Picking up from where bands like Pantera and Sepultura left off, Lamb Of God have pushed their brand of infectious groove metal to the very forefront of the metal world. The respected Viginian metallers last graced the performance stage right here in Australia, in November 2010 in support of Metallica on the epic World Magnetic Tour. Since then they have turned focus to their seventh studio album ‘Resolution’, which is due for release this Friday. Just ahead of Lamb Of God’s Australian dates with a very metal-orientated Soundwave Festival, drumming whirlwind Chris Adler stopped by Killyourstereo to tell us just how excited they all are.
Hey Chris, how are you man?
Yeah good Jake, how are you?
Yeah great. Your new album ‘Resolution’ is all ready to go I believe?
[Laughs] Yeah, it is. I’m still out of breath, but it’s all done. We haven’t read any reviews or anything yet, but the band are all so proud of it and we can’t wait to see it out there.
I’ve read that you guys consider it to resemble your earlier work more closely than Sacrament and Wrath, but would you say it also pushes into new directions?
By necessity it had to push into new directions. It resembles As The Palaces Burn and Ashes In The Wake in that it strips away the verse/chorus structure that was more prominent in our last two albums. We know we are coming in to do our seventh album, and I have never heard anyone say ‘oh yeah I know that band, I love their seventh album.’ We always had to come into this and do something that really separates itself from everything else we’ve done, and we’re really proud of what we’ve achieved.
As The Palaces Burn and Ashes In The Wake covered a lot of political ground lyrically. What sort of lyrical ideas are explored on Resolution?
Well Randy wrote a lot of the lyrics and I don’t want to speak for him, but the basic concept of the album is waking up from a bad dream and finding yourself in an even worse one. Randy recently celebrated a year in sobriety, and before that it didn’t seem like he was so far off that. It something that means a lot to him and all those around him, and part of the ‘Wake the fuck up’ message really comes through in the Resolution.
Would you say the new album keeps you fairly busy on the sticks?
[Laughs] Yeah, it does. I got back home on November 23rd last year after our last run of shows in Australia with Metallica. Since then I haven’t drunk, I haven’t smoked and I’ve been hitting the gym every day. I’m up to running 45 miles a week. It’s something that I had to do, we’re all getting older and if we want to keep pushing our music as hard as we are we have to look after ourselves.
On your last release Wrath, we saw a bit more clean guitar work than we have in the past with songs like The Passing, Grace and Reclamation. Is this a trend we are going to see continue with Resolution?
No. This is our longest album with 14 songs and we have one acoustic section. It goes for all of about 9 seconds.
What’s really fucking awesome for Australia is that we are going to be some of the first to hear your new stuff live when you come over for Soundwave in February. It’s your second Soundwave, are you looking forward to it?
Oh absolutely. You hear bands say it all the time but Australia is the number one place we like to tour. The shows are great, the people are great and it’s such an amazing country. I want to live in Australia, I’ve applied for a visa and I want to live there after Lamb Of God simmers out, whenever that may be. Apart from some slight equipment problems, our experience on last Soundwave was great all round. The promoter AJ went out on a limb for us with our headline tour in 2009 with Devildriver and Shadows Fall and it’s great that he’s asked us to come back.
Are you surprised to see how much the festival has grown since last time you played?
Oh absolutely, I have never seen a festival grow so fast and I think it’s only a matter of time before it leaves the continent. Next to the Big Four it has the biggest metal lineup I have ever seen, it should be called ‘The Medium 30.’
With bands like Machine Head, Trivium, Mastodon, Meshuggah, In Flames and Gojira all sharing a stage with you guys, bands right at the top of the modern metal tree along with you, can you see there being a bit of rivalry going on?
It’s funny you should say that because a lot of people would expect that there is some sort of competition between us guys, but at the end of the day we’re all the same people doing the same thing. We get excited about what each other are doing. I sat down and had a coffee with Tomas from Meshuggah just the other day and we get along great, it’s nothing like the rivalry that people have seen with the Big 4 or anything like that.
Every one of your albums , although the styles differ a little bit, have it’s songs that every Lamb Of God fan will know and love. For that reason your live set always has people moving from the start to finish. What songs do you enjoy playing most, and watching the crowd react?
There are a certain few of our songs that we have to play at every show, the fan favourites, you know, Black Label, Ruin, Laid To Rest, Set To Fail…It’s the songs that are a little more deep-cut that we don’t get to play as much that I get really excited for, Requiem is a song I really enjoy playing that we don’t play that often.
What’s the coolest fan tribute that you have ever seen made to your band?
I really like the smooth jazz tributes on YouTube, they’re hilarious to watch. We love watching young bands cover our songs too, it puts a smile on our faces.
If you could give any words of inspiration to aspiring metal drummers, what would they be?
Don’t chase speed, because there will always be someone faster than you, that’s the reality of it. Everyone asks me how I get my kicks so fast and a certain degree of it is practice, but there is only so far you can get. Get to know your instrument and have fun, if your not having fun then there is no point in playing that instrument.
One thing that separates Lamb Of God from so many other bands in music today is how long you have held your current lineup of members. What’s your secret for getting along so well?
Well the secret is that we don’t always get along. Our musical tastes are all over the shop, and there have been fights, literally quite a few fistfights within the band. We are all incredibly strong individuals and that’s what it takes, that’s what helps shape everything that Lamb Of God creates.
If you could put together a supergroup of any musicians, alive or dead, who would they be?
Good question, that’s a hard one. John Bonham on drums, Jeff Waters from Annihilator on guitar, on bass I’d be ashamed not to say Cliff Burton and on vocals…well, whoever thinks they can handle that band.
Awesome. Cheers for your time mate, we’ll see you in February!
Thanks for the chat, see you then.