During a December 5-6 Headbangers Con live virtual panel, LAMB OF GOD frontman Randy Blythe was asked by Jam Man how he has been coping with the coronavirus pandemic and what it has been like not being able to tour for most of 2020. He said (see video below): "For me, I've gotta be honest, my band has a large fanbase, and I'm not a bazillionaire or anything, but I save my money. So I'm not really tripping on financials. What I think about more during this time is all the people in the younger bands, and the people who are at the independent venues, and the small promoters, and the crew guys. I've done a few charity things for different organizations that raise money for different road crews.
"I had friends who were in Europe getting ready to start their tour, in smaller bands, and they had already printed all their merchandise over in Europe with the dates on it and so forth," he continued. "And then this happened, and President Trump said, 'You've gotta come home in 48 hours or you're not gonna be able to come home.' So I had friends who had to spend four thousand dollars apiece on a one-way airline ticket from Germany back to the States — not first class; just a regular economy airline ticket. So, that really put a hurting on these people. And I think about the younger bands who just have a record, their first record is coming out, and they're all excited and getting ready to go on tour on their first record, and all that's taken away. And so, for me, all those people are going through things far more difficult than I am going through. Because I'm gonna be all right — LAMB OF GOD's gonna tour again. We're gonna be straight, and I can do other things in the meantime to support myself. The younger bands, and all the people that work at the venues, and all the small business owners and people who work in restaurants — I come from the restaurant world — all those people, everybody's having a real tough go of it. So, for me, it hasn't been that hard coping not being on tour. I'm ready to do it — don't get me wrong — but it hasn't been that hard.
"I did realize one thing that was harder on me after a while than I initially thought it would be is not touching people — not touching my friends," Blythe added. "When I see my friends, I like to give 'em a hug. I can't do that, and it's really weird. Even my surfing buddies — we go out, and we're in the water, in the ocean, far away from each other, but when I see them, I can't be, like, 'What's up, dude?' And after a while, that is starting to mess with my mind a little bit. So I'm ready to give everyone a hug. [Laughs]"
LAMB OF GOD played its first two pandemic-era shows in September as part of two separate live streams. The first saw the Richmond, Virginia-based group play its latest, self-titled album in its entirety, along with LAMB OF GOD favorites for the encore, including "Ruin", "Contractor", "512" and the debut live performance of "The Death Of Us", a new song the band wrote and recorded in quarantine for the "Bill & Ted Face The Music" movie and soundtrack. The second stream featured LAMB OF GOD performing its landmark 2004 album "Ashes Of The Wake", in its entirety for the first time.
"Lamb Of God" came out in June via Epic Records in the U.S. and Nuclear Blast Records in Europe. The LP was recorded with longtime producer Josh Wilbur (KORN, MEGADETH, GOJIRA, TRIVIUM) and includes special guest appearances by Jamey Jasta (HATEBREED) and Chuck Billy (TESTAMENT).