Regarding the writing process, as I recall, with Lamb Of God, it was always instruments laid down first, vocals second. Has that changed?
Nope. I think really that’s every band. You lay down instruments first. I don’t think anybody does a cappella versions of songs and then works under them. I’m not a guitar player. Mark [Morton, guitar] writes some lyrics with his guitar parts because he’s able to do that. I write away from the band, since I’m not capable of producing a riff if you paid me. So I write separately and then we come in and put it together.
Do you ever want to change that paradigm? The band originally started as an instrumental act, and I’m never going to get the idea that Lamb Of God is going to write three disc epic prog albums or anything like that, but does the idea of trying to change things or get out of your element in the process appeal to you?
For me, you know, watching them write a record is a very painful process. Let’s get that straight first of all. They like it when I come around to the practice space while they’re writing, and I’ll sit there outside and I’ll listen to them play the same riff for two hours with a sixteenth note variation. At the end, they’ll say ‘What do you think?’ and I’ll say, ‘I don’t fucking know, it all sounds the same to me.’ They’re changing things in such a subtly nuanced way that it’s almost impossible for me to pick up. Especially when you’ve been hammered with it again and again and again. They’re pretty meticulous. Sometimes if there’s a major question like a riff or progression of where something’s going to go, I’ll certainly give my opinion. But most of the time it’s me sitting there watching the paint peel while they play the same riff for two hours over and over again. That’s just the nature of the beast.
So unless the dudes in the band shifted their work mode into a manner in which I felt that I could understand what they’re doing…. I don’t know. As it is, I like writing alone. I enjoy being alone while I write. I don’t want to write around those dudes. I see them enough, you know. That’s when stuff comes out of my head. I don’t like being around anyone while I write. They do their thing together, creatively, and I do my thing separately.
Sometimes Mark and I will work on a song together, and that’s a little bit different. We have a really good relationship and we work well together and bounce things off of each other. But as far as all five of us coming together and writing something, it’s enough of a clusterfuck as it is without throwing my dumb ass into the mix. So I don’t see that changing in any way and I don’t really see the need for it to change.