Patrick Emmett of Metal Obsession recently conducted an interview with bassist John Campbell of Richmond, Virginia metallers LAMB OF GOD. A few excerpts from the chat follow below.
Metal Obsession: I noticed most of the songs on [the new LAMB OF GOD album, “Resolution”] were tuned to Drop C# instead of the usual Drop D, why did you want a lower tuning for this album?
John: That is an amazing observation; most journalists wouldn’t take notice of the tunings we were in. It was definitely a conscious thing, y’know, dropping it down another half step because it’s chronically heavier. We just thought it sounded badass, and a couple of songs sounded appropriate in C#. I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but the very opening track is actually tuned to Drop C.
Metal Obsession: What makes you feel like this is the best LAMB OF GOD album yet?
John: Well, if you think about it logically, we have been for a long time so we’ve got better at doing this. But it’s, ah, we’ve learned lessons along the way that we’ve actually used, and when bringing out a new record, we’re not interested in bringing out the same record we did before. To stretch and try new things and try to evolve as a band has always been what we’ve aimed for when we’ve gone to write and put out a new record. But what makes it better? Specifically, I couldn’t really put my finger on it, but being very involved with all the recordings we have done, this is my absolute favourite and most challenging group of songs we’ve put together.
Metal Obsession: Over the years, which band member has caused the most trouble on and off the road?
John: Oh, lord; we take our turns, to be honest. Wow, you’re really asking me to name names here, aren’t you? Well, we all take our turns, we all have our difficult sides to our personalities and we all take turns of being the bad guy. We’ve been doing this together for quite some time and we’ve learnt about our bad sides, it’s all secondary to the time that we get up there and play a set. Despite our differences and those sorts of things, we’re there to play a set and that’s what we do well, because we really love to do it.
Metal Obsession: I read over a few YouTube videos that LAMB OF GOD was banned from calling the wall of death at shows. What fuelled up this rumor, and is it true?
John: Oh, there is no truth to the rumour. It was two-thousand and… 4? 7? Fuck I don’t remember, but we played at Ozzfest, I’m sure you’re familiar with what it is; it’s sort of like Soundwave. A few days in, Ozzfest had video of a wall of death going on and they put it up on the web site. Their insurers saw that, and said “Wait a minute, these guys can’t do this, are you kidding me? You can’t have insurance if they’re gunna do it.” So we were told that we can’t provoke the crowd to kill each other basically. There were people getting seriously hurt, as Randy [Blythe, vocals] directed the crowd, and we felt a little uncomfortable with that. We still play the song that the people do the wall of death to, and people who are fans that have been waiting to do that for weeks and months are still gunna go ahead and do that when the song comes up. That is pretty much the truth behind that rumour.
Metal Obsession: I asked the last band I interviewed this question, and I wanted to ask you aswell. About a month or two ago, there was an article in Australia’s biggest newspaper The Herald Sun, and it showed a study saying “Teenagers listening to head-banging heavy metal music are at risk of depression and suicide.” Personally, I think its bullshit, but I wanted to get your opinion on it.
John: Well, I’m not a psychologist, or a professional mental health person, but I would guess that heavy metal is a rebellious type of music. People who are rebellious are generally younger, and I believe that people suffering from depression and those sorts of things, it becomes much more serious once they get some age on them. I think that drawing the cause of effects between music and depression/suicide is no big deal, but I do think there is a correlation in the type of people who are kind of drawn to heavy metal music, are predisposed to that sort of behaviour already. So if they were trying to lay the blame on the music, I think that is ridiculous and sensational. While it’s certainly something that they’re talking about, because it’s a human condition that, if you have suffered from it yourself I’m sure you’d know how bad it is. Depression is a serious thing and shouldn’t be taken lightly.
Read the entire interview at Metal Obsession.