Randy Blythe: “I’d love to do a tour where we don’t have to take out metal bands”

(Image credit: Travis Shinn)

Lamb Of God’s Randy Blythe enjoyed his spring lockdown a little too much. In between surf sessions, the screamer-in-chief took to the deserted beach near his home to answer your burning questions on non-alcoholic beers and his punk roots before heading back to shred some waves.

Given your roots and love of punk, what was it that drew you to Burn The Priest/Lamb Of God? @HughWalker15 (Twitter)

“We started as a punk band with kinda metal riffs and for the first few years I refused to refer to us as a metal band because we weren’t. I wound up in a metal band by accident because we just became more and more metal, but I fucking hate labels anyway. When you think of modern hardcore now, the lines between metal and hardcore are blurred, everything has become one big crossover. If you look at the Big 4 of thrash, all of them listened to punk rock. Metal as it is now with the speed and aggression would not exist without punk rock and the people who created the metal we play will tell you the same thing. The speed didn’t come from Jethro Tull, it comes from punk rock!”

On a lazy Sunday morning, does Randy Blythe enjoy some Cat Stevens with his coffee and muffin? Jo Fleischer (Facebook)

“Fuck, no! I don’t listen to music in the mornings, I like silence. I like to sit and be still, meditate and think about what I’m going to do. I listen to music after I’m up and going.”

When you see younger bands drinking everything possible on tour, are you ever tempted to put a hand on a few shoulders and give them a friendly heads-up about where that shit leads? Brady Hopegrove (email)

“Not really; there’s a serious difference between being young people partying and how I did it. I’m not against drinking if people do it responsibly, not everyone who drinks turns into an alcoholic, but the way I did it was real and the fun left. There’s been a few times with younger bands where I can tell when it’s getting heavy so I’ve said, ‘Hey man, you might want to think about examining your relationship with alcohol because I look at it from the outside and I see the path you’re heading on.’ Whether that does any good, I’ve no idea, because I know older dudes who were still drinking tried to tell me, ‘You don’t wanna wind up like us because alcoholism is a bitch.’ In general I’m not a preachy guy because what am I gonna do, be the party pooper? If you have a problem, you aren’t quitting until you’re ready because your life is shit. I didn’t quit drinking because I thought, ‘Everything is great, I think I’ll quit drinking!’”

(Image credit: Travis Shinn)

If LOG had total freedom to pick whatever support bands they like, what two young, hungry bands would you pick? Ben Willmott (Facebook)

“A lot of people don’t understand when bringing a tour package together, booking agents and management look at selling x amount of tickets. That’s one reason why I have to shout out to Metallica, they carry out who they want because their shows sell out before support is even announced. They carried my band out when they didn’t have to carry anyone out! I’d carry out a really good young band from Arizona called Holy Fawn and a hardcore band I really like from my town called Division Of Mind. I’d love to do a tour where we don’t have to carry out metal bands and it’s just all different genres, like a moving festival. I listen to many genres and they inform what I do, from electronica and reggae to hip hop and country music. I’d love to carry something out that takes all the music I like and let people who truly love music show up.”

How did the Lamb Of God/BrewDog collaboration come about? Connor Gray (Facebook)

“I asked for a non-alcoholic beer in a pub in the Scottish Highlands and they gave me BrewDog’s Nanny State. I tasted it and thought it was so real that I went, ‘Whoa, I said non-alcoholic!’ I started reaching out to them via social media, asking when they were gonna bring these to America. I heard they opened a brewery in Columbus, Ohio, so me and Willie [Adler] stopped by on a day off on tour. Some of their people came out to meet us, we got along really well and one of them asked if we wanted to do a collaboration so we said yes. I went out to Columbus and helped design the Ghost Walker beer and here we are. It’s doing really well!”

What are some of your favourite music collaborations thus far and what artists would you like to work with that you have not yet? Jeremy Saffer (Facebook)

“My most recent favourite is with Saudade Music Collective. The track I sing on has me, Dr. Know from Bad Brains, Mackie Jayson from the Cro-Mags, Chuck Doom from Crosses, John Madejski from Medeski Martin & Wood, David Torn, who played with David Bowie, Robert Thomas Jr. from Weather Report and Lee Scratch Perry – that’s a pretty heavy line-up. They’re seriously talented musicians and I’m working on another Saudade track right now with some of the guys, which I’m pretty stoked on. As far as what I want to do, I’ve stated this before… I will work with this band but they just don’t know it yet: the Wu Tang Clan. They will come to me and I will say yes.”

If you could front a supergroup, who would you pick for the rest of the band and what would you play? Caren Parker (email)

“I do a couple already! I’d play hand drums and we’d have Weird Al Yankovic on vocals, Kenny G on the flugelhorn because I met him once, Darryl Jenifer from Bad Brains on bass and Jean-Paul Gaster from Clutch on drums because he’s the best drummer out there, fuck everyone else. On guitar, probably just some ageing asshole from a hair metal band who’s still stuck in the 80s so we could make fun of him because there’s gotta be a whipping boy in the band. We need a DJ… I could get Sid from Slipknot and maybe a keyboard player from The Prodigy or some shit. The supergroup would suck but we’d all have a good time because we’d all be busy picking on the hair metal guitarist.”

How much would someone have to pay you to shave your dreads off? Harry Baizler (email)

“I don’t do stupid things for money. The difference between me and people who do stupid shit for money is that I have enough money, but even when I didn’t, I wouldn’t do something I don’t want to do for money; it’s not worth sacrificing my principles. I’ll get money another way or I won’t, I don’t care; I’m not a materialistic person and money is just a side effect of what I do. Money is a mutually agreed social conceit – it doesn’t exist when you think about it. A £5 note is just a piece of paper and the only reason why it’s worth anything is because we all agreed on this lie that it’s worth something.”

What advice would you give to someone who wants to quit drinking? @Davekhaos13 (Twitter)

“It depends what point they are at. If they’re drinking to the point they’re shaking severely and all that, they have to be medically detoxed. There’s only two substances where the withdrawals could kill you and that’s alcohol and benzodiazepams –  you can have seizures and die, it’s no joke. With giving up drinking in general, it doesn’t make much sense, but if you remember this, it helps: you’re not gonna get drunk if you don’t pick up the first drink because you’re not gonna take any of the rest of the drinks. Also, accept the fact that it’s gonna suck for a while but it will get better. I didn’t wake up one morning and suddenly I was an alcoholic and everything was hell… I put a lot of time and hard work into that. I don’t think about yesterday and tomorrow, I just worry about today and if I can get through today without drinking, I’ll be OK. If you think of it in small increments, it makes it a whole lot easier.”

In what ways is your current success different from how you might have envisioned it as a young, less experienced firestarter? @MattHallford (Twitter)

“I didn’t envision it at all, I just wanted to play CBGB. We got to do that several times so everything else is a bonus!”