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Lamb of God

Interview by Chris Auman

Published in RW #15, 2001 

Formerly known as Burn the Priest, this quintet from Richmond, Virginia lay on the heaviest of metal with a machine-gun barrage of double bass drums and a double guitar attack that is guaranteed to leave your ass kicked. This tight unit features Mark Duane Morton on guitar, John Campbell on bass, the vocal stylings of man-beast, D. Randall Blythe, and the Brothers Adler; Chris and Willie, on drums and guitar.

RW: Hey, Lamb of God, thanks for the interview. What's the good word from the metal underground?

LOG: The word is mellifluous. I don't know why... it just sounds good.

RW: When did you guys first start getting into gospel music?

LOG: Growing up in an orphanage can be rough on anybody.

RW: Sure.

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LOG: We were fortunate to find each other and the angelic sounds of Mahalia Jackson at an early age.

RW: What genre do you guys feel you fall into "hard," or "extreme"?

LOG: Extremely hard, like Grandpa on a Viagra binge.

RW: That's not an image I like to think about. Anyway, in Milwaukee, at Metal Fest two years ago, it is widely reported that you witnessed King Diamond eating sloppy joes! Does that elevate your opinion of him, you know, that he's just a normal joe that eats sloppy joes, or was it something that you'd rather not have seen?

LOG: I could have done without the visual, but I think Randy, our singer, still masturbates furiously with a bun and a can of cold sloppy Joe mix, at least once a week, if his food stamps last that long.

Burn the Priest

RW: Are you guys getting props in RVA?

LOG: With the national attention we have been getting, there has been more attention paid to us here in our hometown. It seems kinda fake, but we remember who was down from the beginning.

RW: Did you ever get props?

LOG: Yeah, from the real metalheads here, not so much from the scenesters until recently.

RW: Were you ever a part of the scene?

LOG: Only by falling into an age group in a small town.

RW: What's a scene?

LOG: scene n 1: something seen by a viewer; a view or prospect. 2: the place where an action or event occurs: the scene of the crime. 3: Abbr. sc. the place in which the action of a play, movie, novel, or other narrative occurs; a setting. 4.a: a subdivision of an act in a dramatic presentation in which the setting is fixed and the time continuos. b: a shot or series of shots in a movie constituting a unit of continuos related action. 5.a: the scenery and properties for a dramatic presentation. b: a theater stage 6: a real or fictitious episode, especially when described. 7: a public display of passion or temper: tried not to make a scene. 8.a: a sphere of activity: observers of a political scene. b: slang. a situation or set of circumstances: a bad scene, a wild scene.

RW: That's very funny, now would you mind telling me what dictionary you just plagiarized that from so we don't get sued. Never mind, I'll figure it out. (American Heritage, Third Edition) Onward, in a recent write-up in Metal Maniacs, writer Ron Strauss described your song "Terror and Hubris in the House of Frank Pollard" as a song that "kicks at the balls then massages the temples." I have the exact opposite sensations when I listen to that song. Do different songs do different things for different people, do yah think?

LOG: No. I mean yes, I do think. Wait... about what?

RW: That was a beautifully orchestrated comical set-up that I handed you. That was a gift and you blew it! At any rate this question is for Duane or Mark, the question is; is it Duane or Mark?

LOG: It's Mark Duane.

RW: I knew it! So are you gonna have the full-on tour bus this spring? I know that's one of your many, many fantasies.

LOG: God, I fuggin' hope so.

RW: When you guys played here in Chicago with Gwar last Fall, at the Vic to be specific, there seemed to be some animosity toward ya'll from the audience who didn't want to see anybody but Gwar. Was this a common theme on that tour?

LOG: It normally didn't last long. We would blast through three songs at the beginning of our set so there would be no time for the bohabs to chant "Gwar." By the time we got through the first three, there weren't too many people who had the balls to run their mouths.

RW: There was an interesting exchange between Mark Duane and some punks in the front row who were flippin' you guys the bird and Mark strolled over to them, whilst still rocking and said, I believe, I couldn't actually hear it, "This is metal!" and flashed the metal sign, all without missing a beat. It really shut those fuckers up. I think it even made them Lamb of God fans. Randy seems to be prone to freak accidents, you probably couldn't even call them "freak accidents" since they occur with such frequency. Could you recount a few of them for our readers?

Lamb of God New American Gospel

LOG: If it's an accident and Randy is involved, you can certainly call it a freak accident. Randy apparently didn't get enough attention from his mum when he was a wee lad. He has apparently replaced the soothing comforts of a mother's nipple with a bottle/can of beer/ liquor to comfort himself on cold lonely nights . . . and on hot crowded ones, and warm spring evenings with friends, and while working out on the pig farm...

RW: Randy takes a drink now and then, is that what your getting at? You are the artists formerly known as Burn the Priest, I'm sure you're tired of answering this, but why the name change, and why Lamb of God? "Lamb of God you take away the sins of the world, have Mercy on us," as we used to say back in church. You just couldn't leave Him out of it could you?

LOG: Yes, we are tired of answering that question. What was the second part of your query?

RW: I'll repeat it since you weren't listening; metal—underground metal anyway—has always done pretty well in Europe, maybe even better on average than here in the States where it kind of goes in and out of vogue with the masses. Are you guys touring Europe in the near future and can I come with you? I promise I won't get in the way by helping you load gear.

LOG: If you don't mind wearing a ball gag and occasionally slipping a speculum in your ass, then hop aboard, Cowpoke.

RW: OK, I don't know what a speculum is and I don't want to know how you know what one is. I'm going to look it up later and just assume that I should be offended now. Can one be made out of common household items? Wait, don't tell me I still have to finish this burrito. Fuck your influences, who rocks right now?

LOG: RPG, The Haunted, The Tori, Your Mom.

RW: I'm not familiar with those other bands but I am familiar with Your Mom. You might even say that I'm somewhat of an expert on Your Mom, but that's a different interview altogether. Willie, you're the newest member, how did it happen that you joined up with Lamb of God?

LOG: I've known these guys from way back in the orphanage. When Abe (former guitarist) was overcome with whooping cough and passed on, it only seemed natural that I take his place. Plus, he really sucked and I kick ass.

RW: As the youngest in the band, how is it touring with a van full of old men? Lots of emergency gas station stops I would imagine.

LOG: I now know what to look for in an adult diaper.

RW: Do you guys feel that the new conservative administration is going to be good for underground music? I for one am psyched about the conservative trends that are right now percolating in the hearts and minds of the American people. It's just too hard to shock anyone these days. I get into trouble when I express this, admittedly selfish, view at cocktail parties.

LOG: I hope that people will get really pissed off. And what better music to be pissed off to than metal. Try and beat up some homeless dude while you listen to N'Sync.

RW: Exactly! It doesn't work.

LOG: Thanks for the space in your mag, Muggsy. We love coming to Chicago to whup a lil' ass. Shout outs to Miss Shemash, El Beardo Grande, Slater, Mr. Pollard, the Bux's, and the little devil girl in that one bar that one night where we were completely hammered. We will be playing the House of Blues (Chicago, with Cannibal Corpse) May 1st, 2001.

Reglar Wiglar

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