Lamb of God: Interview with Chris Adler

Lamb Of GodIf anyone is poised to fill Pantera’s huge, empty shoes, it’s Virginia’s Lamb Of God. It’s as though this quintet’s whole career has been leading up to this point—the release of their fourth full-length, second major label effort, Sacrament. But despite the fact that everyone is calling them “the next Pantera,” that’s not something the members of Lamb Of God spend a lot of time thinking about. All this Richmond, VA, quintet cares about is making the best, most brutal music that they can make.

On Sacrament, LOG, who started out with the much more diabolical moniker, Burn The Priest, have upped the heavy metal ante. Bolstered by the riff artillery of guitarists Willie Adler and Mark Morton, LOG make heavy metal with a decidedly Southern cast. On the first single, the punishing “Redneck,” singer D. Randall Blythe barks, “This is a mother fucking invitation.” Thank you, Blythe and Lamb Of God. We accept your mother fucking invitation to have our faces rocked off by Sacrament.

Drummer Chris Adler was more than happy to check in about the past, present and future of his band before they headed out as part of the second annual Gigantour.

Did you ever think you’d make your second album for a major label?

No, we’d never thought we’d make our first for a major label. It’s been a surprising ride for all of us. We never expected to play these shows and these kinds of venues, and it’s flattering, and we’re humble, and every day is a surprise to us. When we started, we were drinking buddies who couldn’t buy a good record in stores anymore, and that became contagious, so we did it ourselves. We’re still regular dudes and we’re thankful for every day.

There are a lot of expectations on Lamb Of God’s head with this record. How did you navigate that? Drinking more beer? Cranking the amps up even higher?

You know, it’s impossible to make everyone happy. There are people waiting to review or criticize, even constructively, this record. It’s great that people have an interest, but for us, we have fun doing this and want to push ourselves and come up with something interesting to listen to and hopefully people like it. It’s a personal experience that we go through together to write this stuff. We care very much that people are interested, but the only people that needs to be happy are the five of us, and we’ve done that.

Critics have called your band ‘the next Pantera’ since the ball started rolling on As The Palaces Burn. Do you guys feel you can take that step? Or do you not think like that and concern yourself with those types of comparisons?

If we had set out to be the next Pantera, it never would have happened. It’s not the sound or the types of songs we write. I think that comparison comes from the energy at the live show. Since those guys stopped making music together, there has been a noticeable gap and I question, ‘Where is that exciting band?’ We’re not going, ‘Let’s fill that gap,’ but there is no one band that is making heavy metal a household name anymore.

There are a lot of small fish and people being great at what they do and no one has stepped up. Can we do that? That’s up to everyone but me. It’s up to the fans and those buying records. It depends on where metal can go.