Lamb of God dropped an atomic bomb of a CD on the world in the form of Sacrament, a thunderous and pounding attack on the soul and body. Dixon Christie of PunkTV.ca had a chance to talk with Chris Adler about the latest CD and their humble approach to their success.
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Dixon: So the album Sacrament dropped on the 22nd of August, and has already shipped 170,000 copies. Your last Epic released album shipped 250,000 copies in total. How does it feel and how has it been going?
Chris: It feels pretty amazing, and it has been going great. We have just got back from the Unholy Alliance tour with Slayer and just heading out with Gigantour, then off to Japan. For sales, we are so happy with it; we couldn't believe it and are amazed by it. We are both humbled and flattered by it.
Let's talk studio guitar tones. Sacrament has massive heavy guitars. Since you are supported by them, can we assume that you used Jackson guitars and Mesa Boogie Triple Rectifier Heads in production? What was the setup, and how many tracks of guitars for each song?
Well, I will give you what I remember. Mark uses Jackson, and Willie uses ESP guitars and for studio, they used Mesa Boogie Mark 4. How many tracks per song? I believe that it was only 2, one Willie and one Mark per song. A lot of guys go in and put 100 tracks in there, but I think that if you put in the time and amplify your sound with just one guitar, you can do it that way also.
Tell the kids about the special features on the CD, including the 90 minute "making of"?
We did kind of a follow-up to the Killadelphia DVD that did well for us. This "making of" picks up where the last DVD left off. It takes you from the first riff of the first song to the last riff in the studio. Certainly a lot of music in there but also a lot of cool out-takes with the band members, what our lives are like on stage and off and what it is like for us just to write music.
Tell us about the recording process and working with Machine (Clutch, King Crimson, Eighteen Visions, Every Time I Die)?
Well we had worked on Machine on Ashes, so working with him again was great. We wanted to work with him again because of the relationship we had built on the last record, because he really made us sound like we pictured our sound. He doesn't produce like a regular metal producer and we enjoyed that, because we wanted to take the path less traveled and wanted to separate ourselves from the rest of the pack. And I think that he helped us to achieve that.
Revolver magazine recently said that you were the "future of American metal" and considering the blistering kicks, shredding guitars and heavy vocals, they are probably right. What do comments like that mean to the band, and did you know when making Sacrament that it would be so well received?
No, we had no idea that it would be so well received. It's hard to take both the good things people say and the negative things that people say. It's hard to put a lot of stock in that because it's really about the 5 of us going out and having fun doing what we love. So, I think that if we put too much weight in what people say it could really have an effect on the band. The last thing that we want is to have someone outside the band have any impact on us. It's nice that they say that and it sucks when they say bad things and there are plenty of negatives things said, but we just decided to take it all with a grain of salt.
"Walk With Me in Hell" – the lyric says, "Pray for deliverance, some kind of purpose (some kind of purpose in this void of existence)". Tell us about this song, about prayer and about your void of existence?
Well Randy wrote that song so he'd be better to comment, but I can tell you that the lyrics on the entire record come from a very dark point in Randy's life. In the past our records have been very political and we decided that there were only so many ways to beat that dead horse, so Randy really opened himself up on this record. Lyrics like that song really show the level of depression that people can get into. What's great about it is that this record has become very cathartic for him, and more healthy, and he is a much more active member of the band then he has ever been before.
The single is called "Redneck". Let's talk about the invitation to "try me" in "Redneck". What are you challenging people to do?
I think that was actually Randy talking to himself and realizing the position that he has in the band, and him calling himself out, and saying to make the most of the time we have and the time we have as a band to do what it is that we are trying to do.
In your "Redneck" video the little girl seems to get the band. She understands it when Randall falls into the pool in a mock death, she laughs her ass off. Tell us about that video concept and what it has to do with the "Redneck" concept in the song.
I don't feel that the video really ties in with the song; the powers that be wanted us to do a tough guy video. What people don't really know about us, if they don't watch our videos, is that we have a real sense of humor about ourselves. That's something that I wanted to do since I was a kid and I remember growing up and watching...
Ya, exactly. When I watch Headbanger's Ball and see band after band trying to look tough, it gets tired after a while. We wanted to step out of the box for a minute and do something different and I think we did that.
It was a little on the cheesy side and that's what I liked about it.
Ya, and that was done on purpose. We knew going into it and that was the effect that we wanted.
Ok, let's talk about sacrament2006.com, where kids can use a Ouija board to contact the devil and other spirits...
(laughs) Ok. It was a site that we worked on with Epic Records to introduce the record from the beginning, by putting 2 songs up on there. You have mentioned these dark lyrics several times, and just having this dark vibe that was really running through the entire writing process. Well, that fit within what we were doing and we wanted to have this weird site show up... we didn't announce it and so that became a little introduction to the record, and people seemed to really like it.
Artwork. On the cover you chose the Chalice of Christ, or some might call it "The Pimp Cup". Let's talk about this and your use of religious iconography and images: the Satanic praying goat, the pieces of gold for the betrayal... what did this all mean to you guys?
Well, there are no pieces of gold.
The gold under the chalice?
Those are wafers...
Oh, communion wafers.
Ya, we are not the cliché metal band, and the name and everything, and we started using these kind of icons, and including the name of the record itself. This whole project has been such a religious experience for us. In the same way that people go to church and worship their Gods, this thing has become our church. We do it every day and so it has become a religious experience for us. The name of the album Sacrament typically means a rite of passage in a certain kind of religion, and that's what this album was for us. We felt that we had really sucked everything up and taken it to another level, and whether or not people like it this was our own Sacrament.
Here are some things we ask everyone: Which of the following experiences have you had: a) seen the face of God, b) had an alien experience, or c) had a supernatural experience, and, if so, tell us about it.
None of the above, sorry.
And last, what would surprise kids most to learn about the band Lamb of God or about the members?
I think that probably, certainly with the relatively new level of success that we are having, to spend a day with us, if you check out the DVD, it shows a bit of that. I am riding my bike around getting to practice, and it's not the caviar dreams that people might think it is, and we do care a lot about the people that listen to us and we do care about sharing our music and look forward to meeting the people that are into us.
Interview by: Dixon Christie, PunkTV.ca
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