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Mark Morton Lamb Of God - Interview
The Rockpit interviews
MARK MORTON
LAMB OF GOD


click here to read our review of VII: Sturm Und Drang

Lamb Of God have been around for a number of years now and looking back to a time when I first discovered them through their second album "New American Gospel" 15 years ago, it's amazing how hugely successful the band have become. With all that happened in the last few years since 2012's "Resolution" which was well documented in the film "As The Palaces Burn", as well as the brand new album "VII: Sturm und Drang" due out July 24th there was much to talk about as we caught up with guitarist Mark Morton during their European tour.

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Andrew: So I guess you are on tour at the moment?

Mark: Yes.

Andrew: How's it going so far?

Mark: It's hectic but the shows are good!

Andrew: You got the new album coming out next month, have you been playing any songs from it?

Mark: Yeah we have been, we've been playing the 2 that we released "Still Echoes" and ""512".

Andrew: And how have the fans been responding to those songs?

Mark: Whenever you play new stuff you kind of get some type of looks because there are certaintly people out there that haven't heard them. But all in all they've been going over pretty great and it's good for us as it's refreshing to get something new in the set.

Andrew: We were lucky enough to have a preview of the album that your label had sent us and funnily enough "512" happens to be my favorite song so far. That must be going over really well with the crowd, you must have picked that song for a particular reason?

Mark: Well it's one of the standouts on the album for me for sure, I like that song quite a bit. I just think it represents what we do very well.

Andrew: Now that song represents Randy's (Blyth, vocalist) prison cell number is that right?

Mark: Yeah as I understand it.

Andrew: How did that song come together?

Mark: Actually that song came together because, and this may be a little technical for the average fan, but we realized we were kinda missing the cyclical groove that we often have like "Laid To Rest" 3 over 4 groove dadada-dadada-dadada. And we took the riff that we had been workng on that was on a more straight on a 2 of 4 and re-worked it so it would have that kind of movement to it and that is what we wound up with, the skeletal beginnings of "512".

Andrew: How was the creative process on this album? Was it any different to previous albums?

Mark: It was basically the same I would say but I would characterize the writing on this album as being fairly signficantly more collaborative than the last couple of albums. The last few year's it's been, Willie (Adler, guitars) and I will bring in pieces of music that are very much put together and this time around that wasn't the case. We were kind of more bringing in bits and pieces and seeing what would fit with what so I think it made for a bit different process than we've been in the last couple of albums.

Andrew: Since the last album "Resolution" you guys have been through a lot together, especially with Randy. How much of an impact did it have on this album?

Mark: On the music I would say none, on the lyrics it kind of references some of that situation. But music is music.


click here to read our review of VII: Sturm Und Drang



Andrew: Was there anything in particular during that whole turmoil with Randy in prison that inspired you as far as writing riffs and that kind of stuff?

Mark: Not directly for me, I'm kinda always writing. People so often when we do interviews they want to make that connection. Like while Randy was going through that, we were sculpting this piece of art to reflect the struggle that was happening. It would be unfair to characterize it that way. When Randy was on trial and was in prison, we were worried about our friend, we weren't worried about the band or how it would affect the band. We were worried about our good friend and when he was exonerated we got back to what we do which is making music.

Andrew: There's 2 songs on the album that stand out that's quite different to what you have done before, "Overlord" and "Torches". Can you explain to me a bit about those songs and is there any guest vocalists on the album because the singing is quite different to what Randy has done before.

Mark: There are guest vocalists on the album, Greg (Puciato) from Dillinger Escape Plan is on "Torches" and Chino Moreno from Deftones is on "Embers". As far as how "Overlord" came together and along with the rest of the stuff, when Randy heard "Overlord" he instantly knew he wanted to do something melodic over it and once we heard his idea for it, we knew that's how it was going to go. And "Torches", yeah that's an oddball song. That was one I brought in and I didn't expect the guys to like it because of the way it was arranged and to my surprise they took to it. I don't know what else to say about them other than how they were initiated, they came together just like all the rest of the stuff with us kinda learning the first couple of riffs and then starting to build off of it.




Andrew: You mentioned how "Torches" you were surprised by how the other guys accepted it, is that something that you have tried to do on previous albums before?

Mark: Not that particular song but yeah I'm usually one of the guys that's more motivated to do something out of the box for us and I guess that would fall in that category. But I think these days as a band we're pretty interested in doing something fresh that we haven't done before to keep it moving forward. So it's not as much of a struggle as maybe it used to be to break outside of the mould.

Andrew: Yeah and I think this album is probably the most diverse album that you guys have ever written too which I think is fair to say.

Mark. It's so hard for me to guage it, I'm so close to it and I'm so close to all the other albums. I don't really get to have to same perspective that you do so it's harder for me to kinda catagorize it in that sense.

Andrew: Just before I let you go I wanted to quickly ask you about Chris Adler working with Megadeth. Obviously you guys feel pretty good about it?

Mark: Oh yeah of course!

Andrew: He came to you guys first before he made the decision to do that?

Mark: Yeah just as a friend he checked with us to make sure that we didn't have any reservations about it and just assured us that it wouldn't have anything to do with our scheduling which is not in our way at all and it's cool for him. It's something that he's such a Megadeth fan that it's a great opportunity so just as a friend I'm happy for him to be able to do that.

Andrew: It's been a pleasure talking to you today so thanks again. Have fun on the tour!

Mark: OK thanks a lot man, thanks for your time!

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Interview by Andrew "Schizodeluxe" Massie on June 11th 2015