LAMB OF GOD’s JOHN CAMPBELL On How He ‘Invented’ Three-String Bass

Aniruddh “Andrew” Bansal of Metal Assault recently conducted an interview with bassist John Campbell of Richmond, Virgina metallers LAMB OF GOD. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.

Metal Assault: I read that you guys started writing for this album even before the touring cycle for the previous album “Wrath” was over, in early 2010 or something like that. So, would you say that it’s been one of the longer writing processes for you, compared to any of your other albums?

John: Well, it has been as a group, but when the writing process started on the road, that was Mark Morton [guitar] by himself in a hotel room, working on his laptop and demoing out song ideas. That continued when we got home with Willie [Adler, guitar] doing the same thing at his house, and then when we came together as a band, we had these demos to work from. So, I think the songs had more time to get more developed, and we ended up tracking an amazing record out of it.

Metal Assault: But, I felt “Wrath” had quite a bit of clean guitar usage, and I really enjoyed that. Do you think “Resolution” lacks in that aspect, in comparison?

John: Well, the track “Barbarosa” has some clean guitars in it. The opening for “Ghost Walking” has the acoustic, and then the track called “King Me” has some clean guitars as well. We use clean guitars from time to time. We don’t have any sort of measuring stick to tell whether it’s enough or not enough, but when we make a record, we do what feels appropriate in terms of mixing the clean and heavy guitars. Primarily we’re a heavy metal band, and the gain is on.

Metal Assault: You mentioned Mark Morton. He recently started giving lessons on Bandhappy, which is a community a lot of musicians are getting involved in these days. Have you thought about getting into that as well?

John: Absolutely, I did consider it. I’m not a trained musician, so I’m not sure how exactly it would go over, but I can certainly provide some tips on playing in general, and it’s definitely something I’ll do in the future, but when I’m home I’ve got a lot of stuff to take care of. I have two children, and two motorcycles. So I’m kept pretty busy. But I plan on doing something of that sort at some point.

Metal Assault: There’s something else I read about you, but I don’t know whether it’s a reliable source, because it’s Wikipedia, which is sometimes just full of shit. But according to that, you invented a three-string bass for yourself. Is that true at all?

John: “Invented” is probably a strong word for it. (laughs) What happened was, I had a guild pilot with my first bass, and the tuning peg that holds the lower string broke. I didn’t have the money to go get a new one, so I just took the one that held the high string on it, to move that to the low string, and all of a sudden I had a three-string bass. Somehow I got notoriety out of it. It was really just because of being broke and needing a low string.

Read the entire interview from Metal Assault.