It’s a dreary day in a tour bus, parked near some projects and a Salvation Army in Kansas City. Inside, Randy Blythe sits, waiting to play a sold out show that evening, bored out of his skull.
“One of the bands on the tour, Municipal Waste, their van broke down, so we got three of them on our bus with us,” Blythe explains. “We’re getting ready to watch a Nick Nolte movie, The Deep, that’s pretty exciting. That’s about it. It’s raining, and there’s really absolutely nothing going on.”
It may seem unglamorous for a band that’s in the running for best selling metal album of 2009, but the Virginia-based metal band have been relatively modest about their success over the years, commonly citing hard work. Their latest album, Wrath, released in February, has performed in an economy that can’t sell cars or employ their own veterans, and Lamb Of God have been on the road, touring and promoting the hell out of it.
But there’s a more to Blythe and Lamb Of God than their well-constructed image of five guys performing brutal technical metal complemented by surprisingly comprehensible growls, beating a record into the heads of Americans and beyond. Surely, no man, no matter how metal, is an island, and Blythe reveals some of the depth and influence behind songs on Wrath as well as some personal interests beyond the 1977 Nick Nolte classic.
How is the tour going so far?
It’s going well. Lot of sold out shows, big turnouts, good crowds. The standard. It’s a metal show.
Is it like getting on a bike for you now, is this normal? It’s 15 years, almost.
Yeah, almost 15 years for us. It’s a job. It’s a cool job, but that’s what it is. There’s really no surprises. I don’t have anything wacky or any new revelations to reveal. It’s a fucking metal show.
Well, hopefully we’ll keep this interview nice and boring. I’ll be good, I’ll keep you to fifteen minutes, let you get back to doing whatever you’re doing.
Cool, cool. (laughs)
Sacrament sold about 65,000 copies in the first week four years ago when, relatively, the record industry was healthy. Wrath has beaten that number with even less people buying records in the middle of a recession. Is that a validating feeling?
To me, it’s a testament to the loyalty of metal fans, you know. It’s a testament to the hard work we’ve put in over the years on the road. As far as looking for validation from numbers and all that stuff, I don’t really care. Some of the guys are like, ‘Oh, we charted number two!’ I think that’s pretty cool and all only because we beat out a Disney band. I don’t really care about sales.
But as I said, it is a testament to the loyalty of metal fans, they actually give a fuck about their bands and buy records and so forth. With the economy the way it is and the fact that the industry is in such a slump, it’s pretty cool I suppose.
Well, for an artist who is already established to be doing better than what you were doing right now is bizarre.
Yeah, it’s sad (laughs), you know, that that’s a cool thing. You’re supposed to do better than what you did before. Isn’t that what’s supposed to happen? You don’t want to do worse than you did before. If you do I suppose it’s time to hang it up and go home.