"It's gonna be nothing like rock music," Erna tells Billboard.com. "It's gonna be very Native American tribal rhythms mixed with these Middle Eastern bluesy kind of vocals. This is a project to get a different kind of music out of me that I feel is inside me. .. and not for any expectations about how big the hit may be or if it's gonna make it on the radio."
Erna plans to work with singer Lisa Guyer, who was featured on the "Godsmack IV" track "Hollow," as well as a number of other musicians.
"I'm not setting any time limits on it," Erna says. "We're kind of baby stages in the writing process. But it'll be good. It'll be fun, and it's gonna be different. I don't know if it'll be something the real hard rockers out there dig, but anybody who enjoyed the acoustic EP or 'Voodoo' or 'Serenity' I think will enjoy this stuff 'cause it's very cool and hypnotic and kind of exotic."
Meanwhile, the new Godsmack compilation "Good Times, Bad Times...Ten Years of Godsmack" -- which includes a newly recorded cover of the Led Zeppelin song of the same name and is packaged with a live acoustic DVD -- is designed as a stop-gap while the bandis on hiatus. Erna says he's not at all concerned the break will become permanent, however.
And having those outlets, Erna adds, will allow Godsmack to be more focused on its next outing. "Over the years we've realized that Godsmack just needs to be ... a big, fat, powerhouse rock band," he explains, "and I think because of that we've left some of these experimental things to some side projects. And when we do come out and do another Godsmack record, it's gonna be a monster."