Basic Background Info
Chris Adler, now behind the helm of metal juggernaut Lamb of God, was born in November 1972, in Washington, D.C. After attending Catholic high school, Chris Adler enrolled at Virginia Commonwealth University in 1990. While there, Chris Adler met his future band mates, John Campbell and Mark Morton.
Chris Adler played bass guitar in college bands. During a Wrathchild America concert, Chris decided he wanted to switch to the drums after watching Shannon Larkin (Godsmack) perform. Unfortunately for Chris Adler, he had hand-fulls of bass gear and no money with which to buy a drum kit. Chris Adler got a part-time job to make some extra money. Simultaneously, John Campbell wanted to start a band. Seeing an opportunity to join as a drummer, Chris decided to go ahead and buy a used drum set for $250.
Teaching himself to play, Chris Adler emulated Shannon Larkin who he saw 'just effortlessly playing this kind of [progressive] heavy metal that was just mind blowing to me.' He also listened to Joey Kramer of Aerosmith and others through headphones ìto just learn how to do things.' Gar Samuels (Megadeath) inspired Chris to 'speed things up, and [understand] what good drums can do to help a band.' Chris practiced obsessively, reluctant to embarrass himself in front of his friends or audiences.
Chris Adler, John Campbell, and Mark Morton formed Burn the Priest and practiced at Chris's unheated house in Richmond. After graduation, Morton left to pursue a graduate degree, but the band found a new guitarist (Abe Spear), a new vocalist (Randy Blythe), and kept working. Burn the Priest became a staple of the rich music scene in Richmond. High caliber bands dominated the stages. John Campbell recalls, 'The bands in Richmond can flat outplay you and if you don't practice, they will blow you off the stage.' For his part, Chris Adler said, 'I spent a lot of time just wood shedding in my house and trying to be the best I could be, so that Ií'd feel proud of the band and the songs we were writing.'
Morton returned, and Burn the Priest recorded a self-titled album. Shortly after, Abe Spear left the band and Chris's brother, Willie, became the new guitarist. A year later, the band became Lamb of God and signed a record deal. They released their first Lamb of God record, New American Gospel. 'This is a classic record. We had all the elements come together to make one of the heaviest, yet contagious records of our career. It was difficult to contain us--we didn't even understand at the time what we had created.'
Lamb of God toured for two years in support of the album before quickly recording the follow-up, As the Palaces Burn. That record won multiple awards, both from niche metal publications and the mainstream media. Lamb of God co-headlined MTV's first Headbanger's Ball Tour in 2003 with Shadows Fall, Killswitch Engage, and God Forbid. Metal experts considered the definitive line-up a "who's-who" of North American metal.
After the MTV tour, Lamb of God recorded Ashes of the Wake under a major record label. It received both critical acclaim and garnered high sales revenues. They also released the Killadelphia DVD, which chronicled their lives on the road. They made the DVD 'to show what it's like to do this. Like when you're kids growing up listening to music, you have this great imagination that rock stars take a plane to the grocery store and it's just gold and women and cars, and it must be amazing doing that. For us it's just really important to show what it's really like. Not because we're poor or whatever, but because if you're going to grow up and want to be in a band you shouldn't have these big dreams of caviar and all this [stuff], because it can be tough and it's not always what it's cracked up to be."
In 2006, Lamb of God released Sacrament. It was hailed as 'a stunning example of how diverse, articulate, and pummeling metal can be.' While recording the album, Chrisís car broke down and he rode his mountain bike to the studio. He didn't have the money to buy another car, further solidifying the point that sometimes being a rock star isn't quite what you would expect. And, Chris added cheerfully, 'It certainly turned out to be a nice physical workout, and it probably didn't hurt my double bass chops.'
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