It’s been a while — seven months, to be exact — since we’ve heard from our pal and Lamb of God drummer Chris Adler. There’s a good reason why Chris has been laying low; his band was nothing if not mum throughout the entirety of frontman Randy Blythe’s recent manslaughter trial in Prague.
Blythe was acquitted, of course, but prosecutors are plotting an appeal. In the meantime, band business is resuming, and Adler couldn’t be more amped. We spoke with Chris earlier this week, and had to ask him how the band’s been holding up amid all the tumult. The answer? Surprisingly well.
So far, 2013’s been something of a wild ride for Lamb of God, who weren’t certain of the fate of their singer even a month ago.
“It’s been quite a roller coaster, not knowing what was going to happen and me going over for the first part of the trial, and then having it being delayed,” Adler tells us.
“Now, we have a well-publicized exoneration but the prosecutor is intent on appealing so it just been this up and down ride for us,” says Chris. “It’s been difficult to get settled into any kind of mind frame.”
But the trial is over, and Lamb of God is returning to what it does best: Leveling arenas with crushing metal mastery. The band’s announced a tour with Decapitated, Terror, and the Acacia Strain — a tour Adler jokingly refers to as “‘The No Girls Anywhere’ tour.”
Still, the specter of the trial lingers.
Adler said testifying on behalf of his friend and bandmate was a disquieting experience.
“After 16, 17 years together, after all we’ve been through, I’m sure a lot of bands would have called it a day at some point along the way, but this has proven to me that we’re all in,” says Chris. “We’re all in for each other, and we’re going to stick this out and do the best we can moving forward. I think we’re all just going to have pass on before the band breaks up.”
Adler said he traveled with Blythe to the Czech Republic for the start of the trial, and “it was super intimidating” to serve as a character witness for Randy.
The court room “is not set up like the U.S. court system, where you have this little seat next to the judge and everyone’s asking you questions. My testimony began with me standing kind of center stage on this podium in the middle of this ornate eastern European courtroom with a full suit and tie, beginning with my monologue of how long I have known Randy.”
Adler says he didn’t even realize as it was happening just how terrifying the experience of testifying was.
“I’m wearing this nice go-to-church kind of suit,” Adler explains. “I was up there only 15 or 20 minutes, fielding questions from both sides. By the time I sat down, I had entirely sweat through my undershirt, my shirt, and my jacket.”
“I realized the whole time I had been kind of shaking,” Adler confides. “It was an intimidating process and setup.”
Adler says he offered to serve as a character witness for his friend Randy, and the band agreed “it would be a good idea for us to show some sort of solidarity, and for someone to go over there with him as a friend and testify as to our knowledge of him as a person and how we got into this situation.”
Coming away from the trial, Adler says a void remains. While Blythe was cleared, a life was still lost, which is something that isn’t lost on anyone in Lamb of God.
“What I took from the whole experience was just, when I was over there, it was really a first hand experience of the loss that this family had,” Adler explains.
Blythe, for those that don’t know, was tried in Prague for the death of a Lamb of God fan who died two weeks after sustaining a head injury during one of the band’s shows.
“Obviously, we’re in court because it is debatable as to how and why [Daniel Nosek’s death] happened. But it’s still real. No result of the court case would have fixed that, so to be around that was very humbling. Although we are glad to be getting back to work, it’s not something where it felt like some sort of victory. There’s still a loss there. So it’s been tough to recover from that. We really have been through so much as a band.
Next week, we bring you more Adler Chatter, including details on a top-secret project Chris was recently a part of.