kids.
How's the food on board?
The food is good. There's a really good sushi place, an unbelievable Italian restaurant. It's definitely good.
Do the fans get to drink with the bands?
Oh yeah! I did. Last year, I had a couple stacks on me and everybody around me was doing shots all night.
ShipRocked 2012 with Godsmack, Five Finger Death Punch, P.O.D., Sevendust, Filter, Fuel, Black Stone Cherry, Lit, In This Moment, and Queensrÿche's Geoff Tate. Tuesday, November 27, to Saturday, December 1. The MSC Poesia boarding at Port Everglades, 1850 Eller Dr., Fort Lauderdale. Visit getshiprocked.com.
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