- Sully Erna - Lead Vocal, Rhythm Guitar, Keyboard, Drums, Percussion
- Tony Rombola – lead guitar, Back Up Vocal
- Robbie Merrill - Bass, Back Up Vocal
- Shannon Larkin - Drums, Percussion
In February 1995, Sully Erna decided to start a new band as the lead singer after playing the drums for more than 23 years, including over two years in the now defunct band Strip Mind.Later that year, Erna called his friend Robbie Merrill, asking if he wanted to start writing music, and Merrill agreed.His new band The Scam formed with Erna on vocals, Merrill on bass, local guitarist and friend Lee Richards on guitar, and Tommy Stewart on drums. The Scam quickly changed its name to Godsmack, after recording one demo. The newly formed band started playing small bars in their hometowns of Lawrence, Massachusetts, and Salem, New Hampshire. Godsmack started out as an Alice in Chains cover band, but moved on quickly to write its own music.Locally popular songs such as "Keep Away" and "Whatever" brought them quickly to the top of the hit charts in the Boston/New England area.
The band's name, according to Merrill in the Smack This! DVD, was stolen from the Alice in Chains' song "God Smack". However, Erna stated in a 1999 interview that "I was making fun of somebody who had a cold sore on his lip and the next day I had one myself and somebody said, 'It's a godsmack.' The name stuck. We were aware of the Alice in Chains song but didn't really think much about it. It's a cool song and the name had meaning for us".