Like any band, Lamb of God has had their ups and downs: Drugs, booze, strife, you know, rock 'n' roll.
This year the Virginia metal titans released their seventh studio album, Resolution, to great reviews. The band announced that it was shooting a documentary as they supported the album on the road, and promised more than the typical follow-the-band-around-and-see-what-happens kind of DVD. Lamb of God are documenting their fans and personal accounts of how these fans utilize the band's music to help them cope with every day life, and tragedy. Fans filled out a form on the band's website, submitting a video and a written letter in order ot be considered.
But the release of the documentary is up in the air, like Lamb of God's current tour, which is scheduled to make a stop in Phoenix on Thursday, September 13, at Comerica Theatre, is up in the air after the arrest of frontman Randy Blythe in Prague.
Almost two weeks ago, Blythe was detained at the Prague airport before a show that evening. He's still stuck in prison and was denied bail. It's hard to say what is really going down, but this much is certain: he's under investigation for the death of a fan at a show two years ago, which could carry a prison term of 5-10 years if convicted.
Video of said show is circulating, but only thing that is apparent is that this fan repeatedly jumped on stage and was pushed off by bouncers and the singer (see it at The Gauntlet.)
But the Czech Republic system is very different from than America's, so we can only hope that this situation gets figured out sooner rather than later, not only for Blythe himself, but his family, and the hoards of Lamb of God fans expecting them on tour this fall with Dethklok.
Regardless of the controversy, those fans have got involved, and a fund was set up for off set Blythe's mounting legal fees (which has resulted in serious backlash from the media).
The band issued the following statement regarding Blythe's situation, but has not canceled its up coming tour:
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First of all, thanks to everyone who has reached out in support of Randy and each of us in this terrible situation. It's noted and very much appreciated.
We have been keeping our heads down and not speaking out due to the fluid nature of the situation and the constantly changing information that even we receive daily. Within an hour things can do endless 180's. It's maddening to try and make heads or tails.
We're taking the time to speak to you as it has been a significant period of time since this situation began and while nothing is immediately clear to any of us, we are not trying to keep anyone in the dark.
We have reached out and are making use of the resources we have acquired to help our brother who is still detained in Czech jail.
In the two years since, we were never notified of anything related to this incident.
Randy is our brother and we assure you, we are all staying very positive for him, working endlessly behind the scenes to provide any and all assistance possible.
The best we can do is to stay positive and continue to support our friend that we know is innocent.
We know that justice will prevail and we will continue to do our part to support our friend.
We spoke with drummer Chris Adler before the news broke -- so fans that want to stick to positive thoughts about the band who helped strengthen the tradition of great Southern metal, keep reading. This interview focuses on the thrashing, hardcore power grooves, and drum-heavy production, the kind of Lamb of God content that isn't up in the air. Up On The Sun: What are your expectations for the dynamic on tour this year? Will [touring with Dethklok be] more fun and goofy, rather than serious?
Chris Adler: We have always chosen tour packages that try to bring different elements together for the fans. The goal is always the show, and being the best we can be. That said, no tour has been very serious. Everyone roots for everyone else and we all try to have a laugh.
What's your favorite character from Dethklok?
The bass player, Murderface, as he's probably a great wingman.
Was the writing process for Resolution different from the prior albums?
It was. We recorded all of our rehearsals and reviewed nightly. We would mash together ideas, not only from memory, but with the help of technology to construct the final product. In the past, we would write a song and rehearse it 1,000 times by the time a producer came in, and argue if that person wanted changes. This time it was much more free-flowing and immediate, where we could listen to options, created by ourselves, not having to play it at the same time. It was very nice.
You have said in the past that you still get nervous before big shows, and watch the videos afterward because you black out and rely on muscle memory and adrenaline while playing. Is this still how you go about your performances?
Absolutely. We played Download Festival a couple months ago to 120,000 people. If you try to really take that in you will curl into a ball and throw up. You have to rely on your practice and skills set. I was very anxious and nervous, but I have to compartmentalize that, and play the best I can without any physical nervousness.
If someone had never heard of Lamb of God, and you had to give them one album to listen to first, which one would that be?
I'd have to say Resolution, as it combines much of what is great about each of our albums into one, but I'm not immune to most fans telling me that Ashes of the Wake was our special moment. I think it may have been more of a special moment in time for those fans than us, but it is heard often enough to mention.
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Tell me about the upcoming documentary.
The DVD...We spend time interviewing our fans and following them through a day in their life, leading up to our concert in their particular country. It's purposefully set in hostile areas of the world to show how music can help us all rise above. We have been filming in wild places, like India, South Korea, China, Israel, Venezuela, Columbia, and Mexico.
Lamb of God is currently scheduled to perform Thursday, September 13, at Comerica Theatre. We'll bring you any info as we get it.