GODSMACK is continuing to write material for its seventh studio album. The new disc will follow up 2014’s “1000hp” and will commemorate the band making it to the two-decade mark. Its self-titled debut effort arrived in 1998.

Speaking to “The Rod Ryan Show”, frontman Sully Erna stated about the long gap between GODSMACK records (hear audio below): “We were going to drop a record this year — we didn’t want the records to be so spaced apart… But it kind of seems like a theme with us — it’s always three or four years before another record comes out. Part of that is because by the time it takes you to write and record and tour on an album, it’s eighteen months to two years. But this time, we wanted to do something this year, but we were just, like, ‘You know, let’s just wait another second,’ because if we release this at the top of 2018, it will be our twentieth-year anniversary of the first record, and we wanna do something special.”

According to Erna, GODSMACK will embark on “a big world tour” to celebrate the two-decade mark since the release of the band’s debut album. He said: “We’re gonna do a massive production. We’re gonna kind of base it around the theme of the first record. We’re even talking about coming out and doing the first record front to back to open the show — set up the staging a little bit more old school and stuff like that, and then kind of morph it into the back half of the set, which would be all the hits and the solo and some of the new stuff.”

He added: “I’m gonna be taking the rest of this whole year to kind of be working on production ideas, what the visuals are gonna be like, what the music’s gonna be like, but, obviously, it starts with the record. I have to write a really great record for us, and that’s the tough part.”

Erna also talked about his songwriting process and how he decides which ideas end up being used by GODSMACK and which songs go to his solo project. “I have folders, and I just write music every day,” he explained. “I don’t know what I’m gonna write. I don’t wake up to try to write a GODSMACK song today or a solo song, I just write music. Sometimes I write and it immediately identifies itself with which category it goes in, because there’s just some things that our audience is okay with, because we’ve always had [songs like] ‘Voodoo’ and ‘Serenity’ and those kind of textures in our music, but for the most part, they want us to be [hard] and right in your face. And so that’s kind of what GODSMACK is. In a sense, it’s like how AC/DC is — they just have a formula that works for them, and they’re a hard rock band, and that’s what we are. But because of those textures and because of those songs that have done well, it’s always allowed us, in the viewers’ eyes, to be able to go and explore that world a little bit. The solo stuff is taking that and going even deeper down the rabbit hole with it, because it really is an opportunity for me to experiment and take some chances and be a little more risky and experiment with some of the music that I grew up listening to, which is jazz and blues and a little bit more cleaner in that sense. So the song really dictates on which folder it goes in. And then there’s times when a beautiful song will come out and it’s not for me or GODSMACK. It could be for another artist; it could be for a Rihanna or something like that. And I have a little folder of that stuff, because, for me, it’s just about playing music. I don’t like to categorize myself, I don’t like to categorize music, I don’t like genres. To me, it’s either a good song or it’s a bad song.”

The new GODSMACK CD will also be its first effort for BMG, following a split with the band’s label home since 1998, Republic/Universal. GODSMACK signed the new contract with BMG last fall.

The first release through the new deal was Erna‘s second solo album, “Hometown Life”, which arrived last September.

Guitarist Tony Rombola and drummer Shannon Larkin also released a debut album last year from their recently launched side project, THE APOCALYPSE BLUES REVUE.