The Boston-based alt-metal band Godsmack took their name from what they call a godsmack (when you do something, that comes back to haunt you. ie making fun of someone and then whatever you were making fun of them about happens to you. I think this originally started when Sully was laughing at another band member during a practice for a cold sore he had, the next week Sully had one). The foursome -- Sully Erna (vocalist), Tony Rambola (guitarist), Robbie Merrill (bassist) and Tommy Stewart (drums) -- released their debut album, All Wound Up, on independent EK Records in 1997. The band then inked a deal with Universal, who re-released the album with a few new tracks as Godsmack in August 1998. Retail giants Wal-Mart and Kmart promptly yanked the album from their shelves due to its profane content, placing Godsmack in the center of the ongoing controversy over mandatory music ratings. Despite of or perhaps in response to the controversy, the album sold more than 4 million copies.
In 2000, Godsmack contributed a track, "Time Bomb," to the Scream 3 soundtrack. They also released Awake , whose instrumental track, Vampires, was nominated in the Best Instrumental category at the 2001 Grammy Awards. In 2002, Godsmack mainman Sully Erna was tapped by the Rock to A&R the soundtrack to The Scorpion King . The song that Godsmack itself contributed was "I Stand Alone," which garnered two Grammy nominations for Best Hard Rock Performance and Best Rock Song for the 2003 Grammy Awards.
Godsmack released their third album, Faceless, in 2003, working with veteran producer David Bottrill (Tool, King Crimson) and adding new drummer Shannon Larkin (Amen).