LAMB OF GOD's Randy Blythe Talks Grammy Nomination - "I Don't Give A Shit"
December 21, 2015, 2 years ago
Early 2016 is going to be good for thrash metal fans, as heavyweights Lamb Of God are taking legends Anthrax out as main support on a US tour. It will be a night to remember as the two bands come together to bring the thrash of yesterday and today to longhairs across America, and Lamb Of God vocalist Randy Blythe is as excited as anyone.
“Anthrax has had a bit of a resurgence,” says Blythe. “They were the first of the big four bands to take us out on tour. That was probably 2003: Anthrax, us, and E. Town Concrete, and it was a really good time. We’ve done festivals with them but haven’t done a proper tour, so it’s nice to go out with them and hopefully I’ll sit down and nerd out with [Anthrax guitarist] Scott Ian about some comic books or stuff like that.”
Opening up the shows are the wildly divisive Deafheaven and the relatively unknown Powertrip. Blythe expresses just as much interest in, and excitement for, the openers when asked about what they'll be bringing to the tour.
“I’m a huge Deafheaven fan,” he says. “I’m really excited, I think they’re bringing something different. I haven’t seen Powertrip yet, but everybody I know says that they put on a crazy, crazy show. They’re interesting, I hear a lot of elements of The Age of Quarrel-era Cro-Mags. The singer sounds to me at times like the singer of Discharge. Coming from the punk scene, that’s awesome. Someone told me Powertrip came and put on one of the bloodiest shows they’d seen in a long time, and I’m like, 'Good.' They bring a ruckus, and that’s what I want. I don’t want some opening band that’s going to be sedate. I want craziness (laughs). I think it’s a well-rounded package, and I’m looking forward to it.”
Lamb Of God are still pushing their latest album, the excellent VII: Sturm Und Drang, which came out earlier this year but still sounds great (“Well, good,” says Blythe with a laugh. “Thanks. I’m glad it didn’t after a few months suddenly start sucking.”) and placed at #20 in Bravewords' Bravepicks 2015 list. It's been a busy year for Blythe, who also had his first book, Dark Days, published. The memoir is a look at the unfortunate series of events where a young man died stagediving at a Lamb Of God show in Prague; as a result, Blythe was arrested for manslaughter. The one spoiler I'll give is this: it's a great read.
“Yeah, man, it’s good to have a first book out,” says Blythe. “It’s in its fifth printing now, and I’m giving a talk at the library here in Richmond in a couple days. It’s kind of wacky (laughs). I’m wanted dead or alive by libraries for late fees in three different states. It’s got an air of pseudo-respectability about it. My parents can come; it’s kinda nice.”
Blythe says that in some ways, writing the memoir was easier than writing fiction, but in other ways it was harder.
“It was easier because I knew what was going to happen; it’s just a matter of conveying it artfully. The reason it was harder than writing fiction was because the story sucks for me (laughs). You know? I go to prison.”
He says that writing a book makes “writing an album look like going to kindergarten” and adds that it wasn't so much coming up with the words to use but the process itself that was difficult.
“It’s not the writing, it’s sitting your ass down in the chair for an extended period of time, making yourself do that day after day after day,” says Blythe. “The book taught me a lot about discipline, and it didn’t come easy. You write, you know: when you don’t want to do it, you’ll start vacuuming or checking the dirty dishes, or suddenly you need hot sauce from the grocery store: 'Gotta go!' For me, it was a long process of really settling in and sitting down and writing it.”
And as one final note rounding off a successful year for Blythe, the announcement had just come down the pipe shortly before our conversation that his band had been nominated for another Grammy (they've been nominated four times before, and never won). He's quick to brush it off, however, saying his bandmates may care, but he doesn't.
“I don’t give two flying fucks. It’ll be probably the fifth one we didn’t win. I’m not going to go to Hollywood and sit around and be excruciatingly bored while all these people with nice evening dresses clap,” he says. “I don’t give a shit.”