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Godsmack Bassist

Discussion in 'Bassists [BG]' started by Razor, May 9, 2003.

  1. Razor


    Sep 22, 2002
    Just thought I'd give an opinion on Robbie Merrill.
    Saw Godsmack last night in Dallas..I'm a big fan of the music and I must say they put on one of the best shows I have seen (I've seen quite a few). Tons of energy and Robbie really laid down a solid and intense line throughout the performance.
    Thing that impresses me so much about his playing is that it is very simple and basic and yet it fits the sound really well. Kind of a "less is more" sort of approach.
    His backline consisted of 6 SWR 4x12 cabs and he had 3 SWR 750X amps and 3 SWR 750 power amps. Unbelieveable tone! Anyways, I'm just now relaxing from the show and wanted to throw my humble opinion about it out there to the TB masses.
  2. cassanova


    Sep 4, 2000
    He was in a jazz band before joining Godsmack
  3. Benjamin Strange

    Benjamin Strange Commercial User

    Dec 25, 2002
    New Orleans, LA
    Owner / Tech: Strange Guitarworks
    I have found that alot of musicians in these "nu-metal" bands (and others) are actually good musicians who couldn't make any money doing the music they really loved (jazz, fusion, interesting rock, etc.). They made the switch to these type of bands just to make some money. My band, DeadHandSystem, is in the position where we meet alot of these bands, and many of them say they are doing it just to pay the bills. So it doesn't suprise me that the dude from Godsmack was in a jazz band previously.

    Not a fan of Godsmack, but they do seem to have a cool sound on any of the recordings I've heard.
  4. I want a rig like that!!!!:eek: :D
  5. cassanova


    Sep 4, 2000
    I like a few of thier songs, but I do agree they have a cool sound going on. Its very full and chunky.
  6. The Lurker

    The Lurker

    Aug 16, 2002
    +1. That seems to be very much the trend for a lot of bassists and drummers I meet these days.
  7. Im a sock

    Im a sock

    Dec 23, 2002
    Central MA
    I'm not a total fan of Godsmack but they definatly have a good sound, and you're right about the bassist. Not complicated, but it gets the job done.
  8. Taylor Livingston

    Taylor Livingston Supporting Member Commercial User

    Dec 25, 2002
    Oregon, US
    Owner, Iron Ether Electronics
    Tony Rombola (the guitarist for Godsmack) is also really good. I wouldn't be surprised if he had been in a bluesy outfit prior to Godsmack, because he's pretty dern soulful with that CryBaby.

    The drummer, on the other hand, appears to just flail his arms about as if independant of the song. He looks like he's playing far more stuff than he really is. Or maybe he just sounds like he's playing less than he is. I do think their newest video is a bit of Tool ripoff (the monster-guy in the bathtub seems to be a bit of a stylistic theft of the Schism video, but maybe I'm imagining things).
  9. adamaarts


    Apr 19, 2001
    Corona, CA
    Beta tester Source Audio, demos/reviews of many others
    im sorry to argue the other way but i have an article of his rig. you have it right about the pre and power amps.

    but the cabinets are as follows

    four stacks of:
    one of which has overdrive pre, and is miced to blend his wet and dry signal.

    and an extra stack for "backup"

    maybe he changed his rig, maybe for good or just that show, but this is what i heard.
  10. Hategear

    Hategear Workin' hard at hardly workin'.

    Apr 6, 2001
    Appleton, Swissconsin
    I like a lot of Godsmack's tunes. What I do not like is Sully's holier-than-thou attitude. I heard him on the radio a few weeks ago, talking about their new album. He described it as a "jam album" and talked about some of the solos on the record. In talking about said solos, he cited Eddie Van Halen and referred to his solos as "crap." Maybe he meant to say "stuff" (as in, "I like some of the crap Eddie plays on his records), but still, I couldn't help thinking, "Godsmack wishes they had the money, the fame, the talent, the number one hits and the staying power of Van Halen, whether you're talking about DLR's Van Halen or 'Van Hagar!'"

    A little bit more on topic: I like Robbie's sound and playing style. I always got a bit nervous when I had to play "Voodoo" (although, I think I did it justice, even if I do say so myself). I wouldn't mind playing through his rig either!

    EDIT: Godsmack will be in Wisconsin on May 31. They're touring with Trapt, Ra, Cold, Revis and Breaking Benjamin, right? I thought it was kind of funny that after each of the opening bands' names, they had to put the title of their current radio hit, so you could tell 'em apart and know who they were!
  11. LiquidMidnight


    Dec 25, 2000
    You know Hategear, that comment brings up something I've noticed. It seems that most schooled guitarist I come across don't really think much of EVH's guitar playing. Maybe they think all of the tapping is gimmicky.

    Anyways, that's really cool that Robbie was in a Jazz band prior to Godsmack. Also, a lot of people don't know this, but Page Hamilton of Helmet is a very accomplished Jazz guitarist. Wouldn't ever think that, just listening to a Helmet record.
  12. The Lurker

    The Lurker

    Aug 16, 2002
    Yeah, it really is amazing what some of these people did ont heir own time before they got into a big act..... I have a couple bootlegs of Page Hamilton and good LORD he sounds like he grew up on Joe Pass's knee. I hadda double-check to makes ure it was the same guy. I'm no a fan of Sully Erna.... I met him in boston a few years back, he was bragging about how they played a show next door to another band, might have been the Bosstones or something, and he demanded the soundman and everyone turn everythign all the way up so they could drown out the band next door. Godsmack also used to be an Alice in Chains tribute band. Tony is actually a relatively recent addition to the band, they hired him when they decided to do original stuff about 18 mos before their first album came out. BEfore that, if I recall, he was mostly a bedroom player and hadn't been in a band. I do like some of the stuff he does, but I think they're repeatign themself a lot on the new album, one of their songs is almost a straight redux of Greed.

    As for the Trapt et al band thing, they did the same thing in the 80s to keep the hair bands straight.

    As for the EVH thing..... it dunno, it's a weird thing..... Eddie's an amzing player but not so much the neoclassical stuff as he is ALlan Holdsworth/robert Fripp plus Jimmy Page style....people who arent' as good as he idolize him, people who went to school for this stuff I think get jealous because he was so original and good while being self-taught, and making piles of money out of it. Other people blaming him for starting 80s shred stuff, when there were lots of other players out there going in similar directions like Blackmore, Malmsteen, Rhodes, etc. Eddie was just a damn fine guitar player.
  13. Razor


    Sep 22, 2002
    Actually the rig you mentioned was in fact his touring setup for his last tour and up until the shoot of the video "Straight Out of Line" 6 weeks before the new album was released. In the video he used 3 SWR Megoliath 8x10's and 3 SWR 750x amp's for his backline. Some time between the end of the video shoot and the new tour starting he took delivery of a custom backline from SWR (6) 4x12 "12 Stacks" and (6) amps. Whether or not he actually "uses" it I dunno but it was on stage the other night as I saw it and SWR had a write up on their website with pictures of the rig just before the tour started. The bass player from Alien Ant Farm was also pictured playing the rig and giving it good reviews. ;)
    If anyone else has the pic of that from the SWR site e-mail it to me.
  14. Ian Perge

    Ian Perge Supporting Member

    May 11, 2001
    Evansville, Indiana
    Robbie Merrill's current touring rig, consisting of the above-stated 4 750x's, 4 Power 750, 8 12-Stack 4x12"... 6,000 watts RMS :eek:

  15. bassman60


    Jun 5, 2001
    I have to say that "Straight Out of Line" is one of the most aggressive and energy filled songs I've heard in a good while. Not overly complicated, but a very nice riff and the drums make it even more aggressive. As far as bass goes I think Robbie does what needs to be done and it's good, I think too many fills would take away from some of the over-all power of the band, at least in Godsmack's case. Bands like them just need to pump out the chunk and let the bassist fiddle with the chords instead of doing a large amount of additive playing and improvising.
  16. Razor


    Sep 22, 2002
    Geeez that rig makes me feel all warm and fuzzy.
    :eek: :bassist: :eek:
  17. geshel


    Oct 2, 2001
    Ahh it's all clear now.

    Uh. Heh. That makes me laugh. Certainly never heard that comparison before. I . . . uh. . .don't hear the similarity, to say the least. :p

    Wait. . .what am I doing in this thread in the first place?

  18. The Lurker

    The Lurker

    Aug 16, 2002
    It makes sense to me anyways-- look at Van Halen 1 and how "outside the box" it was for rock guitar-- monster distotion, tapping, whammy bar molestation. Nobody else was doing that sort of thing at the time, and Fripp and other experimental/progressive guitarists were a sight closer to what Eddie was doing than, say, Blackmore, Page, Tom Scholz, or Neal Schon.
  19. geshel


    Oct 2, 2001
    OK. You're grouping them by the fact they were outside the mainstream, not by a similarity in sound (a little, with the feedback, but Fripp had more of a fuzz sound) or playing style (nowhere close).
  20. Rod Harder

    Rod Harder Supporting Member

    I met Robbie on the Awake tour, I set up a clinic with SWR Sound and Ibanez Basses for him in the city where I live and he was/is one of the most humble "rock stars" I have ever met. We hung out for the better part of the day and he was absolutely stoked to have the chance to talk to other bassists about gear and bass in general. He was genuinely nervous beforehand, but he made alot of people REALLY happy by sharing alot about his attitude and work ethic being as big a part of his success as his playing. You're right in that he isn't a flashy slapping & tapping virtuoso but he knows what it takes to keep the bottom solid and he's having a blast with Godsmack doing it.
    He is a big SWR supporter and I know he WAS using the 750/2x10/4x10/4x10 stacks on the last tour, but he is a big fan of the 4x12 cabs SWR came out with recently so I wouldn't debate the 4x12 cabs he's supposed to be using now.