lamb of god hysteria

LAMB OF GOD // Live & Streaming

In the wake of continued uncertainty about if and when live touring on a major scale will return to North America, groove metal staples Lamb of God have decided to do their first ever live stream events over the next two weeks.

MORE: KICK OUT THE JAMS with IN HEARTS WAKE // PRIVATE FUNCTION: It’s Always Their Line REVIEWS: MARILYN MANSON: We Are Chaos // NOFX/FRANK TURNER: West Coast Vs. Wessex // IN HEARTS WAKE: Kaliyuga // AGNES MANNERS: Fantasia Famish // MOVEMENTS: No Good Left To Give

The first set will feature the band performing their latest album in full, while the second will see them playing Ashes of the Wake in its entirety for the first time. Each show will be live from 7am AEST, on 19 September and 26 September. Guitarist Mark Morton talked to us about making the most of new opportunities and facing new challenges in the wake of COVID-19.

alpha wolf hysteria

Before we begin Mark, how are you? How are you dealing with the current pandemic situation?

Just like everybody, man. Trying to figure out what to make of all this. But I’m fortunate. I’m home and around people I love and I’ve got projects to work on so everything feels good.

That’s great to know. We’re chatting today because Lamb of God is doing your first ever live streaming event this coming weekend.

It’s exciting. I think this is one of those things where opportunities arise out of these challenges. Of course, this COVID situation has faced the whole world with challenges, but we as an industry are finding ways to reconnect with fans and change the way we engage with fans. These stream shows are one of the ways everyone seems to be doing that, and a lot of bands are finding their own ways of doing that. For us, I can’t say… since American Gospel we’ve never performed a show that was a full album, and even then, 20 years ago, we weren’t doing it front to back in sequential order. That certainly wouldn’t have happened, had we not been presented with this situation. It’s a unique approach for us, so that’s exciting.

In fact, normally when you put out an album, at least for us, we don’t typically play every song from the album. This far into our career we’ve got such a deep discography, typically only two or three songs from a new album make it into the set, so this is a unique opportunity for us, and, again, trying to find some positivity in the situation. I think it’s about redefining how we’re going to engage out fanbase and what kind of interactions we’re going to be able to provide.

You’re also playing Ashes of the Wake the following week, on the 25th. There must be songs from that one you’ve never played either.

There are songs off of that album that have never been performed in a live set, so, even then, throwing back to Ashes which came out – gee, 2004… so that was some time ago, again it’s a new situation coming out of this. Bands have done this before, where they’ve done a classic album in a live situation. It just so happens that this is the environment in which we’re going to do that this time! 

Did you have to go back and refresh your memory about some of those songs?

Oh, for sure. For sure, yeah. Even on the more recent album, in writing and recording that album, we didn’t anticipate performing all those songs live. It’s a lot of preparation, for sure, on a level that… I will say that it has tested my concentration, for sure. I get lulled into this comfort zone over the years where there are certain songs that I know we’re going to play. They get stored into my muscle memory. These shows coming up are really a lot of stuff that we haven’t been playing, a lot of songs that I haven’t been able to tag as songs I know front and back. So it’s been a real challenge to get into preparation for this.

I’m really looking forward to the day when we can go out and play in person, in the flesh, in front of people. I know that will come, but for now it’s exciting just to be able to do what we’re doing and I hope the fans can appreciate what we’re doing.
[ Mark Morton ]

You also won’t be getting that regular feedback loop with the audience you’d get from a normal show either so you won’t be able to really tell how it’s going.

I don’t think there’s any way to tell! I don’t know if I’ll ever know! It’ll be a new experience. It’s a new experience for fans and bands alike. I will say that it’s a testimony to the open-mindedness of the fans to engage in a new way and it’s a new opportunity to, as I said, redefine and re-imagine how we present material and how we perform. We can all sit around and twiddle our thumbs, and bemoan the circumstance, or we can actively engage whatever opportunity we have, and a lot of people are doing that.

Is it hard to get the whole band together? Other bands in some countries haven’t even been able to get together to rehearse because they all live in different cities.

Four fifths of the band live here in the same general area. Fortunately there aren’t any travel bans or anything here, so we’re able to get everybody together.

You talked about muscle memory and falling into a comfort zone when it comes to normal sets, but how is that going to be affected when you return to regular touring? You won’t have played much of anything for quite a long time by then, depending on how far in the future that is.

It’s hard to say what that’s going to look like on so many levels. As I was alluding to earlier, there are certain songs that people expect when they come to see Lamb of God play in a regular concert setting, and none of that goes away. We have the ability to go back… but I will say that there have definitely been times, even before quarantines and all that, where we’ve added new songs to a set and I’ve had to go back and revisit stuff and basically relearn my own songs. It’s such a massive volume of work. If you think about it, we have eight, nine albums now, and that’s a hundred-plus songs. I don’t know about you, but I don’t have the cognitive ability of having that much of a library of knowledge in my evil brain! So I have to go back and listen to it over and over again, and drill it into my brain and work out the riffs and when we are fortunate enough to get back into touring, there will certainly be some work there.

I’m really looking forward to the day when we can go out and play in person, in the flesh, in front of people. I know that will come, but for now it’s exciting just to be able to do what we’re doing and I hope the fans can appreciate what we’re doing.

I’m sure they will. People who like to see bands live will do anything to do that. Here in Sydney the shows are very small and everyone has to sit down, which is weird. It’s like being on a cruise ship, but people are doing it.

Yeah, I’ve had some friends in local and regional acts that are playing a show where everyone has to be at a table and stay in their own little bubble. And here they’re also doing these drive-in theatre shows where people drive cars in, and that just seems so strange to me. But you do what you can do. But one thing about these internet streaming shows that people are doing, once we’re able to tour again, I think that’s an element, or an aspect, of this industry that won’t necessarily have to go away. It’s pretty cool that people can have a show streamed to them, wherever they are. That’s a pretty cool development that people are perfecting and refining, and I don’t think that has to go away. Maybe that’s me just thinking aloud, but maybe when there’s a vaccine or some other way to get around this virus, that component of what we’re doing could probably stay, and that’s cool. 

Purchase tickets and merch bundles here.

marilyn manson hysteria

Latest News