Gun Shy Assassin is humbled to be able to bring you an ongoing string of casual, off-the-cuff interviews with the very talented Chris Adler, drummer for the one and only Lamb of God. Chris will be checking in with Gun Shy Assassin from time to time with updates on what’s going on in his world, and will occasionally answer some topical and ridiculous questions from me. Without further explanation, here is a Gun Shy Assassin Exclusive: the third installment of Adler Chatter with Chris Adler.
It’s Saturday night in San Antonio, Texas, and Chris Adler is three stops into his well-received clinic tour. I reach him by phone, and ask him how things are going for him out there. “I’m hanging in there, man,” Adler tells Gun Shy Assassin. “The fourth one’s tomorrow and I’m just starting to get my legs under me and feeling comfortable about it but it’s pretty nerve-racking, honestly.”
That’s my favorite thing about talking to Chris. He’s always honest and he seems genuinely humbled by the response to this clinic tour.
“It’s been going really, really well. It’s far more than I think anybody — even the shops — anticipated. I’ve been to clinics before and I know what drum clinics are all about it and normally, it’s ten to 30 super drum nerds asking really technical questions, and this is far from that. There are bands that are doing less numbers and it scares the shit out of me but I’m doing the best I can with it.”
Then, I had to ask Chris what he thought of all this Charlie Sheen madness, but wasn’t quite sure he’s the kind of dude who would follow such ridiculousness. But Adler’s like the rest of us…he’s been “keeping up with it to the point where you could probably call me a stalker.
“It’s by far the most entertaining thing ever,” Chris tells me. “The other day, when they took his kids, when it started to turn sad, it was really…then you’re depressed. Before you started feeling bad, though, he was like a superhero. I told my wife — I was like, ‘I wish I could say shit like that and mean it, just for a minute. To be that fucking nuts…’”
His favorite Sheen quote? “When he talked about being on the drug Charlie Sheen and if you took it your kids would weep over your exploded corpse,” he says in response. “He’s awesome, man. He believes that shit — it’s amazing. ‘I’m not bi-polar, I’m bi-winning.’ That was another good one. Some day, when I grow up, I’d like to be more like Charlie Sheen.”
Next, we discuss the new Lamb of God album, which the band’s been writing as of late…if there’s been any progress on the monster.
“It’s done, man — it totally rules,” he says. “No — we haven’t even started. We have sorted out some scheduling and making sure everyone’s going to be in town and getting [producer] Josh [Wilbur] on the hook here.” When Chris gets back from his drum clinic tour on March 17, “very shortly after, we will start digging in. And the guys are armed to the teeth coming in on this one, so we have a lot of material. What can I say? It’s going to be a heavy metal record full of heavy metal hits — it’s going to be our most current offering!”
While on the clinic tour, he says he’s been getting plenty of practice “and will be well lubed up” for the recording process. He then makes a revelation of sorts: That he recently took his first drumming lessons ever.
“I got together with drummer Matt Halpern from the band Periphery, and he’s kind of a fusion cat which is a mystifying enigma of music or drumming to me anyway, so I’m definitely picking up on some cool stuff there and he and I are sharing some ideas so hopefully, I’ll come armed with some new guns.”
Adler says he’s a super fan of Periphery, and “I love Misha [Mansoor]’s playing and have been following them around forever. I’m really a guitar freak, and I talk about that in the clinics. I think I probably play drums the way I would want to play guitar. So, I’ve just been an uber-nerd fan of Misha and got them onto a bill we did in D.C. a little while ago, and I just started kind of talking to Matt, and I went up to Baltimore to visit with him and hang out and we sat around and traded some chops and I’ll hopefully do that a few more times before we get into this” next record.
“Musically, Periphery are very inspirational to me, and as far as that particular type of movement, those guys are certainly leading the way,” Adler adds.
Then, spurred by a conversation I’d had with my girlfriend ten minutes before talking to Chris, I ask him if he has Sirius XM and if so, what his favorite channel is.
“I love Liquid Metal,” Adler says, of the channel featuring Gun Shy Assassin’s own Zeena Koda. “Jose Mangin is a good buddy of mine. He’s the best dude in the world. He’s the new heavy metal ambassador.”
And with that, I let Chris go live his life again for another two weeks. Check back for more Adler Chatter soon.
Chris Adler is the drummer for Grammy-nominated metal band Lamb of God and the author of the forthcoming book “The Making of Lamb of God’s New American Gospel,” a comprehensive behind-the-scenes narrative book detailing the early days of Lamb of God and the writing and recording of their New American Gospel LP. This spring, Chris will embark on a clinic tour called the ”A Throne With A View Tour” and dates for that trek can be found here. Anything else you need to know about Chris Adler you can find at his web site, Chris-Adler.com.
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