LAMB OF GOD Drummer Chris Adler On Randy Blythe Legal Battle In Prague - "We Ended Up Having To Pay More Than Half A Million Dollars In Legal Fees; It Bankrupted The Band"

June 20, 2013, 4 years ago

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LAMB OF GOD drummer Chris Adler is featured in a new interview with Rashod Ollison at The Virginian-Pilot discussing frontman's legal battle in Prague, Czech Republic in teh aftermath of the stagediving death of a fan. An excerpt is available below:

Initially, Adler and the rest of the band – his brother Willie on guitar, John Steven Campbell on bass and Mark Morton on lead guitar – didn’t think the matter was serious. They thought that Blythe, who was raised in Chesapeake, couldn’t possibly go to jail.

“We said, ‘It’s all going to be over tomorrow, right? So we’ll be able to tour next week,’” Adler said. “That was our mindset. We were just waiting for the green light to get back out on the road.”

He was on remand, or in jail, in Prague for 37 days, at a point when the promotional tour for the band’s latest album, Resolution, had just gotten started. But with Blythe unavailable, a string of shows was canceled. In December, Blythe was indicted. All told, eight months of musical inactivity passed while the members of Lamb of God waited for a verdict, which was delivered March 5. Blythe was found not criminally liable. The state attorney appealed, but the Prague High Court upheld the verdict this month.

Adler said he and the band were relieved, even ecstatic, that Blythe was freed of the charges. But the incident pushed Lamb of God to a turning point.

“Not only were we not able to generate any income, but we ended up having to pay more than half a million dollars in legal fees,” said Adler, calling from a tour stop in Madison, Wis. “It bankrupted the entire band, no money left for any kind of payroll or anything. When Randy was acquitted, everything was on the line at that point. Either it was completely over, or we had a chance to get back out there and pay these bills and get ourselves back on our feet.”

Go to this location for the complete interview.

Prague, Czech Republic's High Court upheld the acquittal of Lamb Of God frontman Randy Blythe, accused of causing a teenage fan's death at a concert in the Czech Republic three years ago.

Blythe was charged in December in Prague with causing bodily harm to another person with lethal consequences. He was accused of pushing a 19-year-old who had climbed onto the stage during a 2010 Lamb Of God concert at Prague's Abaton club. The man's head hit the floor and he later died of a head injury.

Prague's Municipal court ruled March 5th that Blythe was not guilty but the state prosecutor appealed. Spokesman Jan Fort says Prague's High Court upheld that verdict on Wednesday. Its decision is final.

Lamb Of God’s Mark Norton and Chris Adler have discussed how their viewpoints on crowd control have changed since vocalist Randy Blythe was arrested in the Czech Republic on manslaughter charges last year. A couple of excerpts from the chat can be found below.

Speaking with Fuse TV, Morton explained that LOG have been much more safety aware since Blythe was arrested, charged and later cleared of causing bodily harm of the fourth degree, resulting in the death of a fan (Daniel Nosek): “You know, based on that experience, I think it just underscored, probably for all of us, the need for everyone to be safe at shows and to look out for each other. It’s scary that there are situations people can get hurt in.”

However, he added that while Lamb Of God would be more vigilant at shows and would encourage fans to do the same, the band would not be taming down their live show: “Randy mentions it on stage a little more often and just tries to keep everyone aware of it. We’re all there to have fun, it’s not about getting hurt, that’s for sure,” Morton said.

Adler agreed: “We can’t just stop people from stage-diving for the rest of eternity, that’s not what we’re trying to do, but I think [that] when you come to the show, you need to know that you need to be responsible for your actions and you need to think about what you’re doing.”

Blythe himself recently posted a lengthy emotional letter (here), asking everyone to be safe and be careful at the band’s shows: “Absolutely no one is welcome on the stage if we have not invited you up there, and unless you are a small child or in a wheel chair, that is not likely to happen,” he wrote. “Please respect this.”

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