Chris Adler, drummer for the Grammy nominated American metal band Lamb Of God spoke with me recently while on a short break between tours. The band had just finished The Monsters Of Mayhem Tour and was preparing to head out on their first sojourn into South America before meeting up with Metallica for a string of dates in Australia and New Zealand. Besides an almost nonstop touring schedule, the band has found time to release six full length albums. Their newest project, Hourglass, is a collection of classic Lamb Of God songs along with various collectible items and packaging options. Here is what Adler had to say about the band, the constant touring and the new release, Hourglass.

You guys just finished The Mayhem Tour. How did that go and what was it like?
Chris: It was awesome. I mean going in I wasn’t sure how good it was going to be because many of the bands on the tour are just not our style of bands. I mean no offense against them but I just did not know if our fans were going to want to see Korn or Rob Zombie play. The way we thought about this was that there would be a lot of their fans there and maybe we could turn those kind of radio metal guys onto the dark side a little more, which would be good for us. It was a great time and there were a lot of people that came out to see us, but it was also a good opportunity to get out there and steal a bunch of fans and I think we did a pretty good job of it.

You had a pretty good turnout all the way across the country, right? I mean we saw you guys here in Virginia Beach and it was a killer show.
Chris: Yeah I think there were only two shows in the whole tour that did not sell out. We had a blast and we couldn’t turn down playing to crowds as big as they were.

So now you guys have a little bit of a break and then I understand you are off to South America, Mexico and Australia?
Chris: Yeah we are going to finish up the last touring cycle in Australia and New Zealand with our new buddies in Metallica. We are doing South America on our own for the first time which should be a lot of fun.

So you have never played South America before?
Chris: No, it is exciting to me, the shows all sold out like two months in advance. It is obvious we should have been there before, but we are glad we are going there for the first time for sure.

That is really cool I have never been there, but I have heard they get some pretty monster crowds down there for anything metal so that should be great.
Chris: Yeah they are definitely feeling the metal and that is what we do best so it should be perfect.

Are there any countries that you have not gotten to that you would like to play?
Chris: Wow that is tough because in the last 6 or 8 months we have done some pretty crazy parts of the world. Place I didn’t even know existed. We have not done anything on the continent of Africa. We have had several opportunities to play South Africa but the timing was just off travel wise. That is definitely one place I still would like to get to.

I was talking with Chuck Billy from Testament not too long ago and he told me you guys played the Philippines with them and it was crazy. Was it pretty nuts?
Chris: Yeah it was insane. We showed up for the show and the crowd was great and they put us up in a nice place and everything. When they told us we were headlining a festival and Testament was opening up for us it didn’t make any sense but obviously it was pretty crazy and flattering. When we got to the show we realized how big it was; about 30,000 people had shown up and it was totally unexpected and insane.

I find it pretty crazy that metal is big over there as well.
Chris: Yeah. I think even though there are no records stores you still find metal everywhere.

I even heard from the guys in Testament that they might be playing in India. I find metal in India a really cool notion.
Chris: Yeah actually we just played India. It was great, there were like 12,000 people there and it was great. We were driving to the show and there were billboards with our ugly mugs on them; it was pretty insane.

So it was a crazy experience then?
Chris: It was. Absolutely, I mean a lot of these places like Russia and China are very very different. I think the weirdest place was Japan. It is so different from our normal world here. A lot of the countries we play in we have to drive through shanty towns on the way to the show, and that is crazy. Japan doesn’t have shanty towns or anything like that, but in Japan the culture is so completely different that you feel like a stranger in a strange land.

How has Hourglass been selling so far?
Chris: It has been doing really well. I think The Mayhem Festival really helped with that. It was kind of the reason why we did it anyway. The record company came to us and said now that we had 6 or 7 albums out perhaps we should do a greatest hits record. Everybody in the band was like: “absolutely not, greatest hit records suck!” Then we realized that we are right in the middle of recording cycles, the last record came out about 2 years ago and it will be another year before we are done recording and have the next one ready to go. We had gone into The Mayhem Festival hoping to steal some fans so if we had a new product out there that kind of contained, on a simple level, the songs that have made a difference for us in a live setting.

That way if we did end up stealing any fans on this tour they could pick that up and not have to decide which of the 6 or 7 albums to pick up and if they like that fine and if not they could throw it away. That was kind of the idea with the simple package. Then we realized that for the older fans or the fans that have been with us for a while this basically looked like a greatest hits package and we needed to make something special for them as well. We tried to come up with different ideas and I think we have hopefully found a way that has something in it for everyone. I know that not every Lamb Of God fan is going to pick up Hourglass but for the people that were interested we wanted to make sure it had something in it for them.

When you were putting Hourglass together and listening back through the older tunes did you come across any that you had forgotten about?
Chris: I pretty much remembered them all, but I didn’t remember how bad they were. Putting together the third disc of the anthology was a lot of fun, you know going back and listening to some of the demos and hearing where our heads were at. It is pretty cool to think back to the different structures of a song, you know how it started in the rehearsal space and how it ended up on the album.

Did you ever imagine you would be releasing records almost 15 years later?
Chris: No man. I never imagined we would ever make one. This was kind of a way for us to get together, have some fun, find some beers, maybe travel around and have some laughs. In the end I think we have maintained a lot of that which has enabled us to keep doing that… but no, I never imagined this would be an actual career. This is too much fun.

Do you find the rigors of touring taking more of a toll on you as you get older?
Chris: Not really. Physically I am holding up pretty well and most of the time when the tour ends I am pretty bummed because I love being out there playing and doing what we do. I think the hard part is the emotional side now that we are getting older and we have families and wives. The relationships are the things that suffer and the heartache of being away all the time. I could get a real job and then I would be gone from 9-5 everyday. This way I am gone January and hopefully will be home in February again.

Any closing words at all?
Chris: Thanks for wanting to chat. Thanks to the fans that have been supporting us, we never thought we would be around this long and it is all because of them. We will try and keep up the quality of the metal.