Lamb of God – Southern WrathFriday, 29th March 2013
(This content originally appeared on Blistering.com)
“It’s been a wild few days, man. We started up in Finland and it was just a whirlwind. We left the States and came through England, then up to Finland, played a show and turned around a came back. We’d to drive and fly overnight with no sleep, it’s crazy, but we got in here (Belfast, Northern Ireland) last night and everyone’s getting stoked for the show tonight,” exclaims Lamb Of God guitarist Mark Morton. The American quintet, literally one show into this tour, are gearing up for the release of their new album Wrath which is due to land in late February. Already highly anticipated in metal circuits, having already gained great reviews in some of the music press, Lamb Of God who are completed by Randy Blythe (vocals), Willie Adler (guitar), John Campbell (guitar) and Chris Adler (drums) haven’t wasted anytime fitting right back into stage mode though. “I guess it’s been a couple of months, at least a month and a half since we played a show, so we kind of shake the dust off just a bit. But it was a really, really good show (in Finland). It never takes us too long to get back in the swing of things and get everything moving, all the moving parts together.”
Blistering.com: You guys have been on the road for so long, playing gigs for so many years, that it must be like slipping into an old pair of shoes.
Morton: Yeah, I was thinking about it this morning. This year will be our 15th anniversary as a band. In different forms or another, we’ve been touring most of that time.
Blistering.com: Excellent. So 15 years, have you any celebrations planned? Or are you going to hold off under the big 20?
Morton: [Laughs] I’m not sure. We all jumped out of an airplane together for our 10th anniversary. so hopefully we won’t do anything to top that. That was enough for me. Some sort of celebration will be in order certainly.
Blistering.com: So the show in Finland was a one off, not really part of the tour?
Morton: It was. It was a festival we were asked to be a part of. It was a good show. Good crowd and the band was pretty tight and it felt comfortable to be onstage again, so no worries there.
Blistering.com: So you guys have the “Defenders Of The Faith” tour in England coming up?
Morton: Yeah, that fires up in a few days. It’s going to be a cool tour, it’s been a little while since we’ve toured with the Dimmu Borgir guys. It’ll be good to get back together with them and tonight (Belfast) is the first show with Five Finger Death Punch, so see what these guys are all about and of course Unearth are old friends of ours.
Blistering.com: Have you got any new songs in your set?
Morton: Yeah, yeah plenty. It’s not the focus of the set because the new album isn’t officially released yet, but we do have four of the new songs up and running, so we’ll be bringing those in and out as we see fit.
Blistering.com: So are you waiting for the album to come out and people have heard it properly before you really start playing those songs live?
Morton: It’s always best to limit the amount of songs people don’t know. There are some songs floating around now of course, but it’s cool to give the audience a chance to know how the songs go so what they’re listening to in a live environment. Sometimes if you debut new stuff on the stage or you play it before people really are familiar with it, they’re not sure how to react and they don’t know what they’re listening to. So we’ll wait, certainly, until the album is officially released, I think by the time we are playing our headlining tour in the States, which starts in April, we will be focusing more heavily on the new record.
Blistering.com: So why the decision to tour now before the album comes out?
Morton: Typically, as far as I can recall, we go out around the time of release, which I guess this would qualify as. We get out a couple of weeks before it comes out. The Metal Hammer thing (Defenders Of The Faith tour) came up and it was something we wanted to be a part of and it happened to coincide roughly with the release. I think it’ll (Wrath) release while we’re on the Soundwaves tour of Australia. But yeah, the album comes out when we’re on this leg of our world tour even though it doesn’t coincide with the Metal Hammer tour, but for us it’s all one run. So yeah, we’re on the road when the album comes out, which is a normal approach for us.
Blistering.com: It lets people know that you’re still out there.
Morton: Yeah, gets us back out in front of the fans and you know hopefully everyone’s anticipating the new record and we’ve got a whole bunch of shows to go along with that.
Blistering.com: Do you still enjoy playing the smaller shows?
Morton: I do, I really do. I mean not to say I don’t like the big stuff. When you’re playing in front of 50, 60, 70 thousand people, that’s a huge adrenaline rush. There’s nothing that can match the response you get from a crowd that size and the feeling it is to be on that kind of stage, but night to night, playing some of these second-hand markets and smaller shows, it’s just rowdier and it’s a little more in-your-face and there’s the connection between the band and the crowd. It’s a little more direct, by proximity and I think they sound better. As a concert-goer and as a fan of music, I’ve been to huge festivals and outdoor arenas and I’ve also been to the smallest clubs and bars. I think you get good audio, good sound, in a closed environment that’s not too big. They both have their benefits.
Blistering.com: You guys get the best of both worlds. You can play the smaller shows and the bigger ones too. It’s not like you’re us confined to arenas.
Morton: Yeah, we do it all man we really do. We’ll play the mainstage at Download (legendary English festival) and we’ll get some of these, even in the States, in the midwest and the smaller cities, we’ll play shows for 6 to 8 hundred people. We cover the spectrum. We’re set up in such a way that we can downsize or upsize to cover any of that. We’re prepared for any situation. I think that comes from being a band as long as we have been and coming up the ranks the way we have. There aren’t a lot of concert situations we haven’t seen.
Blistering.com: Just what you were saying about coming up through the ranks, did you ever envision that you’d reach the level you’re currently at?
Morton: No, certainly not. The roots of this band were as honest and grassroots as they could have been. We really were just buddies who did a small town gig together for fun, to jam together, to drink some beer and write some riffs and pound on our instruments. That grew to playing parties and bars in our hometown, which grew to playing parties and bars outside our hometown and we slowly just started branching out in terms of how far we’d go to play shows. We started getting attention, then we started getting a little magazine coverage and then label support and then right on up to now. We’re playing all the big festivals, or have done, we’re playing arenas with Metallica. We’ve done most of it. Not only did we not anticipate being that big, to be a hundred percent honest, certainly, at least in the beginning, we didn’t aspire to be that big.
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