Robbie Merrill

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Robbie Merrill
2015 RiP Godsmack Robbie Merrill by 2eight - 3SC5181.jpg
Robbie Merrill performing live with Godsmack.
Background information
Born (1963-06-13) June 13, 1963 (age 54)
Lawrence, Massachusetts, U.S.
Instruments Bass, guitar
Years active 1986–present
Labels Universal
Associated acts Godsmack, Another Animal

Robbie Merrill (born June 13, 1963)[1] is an American bass guitar player, best known for his work with the rock band Godsmack.

Robbie was one of the founding members of Godsmack. Merrill met Sully Erna through Sully's sister, and the two became roommates and friends.[2] In February 1995, Erna decided to start a new band as the lead singer after playing the drums for more than 23 years. His new band, The Scam, formed with Erna on vocals, Robbie Merrill on bass, local guitarist and friend Lee Richards on guitar, and Tommy Stewart on drums quickly changed its name to Godsmack, after recording one demo.[3]

Robbie is also a founding member of the band Another Animal along with Shannon Larkin, Tony Rombola, Lee Richards, and Whitfield Crane. Excluding Whit Crane all have been members of Godsmack presently or in the past.[4]

Merrill was featured in the IMV "Behind The Player" DVD series, in his DVD he gives an intimate behind-the scenes look at his life as a musician, he then gives in-depth lessons for how to play Speak and Voodoo by Godsmack on bass and jams the tracks with Godsmack drummer Shannon Larkin.[5]


Born in Lawrence, Massachusetts, Merrill started to play bass at age 14 and only played bass. He traded in his train set for a bass, and used his dad's amp.[2] He has played in a country, blues, reggae, prog, and '50s/'60s cover band. Before joining Godsmack, Merrill was a self-employed carpenter which is a trade he shared with Tony Rombola.[6]

Merrill and his wife Heather have three daughters, Niannah and Nikiah and Neven. Merrill currently lives in St. Augustine, Florida. Although he is a left-handed musician, Merrill actually writes right-handed due to a birth defect that makes him unable to move the middle finger of his left hand.

In his off-time, Merrill has a farm which he puts many hours into; he also enjoys some hockey and the typical family stuff. He has a dirtbike track as well. However, he stated that his family is still the number one priority.[7]

Musical style[edit]

Merrill crafts a sound that’s as soulful as it is cutting—gravelly, but with a clear high-end sheen. Some of that clarity comes from a relatively new technique at the fore of his tone equation: fingerpicking. Robbie tried playing with fingerpicks at the suggestion of his tech during the band’s last tour and has decided to use them exclusively, using Dunlop Clear "D" plastic fingerpicks on his plucking-hand index and ring fingers.[8] "At first I hated the feel, but once you get over the hump of not feeling the string beneath your finger, you eventually don’t even realize they’re on and you come to feel the strings again," he says.[8] For Merrill, fingerpicks provide the best of both worlds. "When you play with your fingers, it’s harder to get the consistent sound from a pick hitting the string. With fingerpicks, I can get that sound but still keep that fingerstyle."[8]

When Merrill sees bands, it bums him out when he can’t hear what the bass player’s doing. When Godsmack first started, he had a ratty sound just to blend with the guitars. Over the years, he has refined it.[8]



Another Animal[edit]


  • Bass Spector Euro 4LX-35.[8]
  • Fretless Spector 4-string D’Addario XL strings tuned DADG or CGCG; Dunlop Clear "D" fingerpicks.[8]
  • (Up Through the Oracle album)-Rig SWR 750x heads and SWR 4 x 12" 12-STACK cabs.[8]
  • (Current)-Gallien-Krueger Fusion 550 head, and Gallien-Krueger RBH410 cabs.[8]
  • Effects Line 6 PODxt (studio), Line 6 Bass PODxt (live).[8]
  • Aurora Strings.[8]
  • On the back cover of the April 2010 Bass Player magazine issue, Robbie is now an official Gallien-Krueger user. It shows him with a Fusion 550 amp and a NEO412 cabinet[8]

According to Merrill, when he is in the studio, he runs a Line 6 guitar POD direct for growly, midrangy distortion, and he blends that with miked cabinets."[8]


  1. ^ "Robbie Merrill - Biography". The Internet Movie Database. 
  2. ^ a b "Godsmack -". 
  3. ^ "Godsmack – Bio". Archived from the original on 2007-09-30. Retrieved 2007-10-10. 
  4. ^ "Metal News - Godsmack Celebrating 10th Birthday With Boxed Set". Metal Underground . com. 2007-05-07. 
  5. ^ "Sheet Music Plus - Behind the Player: Robbie Merrill". Sheet Music Plus. 
  6. ^ "COVER STORY: Hard rock smack down; Godsmack remains close to its working-class roots". Charleston Gazette – via HighBeam Research. 
  7. ^ "Karr's CD & Music Reviews: Godsmack Interview with Bassist Robbie Merrill". Karr's CD & Music Reviews. 2006-09-28. 
  8. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l "Robbie Merrill". 2006-09-28. 

External links[edit]