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Godsmack’s Shannon Larkin on Finding Inner Happiness in Rehab

“Make your own God if you don't believe in a god," the drummer says. "You have to have some kind of higher power that's greater than yourself to be able to beat yourself"
SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA - OCTOBER 15: Drummer Shannon Larkin of Godsmack performs on stage at Cal Coast Credit Union Open Air Theatre on October 15, 2019 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Daniel Knighton/Getty Images)

In late 2023, Godsmack drummer Shannon Larkin is celebrating seven-plus years of sobriety. But alcohol—and the hard-partying lifestyle that came with it—was once a regular part of the drummer’s life. 

“In Godsmack, now you’re enabled—you can get anything you want, really, any time you want, and I took full advantage of it,” Larkin tells SPIN backstage at Louder Than Life. “Later, I started thinking … ‘Every concert we have is a party that we’re hosting,’ and we’d have 50 people backstage every night, and I’d be the guy pouring shots: ‘Come on, everybody!’ So when I started having issues with my alcoholism—blackouts, wrecking my Harley, and all these horrible things that happen to us alcoholics—I started thinking … ‘I play drums; I’ve done music all my life, so what am I gonna do if I can’t party and be the guy? How am I gonna even exist in this world that I’ve made for myself?”

While he was initially weary of rehab, Larkin pushed himself to go because, as he tells SPIN, he felt that he was “going to die if [he] didn’t quit.” That decision ultimately “changed [his] life.” 

“To find that happiness within, you have to destroy the fucking negative [part] that is within you,” Larkin tells SPIN. “Make your own god if you don’t believe in a god. You have to have some kind of higher power that’s greater than yourself to be able to beat yourself.”

Godsmack and Sully Erna established the non-profit The Scars Foundation. A note on the organization’s site reads, “With the rise of suicides, bullying, addiction, abuse and so many other challenges, The Scars Foundation is dedicated to providing resources and tools to educate and empower people on a global level that struggle with these burdens.”