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INTERVIEW: John Campbell (LAMB OF GOD)

August 21, 2016

Levi:

You guys are coming later in the year, October, with your old buddies Slipknot. Are you looking forward to the tour?

 

john:

Absolutely. We're on a small break right now for the summer. We're doing a one-off here in town and that's going to be our next tour. Yeah, it's amazing to be home and to enjoy the home life, but we are going to be absolutely ready to hit it when it's time to make it down there.

 

Levi:

Yeah, for sure. You guys are definitely considered heavyweights in the heavy metal industry. You don't often support bands, though. Do you prefer doing your own headlining shows or is it still cool touring with another band as the headliner?

 

John:

Yeah, there's benefits to both. When you're headlining, all the production is yours, all the room on the stage is yours to do with as you would like, and you get to play a longer set. When you're supporting someone, especially someone as big as Slipknot, the show is going to be even more massive. We get to play our set and then we're done before the party's over.

 

Levi:

A few years ago you came and supported Metallica. I actually saw your show three nights in a row because I'm pretty big Lamb of God fan and a massive Metallica fan. I'm just wondering what was that tour like?

 

John:

That was amazing to tour with Metallica for a bunch of different reasons. One of which was that we were in the same cities for a week at a time down in Australia and actually got to see a little bit of Australia. Outside of that, the shows are just massive. It was a little weird getting used playing in the round. I transitioned from playing with wedges to playing with an in-ear monitor because of that set. I had a great time playing Australia and touring with Metallica.

 

Levi:

When you tour with bands like Slipknot or Metallica, do you guys hang out much through the day or do you just see other before the show?

 

John:

The Metallica dudes definitely made themselves available, and the Slipknot guys are definitely .. some are more available than others. We've toured with those guys a few times and become very friendly with them. You've got to remember, we are there to work, so there's a few things that we're focused on that's what we are going for, but in the chance there are free moments in the day, yeah, all the bands like to hang out in the past and I'm sure will again in the future.

 

Levi:

Have you had a chance to play the song 'Overlord' live?

 

John:

We have not played Overlord, or have we? You know what? You're asking the wrong guy. We have played Overlord and it went over really well. If we do that, that would definitely be during a headlining set and everybody's got to be feeling it. When we play songs live, we'll test them out for a while and if we're not feeling like the crowd is responsive to it or the crowd is just not into it, then we'll cut it for songs that we get a better reaction from the crowd with. Sometimes you have no idea which songs those are going to be. You get a chance to get out and play them and make sure you're hitting it the way you want to and then see the crowd's responses. Sometimes songs will only be in our live set for a few shows.

 

Levi:

On future Lamb of God albums, do you think you'll think you'll go in more of a direction where you do more clean vocals or was that just sort of a one-off thing?

 

John:

Yeah, I don't know. I think that came to be because the song that came out just seemed appropriate for clean vocals as well as Randy having the idea that he wanted to do something like that. Going into new stuff, I couldn't imagine we would say we've got to have a clean vocal song on this track, but if there's a track that it seems appropriate for it I imagine that it might be something we might use again someday.

 

Levi:

You've done a lot of great albums over the years, Ashes of the Wake, Sacrament, Sturm Und Drang. When you look back through your discography, is there is one or two albums in particular that would say are your favorite and is there any that you would say that you don't like quite as much?

 

John:

Generally speaking, our newest release is my favorite, but I relate to Lamb of God music differently than I think our typical fan does. Once the albums are released, I generally do not listen to them, but right up until the day they're released I'm listening to it nonstop. That said, when Ashes of the Wake was getting remastered to be released, I had not looked at that record in years. Going back and being able to look into it, that was really exciting. I was like, "Oh, shit yeah! Those songs still totally whoop ass!"

 

I don't have a least favorite. There's things on some records that I don't particularly care for, but nothing that I would vocalize any further than that. Our newest record I would think is the best representation of where we are today.

 

Levi:

You've been playing in Lamb of God for over twenty years now. When you first started what kind of bands were influencing you then and what kind of music do you normally play on your stereo these days?

 

John:

When we started as a band in Richmond, Virginia there was a really healthy and vibrant scene of bands that were here that played local and didn't really have any aspirations to play anywhere outside of Richmond. That was probably our biggest influence in actually just being a band. Musically, there was a lot of kind of massive things going on between a couple bands that we definitely took to. As far as more traditional metal influences, I think the standard thrash metal icons of Slayer, Megadeath, Metallica were pretty much a very heavy influence in our band.

 

Levi:

What I'm seeing more and more of lately in the world is big-name metal bands are heading over to countries that don't always get bands coming through, places like Russia, India, China. I'm just wondering what have been some of the most exotic countries you've visited and has ever been any travel issues or anything go wrong in those sort of countries.

 

John:

We had the opportunity to platy in India a couple times, and I think that is probably the most exotic and mind-blowing place we've had the opportunity to play. We get to see little corners all over the world that are amazing in their own right.

 

As far as travel issues, we were not allowed to play in Malaysia because some cultural police organization thought that we were not appropriate for the culture, but generally speaking no issues whatsoever. We're a heavy metal band. We're there to have a good time and play what we think is some pretty cool music that we wrote.

 

Levi:

When that issue happened in Malaysia, were you already in the country at the time and did they give you sufficient notice to cancel the tour?

 

John:

No, we hadn't made it to the country yet. It was prior to getting there. We ended up getting a day off, which is not the worst thing in the world.

 

Don't miss out on tickets (click the poster for a link to sales)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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November 10, 2019

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