John Campbell of Lamb of God: The Storm, The Stress

"When you tour with people who put forth their best effort for the shows, it's amazing for everyone"

Lamb of God as a band have endured more than most, yet their ability to continuously relate to their fans demonstrates just what a true proletarian band they are; they are the people’s metal band. The Virginia natives have been to hell and back over the last few years and yet have come out the other side proving to the world that courage and gumption will pull you through. In 2015 Lamb of God released their first album since the turmoil that engulfed the band in the Czech Republic in 2012 – the album titled; Sturm Und Drang [German for ‘storm and stress’ and characterized by the expression of emotional unrest]  the album’s lyrics are a severely striking and sombre account of the struggles vocalist Randy Blythe underwent.... Determined to push forward, Lamb of God continue to go from strength to strength. Metal As Fuck caught up with bassist John Campbell during some down time recently to discuss the details of Sturm Und Drang and their upcoming Australian tour with Slipknot. "It has been a wild day here in Richmond, Virginia" John begins "We've had a crazy storm blow through and I lost the power to my house briefly". Interview aside, we were both waiting in anticipation for a fire truck to rush by "Get em boys" John yells out.... After the excitement of the fire trucks, we get started.

Lamb of God has recently wrapped up a North American tour; how did it all go? "It went amazingly well, we got to tour with Clutch and Corrosion of Conformity which I think are not only two amazing bands but created a diverse line-up of music for the tour". In addition to the touring, the band have taken out a Golden God award recently for best live band, and rightly so - such energy is pumped through a live set for Lamb of God, what do you attribute to such animated shows? "I have no idea [Laughs] we're just very expressive and we're dialled into what we're doing and people have responded to that incredibly well over the years and continue to do so. When I go see a show, I don't usually do the crazy things that Lamb of God fans do during a set, I tend to hang back". [Laughs]

Over the past twelve months Lamb of God have been playing material from the band’s latest album; 2015's Sturm und Drang how has the reception from fans been playing the material live? "The reception has been great - we are very lucky to continue to do what we're doing. There are a lot of bands we have toured with over the years that are no longer able to continue to tour on the same level - so we consider ourselves very fortunate".

The material of the album; the lyrical content in particular was very sombre and extremely personal (for Randy in particular) however what was your mood going into the studio John? "I was absolutely pumped. I was in love with the songs that we were going into the studio with. I had no idea as to where the lyrical content was going but I knew going in we had some amazing material". I understand it was more of a collaborative effort this time around - Mark [Morton - guitar] and Willie [Adler - Rhythm Guitar] were writing and working on the songs together as oppose to individually in the past - was the process any different for you? "For me, no it wasn't different at all. We wrote a bunch of demo's that we'd learn and then take apart, and at the end of the process we then decided what to take into the studio. That has been the process for a little bit and for me, thankfully that hasn't changed". When did you realise this album in particular was reaching its full potential? "....Oh shit, I don't know - I don't think you ever know if it does, when you're writing, recording; then going out and touring it’s kind of hard to take that perspective of it as you're so wrapped up in the middle of it still. I'd still like to go back to Europe and tour this album some more but I don't know if we'll have time on this tour cycle but I'm thankful we're heading back down to Australia".

Indeed. Set to tour with Slipknot is October this year; talk about energy. What are your anticipations for the run of Australian dates? "We're excited to go out on tour with Slipknot in Australia because it’s going to be a massive show! We toured with them in the States not that long ago - we get along well with everyone in the band and when you tour with people who put forth their best effort for the shows it's amazing for everyone, it’s a great vibe - backstage and onstage".

Lamb of God; attributed as pioneering the New Wave of American Heavy Metal, the band were one of the leaders for one of heavy metals biggest shifts - the staple for a decade, the meat and potatoes - what was this time like for the band being on the cusp of this movement? "It was exciting, yeah, I don't know any different and hindsight is everything, I guess you just have to make the best of the opportunities you have in front of you".

What will be keeping the band busy prior to the Australian shows? "I'm at home right now, on some down time. We've got one more show then the Australian dates; they will be the first bunch of shows for Lamb of God since wrapping up this latest North American tour".

 

AUSTRALIAN TOUR DATES WITH SLIPKNOT:

Vector Arena, Auckland - Wednesday October 26
Entertainment Centre, Brisbane - Friday October 28
Qudos Bank Arena, Sydney - Saturday October 29
Rod Laver Arena, Melbourne - Monday October 31 (Melbourne Cup Eve)

LAMB OF GOD ONLY:

HQ Complex, Adelaide Tuesday November 1
Metropolis, Fremantle Thursday November 3

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