No one does a speech better that D. Randall Blythe, so Instead of me talking about him I’ll let him introduce himself to you guys.
My fellow Americans:
My name is D. Randall Blythe, I sing for a band called lamb of god,
and I am going to be the next President of the United States. If you
want to know about my Presidency and what’s going to happen in America
after my inevitable election to the highest office in the land, check
out my blog: Randonesia.tumblr.com. But for now let’s talk about music
I live in Richmond, VA. I’m 40 years young, happily married, and I
enjoy long walks on the beach punctuated by the occasional blast of
semi-automatic gunfire. I’ve been in lamb of god about 16 years (I
think). We’ve been touring seriously for 13 or 14 of those years. We
have a new record entitled “Resolution” coming out on Epic records on
Jan. 24th 2012 in the States. It fucking destroys, so go pick it up.
Daddy’s got bills to pay.
Here are D Randall’s 5 questions with Themerchdude:
1) What is the biggest misconception about you and your band?
I think the biggest misconception about my band is that we are
rich; FILTHY RICH beyond your wildest dreams. It’s a commonly held
belief by most people who are not in the music business that anyone
with a record out and a fanbase is ballin’ like Puff Daddy or P Diddy
or Diddly-doo-doo or whatever the fuck that guy calls himself now.
Folks think that everyone in a professional band sleeps on mattresses
made out of $100 bills and just sits back chilling when they aren’t
tour, spending all their free time screwing models and cashing massive
royalty checks. I got bad news for the kids who want to try and do
this thing for a living: it ain’t that way. Stop watching “Cribs” on
MTV, get in a van, go out on the road, and try doing this for a while.
It’s a quick and bitter educational experience. While I make a pretty
good living being in a band, I am one of the few. And it sure as hell
didn’t happen overnight. Also people seem to think I’m anangry, angry, ANGRY man, like I walk around screaming all the time in
the lamb of god voice or something. While it’s true I voice my
opinions, and I do so with a firm conviction and no hesitation
whatsoever, anywhere and anytime I deem fit, that doesn’t mean I’m
angry all the time. Far from it. My band is my vehicle to voice my
frustrations. Once they are out, I’m totally chill. I’m a very
relaxed, polite, and friendly guy, unless you act like a fucking idiot
around me. I’m chill because I have my band and my writing to vent my
fury with. In fact, I don’t know how normal, non-musician type people
don’t just spontaneously combust in a savage, fiery explosion of rage
& disgust every time they walk out the door. Everyone should have a
band. There would be far less violence in the world.
2) How come so many bands after working hard on their music to get signed change everything about themselves after they sign the dotted line?
Simple: because they are TOOLS. They were tools before they got
signed, now they are just tools with a little bit of money and fame.
They believe their own hype after they get a little popularity, and
they turn into giant, walking, talking, shit-spewing dildos who start
making wretched “music”.
I live in a smaller city where no one gives a fuck about how “famous”
or whatever I have become. Most people here know me as the guy who
used to be a cook or dishwasher in the local bar. I have zero desire
to impress anyone, especially in my hometown. I’m a 40 year old man,
not a 16 year old kid, like a lot of these dicks start to act once a
few people start to recognize them in line at the Starbucks or
whatever.I let my music speak for itself, and I think at times it can
be pretty impressive. Me buying a new wardrobe and a new car and
fronts for my teeth or whatever is NOT impressive. It’s not ME, it’s
me TRYING TOO HARD. I still shop for my clothes at the Army Surplus
store. What the fuck do I need a $300 pair of jeans for when I can get
killer BDU cargos used for $20? Fuck that shit. I’m just gonna fuck
‘em up skateboarding anyway. I’d rather spend my money on books and
3) Some bands don’t care if fans illegally download their music and some do, what’s you stance on this?
Except in cases where it is absolutely IMPOSSIBLE to purchase our
music, yes, I fucking care. It sucks. It’s my living. Why is this such
a hard concept to grasp? And when I say “impossible to purchase”, I
don’t mean you can’t afford it cuz money is tight and you want it
really bad, RIGHT NOW. I mean like you live in a third world country
that no music ever gets to, and you ride a goat through the snow
everyday to work in the sweatshop for 14 cents an hour or whatever.
I want to own a nice sail boat really bad, RIGHT NOW. But I have
bills to pay and can’t justify that expense at the moment. And I’m not
going to fuck around, kid myself, and justify in ANY WAY stealing that
boat, even though I currently know of one in Delaware I’m sure I could
remove from the slip no problem. It’s some rich lady’s who got it in a
divorce just to spite her husband. She hasn’t set foot on it in three
years. Undoubtably she’s a bitch and I would enjoy it a lot more than
her gold-digging ass. But I’m NOT going to STEAL it from her. That is
UNETHICAL. It’s not my place or my right to decide that I deserve that
boat without payment.
People in hell want ice water. Get your wanter fixed, and do what I
did and still do to this day- save your money and actually (gasp) PAY
for something that an artist created and has placed…….FOR SALE.
WOW. Actually support the artist. I always paid for records. I didn’t
have a problem with it. Why does everyone think they are entitled to
free shit now? I honestly don’t understand.
You don’t HAVE to like the fact that money was spent to create this
product, you don’t HAVE to like the fact that the product is for sale,
you can spout all sorts of idealistic BULLSHIT about how in this
digital age everyone can create their own music much cheaper and just
release it themselves and people can just pay what they want to for
it- it’s a load of fucking marlarky being espoused by a bunch of
people trying to justify copyright infringement, pirating, stealing-
whatever you want to call it, it’s unethical behavior in my book. I
made something. I arranged for it to be for sale. You take it without
paying. You’re stealing. You suck. Go fuck yourself.
I don’t like the fact that I can’t run through the food court at the
mall totally naked, loudly singing “Stayin’ Alive” by the Bee-Gees and
squeezing random cute girls’ asses. No, I don’t like that not one bit,
NOT AT ALL, because that is something I would LOVE to do. Yet somehow
I refrain for a few reason: A) Those hot girls might not want me
squeezing their cute little heiners. In fact, they might just feel
violated. This is unethical behavior. I was raised better. B) My wife
might not appreciate that too much. It might upset her. I love her,
and don’t want to hurt her feelings (she also might slap/divorce me).
This is not nice, so once again, out of respect for someone else, I
refrain. I was raised better. C) I might get arrested if I don’t make
it out through the Chick-fil-A side kitchen door (quickest escape
route- I scoped it out). This would suck. Once again, I refrain, out
of respect for MYSELF. I was raised better.
Who is raising our children now? Wolves? Orangutans? The Tea Party? I
dunno. But somehow they don’t seem to know right from wrong anymore.
It’s all good for bands like Radiohead to offer their stuff at the
“pay whatever you want for it” price. How brave and cutting edge.
Guess what? Radiohead are already MULTI-MILLIONAIRES, rolling in dough
they made off of what? The old model, where people actually paid for
records. Must have been nice to actually get a royalty check. The
industry is going straight down the shitter. This is not theory- the
numbers don’t lie. Lamb of god is going to be ok, and I’m not worried
about illegal downloading killing my career at all- we’ve already got
a fanbase. We will sell tickets to shows, and we will sell tshirts.
It’s all good. No worries……..FOR US.
All you young bands? Bands that REALLY want it, bands who want to make
this crazy thing we call music their LIFE’S WORK? Good fucking luck. I
feel for ya. The party is over, and illegal downloading killed it. And
it also has opened the door for shit like SOPA, which, if passed, will
be used by the government and corporations to monopolize creative
content, effectively destroying free speech on the internet. And when
it happens, don’t say I didn’t warn you. Now go steal all the records
you can before the government enacts draconian measures to make make
sure the corporations get their money and you behave like a person who
was raised with some values.
As you can tell, I could go on about this all fucking day. But it
doesn’t do any good, except for blowing off steam. And that’s good
enough for me. All I can really do is sit back and watch it all burn
from my pimp palace.
4) Since the whole Livenation/ticketmaster take over we see ticket prices getting higher because of fees and more empty seats at venues, how come bands don’t add on their websites a place to sell their own tickets to avoid fans paying these fees or at least have the control to say ticket prices can’t be higher than X amount?
Jesus H. Christ, tell me about it. The “service” charges and fees
and all that shit constantly amaze me. I don’t believe I or anyone
else in a band see any extra loot out of all this bullshit. It SUCKS.
But anyway, I think the main reason bands don’t sell their own tickets
is……….IT’S NOT THEIR JOB. It’s the promoter/venue’s job. I’m a
singer, not a venue owner.
Being in a band is becoming more and more difficult these days. It’s
not enough to make music anymore. You have to do all these extra
things to sell records and tickets to shows. I have zero desire to
also add a ticket vendor aspect to my business. What a nightmare. I
already pay a road crew, record producer, entertainment lawyer, visual
artist, video production company, gear storage place, booking agent, a
manager, and a publicist. Now I gotta add a ticket guy? I can barely
keep up with my responsibilities as is. I don’t want to have to deal
with the ticket guy in band meetings. I want to make rock-n-roll. It’s
why I started doing this in the first place. Perhaps the fans could
organize themselves somewhat and tell LiveNation that they demand all
these added fees get removed.
Depending on who all gets paid, what the budget is, prices to our
shows are made as reasonable as possible while allowing us to make a
decent profit. We try not crank merch prices to an unreasonable amount
either, and we NEVER EVER make openers do tour buy-ons, price match
merch, or put DB limits on them. But at this level, as unromantic as
it sounds to some people, this band is a business. And a business that
doesn’t make money goes bankrupt. Then me and all the people I pay are
out of a job. All of us have families, and we all support our families
this way. So gimme that cheddar. I want that boat, haha.
5) What would be your dream festival, band line up (dead or alive) and location and what would you call it?
If I was gonna throw my dream festival, I would have it way up in
the highlands of Scotland on a nice sunny, warm summer day. I can
think of no place more majestic for the following bands to play: lamb
of god, The Sex Pistols (with Sid), Led Zepplin (original members),
Lynyrd Skynrd (original members), Wu-Tang Clan (yes, original members-
ODB!), Jimi Hendrix, Elvis, Bad Brains (original members), Black Flag
(with all the singers), Jawbreaker, Crimpshrine, Killing Joke, The
Birthday Party, The Descendents, The Cult (Love era line-up), Big
Black, James Brown, Bob Marley & the Wailers, Lee “Scratch” Perry,
Gojira, Prince Far I, The Claw, Minor Threat, Rites of Spring,
EYEHATEGOD, Sleep, Buzzoven, Frank Sinatra, GWAR (with Cory Smoot),
Slipknot (with Paul Gray), The Clash, Cro-mags (OG line up with no
drama) Doctor Octagon, Mule, John Coletrane, Dexter Gorder, Public
Enemy, Run DMC, Hank Williams Sr and Hank Williams the 3rd on stage
together, Misfits (with Danzig of course), Jesus Lizard, Pantera,
Slayer, Metallica, The Ramones (my wife wants to see them),
Breadwinner, Sliang Laos, Dead Boys, Iggy and the Stooges, and the all
original line up of the Beach Boys. I would call it “Good Vibrations”
and it would be sponsored by Smith & Wesson and Capri Sun.
I once randomly ran into Themerchdude in a REALLY seedy part of Bangkok, Thailand. We both had a day off on two separate tours. He was in the process of trying to purchase a (and I shit you not) VERY ANGRY
LOOKING MONKEY for a few thousand bhat from what looked like a
transexual hooker. I convinced him not to, then we went and got
stir-fried grasshoppers for dinner.
There you have guys one of the Angriest looking, nicest guy on the planet. Feel free to follow him below and please don’t forget to support his band at shows or by simply buying Lamb of God’s new Record entitled “Resolution” coming out on Epic records on
Jan. 24th 2012 in the States
Thank you Randall for taking the time to do 5 questions and for paying for my grasshoppers!!