''It's been very difficult, but it's been fantastic to be able to get back to work'' - hmv.com talks to Lamb Of God
To say Lamb Of God experiences an up and down 2013 would be a huge understatement. As the band arrived in the Czech Republic in June 2012 in the middle of a European tour in support of their album Resolution, singer Randy Blythe was unexpectedly arrested in connection with the death of a fan at a show in Prague in 2010.
After subsequently being imprisoned and charged with manslaughter, he was then released on bail before returning to face charges in February of 2013. At completion of the trial Blythe was acquitted of manslaughter and the band were cleared to resume touring, which they have done with great gusto.
The band's tour reached London's Brixton Academy earlier this month and we sat down with bassist John Campbell to talk about touring in the wake of the tragedy and their plans for the follow-up to Resolution.
How has the UK tour been for Lamb Of God?
"The tour was wonderful, it's been wonderful to be back playing as we are now."
Is this pretty much the perfect way to start the year?
"For me, this is actually the end of the touring cycle, this tour is an end for me, it just happens to be at the end of 2014. After this we get to go home and be with our families and be home. And then we'll be getting down to writing a new record."
Obviously this touring cycle had a giant bump in the middle of it, is it just a pleasure to be back playing?
"It's been a very difficult period of time, but it's been fantastic to be able to get back to work. As far as the tragedy you referenced it's important not to forget that a person died at one of our shows, that's a heavy weight to carry and should be respected in the retelling of why people talk about Lamb Of God."
When it comes to writing new music, do you think you'll reference what happened? Or steer clear?
"I'd say absolutely not. Out of respect to the people affected by the tragedy we wouldn't seek to do that."
Do things feel different now onstage?
"It's definitely different. I pay much more attention to the crowd and I actually stopped the show the other night when I saw a person in the crowd had fallen down and lots of people standing around. I saw that and stopped the show, the person wasn't that hurt as it happened, but I'm much more aware now of what's going on."
How far along are you with your new record?
"Mark and Willie are our main songwriters, they write the riffs and put together these incredible arrangements that we then pick apart and try to make them better. Mark and Willie are constantly writing, they come up with ideas and we try them."
So they bring the ideas to you and you go from there?
"Correct and we haven't sat down as a band and discussed what we're doing."
How long does the process take? Do they come in with fully formed songs or is there lots to do?
"It's been different every time we've done it. It's gotten more and more to be that they bring in fully realised ideas. I don't know what to expect this time, but I imagine they'll be pretty realised. Then again, they often ask us questions like 'Do you think this chorus is too weak?' and we’ll work together on a new one. That's generally how it goes."
What kind of record would you like to make next? Are you happy to keep going in the same way you did on Resolution?
"We are always trying to outdo what we've done previously. All we ever think is 'How are we going to top what we just did?' and that always seem like a daunting task. We just aim to make a record that's a representation of who we are at that time at our very best."
Finally are there any big records you're looking forward to next year? Are you interested to hear what Metallica and Slipknot come back with?
"I don't really listen to heavy metal. I appreciate and love the core of heavy metal, Slayer, Metallica, Pantera, and my interest falls off after that. I love At The Gates, they're a fantastic band, but I'll listen to anything, I'm not confined by genre."
Lamb Of God's Resolution is out now and available now from our download store along with the rest of their back catalogue.