Bulletproof

Album: When Legends Rise (2018)

Songfacts®:

  • The lead single from When Legends Rise finds Godsmack frontman Sully Erna at his most vulnerable:

    "I always write about things that have affected me on an emotional level," he said. "I think everyone knows that about me by now. But if I choose to do that, I have to be prepared to be honest and vulnerable. And so the challenge is figuring out how 'exposed' you want to be with personal information. But I've also learned over the years that for me, being transparent, even to the point of embarrassment sometimes, is so much better than holding it inside and extending that pain longer than you need to."

    "'Bulletproof' is just another moment in my life when I allowed myself to be vulnerable and got hurt," Erna continued. "It's this kind of carelessness from other people that eventually hardens you and forces you to put up that wall to protect yourself. So when and if they circle back around and try to get back in, you make yourself bulletproof."
  • The song's music video was filmed on February 7, 2018 at a studio in Los Angeles and was directed by Godsmack's longtime visual collaborator Troy Smith. The clip features cameos from country singer Billy Ray Cyrus, former Skid Row frontman Sebastian Bach and TV personality Chris Jacobs from Overhaulin'.
  • Asked during an interview for "The Bangover" show on TotalRock Radio why "Bulletproof" was chosen as the lead single from When Legends Rise, Sully Erna replied:

    "Well, it was really a very different approach - it was a lot more melodic than we had wrote in the past. And I wondered what the new record's gonna sound like. There's always that moment, when you're writing a new record, that one song surfaces that kind of sets the bar for everything else and where you're gonna go, theme-wise, on the new record. And that song, for me, kind of set the standard on it just being a very obvious, hooky kind of song."

    "You don't listen to this a lot to get it," he added. "Your first listen, you know exactly where the song stands. And love it or hate it, for us, it was about growth, it was about expansion and it was about trying not to write the same record over and over again. And that one kind of set the bar for where I was hoping to go with being a little bit more unique and also pertaining to a much broader audience - even a younger generation."
  • Sully Erna never writes fictional lyrics, preferring to pen material that affects him on an emotional level, generally through true events that have happened in his life. This song is a case in point. He explained its background to Mindy Novotny of Milwaukee FM radio station 102.9 The Hog:

    "I went through a pretty crazy transitional period a couple of years ago where I decided to remove myself from all negative people and drama and things like that and decided to start living my life the way that I wanted and just start having fun with this."
  • After writing a number of songs with producer Erik Ron in Los Angeles, Sully Erna flew out to Florida where the rest of the band live. This was the first tune he played to them. Drummer Shannon Larkin recalled to Backstage Axxess (transcribed by Blabbermouth.net):

    "It was in was demo form, so it had a drum machine. And so when we first heard it, it was, boom, it was there. We were, like, 'Oh my God! This is great. But let's see what we do to it.' And so we picked up our gear and started playing this thing, with the real drums and our tone, and it just sounded, we felt, like a natural progression of where the band should go, looking at the future and how we represent ourselves."
  • This was the #1 song of 2018 on Billboard's Mainstream Rock Songs chart.

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