Album Insights: Lamb of God Discuss “VII: Sturm Und Drang”
On July 24, celebrated metal veterans Lamb of God returned with VII: Sturm Und Drang, the band’s first new album since 2012’s Resolution.
Leading up to VII: Sturm Und Drang, Lamb of God vocalist Randy Blythe was briefly incarcerated, and subsequently went to trial, after someone he pushed offstage during a show in the Czech Republic hit the floor hard and later died. While Blythe was found morally responsible for the incident, but wasn’t considered criminally liable.
With that situation now behind Lamb of God, Riffyou.com spoke with lead guitarist Mark Morton about how VII: Sturm Und Drang came to be, as well as the importance of continually trying to push boundaries.
The Making of VII: Sturm Und Drang:
“One of the differences between [making] this album and the last couple was that the songs – when they were introduced in the band setting – weren’t quite as developed as they had been times before. That made for much more of a collaborative process in terms of everyone putting in bits and parts that they had [into a song.] That was exciting for us.”
How Vocalist Randy Blythe Going to Prison Affected the Album:
“By the time we were writing, recording and getting ready to do this album, there had been some time between that. There are some lyrical references that touched on that situation in the album, but in terms of our process and how we went about doing things, that didn’t really change.”
Lamb of God’s Evolution Since 2012’s Resolution:
“With every album, we try to cover new ground and do something that’s fresh for us musically. That’s always in our mindset when we go into new material. Was there a specific theme or strategy that we rallied around as a band? No, not really. It was more about getting together and seeing where everyone was at creatively and seeing what came from that.”
How Lamb of God Knows a Song is Good to Go:
“It depends. Some songs are written in the matter of day and some take a year or two. There isn’t an exact formula. Some songs are liked by everyone from the very beginning and some are resisted by guys in the band all the way until they are recorded… and we fight about the songs that make the album. It all depends on the song and how each of us are reacting to it.”
The Importance of Lamb of God Creatively Challenging Itself:
“We always want to do something worthwhile. I don’t want to be in a situation where we make the same record over and over again, because that’s worked for us in the past. That would be boring and not very fulfilling. For us, we are usually looking for ways to keep the momentum going forward and test new grounds – which I think you hear that on this album – even at the risk of alienating some people or turning them off, or not doing what they expect. I would imagine that it’s tempting for some bands to do just what has worked in the past, because that’s comfortable for them. For us, we get bored pretty easily, so we try to find something new that we can do in the context of what Lamb of God is.”
Dealing with Audience Expectations:
“We write songs that we are interested by and appeal to us. In that sense, the goal for the band has remained the same – to keep things interesting and see what we can get away with.”
Fan Reaction to VII: Sturm Und Drang:
“The fan reaction, from what I’ve seen, has been so positive. It’s been invigorating to see this positive response on the music that we’ve been working so hard on. Of course, to see the response to “Overlord” – which is the big one everyone is talking about because [it’s about] Randy staying clean – is a bit of a departure in terms of what fans were expecting us to do.”