Bryan Reesman of GRAMMY.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.
GRAMMY.com: You officially stopped doing the “wall of death” at concerts about 10 years ago after you saw a couple of fans backstage who had been injured during the frenzied moshing. But it’s still going on at shows, even if [LAMB OF GOD singer] Randy Blythe isn’t encouraging it. Have you gotten to the point where you need to tell fans that they could hurt people?
Adler: It’s hard because this is where we came from and [what we] grew up doing. We realize it’s very much a part of the show, but there is obviously some shared responsibility that we take as providing the soundtrack to whatever it is that’s going on. Nowadays, it does change up a little bit. Randy does say, “I’m not going to preach to you, but we’re all here for the same reasons.” If you see somebody fall down or see somebody doing something unsafe, help each other out. Let’s all get through this and have a good time together. It’s very different than [turning] around and [punching] the guy next to you. At the same time, we’re not going to tell people to go get some chocolate milk and sit down.
GRAMMY.com: After the incident in Prague, what was it like being in that kind of twilight zone when you thought your career was almost done?
Adler: I think we all have that idea in the back of our mind all the time, whether somebody quits or our audience is done with us or we’ve lost our relevance or whatever. Nothing lasts forever, and we’re lucky we’ve gotten this far. It wasn’t the first time we thought about it, but it was certainly the first time it was in our face. There was no way we were going to continue the band if Randy had gone to jail. It was very daunting to think that we were going to fill out applications at Barnes & Noble or set up some kind of LAMB OF GOD smoothie shop. We didn’t know what we were going to do, but I think everybody was fine-tuning their B-plan a little bit during that time. It was very scary.
GRAMMY.com: This court case has had a strong financial impact on the band. What does that mean moving forward for LAMB OF GOD?
Adler: We’ve been very smart with our business model in that as we make money on tour, which is basically the only way we make money, we don’t necessarily divvy it all up. We put some in savings for a rainy day, and this was a very fucking rainy day. It did pretty much wipe out that fund. No one had to sell their house or anything like that, but we also had to borrow from the next record fund to get through this.
GRAMMY.com: How has Randy Blythe been doing?
Adler: He’s doing great. He’s been sober now for over three years, and thank God he was sober when this situation happened. He’s really pulled himself together. He’s a remarkable guy, and we’re all very proud of him going over and handling it the way he did, but at the same time this was not the film we wanted to make. This was a total fucking nightmare. … The guy spent a lot of time in jail and was on trial where he easily could’ve been sentenced to 10 years. The bottom line is that a fan of our band died, and it’s hard to say whose fault that was, but it’s still a very tragic situation and this nightmare that none of us can really wake up from. Randy obviously being the guy on trial for it, it’s his nightmare every day.
Read the entire interview