Lamb of God's Randy Blythe was the latest guest on Full Metal Jackie's weekend radio program. The band just released a super deluxe edition of last year's self-title record, which includes a bonus live disc taken from Lamb of God's 2020 livestream performance.
Blythe discussed what it was like to perform a Lamb of God album in its entirety for the very first time and the thrills and challenges that came with doing so, despite not playing in front of a live audience.
Always socially and politically conscious, the frontman also spoke to the knee-jerk reactions of both the political left and right while urging a need to take a step back and assess the situation in full before passing judgement.
As one of metal's most outspoken figures, he also noted that some may mistake his stances as conforming to either a left or right ideology. Blythe does not define himself as a liberal nor a conservative and feels he embraces certain characteristics of both, which he admitted may surprise some fans.
Elsewhere in the interview, the vocalist spoke about being a creative and how he is naturally equipped to handle the isolationist aspects brought on by the pandemic and quarantining.
Read the full interview below.
How does the immediacy of performing an album give it a different perspective compared to the building process of writing and recording it?
With this one in particular, it's the first time we've ever performed an album front to back out of any of our albums.
When you record an album, generally you don't record it in order and you don't even know the order of the album — or, at least, my band doesn't — and I know this is true for a lot of other bands, but not all bands. You don't know the order until you're done. So you sequence the album after everything is recorded in order to see what flows best.
In a live setting it may not flow the best, especially if you're throwing in songs from other albums. It was a really interesting experiment to to perform the whole album front to back. You have different tunings and all that other stuff to see how things flow.
It was a really cool experience doing that and I really quite enjoyed it. It's like telling a story because the album builds naturally both sonically and lyrically and that was very much intentional. I hate recording [laughs] I prefer playing live in general.
Lamb of God, "Memento Mori" Live
The latest Lamb of God album was released in an especially contentious election year. Being a writer, photographer, and lyricist, how has the aftermath stimulated your creative voice?
We had already written that album before the election.
There's political commentary, but it's in a much broader sense than any specific president or election. I was trying to look for causes — not effects — of the polarization that occurred in our country; not necessarily a snapshot of exactly what is happening.
Since the election, it's been a sit back and watch and see what happens process. It's not like I need to write about this immediately because the news today changes so rapidly.
We had a weird election, we've had a pandemic, we've had natural disasters... all this crazy stuff and it's all happening so quickly. I don't feel the immediate urge to comment on it and I think that's a problem in our society, specifically with social media — everybody's so quick give their opinion. Why don't we sit back and watch the long-term effects of what has happened and then draw a judgment there?
Lamb of God, "Resurrection Man" Live
You're not afraid to be confrontational about social and political issues. How has that painted an inaccurate picture of your personality and temperament?
Some people would think I'm a super duper liberal in all aspects and that's not true. In some ways I'm quite conservative. There are changes that are definitely necessary in so many ways in our society, but I do think in many ways with this rampant spread of technology there's a lot of good values that are being abandoned. Some people would look at that and say all that stodgy conservatism [rhetoric], but I don't care.
I don't define myself as liberal or conservative or Democratic or Republican. Just because you speak on a certain issue... that's a problem in our country today on both the left and the right — the knee jerk reaction that if you disagree with some sort of issue (things are so polarized right now) then automatically you're painted as A or B and that's idiotic.
That's simply moronic.
We're all human beings and I think people are existing in these echo chambers, particularly because they're isolated lately. They're sitting in these digital echo chambers of negativity and it's just reinforcing their biases.
As far as an inaccurate view of my personality, I have no idea of what people really view my personality as. My friends tell me I'm a pretty mellow guy, so I don't really care what people think of my personality. It's not my concern. It's really none of my business. My business is to act in a manner in accordance with my moral compass, which I would like to think is empathetic and correctly calibrated.