Bram Teitelman of MetalInsider.net recently conducted an interview with vocalist Randy Blythe of Richmond, Virginia metallers LAMB OF GOD. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
MetalInsider.net: I’ve noticed that in the past six months or so, you’ve gotten a lot more involved with Twitter. What led to that?
Randy: I mean, the whole thing with social networking, [is that it’s] personal with Twitter. A friend of mine told me about Twitter when it first started. a woman who lives here in Richmond, and she was like, “You gotta get one of these things. It’s Twitter, it’s micro-blogging, it’s a blog post in 140 characters or less.” And I’m like ‘well that sounds really stupid,’ because what can you say in 140 characters or less? And I tend to be long-winded, as several of my Twitter posts illustrate. But I just started it, kind of on a lark really. And as I continued doing it, people started following me and I started noticing its potential and its downside as a communication tool. As its potential for talking to a fan base, it really is unparalleled because it’s an immediate response to a question from a fan or whatever. And it’s not like you have to e-mail them and you can answer questions all day long. My guitar player, Mark Morton, has a very different style of Twittering than me; I don’t know if you’ve seen his or not.
MetalInsider.net: I don’t know that I have.
Randy: Well, he answers every LAMB OF GOD question, like again and again and again. Like, “What’s your favorite guitar player? What’s your influences? What do you think of the new record?” Like all of that type of stuff. He answers it again and again and again. And he talks about NASCAR a lot because he’s a NASCAR freak. He’s amused by answering the same questions over and over and over again. And he uses it as a way to communicate with the fans about our music specifically. I almost never talk about LAMB OF GOD on Twitter. And I saw it as an instant communication medium with the fans. But also I began to see it in a way to de-mystify the whole “rockstars are like these bizarre entity” type of things because I really don’t feel like a rock star. I’m just a dude with a regular band and I think the perception of myself and the members of my band by our fans is very erroneous about our day-to-day lives. So I engage people on Twitter about different topics that don’t deal with my band for the most part. I’m not foolish enough to state that all these people are following me because they think I’m Einstein or something. But it’s a way for me to kind of talk to them on almost a one-to-one basis.
MetalInsider.net: I kind of see you and Mark Hunter from CHIMAIRA as the leaders of metal bands that have broken down the barrier of directly communicating with fans.
Randy: Well, because when you think about it like this, I have a great job and I love it, but it is my job. I don’t want to talk about my job all day long. Now if I don’t talk to fans then they’re gonna call me out as a jerk. You know, “You’re a fucking jerk, you’re a rock-star motherfucker.” But that doesn’t mean that I can’t talk to them about something more meaningful than LAMB OF GOD or something sillier. And that’s a big upside for me, and as I said I saw the potential for it to be a great communication tool. There’s also a huge downside: number 1, speaking face-to-face with a person communicates what you’re trying to say in the manner you say it far more efficiently than typing 140 characters. Nuances of speech are just lost and sarcasm is pretty much, unless you just make it so wrenchingly, blatantly obvious, it’s just lost in Twitter.
MetalInsider.net: Absolutely, I’ve definitely gotten into arguments with people over social media after they misconstrued what I was trying to say, mainly via missed sarcasm.
Randy: Yeah, sarcasm has its place. I try not to rely on it too much, but it does have its place. And that sort of thing, that aspect of the human interaction, that person-to-person conversation, the use of our language, and even body language, is lost. So there’s a huge downside to it. And the other thing with me with Twitter is I actually like engaging people and discussing topics that interest me and might make someone’s head turn a little bit. They might think a little bit after arguing with me — I love arguing as well. And I do that quite a bit. And that’s another thing, it’s funny, a lot of people on the Twitter are like, “How can you argue with your fucking fans!” And I’m like, “I’m not Mr. Heavy Metal Robot. You don’t just press a button and say, ‘Rock on, dude.'” If I want to say something, I’m gonna say it. And you’re a human being, you have a brain, if you disagree, you and I should talk and hash it out. And Twitter is kind of good for that. And with that being said, I have something now approaching something like 24,000 followers, that’s a whole lot of people to discuss with. So it can get kind of hectic and I waste too much time on it sometimes. But it is pretty useful.
Read the entire interview from MetalInsider.net.