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 album Resolution. Often, our conversations center around Chris’ life — and often, his obsession with mint cookie ice cream. Of course, Chris will continue to be checking in with Gun Shy Assassin from time to time with updates on what’s going on in his world, and he will occasionally answer some topical and ridiculous questions from me. Here now is another exclusive you will only find at Gun Shy Assassin: another entertaining installment of Adler Chatter with Chris Adler
When school boards have to make tough cuts to annual budgets, the first place they start looking is in the arts. Music is almost always the first program to get slashed, which is terribly sad, seeing as I grew up in a school system where you could learn whatever instrument you wanted.
During our most recent chat with Lamb of God drummer Chris Adler, we discussed his involvement in a new project called Bandhappy, an online music community founded by Periphery drummer Matt Halpern and will launch early next year.
“It might not be one of those essential life things that parents or school boards would consider really important, but I think in general, the world without music would be a pretty sad place,” Adler tells Gun Shy Assassin. “I know how much music has changed my life and not turned me into a riddled addict or gutter slime. That’s the stereotype, certainly of rock musicians. But for me, music is a drug — it makes me happy and I love doing it.”
According to a press release, Bandhappy promises to “reshape how music teachers and students connect in a first-of-its-kind music community.”
Bandhappy will offer either in-person lessons or online lessons anywhere on the planet via a custom-built, in-house video chat system. Musicians can use Bandhappy for instant access to a readily available pool of potential students, so they can teach whatever they want, whenever they want, wherever they want.
Chris Adler and his brother Willie are connected to the site, as are Animals As Leaders’ Tosin Abasi, The Human Abstract’s AJ Minette, Evan Brewer from The Faceless, Between The Buried and Me’s Paul Waggoner and Peter Wichers of Soilwork.
“Matt and I have gotten together several times in the writing process of Resolution and even prior, just trading drum information and bro-ing down, and just being friends,” Adler tells Gun Shy Assassin. “He told me about this idea he’s been working on for several years, and they got this grant from the state of Maryland. The way he was already investing his time and interest in the school system, never mind getting George Lynch to teach you the solo to ‘Mr. Scary,’ but having somebody relevant today in the school systems, where kids get surveyed on, if they could pick one person, who they would like to get music lessons from and then broadcasting that into schools.”
Adler said that the site will also show kids there are lots of misconceptions about rock musicians “being total idiots or drug addicts.” Adler said he sees “lots of companies popping up doing this, and knowing Matt and that he’s gotten the grant…I think they are on a higher playing field than everybody else trying to do the same thing.”
Bandhappy is a site that’s coming along at a time when “the idea of going down the street to the local mom and pop shop and getting a lesson of the instrument that you choose is pretty quickly fading out.”
For kids living in Kansas or Oklahoma interested in playing a more obscure instrument like oboe, “there may not even be a guy in town that plays that. But maybe someone from the Chinese Oboe Symphony, who is online on Bandhappy, waiting to give lessons. It could be a pretty useful tool.”
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. He has also released a new book that addresses 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.