LAMB OF GOD's Chris Adler has revealed that he reached out to Lars Ulrich for advice when he first got the gig as MEGADETH's drummer for an album and tour.
Adler played on MEGADETH's latest disc, "Dystopia", and went on the road with the Dave Mustaine-fronted outfit, before scheduling conflicts with LAMB OF GOD forced him to vacate the drummer seat in MEGADETH.
During an appearance on the latest episode of the Metal Injection Livecast, Adler said that he contacted the METALLICA drummer in order to get some insight into working with Mustaine, who was a member of METALLICA for less than a year before the recording of the "Kill 'Em All" album.
"After I got the call [to join MEGADETH], I actually called Lars," Adler said (hear audio below). "We had toured together and connected to some degree. And I said, 'Hey, man, I just got, like, a legit offer to play, or at least try out, I guess, for the new MEGADETH record. And I think heavy metal in general is a bigger genre because of the drama between you guys. So, what, if anything, would you allow me to know about what am I getting into if I go into this?' And Lars told me what was exactly the truth: Dave is an absolute pussycat. He is a sweetheart — he really is. But he's driven. He has a vision in mind and it's perfectly defined and nothing outside of it is acceptable. And I love that. I've had the same idea. In my career, that's exactly the way that I have kind of come up, and that's why Dave and I got along. Now, that doesn't mean you have the people skills to make it work or the ability to actually get to that end. I mean, those are difficult things that we all go through in whatever it is that we do. You know where you wanna be, you find that point on the horizon, and that is how you get it done — you believe in yourself and do it."
Adler went on to address Mustaine's reputation as one of the most divisive personalities in metal — particularly in the years following his expulsion from METALLICA in 1983.
"It's such a negative market in general and so many subdivisions of everything, it's certainly easy to pick on guys who are in the news for whatever they say," Chris said. "Nor do I advocate everything Dave has said — but the dude is just… He's had a bit of a hard time, obviously, from the beginning of his life. He [grew up with] two or three older sisters in a poor family that, basically, he was the last one to get any attention. And he finally found some friends, [formed] a band. You're fucked up from life, and [after getting fired by] the only friends you really had, you're out on a fucking Greyhound bus to go home [before] they record the shit that you wrote. No doubt he's gonna be upset. And it's an incredibly dramatic story in our genre. But if you think about that personality, coming up from that, not giving up, and creating something, in my opinion, certainly equivalent…"
According to Chris, Mustaine is less concerned about accolodes than he is about creating art that is proud of.
"The dude is awesome — he really is," Adler said. "He is conflicted with all of that, as we all are with our own stuff; we all have our story to tell, I suppose. But he really cares about what it is that he's doing. He's a perfectionist. He loves the idea of giving some sort of art to be appreciated — not for his sake. There's no real satisfaction in providing something that's enormously successful… It doesn't really mean much to get a Grammy or be in the [Rock And Roll] Hall Of Fame — it doesn't matter. What matters is, can I give something? And it's not this dramatic blogosphere, web sites, people arguing… It's, 'Do I have something to offer? Can I still offer something?' And he is absolutely that guy. He doesn't want anything other than to make other people happy."
Mustaine feuded with the members of METALLICA for more than two decades before finally patching things up over the last few years. He has jammed with his ex-bandmates on several occasions during "Big Four" shows and at METALLICA's 30th-anniversary concerts in 2011.
Adler was forced to sit out some of LAMB OF GOD's shows this summer because he was undergoing physical and occupational therapy for injuries he sustained in a motorcycle accident late last year.
In addition to LAMB OF GOD and MEGADETH, Adler has played drums with a number of metal artists, including NITRO, BLOTTED SCIENCE and PROTEST THE HERO.