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interview:

sacrificial lamb

December 16, 2010

Interview by T. Bux

John Campell Lamb of God


In honor of the 15th anniversary of Lamb of God's existence, we here at the Reglar Wiglar thought it'd be as good a time as any to check in and see how the L.O.G. was getting on since we last spoke back in 2001. Ten years and a lot of hard, hard miles will no doubt put some salt in man. To find out how much, we put London correspondent, and former Virginian, Todd "T. Bux" Uzel on the transatlantic horn to holler at L.O.G. bass player, John Campbell. So sit back, grab a beer and listen to these good old Virginny boys have a jaw at one another.

REGLAR WIGLAR: Sixteen years... any insight you learned?

JOHN CAMPBELL: Not really. I learned that Willie is a gross human being. I know what dudes in the band's drinking and drugging habits are.

RW: You pretty much been all over the world. So what now?

JOHN CAMPBELL: I need some time to see my home, the world can wait. It has all been the clichéd blur. Some cities we were in for less than twenty-four hours, some all we saw were the shit-holes that we played.


 

RW: Yeah, that said, you think if it ended tomorrow... would you miss the dynamics of traveling and get bored at home all the time?

JOHN CAMPBELL: Eventually I would get bored, but then I would hope to travel on my own terms. I know my wife is anxious for that. She is very bored sitting at home.

RW: Where would you go first?

JOHN CAMPBELL: My wife really wants to see Holland, and not for the relaxed drug laws. I’d like to get back to Australia or New Zealand. But that's a real kick in the dick getting there.

RW: I hear Copenhagen is pretty down.

JOHN CAMPBELL: Copenhagen is amazing! Amazingly expensive too. I could spend some time there... on someone else's dime.

RW: Thought you were rolling?

JOHN CAMPBELL: That's what you get for thinking! I'm doing all right, but I ain’t rolling.

RW: Dispel the myth.

JOHN CAMPBELL: Should I forward you my tax returns?

RW: Most would think with you chumps all up in the media, you must be in the goods.

Lamb of God band photo

JOHN CAMPBELL: Unfortunately, I can't pay my mortgage with printed interviews. I do get to do what I really do love doing; playing shows. It has never been about money anyway.

RW: Which brings up an insiders view of mainstream label life...

JOHN CAMPBELL: Record labels are dead. We, in some ways, were lucky to get in before the huge collapse. But it has been on its way out for awhile.

RW: So who's gonna release the LOG Christmas album? K-Tel?

JOHN CAMPBELL: LOG if it were ever to happen. There's no way K-Tel is still around. (Oh really?--Ed.)

RW: You could bring 'em back.

JOHN CAMPBELL: No point, it's a dead industry. At least on the grand scale. Boutique is where it’s at. Have you seen the Dischord site recently? Great stuff, buy music directly from them.

RW: You guys tour with a lot of older bands—Metallica, Slayer, etcetara. You ever tell Lars to suck it?

JOHN CAMPBELL: Not in those words, but we had a moment that was mildly awkward. I was warming up backstage and had just gotten in ears. He walked by and said something. I heard nothing. I looked up and saw a buncha people kinda staring at me.

RW: Ears?

JOHN CAMPBELL: In-ear monitors... molded earphones basically. You can't hear shit but what you have put in them.

RW: Ah, so kinda like you were ignoring him?

JOHN CAMPBELL: Correct. But then pulled them out, fumbling with an apology and blah, blah, blah. Kinda shrugged him off.

RW: Feel like you missed much?

JOHN CAMPBELL: I didn’t. He repeated what he said with a strained voice, "I said, are you having fun?"

RW: Ever feel like asking those dudes why they didn't pack it in after Cliff?

JOHN CAMPBELL: Are you kidding?

RW: Nope.

JOHN CAMPBELL: They’re the biggest band in the world!

RW: Don't mean it's good.

JOHN CAMPBELL: They would have never gotten there if they "packed it in.” Take your snobby opinion out of it. They have accomplished a lot! And they do put on a good show to sold out arenas every night they play, in any city in the world. That's pretty impressive!

RW: Brings up a good point. You said earlier it ain't about the money but if it becomes somewhat sub par, musically, do you know?

JOHN CAMPBELL: Who says it's about the money for them? Maybe it's looking for a broader audience that puts you off so much?

RW: Hypothetical question...

JOHN CAMPBELL: I hear ya. I ain't mad at 'tallica… least not like I used to be. The Black Album was disappointing, to say the least.

RW: Seems like a lot of bands, big or small, after going so long, just get mechanical... going through the motions, you know?

JOHN CAMPBELL: Ha! Don’t I ever! I'm reading a book about Led Zep.

RW: Which one? Hammer of the Gods?

JOHN CAMPBELL: I forget. But they talk about Page being in the Yardbirds and how they were self-destructing and going through the motions. I can’t remember the title, just cracked into it. Saving it for tour. Also got White Line Fever, Lemmy's autobiography.

RW: You ever read Our Band Could be Your Life? Ever miss the days of touring in a van, "living the life" as described in the book? Keeping it real?

JOHN CAMPBELL: Not really. In 2008 I ran around with RPG in a van.

RW: How was it?

JOHN CAMPBELL: As I get older, that ain't no way to live! Its not bad for the weekend warrior, but if you are trying o pay the bills that way.... forget it.

RW: Thought it ain't bout the money?

JOHN CAMPBELL: That’s not money, that’s about comfort.

RW: Fair point... but what about playing smaller clubs verses bigger places?

JOHN CAMPBELL: Smaller clubs are good. Its all relative. Again, it's all right for the weekend warrior, not if you’re living it, at least not for me. I’d rather be home working a schmedley job, playing once a week with my friends in a practice space.

RW: So most all of you got kids. When they get older maybe they could carry the legacy... start a band called "Lamb Chop." Got massive marketing appeal! Keep it in the family, yo!

JOHN CAMPBELL: Sounds like a terrible idea. You come up with that yourself?

RW: Do you guys talk about the life of LOG or just roll with it? Got a master plan?

JOHN CAMPBELL: You forget to pay your Internet bill?

RW: Transatlantic connections can be bunk sometimes. You shining this question?

Lamb of God band photo

JOHN CAMPBELL: We talk about the life of LOG, it's our business! We have a vision, a plan if you will. We are touring up until Thanksgiving, then taking time off, then writing/recording another album and touring on it for a couple years. From there, who knows? That's the three year plan, anyway. Hope that doesn’t kill the romance for you.

RW: When do you think you'll reach the pinnacle? You think kids will keep following?

JOHN CAMPBELL: I think that will be better evaluated down the road. I'm suspecting we may have hit it. I think we could maintain where we are now for as long as we wanted.

RW: Just curious about how the winds blow. Metal fans seem to be quite loyal.

JOHN CAMPBELL: Sure, probably more loyal than metal bands.

RW: Ever think of doing your own side project?

JOHN CAMPBELL: I would love to be in a shitty old man band that played a shitty local bar once every three months. Maybe once every six months.

RW: What about making records?

JOHN CAMPBELL: I think recordings would be more fun than actually trying to print/sell product. Itunes release maybe?

RW: I'm sure some LOG fans would follow it. What have you been listening to recently?

RW: The new Black Mountain record is pretty nice. Wilderness Hearts, heard it? I got In The Future, I need to get their first record.

RW: Yeah, I dig em. I tried to tell you about it last time I was in town but you weren't having it.

JOHN CAMPBELL: My only critique of them is that they sound like other bands all the time, from Thin Lizzy to Bowie to Sabbath.

RW: Yeah well, who doesn't?

JOHN CAMPBELL: Not as blatant as they do. But they do it so well that I end up not caring. They mix heavy and mellow real well.

RW: Kinda hard to find anything original anymore.

JOHN CAMPBELL: We'll see about that.

RW: How do you mean?

JOHN CAMPBELL: Just when you make a statement like that is the perfect time for something new and creative come out.

RW: You guys thinking bout incorporating more keyboards into your sound? It is the hip thing these days.

JOHN CAMPBELL: For your smart assed info, Sacrament was full of keyboards.

RW: Well, no shit. Thought I was listening to a harpsichord concerto there.

JOHN CAMPBELL: We went the opposite direction for our last release as a reaction.

RW: Still a good record. Got some ol' toe tappers on it.

JOHN CAMPBELL: Morty (Mark Morton) writes sweet riffs, lyrics and arrangements.

RW: What about Willie? Thought it was about half and half?

JOHN CAMPBELL: Musically. He writes the esoteric, weird riffs. Morty does almost one hundred percent of lyric arrangement and at least eighty percent of lyric writing.

RW: You guys still argue about song titles/album names? (reference to a scene in the “Walk With Me In Hell” video where the band debates the title for the upcoming release).

JOHN CAMPBELL: No arguing for me. I think some of those dudes argue for the sake of it. Not for my personality.

RW: Ever think of just signing off?

JOHN CAMPBELL: Sure, but I'm too stubborn. This thing has a life span like all things and one day will come to pass.

RW: Either way, sounds like you guys have tapped into a "working" groove and the results are all good.

JOHN CAMPBELL: That’s what I'm saying! Two years into this tour cycle, I need to be off the road for a bit... I'm definitely on the hating side of things at the moment.

RW: Maybe we'll do another interview after you've been home for a year and see what you say.

JOHN CAMPBELL: Yeah, I probably will be anxious to get out on the road.

RW: Ever think of changing it up and swapping instruments?

JOHN CAMPBELL: You mean within the band or personally? 'Cause I really wanted to play drums when this all started.

RW: The band, moron.

JOHN CAMPBELL: That would be a "hell no".

RW: Why not? You were just talking about something new and creative. Maybe you could sing? Or get back on them keys?

JOHN CAMPBELL: You are really full of terrible ideas. No wonder Wiglar hired you.

RW: Ah shit... that's cold... you self righteous bastard.

JOHN CAMPBELL: When you're right, why can’t you congratulate yourself?

RW: Moving on... what's next for ol' J.C.?

JOHN CAMPBELL: I’m waiting on my fucking clutch cable so I can ride my motorcycle... leaving in two days for South America. Waiting to get home so I can forget about the road for a bit.

RW: You gonna put a fifth seat on that bike?

JOHN CAMPBELL: A fifth? I got a solo seat. One came with the bike, one replaced that. Then I put on struts, so I needed a seat with springs.

RW: Saw photos with a bunch of different seats. Somebody can't make up their mind? Have anything to do with an ever expanding ass?

JOHN CAMPBELL: Such a nit-picking motherfucker! The solo seat is smaller, fucklips, and my belly expands, not my ass.

RW: You wear leather when you're on the hog? Chaps?

JOHN CAMPBELL: Now you're fantasizing. Jeans, boots and gloves.

RW: Got any "colors?" Redwings?

JOHN CAMPBELL: Ha! No, I’m no where near cool enough to be a real biker.

RW: Still gotta show the world who's boss.

JOHN CAMPBELL: Ha! Fuck the world! I just wanna be left alone!

RW: We'll on that note, we'll end this here interview.

JOHN CAMPBELL: 'Bout fucking time!

READ: Reglar Wiglar LOG 2001 Interview with John Campbell.

John Campell Lamb of God

 

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