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 seventh installment of Adler Chatter with Chris Adler.
At this point, Lamb of God are deep into the writing sessions for their forthcoming album, and have — as has been reported — at least 25 songs to choose from for the final track listing. We caught up with Chris last week and he told us there are probably even more songs at this point, and that he’ll be lugging his drum kit up to New York on June 18 to start tracking the new LP.
“It’s more than 25 now, because the guys continued to write,” Adler tells Gun Shy Assassin. “It’s funny too because we break open these ideas — some of which are two years old — and they maybe new to me or to one of the other guitar players, but these guys have been writing basically since we began touring for Wrath.”
Adler said for some of these older song ideas, “they have to go back and relearn parts and open up a computer, and take headphones outside but everyone kept moving forward so we have at least 25, 26 ides to work through and evaluate and decide where to go from there.”
Chris said that some of the songs are more “filled out” than others, but that they have at least 25 or 26 songs written, “where there’s an intro and an outro and all that stuff in the middle,” Adler says with a laugh.
That’s a lot of fucking songs for one album.
“It’s good because we will never use all that stuff but its the first time we’ve ever come into the process where we haven’t had to kind of squeeze the life juices out of each other to get up to the number of songs we had to have for the record,” the drummer says. “Now we’re making decisions on what we’re not going to include, which is really a very difficult decision. I’m sure we will get into arguments over who thinks what for what reason but in the end, regardless of those arguments or discussions, it’s going to be better just by default because we are starting with a much larger pool.”
The other day, frontman Randy Blythe posted a picture online of a piece of paper with a bunch of working song titles. One was “Elephant Sex.” I have to ask Chris what that song sounds like? He laughs.
“Our working titles are often humorous or ridiculous,” Chris says. “We’re still kind of a bunch of goofballs doing this. Surprising as it is that we have 25 or 26 songs, it’s even more surprising that we keep our sense of humor with each other, and stuff like that gets posted up all around the room. As we now get into song 17 and 18 this week, it’s getting fairly difficult to keep track of everything mentally. You have to remind yourself in some fashion when you start up on number 17, or number 14, or number 12. we come up with names like that to help us remember.”
And more often than not, those fake names describe a particular riff from the song. “On Sacrament, the song ‘More Time to Kill,’ it starts up with this really odd time signature. We called that at the time ‘Sluts Are On Fire,’ because it just sounded, phonetically, like the start of that song.”
So yes — “Elephant Sex” boasts a monstrous riff that sounds like two mammoths doing the wild thing. I can’t wait for this record!
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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