Lamb of God will tour Australia with Slipknot in October. Photo Contributed
Lamb of God will tour Australia with Slipknot in October. Photo Contributed Contributed

Penguins, facebook and Lamb of God


Lamb of God are one of those bands who have had their journey to fame documented very closely and if you have watched any of the dvd's you'll know that it has not been an easy journey.

It has been tumultuous to say the least - from gear malfunctions, to fist fights, constant touring and finally the strangest trial in the history of metal music.

Randy Blythe is the forthright vocalist who has been shaped and chiselled into an enigmatic character through all these experiences, least of which are new found talents in both writing and photography.

His empathetic nature, artistic eye, and quick wit stand in the face of many stereotypes and like Henry Rollins give credence to the notion that heavy music attracts, gives birth to and nurtures independent thinking.

With their seventh album, VII: Sturm und Drang still receiving praise, and a new Australian tour in October with Slipknot it seemed the perfect time to speak to Randy about the Lamb of God juggernaut.


Marc Stapelberg: You're on a pretty tight schedule but is there something that you will make sure you do on you return to Australia when you are not playing?

Randy Blythe: Yes, it is a tight schedule. One of my favourite places in Australia is Phillip Island south of Melbourne. I plan to live there and if I can at all do it I always try squeeze in a trip down there. A friend of mine works at the penguin preserve there and she's a zoologist. I've gotten to go out and count penguins and weigh eggs and all that stuff. There's pretty good surf at Phillip Island too. So if I can get down there and ride some waves that would be awesome.


MS: You have a photography book coming out. What was the reaction from friend and family?

RB: They all dig the fact that I do photography. For a while some of my friends and family found it kind of weird for me to always have a camera. But now they just kind of ignore me because they like "oh he's being a pain in the butt taking pictures of us again." I don't leave home without it. I don't leave anywhere without it. They've been supportive. And actually I had an exhibit in New York last year and I'll be working on one in Canada the following year.  I'm always shooting pictures you know and travelling in a band provides me with a lot of opportunities to do that. And talking about Phillip Island and Australia in general I always shoot great photos when I have a chance to get out bush or anywhere scenic there because the landscape is so majestic.

MS: As a street photographer you have to both be a fly-on the wall and a people person. Can you recall any memorable interactions with people?

RB: I'm still trying to figure out the sort of ethics of street photography. For myself some people are generally like 'you have the right to shoot anything', and they look up different countries laws and 'you can take a picture of anyone that you want'. While that may be true in a legal sense personally I don't really feel like it is cool to get up in everybody's faces and take a picture if they don't like it. I remember one memorable incident where I shot in New England and I shot a photo of a mother and a little girl. We were at a place eating some lobster rolls. It is a speciality up in Main. And this little girl and her mother were eating and I shot a picture of them and it looked really cool sitting at the bar eating. And I posted it on my Instagram and I got an email from the woman saying that was a really great picture. Somehow she tracked me down and asked if I could email her a copy. That kind of stuff is gratifying for me - when people see pictures that I take and like them a lot.

On another note I got a picture which was sad but also on another note I was kind of laughing. I took a picture of these two drunk guys fighting on the street in China Town. It was like the world's most slow motion fight ever. It was funny but at the same time it wasn't because they were really drunk and obviously homeless and likely alcoholic. And as someone in the past who kinda of drank to excess I kind of identified with them and laughed at them, thereby laughing at myself. It look like something I would do back in the day when I drank which I don't anymore. It was both funny and sad because they couldn't manage to hurt each other because they were so messed up.


MS: In this world of social media many people are consumed by the idea of being famous. You first started taking pictures while exploring the idea of making a documentary on social media. Now that you're at the top how do you keep yourself grounded and not let it distort your view of the world?

RB: I don't know if we are at the top. Maybe top of the shitlist I don't know. For me, I don't have a facebook account and as you get bigger and bigger and more and more people start coming to see your band there is always the ego monster that can creep in if you don't watch it. I think fortuitously for myself and my band we were all already in our 30's when we really started gaining some traction as a band. I think we would not have handled it as well had we been younger in our twenties. But we were already firmly grounded as who we were as people. I used to have a twitter where all I would do is wind up arguing with my fans because it felt like some of them not all of them, I had a lovely relationship with most of them, but ah I didn't like the weird anonymous unaccountability that people had. The way they acted sometimes on twitter and I am assuming that's the same on facebook. I don't even know how facebook works. I've never looked at facebook thank goodness. For me and social media right now I really only have an Instagram and I shoot photos and I sue it as a tool to share art. I am not putting photos of my lunch or you won't see selfies. If there is a picture of me it is a self-portrait that I took for a reason, normally for an interview or something. I try put up pictures that have some artistic merit to them and write with them and try and drive some sort of narrative that might encourage people to think about what they are seeing and maybe think about how they view art and the world. I don't put pictures of me up in scenic places. To me that just reeks of arrogance. Like 'Look here we are in Rome at the Parthenon' - this beautiful ancient thing - 'I better insert myself into it.' That seems narcissistic. Why wouldn't you just take a picture of where you are and enjoy the environment.  The only time I take selfies is I will take them and send goofy pictures to my wife. But she's the only one that sees them. Me making a funny face at her, that's what they are good for. A friend of mine, 'Bubble', he's in All That Remains, he talks about social media accounts like Instagram - 'I think of it as a person's house. If you walked into someone's house and all you saw was thousands of pictures of them that they had taken of themselves you would think 'What a fucking insufferable asshole!'. One or two pictures are ok if it is artistic, but it's not. It is a virtual temple to self. For me with a camera and photography and even with a freaken iphone, I'm much more interested in capturing the world around me rather than trying to interject myself into it. There's enough pictures of me already. (laughs)


MS: Did Lamb of God enjoy the soundwave tours?

RB: It was one of our favourite tours. I love soundwave. All of us did. It was fun of our favourite tours. One of the best things was a) your in Australia which is awesome, and b) getting on the plane every morning and it being three quarters full of band and crew and there's like the core regular business passengers and they are just horrified. And all these people are just streaming in in black t-shirts and some of them still just inebriated. It was a great time. Loved Soundwave. I am sorry to see it go.



Tour Dates:



Vector Arena, Auckland      Wednesday October 26

Brisbane Entertainment Centre   Friday October 28

Qudos Bank Arena, Sydney      Saturday October 29

Rod Laver Arena, Melbourne   Monday October 31 (Melbourne Cup Eve)

For complete tour and ticket information, visit: &

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