Dr. Abner Mality from Wormwood Chronicles webzine recently conducted an interview with LAMB OF GOD bassist John Campbell. A few excerpts follow:
Wormwood Chronicles: You've gone out of your way to say that the lyrics on "Sacrament" were a lot less political than on "Ashes of the Wake". Things in the world seem to be just as bad if not worse than when you did the earlier album.
John Campbell: At the time we did "Ashes", there was actually a little bit of hope in the process because we were getting ready for another election to make a change. Well, we all know how the election went. That took the steam out of a lot of people. As far as us changing gears with the political thing, we were going to try and do that on "Ashes" in the beginning of 2004. But this time around the goal was not to do a political record, to keep from being pigeonholed as a political band.
Wormwood Chronicles: Would you say then that after the events of 2004, it's really a kind of hopeless situation as far as political change goes?
John Campbell: (chuckles) Yeah, definitely, I think it is. My personal belief is that all the powers that be have all the money and all the means to manipulate the system to stay in power and continue to make more money. Those of us not in power are fucked. It's almost to the point where there's tyrannical shit going on and it's not "we, the people" any more.
Wormwood Chronicles: It's funny...
John Campbell: It's not funny, it fuckin' sucks! It makes me very angry. It sucks that the hippy "Peace and love and huggin' everybody" approach doesn't work and the "pickin' up guns and shooting people" approach doesn't seem to work either. It's kinda screwed...
Wormwood Chronicles: What was I going to say was it was funny that we spent 50 years fighting the Communists but we still wind up with a very small clique of people that control everything only they do a better job of sugarcoating it.
John Campbell: (laughter) Yeah, there's definitely some truth in that statement!
Wormwood Chronicles: The record had an awesome debut on the charts...
John Campbell: It absolutely did, it debuted at #8.
Wormwood Chronicles: SLAYER came in at #5, IRON MAIDEN came in at #9. Is it pretty fair to say metal is back to the level it was in the late '80s?
John Campbell: (laughter) No, the late '80s metal sucked and deserved to die a horrible death! That's one of the reasons we started the band back in 1994 was because nobody was making good metal. Well, let me take that back...there were a few bands making good metal. To say that metal is back to the popularity it had in the late '80s...I'm not sure if it's quite that big yet. Maybe getting that big is part of what ended up killing it.
Wormwood Chronicles: Yeah, then it becomes a trend and a trend never lasts...
John Campbell: Well, we've been doing the band for 12 years independent of any sort of trend. We did our first tour through Maximum Rock and Roll's "Book Your Own Fucking Life" which they put out yearly and is a list of clubs and promoters. We'd have to call people then and say we were a "punk" metal band. If we said we were a metal band, we'd get "no, not interested", but if we called ourselves punk metal, then they were all about it.
Wormwood Chronicles: And then everybody at the shows wound up digging it anyway, I'm sure.
John Campbell: Yeah, because we knew we were playing great metal music. It was just that metal was such a bad word back then.
Wormwood Chronicles: I know right now on Gigantour you're playing with some dudes with a similar outlook, OVERKILL...
John Campbell: Oh, fuck, those dudes are amazing!
Wormwood Chronicles: They're one of my favorites and Bobby Blitz is one of the funniest guys I've ever talked to.
John Campbell: Yeah, having those guys on this tour is a saving grace for me, because they are awesome dudes. They are good, honest people and they're as funny as shit and they've got a great band that puts on a great show. It's really fuckin' cool to have them out here with us.
Wormwood Chronicles: I'm glad they finally got a break to be on a tour like this because they've been slogging it out in the clubs for years like an American version of MOTÖRHEAD.
John Campbell: Bobby Blitz said something as funny as shit the other day on stage. "When I was 16, I told my mamma I was never gonna work a real job, that I was gonna play rock and roll in arenas. I just didn't know it was gonna take 45 years!" (laughter) God bless 'em for being on this tour!
Wormwood Chronicles: Will the big success you've been having change LAMB OF GOD?
John Campbell: Absolutely not. A common question in any interview is "Did you feel any pressure going in and writing this record?" The answer is always that the only pressure we feel is the pressure we put on ourselves. That's what we've done before...just write music that outdoes what we've done before and whips ass and that will get us proud and pumped to get more out.
Read the entire interview at www.wormwoodchronicles.com.