Randy Blythe of Lamb of God On Punk Rock

Lamb of God 2015 travis shinn

Since the release of his book Dark Days: A Memoir and his band Lamb of God’s latest album VII: Sturm und Drang, frontman Randy Blythe has spoken about many subjects pertaining to his life. One area that he has spoken about is his connection to the punk rock world and how the music often helped him through tough time periods throughout his life.

He explains how he became connected to the punk rock world:

Some of that was from teenage angst. Some of that was that I was different. I didn’t really fit in with the standard cliques in high school with the jocks or the popular people. When I was really young I tried to get along with everyone but it was always too weird. At a young age of 12, I discovered the Sex Pistols. Then from there, it moved onward.

Punk rock music as an older person and music in general now has done so much to help me deal with life, emotionally and mentally. At times it helps me process things.

Lamb of God, by Evil Robb Photography

Lamb of God, by Evil Robb Photography

Within his book, Blythe often referenced various songs, where the lyrical content guided him through the tough periods when he was imprisoned at Pankrac in the Czech Republic. Much like how his fans often share how his lyrics and music help them, he also got to share what his heroes’ music meant to him.

There’s three bands that really had songs stuck in my head when I was in prison – one was ‘London Dungeon’ and the other was ‘Attitude’ by Bad Brains. The other was ‘Rise Above’ by Black Flag. Henry Rollins I got to tell, [Glenn] Danzig I got to tell, Darryl Jenifer I got to tell them how much their songs meant to me in prison. That’s a pretty special thing because I knew those guys. I know some of the guys in Black Flag. I’m friends with Darryl and it’s pretty awesome to look at someone and go ‘your music helped me get through a tough time.

As a musician, I get that a lot from fans. Naturally it would be a compliment I could give to them, now that the book is out. I’ve had several people tell me ‘your book is really helping me put things in perspective.’ I think it’s valuable for people to try and it’s impossible to walk a mile in someone else’s shoes unless you do it. You consider someone else’s perspective and their experience and then look at it in relation to your own. You learn from that. It can make things not so bad.

The whole punk thing, I think it enabled me to survive, like I said until I discovered it and the people who hung out in that scene who marched to the beat of the people that bought into marching for themselves. I just felt really around. The music felt more like a community and always faithful for it.

On a positive note, his love of punk rock was reciprocated to where he took part as one of the many vocalists on the Teenage Time Killers album, Teenage Time Killers: Greatest Hits Vol. 1, where he got to perform at their one time show in Los Angeles back in September 2015 as well. Even though he spoke about this prior to it happening, he was genuinely excited about it.

The Teenage Time Killers show I’m really stoked on. That’s me becoming friends with guys playing in bands when I was in high school. That’s Reed [Mullin] from COC (Corrosion of Conformity) and Animosity was a hugely important record for me growing up. Reed and Mike Dean’s vocals were a big influence on me.

It’s an honor to be asked to sing on that record and to be treated as a peer by some guys who made some good music that shaped me into what I am. I’m super excited because the show is shortly after tour. I was debating not doing it because I needed a break. I’ve been out for months at that point. I talked to my wife and was like ‘are you crazy? Mike Dean is going to be there. You should go do it.’ So I’m gonna go do that.

By Rei Nishimoto