Lamb of God skinsman Chris Adler has been blowing the minds of drummers and layman fans alike for 12 years with his technically astonishing and intricate parts. In addition to his accomplishments as a musician, starting with the band’s thrashier early days under the moniker Burn the Priest, he’s always had a passion for finding and listening to new music. The self-described perfectionist recently decided to take on the arduous task of starting a record label, ReThink Records, with his band’s manager, Larry Mazer. Here, he fills us in on his new record label and the groove-metal gurus’ plans for 2011. Stay tuned for part two of the interview, where Adler talks about his upcoming drum clinic tour and his new book.
REVOLVER When can we expect a new Lamb of God album? Have you started writing yet?
CHRIS ADLER I know that there’s a lot of material that the guitar players have already demoed and put down in our little basement studios. I’ve heard some of it. It’s really cool and very different. It reminds me of when we were Burn the Priest, a lot of the bands we’d play with had this kind of big sound. It’s going to be interesting. But as of right now we still haven’t started getting together at all with trying to rip it apart and put it back together the way we do with the band. So it’s really hard to tell what’s going to come of it. But the plan is to work on it throughout this year and try to have things in a row by the end of the year.
So it should be released early next year?
If not before. Certainly, I think we want to have the year at home, record the album at home, and be active again in 2012. And we would need certainly a new album to start up again, so that is the plan. The goal after these three years was to really get some time to ourselves and with our families. So everyone is very happy about doing another one, and we’re excited about doing it. But I think right now we’re enjoying the time at home.
It seems like you’re keeping busy in your time off, especially now with ReThink Records. Was a record label something you’ve always wanted to do?
It’s definitely something I’ve always wanted to do. I’ve always been a fan of different kinds of music. I spend a lot of time listening to music, trying to find new bands. And in my experience in my band, I’ve met some of the best people in the industry. And if I can be a part of somebody doing what they want to do, almost like a facilitator, and put these two parties together, great! It’s obviously not a great time to start a label, but I’m not starting it to make a million dollars. I’m starting it to have fun, sign some cool stuff, and put people together.
On this first release we’re doing, Josh Wilbur, the producer that did our last Lamb of God record and looks to be doing the follow up, his brother is in a band from Maine [Too Late the Hero]. And obviously Josh is their biggest fan and biggest supporter. And he got me up there to see them, and they were a great band. Josh made a great record with us. It’s in production right now. It’s an amazing record for both of those guys. And I know it’s going to be, for their audience, a wildly popular record. The next one I might want to be a purposefully underproduced black-metal noise record that I find or something else. I’m not looking to find pop artists or anything like that. It’s just going to be kind of a fun way to keep my hands dirty with music and get talented people together.
What was the hardest thing about starting a label?
I think it certainly would have been a lot harder if my partner, the band’s manager, and myself had not been around the block so many times. And just kind of knowing how the industry works and what to avoid and all that stuff. So we kind of came out of the gate able to avoid some of the stuff that the novice might hit. But I guess for me the hardest thing, and still probably the hardest thing, is just perception and what people may write it off as or assume it is. I would guess that most people would assume it was some sort of proggy metal label with a bunch of weirdo drummers and stuff like that, where that’s the last thing I want this to be. I want it to be all over the place. I hope that that assumption doesn’t hurt any of the acts we end up signing. And that has yet to be seen. We’re out of the gate pretty well, so we’ll see what happens.
Interview by Cody Thomas
Photo by Patryk Pigeon.