Mohit J Gopalani, brand manager of Mapex drums in India, conducted an interview with LAMB OF GOD and MEGADETH drummer Chris Adler in October 2015 before MEGADETH‘s concert in Mumbai. You can now watch the chat below.
Asked how he is handling pulling double duty with MEGADETH and LAMB OF GOD, Adler said: “It’s been a challenge, because now the MEGADETH record [‘Dystopia’] is about to come out, in January, and everything is starting to gear up for MEGADETH, and Dave [Mustaine, MEGADETH mainman] would like me to be in [the band]. Of course, LAMB OF GOD is kind of my band… Well, it’s all of our band; we’re partners in that. So [LAMB OF GOD‘s latest] album [‘VII: Sturm Und Drang’] is out, it’s doing very well. We’ve got plenty of work touring the world, probably a couple of times, so it’s gonna be difficult to juggle. But I’m gonna try very hard to do it. I feel very lucky to have the opportunity to be with both bands. It’s kind of like having the best of both worlds.”
Regarding how his signature snare drum sound was changed to accommodate MEGADETH, Adler said: “Right away, that was funny. Because the first thing, when Dave called me to come and do the [‘Dystopia’] record with him, I came in with my normal LAMB OF GOD set, with the snare drum, and we started playing a couple of songs. And within maybe a song and a half, he’s, like, ‘Listen, you’re playing great, but that snare drum does not fit MEGADETH.’ And so we went and actually used the Mapex Wraith, the Matt Halpern drum, on the MEGADETH record, which fit in much better to that kind of sound. But the drum itself, I’ve been using it in LAMB OF GOD forever, and it started, actually, when I got my first drum kit with a piccolo.”
He continued: I’ve always liked that kind of high-pitched, cut-through sound instead of that big 14-inch TWISTED SISTER kind of snare drum [which] was never my thing. So I always liked bands like THE POLICE and 311 and that kind of sound. Every part of my drum kit, I wanted it to have a unique voice instead of just kind of being whatever you’ve heard over and over again. And I found out, when I did the 12-inch drum — I didn’t even know it, because I don’t spend a lot of time listening to gospel — but apparently 12-inch is a typical kind of gospel drum as well, and so the drum is actually doing very well in the gospel circle.”
Mustaine recently told MetalIreland.com about his friendship and working relationship with Adler: “LAMB OF GOD and MEGADETH had toured together many years ago — we did Gigantour together. And I got to know Chris and really liked him. I had no idea how much he looked up to me, and to MEGADETH. And especially with Gar [Samuelson, late MEGADETH drummer], he was very impressed by Gar‘s playing. So we became incredibly close, in a short period of time.”
He continued: “There is no drummer, other than Gar, that I’ve gotten that close to. Honestly! There was Chuck [Behler], there was Nick [Menza], there was Jimmy DeGrasso, there was Vinnie Colaiuta, there was Shawn Drover — and they’re all talented, but in terms of being close with someone and really enjoying being in their company and calling someone up and saying, ‘Hey, where are you? Wanna do something?’ That’s where we’re at right now.”
Mustaine added: “You know, I don’t want to cause LAMB OF GOD any problems, and I’m hoping we’ll be able to continue to do this. But if a time comes when we won’t be able to continue doing this, I’m extremely grateful for his contributions.”
Dave also talked in more detail about the personal connection between him and Adler. He said: “[Chris is] funny! You know I went to some concert, to go some New Wave kind of guy, in Nashville where we live, and the songs they were playing, you know they’re probably on the radio, but, to me, they just sounded awful. Really noisy, feedback-y kind of stuff. And that was part of the style of the songs. So I wrote to Chris, and I was like, ‘Yeah, I’m here with [my daughter] Electra, for her birthday, at this concert and it’s just horrible.’ And he just replied, ‘Yeah, suck it up, buttercup.’ And I was, like, ‘Ha! Are you signing that ‘buttercup’ or are you calling me buttercup?'”
He continued: “So we just hit it off, and when I showed my wife, and Electra, my daughter, what he’d wrote, they said, ‘I like him.'”
Mustaine added: “I honestly prefer a guy who will be honest with you and who will josh with you, instead of being a puss, and saying stuff about you behind your back.”
Adler said in a recent interview that he wasn’t particularly concerned about Mustaine‘s reputation as someone who is difficult to work with. “We [LAMB OF GOD and MEGADETH] had toured together in 2005; we did Gigantour together, and he and I have caught up and become… I wouldn’t say friends, but, you know, acquaintances,” he said. “And so, we would talk throughout the day and throughout the tour, and it was fun then. So, coming back into it, that really didn’t scare me at all. And I’ve heard those stories too. I think people like to pick on Dave, because it’s easy to pick on the king. This is the guy, for me, that created this whole thing, so it’s always easy to pick on the guy at the top.”
“Dystopia” will be released on January 22, 2016. The follow-up to 2013’s “Super Collider” marks the recording debut of MEGADETH‘s new lineup, which also includes Brazilian guitarist Kiko Loureiro, best known for his work with ANGRA.