Make way for The Gods of Metal, again
Lamb of God has a brand new album set for release. And they gave up a US promotional tour for a concert in India. Prachi Sibal finds out why
IT WAS exactly two years ago, that the American Metal band Lamb of God first came to India. They are returning and this time its for an album launch too. Titled Resolution, the album will be released at their performance in Bangalore on May 26. The band comprising of Mark Morton on the guitars, John Campbell on the bass, Randy Blythe on the vocals and the Adler brothers – Willie on guitars and Chris on drums brought in what they claim was new wave American Metal when they started in 1994. There aren’t many bands in this genre that have lived past a decade. Chris Adler speaks to Tehelka about the visit, their music and their tips on lasting in this cut-throat musical world.
What inspired the name ‘Lamb of God’? We hear it wasn’t the one you started out with.
‘Burn the priest’ was the original name of the band. We were kids and it was a name shocking enough for people to be curious and come check us out. When we grew older, we realized we could not do with a name that was a gimmick. So, instead of coming up with something more evil, we went the other way. We came up with the most innocent of all things, ‘Lamb of God’.
Where do your inspirations lie? Do you have any collective ones as a band?
Every one in the band had different influences. We would all listen to Hard rock though. I heard a lot of Metallica and Megadeath. I still love Megadeath. Randy was into a lot of punk rock at a time. The one thing we all knew was that we wanted to play for a metal band and due to our different influences we did end up sounding a bit different from other metal bands at the time.
You have also been known for biblical references and anti-religious sentiment in your lyrics. How do you explain that?
We try not to be a religious band. We have no reason to tell people what they must believe. Here, I won’t speak for Randy and Mark. What we are trying to do is to help people ask questions and not just believe. People need to wake up and think for themselves.
You have played for much more than a decade, for generations. What is the secret of keeping a band alive and popular for more than a decade?
It is not easy. We had our fights, found things boring and had a lot of work at most times. We are not always best friends. But we know, together we do something special and travel the world. All of us know that we can only do this together and not one of uscould do what we are doing by ourselves. You have to believe in each other.
The hardest part of being in a band is knowing that you won’t make a million dollars and there is no party every night. You have to focus on the music.
Was starting out as a band in the 90s harder than it is now? If so,why? What was it that worked for you?
Starting a band then was hard but easier than it is now. The internet was just beginning then and we were distributing all our music online. We would play anywhere we could, at house parties, functions, everything. That I believe is the key to success, to be able to get out and play. Our goal was not to make money, you can’t expect art to pay very well.
We didn’t expect to be Metallica. Things are different now and every kid who has a laptop can make music in his basement with high quality sounds, live with his parents and pay bills. People have to try much harder now, every six minutes there is a better sounding band releasing a track.
A few days ago, vocalist Randy Blythe said the industry is dying because Marilyn Manson’s new ablum opened at #10. What are your thoughts on that?
Randy and I don’t always agree. According to me, Manson’s career finished a long time ago.
Would you say metal is dying, a slow noisless death the world over?
I think, different kinds of metal is becoming popular. It is constantly evolving. In the end, there will be several bands left, but the copycats will die quickly. Sky Harbour is one such band.
What makes you return to India in such a short time? What did you like here?
I would have come back sooner. The response was overwhelming when we came the last time, we had no idea so many people in India knew us. It was quite unexpected. Right then, we knew we had to come back. We haven’t done a US tour with our new album Resolution yet, we wanted to go back to the places we liked first.
What would you change on your trip to India this time?
The last time we came, the promoter put us up in a resort that was far away from the city. We got no time in the city to sample the culture, meet people and eat all the street food. This time we plan to live in the city, so if you see us walking around on the streets, do buy us a beer.
Tells us about your new album and what makes it different from the previous ones?
Resolution is a little different from our two previous albums. The songs are more progressive and dynamic. We have picked a lot from our earlier records, the one before the two last ones. It is difficult to produce seven records that sound different without getting boring.
Did the Metallica show being cancelled discourage you from coming back to India?
I know the band and know that they would not have cancelled the show unless things were absolutely wrong. We are not scared at all.
Lamb of God will be playing at Clark’s Exotica, Devanahalli, Bengaluru on 26 May.email@example.com