For months now, Gun Shy Assassin has been bringing you an ongoing string of quick, casual, off-the-cuff interviews with the very talented Chris Adler — drummer for the one and only Lamb of God. Often, our conversations center around Chris’ life — and often, his obsession with mint cookie ice cream. Of course, Chris will continue to be checking in with Gun Shy Assassin from time to time with updates on what’s going on in his world, and he will occasionally answer some topical and ridiculous questions from me. Here now is another exclusive you will only find at Gun Shy: the sixteenth installment of Adler Chatter with Chris Adler.
Lately, I’ve been thinking a bunch about life and getting older, having just turned 35. I’ve been worried about getting older, and whether what I’ll be doing will still feel fresh or just more of the same old thing. That thought has also crossed the mind of Chris Adler.
“I think by the time we even signed a record deal, we were older than most of the people doing it,” Adler tells Gun Shy Assassin. “Now, as we’re all creeping towards 40, it’s something that comes up often: ‘What the hell am I doing?’”
Adler said that not only does he have concerns about how much his body can produce, but doesn’t want Lamb of God to reach that point where the band becomes a punch line.
“It’s definitely something that plays on my mind as far as what I am physically able to do and capable of — what kind of tricks the old dog still has,” Adler says. He also wonders “what can this band contribute to stay relevant and to mean something not only to ourselves but not turn it into a novelty act.”
Adler said he’d like Lamb of God “to stay kind of an important part of our creative lives and not just a cottage industry of sorts, because I don’t think we will ever lose that want to be creative as people individually, so together, do we still have that fire? There is something that is special about what we do together and in doing that, you have to be fairly brutally honest with yourself — that it may not be the right choice to go on.
“I probably guard that line maybe a little more than I need to but,” he continues, “but to me, it’s been more important to kind of sustain whatever mark or legacy we’ve made in doing what we’ve done, rather than fizzle out.”
That, he says, is the last thing he wants to do.
“I’d never start milking this thing in hopes of keeping up the car payment or getting some new countertops or something like that. It is still a vital part of my creative being. Its certainly possible that I have reached my potential with this new record. It’s definitely some of the craziest stuff I have ever come up with — just as a drummer. But I definitely still think it’s different from what we have done before. It’s not necessarily another page out of the same book.”
Does Adler see himself playing 20 years down the road, like Ozzy Osbourne, doing “Walk With Me In Hell” every night?
“We came into this as slightly older, different people,” Adler starts. “Now, we’re not 21 year olds running around town. We’re adults with wives and kids and our lives change and our friends change; our priorities change. The one thing that hasn’t changed is our respect for each other and knowing we do something kind of special together. That flame has not extinguished yet. At some point, it will. We are going to have to recognize that and walk away to maintain any kind of credibility…so we can be proud of it and people can look back and think good things about it. That hasn’t happened quite yet.”
Then Chris says the unthinkable, considering I’d still be seeing them at 65. Yeah — I’d be that dude.
“It may come to a point where, after this record cycle, if we’re looking at doing our next record at 45 year olds, we may decide that that’s not the best idea,” Adler said. “We may decide we should get out while it still feels good and everyone feels good about it. I don’t know. It’s not something we talk about often but it is definitely out there and is somewhat unavoidable.”
Chris then reveals something I didn’t know.
“I don’t know Ozzy; I see the same shows we all see, and at this point, with his success and his wife’s success, they don’t need to do that,” Chris says. “I think that we all think of it as, well, Ozzy must have another castle mortgage to pay off or whatever. But I don’t think he does. I think he genuinely enjoys what he does and wants to keep going as long as he can. Whether it’s good or not is far from me to say, and I’m sure he’s not happy about everything that’s going on every time he steps on a stage. If I can be 60 years old, packing stadiums, damn man — I did something right.”
Agreed. I happen to think that Lamb of God are one of those bands that will endure…like Priest, like, Maiden, like Metallica, like Slayer. They will be around for a while, in my perfect future, because there will always be that demand.
“I bet there are kids who are going to grow up and still want to go see Willie Adler and Mark Morton shred that solo and it’s going to be killer, man,” Adler reflects. “I hope I can be part of that.”
Chris Adler is the drummer for Grammy-nominated metal band Lamb of God and the author of the 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. Anything else you need to know about Chris Adler, you can find at his web site, Chris-Adler.com.
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