What are your saving graces on the road?
Well I always look forward to seeing my wife at the end of the tour, and for me it can get grueling sitting around all day waiting to play, but God it’s hard for me to complain, it’s the best job in the world. Also on Ozzfest right now, we get to play to like 20,000 people a night, and there is nothing better than that. As far as me being away from home and missing my family, this is a dream come true and they realize that for me as well. They are happy for me and the band, and it’s nothing that I would ever walk away from no matter how hot it is or long my day has been or any other b.s. that comes up along the way. This is what I have wanted to do ever since I was a little kid and I am loving every minute of it.
Are you guys getting stuff together for a new album? Do you write on the road at all?
Not really, I mean we get pulled in so many different directions while we are out here. One guy might have a guitar clinic or a signing, FYE signings or doing press, like me talking to you right now, that kind of keeps us not necessarily apart but not able to sit down together and do that type of thing. But it’s good to not be full time all the time, this is kind of our play time out on the road. We get to meet fans, have a few beers, see what’s going on backstage and then we go home and we get serious about writing some tunes. That’s the way we do it, I have seen other people write while they are out, but we’d rather wait until we get home, put our heads together and come up with some better stuff.
What’s next for you after Ozzfest?
Well we are going to England in November with Heaven And Hell, we are going to do a tour with those guys. Then we are talking about putting a package together in December, but that’s still coming together. But definitely after that we are going to be taking a break and begin the writing process.
Do you prefer headlining tours or being a supporting band?
I think there isn’t really one that’s better than the other, we are lucky to do either one of those. We came up from playing in the basements and the bars and opening for the bands that hated us, the difficult times, and now we get to enjoy the good times. Now we get to play with Ozzy and Slayer and bands like that, and that’s your dream as a young musician to be able to do that kind of thing, so they are gigantic pluses and we are just lucky to be able to do both of them.
Are they any bands that you make a point of checking out almost everyday on Ozzfest?
Ankla is one of them, they have some really cool tribal stuff in their music that is really cool percussion-wise for me. And another band Behemoth—that’s the most brutal band I have ever seen in my life. It’s unbelievable what those guys do.
The tour that you did with Machine Head and Trivium was such a powerful bill, and it’s such a significant statement on where metal is today.
That was by far the most fun tour we have ever done. Machine Head, who are great friends of ours, the opening band Gojira, myself and Randy, our favorite band at the time and even till this day. And of course Trivium, who are doing very well for themselves as well. It just brought out such a great cross pollination of all metal fans. Everyone just got together and had a good time.
What do you think it is about Lamb Of God that has won you all this attention?
We started in ’94, so there was a good eight years where nobody cared, which is fine, everybody has to pay their dues. We really believed in what we did, and as nu metal died, those kids were looking for something heavier and little more real. They found us, because we had been doing it for a long time, and we were good at what we were doing.
Since that happened and we got the attention, it’s helped the attention even go further. I mean, when would a band like Behemoth be able to come over and do what they are doing here? Music has evolved so quickly since the death of nu metal, it certainly is timing, and I think the other thing is with our band, we all don’t really listen to the same kind of music. We are not five guys sitting around wanting to sound like Slayer or Pantera. Everybody brings something a little bit different to the project, so I think we stick out a little bit. I meet people that tell me, ‘I am a drummer in a band or a guitar player in a band, and we sound exactly like you.’ Well that probably isn’t going to get you anywhere. When we were coming up, we were kind of pulling from everything and everybody around us and trying to make something special for ourselves.
Where do you fit into the equation? From interviewing Randy in the past, he’s really into punk.
Yeah. I am kind of the speed metal freak, the ’86-’89 era—Testament and Megadeth stuff, and some of the early Metallica stuff, the speed and the technicality. That came back in the late ’90s, bringing a lot of the technical stuff back into the music and that’s the stuff I am into now. Now I am really into great death metal bands like Decapitated and stuff like that. I am a metal head through and through, probably more so than any other guy in the band.