LAMB OF GOD: We Want To Write Songs That Make Us Want To Drive Fast, Headbang And Punch Things

Cameron Edney of Australia's Inside Out webzine recently conducted an interview with drummer Chris Adler of the Richmond, Virginia metal band LAMB OF GOD. A few excerpts from the chat follow below.

Inside Out: The [new LAMB OF GOD] album ["Wrath"] is due to hit the shelves on February 24. What are you hoping the fans will get out of the new album?

Chris Adler: It's hard to say, I think the "Sacrament" record that we did before this was obviously our most successful record and there are no regrets there, but I think in making the "Sacrament" record we experimented with the idea of being more than just a metal band, we tried some new things, sometimes uncomfortable, and sometimes not what everyone wanted. We got rid of the producer we were working with, I think he took responsibility to help us sell a bunch of records and become a popular band but we wanted to throw all of that crap out of the window. We don't want to write for radio, we don't want to write singles, we want to write songs that make us want to drive fast, headbang and punch things! I think the fans maybe were expecting us to soften up or somehow "sell out" but they will be very surprised to find that we have gone in a very different direction!

Inside Out: "Wrath" has been produced by Josh Wilbur who did an amazing job! At this stage in your career you could have chosen anyone to do the new album, what made Josh the right guy for "Wrath" and how much of an impact did he have on the overall end results?

Chris Adler: Yeah, he's not the typical guy, for sure! He's done engineering on a couple of metal records but he's never produced a proper metal record, so this is his first real shot at it and I think that's why we chose him! He's young, he's hungry, there wasn't a big ego involved, and he wasn't trying to push us to sell a ton of records and change our sound, he just wanted us to sound the best we possibly could. He had a genuine interest in pushing us and a vision. He had a real good understanding of where we were as a band and that we wanted to be a little more aggressive and get back to some of the earlier stuff that we were doing! Josh was right there with us, pushing us as hard as we were pushing each other.

Inside Out: I want to talk to you a little more about touring and life on the road…. Looking back can you recall the hardest time you ever had as an opening act?

Chris Adler: I can… we were out with the new millennium tour across North America and it was us opening then THE HAUNTED, DIMMU BORGIR and then CANNIBAL CORPSE. It was a fantastic show. As a metal fan, I would have loved to go and see it! The guys in CANNIBAL CORPSE are a bunch of sweethearts — they are amazingly cool and friendly, nice guys — but the crew they had working for them on that tour were a bunch of douche bags and they made our lives very difficult. In fact, the worst night of that tour was the last night in New York City and as we began into our last song, the tour manager for CANNIBAL CORPSE came up and began pushing our instruments off the front of the stage, and it was because during the entire tour we would not take their shit! We weren't interested in being pushed around and being told what to do! We understood our place as a new band and we were not disrespectful… we were not allowed to eat, there was no food, and there was no room onstage for us to set up! There were a lot of obstacles and we were vocal about the fact that it would be nice if someone would take into consideration that we are here to play and that people are here to see us and that we are trying to do what those guys were doing as well, that it's not a big dick competition, let us try. They really gave us a hard time! We really learned a lot from that and what we learned from that is important… you really do see the same people on the way up that you see on the way down, and you treat people… all bands, whether they're before us, after us, different stage, whatever… anyone that we meet in doing this, we try to treat them the same way we would like to be treated. It's an important lesson to rule but cruel to learn!

Inside Out: Chris, I know you're a family man… Touring the world must put a burden on family life! Do you travel with family on the road and how do you find a balance with constant touring?

Chris Adler: Yeah it's very difficult, we're still sorting that out, and it's tough! It's not a comfortable, baby-friendly existence on the road. Before the baby, my wife would come out and see the shows, stay for a week, ride on the bus and those kinds of things, now with the baby it's a new chapter, we still have to figure this out! I've seen guys do it and it's really been my dream since I was a kid to do this! My wife is very supportive and our daughter will certainly be able to check it out sooner or later and hopefully she will appreciate it as well but for me… it's everything I wanted to do and everything I've wanted to be, so I'm happy and proud of the decision although it's difficult at times!

Inside Out: The metal scene is certainly thriving right now, many bands are climbing up the charts and the amount of metal tours which have flooded Australia in recent times is unlike anything I can remember. What do you think about the direction metal music has taken over the last couple of years?

Chris Adler: Extremely positive, we came out of a scene in 1994 when there was certainly a lot of disappointing albums from a lot of the veterans and nu-metal was starting to blow up and LIMP BIZKIT was starting to sell millions of records and as a true metal head it was very discouraging and disappoint to the point that we got together and started making the noise that we make as a band, fifteen years later here we are! For us, the thing that made us want to do this was those eighties speed metal bands, early TESTAMENT and MEGADETH and I think that there's now once again a respect for that kind of metal, musicianship and song craft. It's not about the hip-hop jump up and down stuff. Real metal is back, the evolution is continuing and it's getting more extreme and crazier all the time and I love being a part of it! I think it's a very special time for music.

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