LAMB OF GOD Drummer: ‘I Didn’t Want To Be One Of Those Bands That Just Did A Maintenance Album’

Mike of Lithium Magazine conducted an interview with drummer Chris Adler of Richmond, Virginia metallers LAMB OF GOD when the band played in Toronto, Ontario, Canada on January 27. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.

Lithium Magazine: “Resolution” certainly shows LAMB OF GOD progressing as musicians. I feel like “Wrath” and “Resolution” rank amongst your best work, and not the other way around. You are putting out progressively better albums and resting so heavily on your laurels.

Chris: Well, thank you very much for that. There was definitely a concerted effort to be better musicians. Going into “Resolution”, that was very much in our minds. Not that we could just rest on our laurels, but that we really wanted to try and come up with an album that could break that barricade with our older fans. Even for me, the bands that I love; I love their first few albums and then they seem to trail off somewhere that I just don’t understand. And I think this may have a lot to do with the time in my life that I caught onto the band and maybe for the bands in question, the things they meant to do in their beginnings weren’t how they wanted to be in their later albums. There is evolution in everything, really. For us, I wanted to try and create something meaningful. I pushed the guys and they pushed me throughout this recording to make something that a fan could say, “Oh yeah, I love that band. Their seventh album is the best one.” That’s a pretty daunting task considering what we have done before — six records that we are all very proud of as a band. There are very few things that we would go back and change about those older albums, so when you have something already that you really like, the question really becomes, “How do you improve on it?” We were starting at a pretty high spot for this album. It was tough to do and it took us a little while to do. There were some hurdles for us all to jump on “Resolution”. Being friends, we were able to talk to each other like, “That’s a great riff, bro, but it sounds like something we would have done on this record or that record. How can we bring this forward into something that is even pushing you as a musician?” That was very much on our minds throughout “Resolution”.

Lithium Magazine: We talked by phone at the end of the touring cycle for “Wrath”, and I can remember you saying that you felt that if the material for the seventh album wasn’t shaping up to be something exciting, then you weren’t real interested in doing the album. You wanted it to be a challenge and a step forward even before you started to write it.

Chris: Absolutely. I didn’t want to be one of those bands that just did a maintenance album. I know we could have done that now and just made a placeholder album. We could have even just not done new records at all and just opted to tour until we are too old to do so anymore… we could do that, but I don’t want to be that kind of band or that kind of musician. I want to be innovative. I don’t want to repeat myself. At the end of the day, when I’m talking to my kids or my family, and I am retired or whatever… even if we had to cut it short after “Wrath” or after “Sacrament”, I would want to know that our body of work didn’t get compromised by that notion; that we could do something less just to keep LAMB OF GOD going.

Lithium Magazine: You have three families, Chris; the five members of the LAMB OF GOD family, yourself and Willie [Adler, LAMB OF GOD guitarist] as brothers, and then your respective family outside the band. Do you feel you have achieved a balance between all aspects of LAMB OF GOD and your respective families?

Chris: Two of the three are very good. Willie and I are pretty much always really tight, that never seems to change. We have a very similar musical direction and both feel that this is what we want to do and what we both love doing. The band family, I think that because we are all kind of rallying around “Resolution” at the moment, everything is really smooth right now. We spent a lot of time on the “Sacrament” and “Wrath” tours and just that sheer amount of time minus any disagreements or normal things that friendships will go through… that amount of time stuck with the same people does tend to cause some problems. [It was] nothing that we couldn’t deal with, nothing serious. Just that kind of claustrophobic feeling that can come from years and years of being in a bus with the same guys. Having the time off and rehearsing at our leisure to come back and do the “Resolution” thing, the band is really doing very well. So now the third family, the family at home, that is a tough one because now I have been home for a year. We wrote the record at home, and I have assimilated back into dad-and-husband mode. Now the machine is starting again and it brings up an emotional terror, if you will. Now my wife goes back to being a single mom. When I came back home after the touring cycle from “Wrath”, it was very hard for me to kind of assimilate back into that role. We had to re-figure out our routines and get back into that mindset. Now she knows I’m about to take off again and it’s difficult for me to essentially walk away from my daughter and wife and feel like I’m still doing my thing as a dad. The things I’m going to miss, it’s very tough. I love doing this and I know I’d regret it if I didn’t do it, and it’s — luckily for us — paying the bills at home and keeping us all fed and my kid in school. That probably takes more work than any other aspect of the band for me, keeping that connection at home up to where it should be.

Read the entire interview from Lithium Magazine.