For months, we have been running a series of brief conversations with Chris Adler, as he’s gone through the process of recording the new Lamb of God. For the last installment and this one, we figured we’d turn the chatter over to you. On Facebook, we took your questions and while we couldn’t ask them all, we did ask some of the better ones you had. As always, Lamb of God’s drummer delivered.
I recently spoke with Chris Adler ahead of the big announcement of Lamb of God’s album title — which you saw here first, folks — and he was psyched about the new songs. We are too, but you’re here to see what Chris had to say in response to your questions. So let’s get to it.
Tyler Lewis wanted to know where Adler sees metal in 10 years. Adler didn’t hesitate in his answer.
“The trend right now is this kind of — and I am guilty as a listener of any of it — is this kind of super extreme crazy progressive stuff with these guys who are able to do just the most insane things, and I think that has a lot to do with the technology catching up and people taking advantage of some of the tools out there,” Adler starts. “But these guys are legit players and just pushing the envelope of what’s been done before and expanding what you can expect from this kind of music. Taken by itself, the concept of extreme drumming — no matter how fast I go, there’s always going to be somebody faster. If i perpetually find myself in that race, what eventually happens is you lose the idea of the song, and you are now just going after the ego and capability of doing this one thing.
“I think this will continue for a while until people are no longer impressed with capabilities and just want their songs back,” Adler says. “In ten years, it’ll be similar to how it is now: the bands that are doing well write songs that are somehow memorable or somehow connect with the audience outside of the nerd crew, that wants to know how to play 300 BPM all day long.”
Daemon T. Savage’s question was a tough one: Are the black arts getting more realistic in Metal, or does the cheese still pervade?
“Isn’t that the same question?,” asks Adler. “To me those things are exactly the same. I was listening to two record today when I was working out at the gym. Ene was Steel Panther, and is totally ridiculous and reminds me why the business end of things didn’t work out so well in the 90s. The other is a very well-known band with an album coming out and I am pretty sure I like the Steel Panther record better.
“I think cheese is certainly prevalent and has always been a part of metal and even in my band, we all have a very good sense of humor and we’re not sitting on the bus drinking bat blood, and sacrificing virgins — we really do go out and have a good time and laugh at each other and pull pranks on each other and blow off fire works in the bus,” Adler continues. “All the dumb things you wish you could do at 16 at your parent’s house or whatever. We’re still those kids who are trying to never turn 18 and get a real job. Although we have that sense of humor on the backside, we do certainly let out a lot of our frustration and aggression and views through the music, which is often very aggressive.
“We have a very big cheese capacity but more of a guard in place, where we do have such a good sense of humor outside of it that we make sure that what we have to talk about is relevant and serious,” Adler says. “I don’t think anybody’s ever called us cheesy, but I see it around a lot.”
Chris Barker wanted to know if Adler had a favorite city, other than his hometown of Richmond, to play?
“One — just because I wanna one day move there — is Melbourne, Australia,” says Adler. “The audience there is no better or worse than any audience anywhere around the world — its just one of my favorite places to be. But probably my favorite place to play: there’s two in the U.S.”
The first is Phialdelphia. “It’s always just been such a supportive place for us,” Adler says. “We became a hometown band there even before we were in Richmond. Across the county in San Diego, we have always had great shows. We kind of caught on with the surf and skate crowd out there and that has really helped us build a lot of fans throughout California and that whole scene. Every time we go back to San Diego, it is just insane. The fans that come out…we saw a broken neck, a broken femur in San Diego. The people are not fooling around out there. When we get there, we know it’s on.”
And lastly, Mike Wright asked “Who would [Adler] like to jam with?”
“I know that I wouldn’t be doing this if I didn’t wake up one day and find Peace Sells, so I would absolutely love an opportunity to do a song with Dave Mustaine at some point,” starts Adler. “Another guy is Jeff Loomis. I actually just sent him a message the other day. He is doing a solo project and he and I had talked when we were in Budapest about potentially getting together and having me do some drums on his next solo thing. So I’m just putting some feelers out and I’ll see where that’s at.
“I’d also love to work with Ben Sharp of Cloudkicker, and I have reached out to him. And Ron Jarzombek is one of my favorite guitar players ever; he and I did a song and I would really love to do a record with him. Every time we talk about getting it done, priorities pull us in different ways. We’ll see if we can get it done.”
Chris Adler is the drummer for Grammy-nominated metal band Lamb of God and the author of the book “The Making of Lamb of God’s New American Gospel,” a comprehensive behind-the-scenes narrative book detailing the early days of Lamb of God and the writing and recording of their New American Gospel LP; a forthcoming book will address the recording of As The Palaces Burn. Anything else you need to know about Chris Adler, you can find at his web site, Chris-Adler.com.