Steve Wildsmith of The Daily Times recently conducted an interview with drummer Chris Adler of Richmond, Virginia metallers LAMB OF GOD. A few excerpts from the chat follow below.
On the stereotypes associated with playing extreme music:
"We get that whole stereotype not just from fans, but from our families, too. People expect us to be sacrificing things and worshipping the devil and all of that stuff. My mother-in-law told me, 'I don't understand — why do you have to play this kind of music?' I told her that if I didn't play it, I'd probably be a pretty big (jerk).
"It's cathartic for us as much as it is the fans. It helps quell those inner demons that would get released some other way. But on the bus at night, we're just like everybody else — we sit around and laugh and watch TV and drink a couple of beers. We're just normal guys, but we've got a hell of a job."
On LAMB OF GOD's early years:
"There wasn't a band out there that we set out to be like. We're influenced by many, many bands, but we never sat down to say, 'We want to sound like this band.' Mark [Morton, guitar] plays in a country band when he's home; John [Campbell, bass] is really into bands like RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS; Randy [Blythe, vocals] is an old-school punk guy. So there are a lot of things that come to the table when we sit down to make a record, but we've never tried to sound like one thing or another."
On playing with his brother Willie, who is one of LAMB OF GOD's guitarists:
"I've had that chemistry with my brother for a very long time, but we all have been doing this for so long that we really do function as one now. We have that sixth sense, almost, where we know what each other is going to do before we do it. And as we continue to get to know each other better, we get better at what we do."
On the band's commercial success:
"The late 1990s and early 2000s were really full of a lot of commercial or gimmick-laden music products, and I think we've always kind of based what we wanted to do on that late-1980s speed metal vibe. Certainly, none of us have ever expected this kind of attention or results or success, if you will. I think what happened is that we were doing something different when a lot of music wasn't very good, and when people got sick of the fake reality-star music and the pendulum swung back around to real music, we were standing tall and proud."
On alternating between tours — opening for metal icons METALLICA one week and taking side jaunts with shock-rockers and fellow Richmond band GWAR on the side:
"With METALLICA, they have the luxury of being able to play for a week on, then take a week off, so during that week off we've created this secondary tour with GWAR to keep making the doughnuts, so to speak. With GWAR, we come from the same town, and we're all literally good friends. In 2000, when we put out our first album, they took us on our very first venue tour.
"We had played a few places, but our first record had just been released, and I think it sold 60 copies in the first week. Nobody knew who we were and nobody cared, so now we keep that tradition going — not that GWAR needs our help, but because it's fun and they're a good group of guys."
Read more from The Daily Times.