Lamb Of God
Mon 6th Feb, 2012 in Features
Lamb of God are getting lot of attention these days. They’re currently signed to Epic Records in the States, the same label that handles INXS and the cast of Glee. Their last two albums have been nominated for Grammy awards and they’ve sold over 2 million records in North America alone. They’ve just released Resolution, their seventh studio album. Oh, and their vocalist Randy Blythe is currently running for President.
I had a chance to speak with John Campbell, the group’s bass player, however, our interview was initially delayed due to scheduling conflicts (John was having dinner with his family). A few minutes later I received a call from Roadrunner, they connected me with John who was speaking to me from his shed – “This is where I do my best interviews.”
You’re coming out for Soundwave, which has a pretty cool line-up. When you play festivals like Soundwave can you get excited about line-ups the way most fans would?
Yeah absolutely! There’s bands that I’m fans of but one of the great things is we see a bunch of our friends, our touring brothers. That’s one of the great things about a festival like Soundwave. There’s a lot of camaraderie around the bands, it’s a tonne of fun backstage and I can only imagine how much fun is going on the other side.
Who are looking forward to catching up with, or watch play?
The Unearth dudes and I believe the Mastodon dudes are on that line up.
They are indeed.
Those are the two, right off the top of my head, I cannot wait to hang-out with again.
When you play a festival such as Soundwave, as opposed to a headlining show, is there more pressure to deliver as you’re surrounded by friends and contemporaries?
Well you approach it a little differently. It’s not pressure; its opportunity. There are more people there and more bands to blow off the stage. It’s never any pressure. It’s great and it’s amazing to be able to play to these huge crowds. What we were working towards when we started the band was to play to as many people as possible. We are knocking that off the by doing these festivals.
Mark and Randy’s lyrics pack a lot of social commentary and have quite misanthropic themes. When they come up with lyrics is there a group consensus on the work, as the lyrics represent all the members of the band, to an extent, or do you let them do their thing?
More or less let them do their thing. Willie [Adler, guitar] is a little more involved. A couple of times, as a song comes together, we’ve changed things that sounded odd or didn’t work right, but generally speaking Mark and Randy handle the lyrics incredibly well. It’s very hands on for them and for me very hands up.
Politically would you say you guys are all on the same level?
Yeah, very generally I’d say we’re all on the same level. We are all very socially liberal. I would say that that would be our most common ground.
So with that in mind, would you vote for Randy for President?
[Laughs] I would, but only because that would be a vote of giving a middle finger to the system. The system is corrupted and it’s not at all what was envisioned by our founding fathers; I really feel like it’s gotten quite away from that. So absolutely I’d vote for Randy, just to be voting for a candidate that would never win, and when they count it up, the direction would just be a middle finger to the system.
So you’re not voting for his economic platform or foreign policy?
[Laughs] No, hardly. And to be honest if anyone in the band was anywhere near qualified on that level they’d have to have studied political science for a little while.
You mentioned earlier, and Randy does in his campaign, the corruption of politics with money. You guys went from an indie label to a major label, does money corrupt music as well?
Well I have seen that before in other bands, not necessarily bands of our genre. I think when we signed to a major label they pretty much told us that they didn’t really know what it was about us that is successful, and they weren’t gonna mess creatively with anything. So we have been able to maintain what we do to our level and the only outside influences have been the producers we brought in.
But as far as us becoming corrupted by any financial success, I would have to say no. I don’t know if I’m necessarily the right person to answer that question. We found success later in life, not in our early 20’s. We had our heads screwed on fairly straight by the time we found success.