Chad Bowar of About.com recently conducted an interview with drummer Chris Adler of Richmond, Virginia metallers LAMB OF GOD. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
About.com: What inspired you to write "The Making Of New American Gospel"?
Chris Adler: There's every reason it shouldn't have been the first one. It's by far the least-selling album. When I started writing it, I wasn't really thinking that I was going to publish it or anybody else would read it. I had been beaten up by my family and friends over the years that I really should write this stuff down, that I was going to forget it and there was some really cool stuff going on. It would be good for myself or my kids or grandkids to have it all catalogued. The past year I spent a lot of time in hotels around the world. Once I completed the entire internet I decided to write some of this stuff down. I figured I'd start at the beginning, the formation of how we all got together. Then it turned into a lot of dots getting connected as I remembered certain things. It became this "making of" the first LAMB OF GOD album. As I got into it, I realized I was writing it for someone to come along and read it at some point. So I decided to piece together some other stuff that went along with it. I did the tablature myself with my buddy Travis and decided to put it out there. I don't imagine that this is a New York Times bestseller, so being the control freak I am, if I kept it under my wing I'd at least have the quality control over it, and that if anybody was interested in picking it up, I knew it would be a nice little piece about that album and contain accurate drum stuff.
About.com: The band has a presence in all the different forms of social media. How personally involved are you in things like Facebook and Twitter?
Chris Adler: I have my own Facebook and there's a band Facebook. A couple of the guys in the band are tweeters. I don't seem to have the time. When I'm done playing all the drums I want to play and changing all the diapers that need to be changed, I don't seem to have the time left to get into that.
About.com: LAMB OF GOD released the "Hourglass" compilation last year. You also had some super deluxe versions only available through your web site. What was the response like?
Chris Adler: It depends on who you ask (laughs). The record label wasn't too happy about it. Let me back up a bit. They came to us and said let's do a greatest hits thing. And we, being fans, and music fans in general, feel like these greatest hits packages are kind of a rip-off. You already have all these songs on different albums, and now they are all on one CD, like people couldn't do that ten years ago by themselves. So we took note of that. Then our manager approached us, and said he agreed that the greatest hits thing was kind of a sham, but this year you guys are turning 15 as a band, and that doesn't happen very often. As that happened, we were also in the middle of a record cycle, meaning it was a year and a half since the record came out, and will probably be another year and a half before another record comes out. He said it would be cool to keep the word of mouth going and keep the fans interested and get some sort of product in the market if you guys were to come up with something. That sent a whole lot of wheels in motion. We started talking to different artists that we work with. We told Ken Adams, who has done all the album covers for the band, if we had a blank check in front of us, what kind of package could you come up with? What kind of stuff would you want to throw in? We started throwing ideas around and came up with the ultimate coffin case with a guitar and a flag and signed stuff and pictures and all kinds of stuff. It got to the point where the record label said they couldn't turn it around and make any kind of money. Our point from the start wasn't an opportunity to make money. We just wanted to do something cool for the fans who have been with us from the beginning. Certainly not everybody is going to be able to afford this, but for the people who are superfans and really want to dig in, we thought if we were that über-fan and had the extra scratch, it would be something really cool. We backed it up all the way down to the set of two CDs that contain the songs that made a difference for us in a live setting and that have stuck around in the live set for a long time. Then on the third disc included a bunch of demos to show how writing music is not always close to the end result, and how things change in the process. We tried on every level to address different fans and not to put out a sham product, if you will.
About.com: Now that you've been looking back in terms of the greatest-hits CDs, the books and years of touring on the last album, are you ready to turn the page and start working on some new LAMB OF GOD material?
Chris Adler: Honestly, the last three years have been really tough. We've been touring pretty consistently since 2001, once "New American Gospel" kind of caught on. We've done a lot of touring in the past 10, 11 years, and the past three years were certainly the most intense. It took its toll on everybody: physically, emotionally, in every way. Being away from home base and family and kids really does tax you. As glamorous as it seems, being out there for that amount of time, regardless of what it is you're doing, can become very difficult to maintain. We are an intense live band and want to give 110 percent at every show. During the band's time off I've obviously been keeping myself very busy, but in talking to my brother and the other guys, they are definitely taking it easy. I've heard some of the demos that my brother and Mark (Morton, guitarist) have worked up, and it's starting to come back around. We're talking about getting together to do some stuff in April. The goal is to try and outdo ourselves. It always has been, and it always will be. I think we have an unspoken agreement that if we can't, we'll probably just let it go. I think we'd rather leave the legacy intact than to tarnish it with the one that snuck in on the way out the door. The idea and the goal is that we're going to do this one, if not 8 or 10 more, but a little time away from it now is going to make it a lot better.
Read the entire interview from About.com.