LAMB OF GOD Drummer: ‘I Know When I Get On Stage, I Want To Be In Top Form’

DRUM! magazine recently conducted an interview with drummer Chris Adler of Richmond, Virginia metallers LAMB OF GOD. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.

On the recording sessions for the band’s new album, “Resolution”:

Adler: “It’s not lost on me that when we started this, the drums were done in ten hours. I’m still ready to knock it all out in one day, but our producer insists that you do two a day and go home and refresh. The studio is a luxury for me [now]. It makes for more creativity on the spot. If anything’s different than previous records, it’s that. When you get to the studio, you have to perform perfectly right away. There’s no time for overdubs. Get it right, or it will live on the recording. This is the first time that I came in and realized that I don’t have to kill myself that hard — I know 99 percent of what I’m going to do, but I can improve a fill along the way.”

On LAMB OF GOD‘s musical evolution:

Adler: “This is our seventh record. It’s not easier to do anything better, or else we would have done it better to begin with. It’s analogous to how you swim — you might race your best lap, but six months later you’re a little bit better, and two years later you’re twice as good. Every time we do an album, we think, ‘Holy shit, I can’t believe we got here.’ It’s this natural evolution. If you’re not getting better, you should probably stop. That’s the conversation we’ve had with each other. We’ve built a career where we don’t necessarily need to make metal records [anymore]. But we want to make them.”

On abandoning his bid for speed king, avoiding a trap that befalls so many players of double bass-drum kits:

Adler: “Our first record has some of the most aggressive drumming I’ve ever done in my career. I was showing off. But having a guy in the band that’s only interested in going 300 bpm all the time and showing off does not make for an interesting song. It’s really a race that nobody can win, and if there is a winner, you get nothing. The more time I played, the more I realized how futile it was. I was overlooking so much more on the instrument that it was driving me crazy. It was more important to not play than to overplay. I try to find holes to not fill. It’s not entirely 180 [degrees] from when I started, but once I got up to speed, I very quickly backed off of it.”

On touring solo as part of the “A Throne With A View” drum clinic:

Adler: “In the past, I was so insecure in my playing that I was unwilling to sit down with anyone else and share my playing. It was honestly an embarrassment. Recently, I got out and did a clinic tour that was very well accepted — but it was torturous for me because I couldn’t believe it was happening; I didn’t feel I belonged there. Doing that — what I was afraid of, and conquering it — made a huge impact in my accomplishments.”

On preparing for a 20-month tour:

Adler: “In a live setting, I’m harder on myself. Both really require a lot of me off of the kit. There’s a tremendous amount of practice, of course, but for me as I get older I need to stay in pretty good shape and avoid injury performing. The seven months leading up to the recording process, I didn’t have a drink, didn’t smoke, ran 45 miles a week in the gym — this is my job. I really want to do my job really well. It’s a matter of pride for me. I know when I get on stage, I want to be in top form — for myself and for the people paying money.”

On leaving his family — including a three-year-old daughter — for long periods of time to go n otur:

Adler: “It’s very difficult for us to leave our wives for that long a period of time. It’s not easy. It is emotionally torturous to be away. It’s very similar to military couples. It’s support for both people, because the wives are behind and wake up in the same house with the same chores to do. At least we wake up and there are people smiling and wanting to hear our art. It’s probably the most difficult part of the job. The tradeoff, though, is that if I didn’t do it — if I only stayed at home to be a Dad — it would really build a sense of unhappiness and regret.”

Read the entire interview from DRUM! magazine.