In The Loop Magazine’s Fernando Martin had a chance to catch up with 5 time Grammy nominated and 4 time recipient of the Metal Hammer Golden Gods Award, Lamb of God’s lead guitarist, Mark Morton. Together they discussed the latest album, VII: Sturm Und Drang, current tour with Anthrax and playing in Chicago among other things.
Fernando: Thanks for joining us here at In The Loop Magazine. We are joined today by lead guitarist Mark Morton from Lamb of God.
So Mark, we just wanted to thank you for taking the time out of your busy day to sit down and talk to us. It’s great to have you.
Mark: Thanks, thanks it’s great to be here.
So since you guys are touring currently in support of your latest album, we just wanted to know how’s the tour going and is there anything different us fans can expect on this tour compared to the other tours?
Well, haha yes. We are playing a lot of older stuff from our past albums and from our other albums too. But yeah we are pretty much playing stuff from most of our albums and of course from Sturm und Drang too.
Ok, great great. That’s good to hear. So you guys will be playing in Chicago on the 30th later this month. Is there anything about Chicago that makes you guys eager to play here or what does Chicago bring to the front?
Oh yeah you know we always look forward to playing there every time we stop in Chicago. I’ve been to a few of the local places there in the past and it’s always a great time when we’re in Chicago.
In regards to VII: Sturm Und Drang, how do you guys feel the album turned out?
We think the album turned out phenomenal. You know we’ve got a little bit of variety and you know there’s a song on the album called “Overlord” that I really like a lot. Another song I like too is called “Erase This” and of course there’s the other songs like “512” so yeah, the album turned out better than we anticipated.
Oh yeah I got the record the day it came out and after hearing it there were a few tracks that told me this is a beastly album so yeah definitely a killer one from you guys.
You guys also were recently nominated for a Grammy for the song “512” so we definitely wanted to give you a big congrats for the nomination.
Thanks, thanks. It means a lot to be out there after all of these years and have the fans behind us.
So what does Lamb Of God have in mind for the future? Possibly a documentary on the band’s journey or do you guys have plans to record another music video? Would you care to elaborate on that?
Haha….well we are definitely touring right now. At the moment we really have no plans on recording any DVD’s since we just came out with one called “As the Palaces Burn”. We do have some ideas but it wouldn’t be in the right place really to say anything about what we’ve got lined up.
It’s always great to get in the minds of artists a little bit and get some info if any, so thanks!
Have you guys thought about collaborating with anyone in the future whether that be on tour or on an album?
You know, that stuff usually kind of just happens as time goes on. We really don’t have anyone in mind most of the time but then all of a sudden you know someone will have an idea to bring someone to collab on an album and it’s not always for sure if it’ll happen but we always have ideas coming in and out, so yeah that just happens randomly.
Ok, this is something I’ve been curious about and I’m sure some of the fans would like to hear from a personal perspective how the band originally started out?
We all knew each other from Richmond, Virginia which is you know where we are from and we would meet up and play pool and then all of a sudden we just met up at one of our garages, which at the time we were known as “Burn the Priest” and we pretty much practiced and from then on it’s been a long journey ever since.
This is something I’m sure many of us would like to get some advice from, so do you have any rituals or ways to keep the fire strong while touring?
Yeah you know, touring can be stressful or rough at times but you know whenever we get any free time I usually like to just relax and go out somewhere but really we don’t get a whole lot of time to ourselves but when we do, I usually take advantage of it whatever happens.
What was the defining moment that told you that you wanted to pursue a career or be involved with the metal industry. Usually it’ll be someone after they saw a Metallica concert or they saw Black Sabbath and they were like “oh man that was amazing!”
Right, right. I never really had my mind set that I was going to pursue a career in the music industry as a guitarist it just kind of happened and I would practice a lot and eventually became good at guitar and then of course that’s where I met the rest of the guys later on. But no, I did not know from the beginning that I wanted to be a guitarist.
Alrighty so I know we kind of talked about plans later down on the road but is there anything specific for 2016 that we can expect from Lamb of God?
Haha, well we are currently touring through 2016 so that’s really all that I can say for now.
Yeah I noticed on your touring list online on the band’s website that you guys will be playing some big festivals in May so that should be great for the fans.
Yeah, yeah, that all should be great for everyone.
Do you have any advice for anyone trying to become noticed in the music industry?
You know….just play what you love man. Anyone can play whatever they need to, to get by, but really play what you feel is right and soon enough you might just get somewhere as typical as that sounds to say.
Well thank you for those encouraging words. So now that we are pretty much winding down on this interview, we have one more question: Why do you love metal?
Why do I love metal? I love metal for several reasons. A. The fans, metal fans, really support the artist. Metal fans are really dedicated and go far to support the scene so they certainly are a big part of why I love metal. B. We get to play music that we love playing and nothing feels better than putting material out there that we feel good about. Metal is everything and it really lets someone express what they’re feeling and try and get any messages out there so that’s, that’s why I love metal.
Well Mark, we just wanted to give you a big “thank you” for joining us and giving the metal community amazing and insightful music. Thanks for taking the time to talk to us today and we hope to hear more great things from Lamb of God!
Thank you very much, it means a lot.
Lamb of God are currently on tour in support of the new album, and will be playing in Chicago at the Aragon Ballroom on January 30th. Tickets are still available.
To find out more about Lamb of God, click here
For tickets to the January 30th show at the Aragon Ballroom with Lamb of God featuring Anthrax, Deafheaven, Power Trip, click here
To see past photo gallery of Lamb of God live in Chicago, click here
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