Albert Mudrian, American, Arrested, Bolt Thrower, Burn The Priest, Catholic Church, Century Media, Czech Republic, Death, Dimebag Darrell, Dio, Dying Fetus, Extreme, Fanzines, Free Randy, Gwar, Heavy Metal, Iron Maiden, John Gallagher, King Diamond, Lamb Of God, Looney Tunes, Mark Morton, Megadeth, Nuno Bettencourt, Promethean Crusade, Randy Blythe, Raven, Robert Van Winkle, Slayer, Suffocation, Twisted Sister, Vatican, Vito Bratta, Will Adler
Exclusive: Mark Morton Talks About Lamb Of God, Randy Blythe’s Arrest, Etc.
Lamb Of God are, to a certain generation of young people, the definition of American heavy metal. When singer/screamer/a-hollerin’ fool Randy Blythe was arrested by authorities in the Czech Republic last week, a call to arms went out into the metal community and outrage ruled the day. I had a chance to have an exclusive interview with Mark Morton about the current state of Lamb Of God. Hopefully he could offer a light at the end of the tunnel.
Universe Number Five: Hey Mark, you’ve long been involved in the metal scene, besides being a guitarist for Lamb Of God, what else do you do?
Mark Morton: Well, technically, I’ve been involved in the metal scene through fanzines since around 1995/96, and I did metal publicity for about a decade. But I’ve never played guitar for Lamb of God. I used to play bass for some regional Pottstown/Reading bands, but never guitar.
UNF: Very funny, no need for modesty here, Mark. So you guys were called Burn The Priest before Lamb Of God. Did you change the name to gain a wider audience, or perhaps did you develop sympathy for the Vatican?
Mark: While I have no love for the Catholic Church, or any other religion for that matter, I was never in Burn the Priest or Lamb of God. I thought we covered this already. Coincidentally, though, one of the last issues of my zine Promethean Crusade featured an interview with them just after the name change.
UNF: Your singer, Randy Blythe, just got into a little trouble in the Czech Republic. I’ve heard rumors about you guys showing interest in Robert Van Winkle handling the vocals on tour while Blythe is down. Care to elaborate on the legal issues?
Mark: Are you serious about all of this? We’ve been FB “friends” for about two years now. Don’t you remember? We met through a mutual enjoyment of poking fun at Albert Mudrian’s extreme metal book? All I “know” about LoG’s singer’s legal issues is what I read on various websites, which all seem to have some kind of skewed angle thanks to the limited availability of real details. I’m not really interested in that situation at all anyway, because I’m not a LoG fan. I liked one of their albums, but that was pretty much the extent of my connection with the band. I’ve never seen them live, never met them, and am not going to rally behind this “Free Randy” campaign just because I happen to be a metal fan
UNF: You stated a minute ago that you interviewed the band for your fanzine after the name change from Burn The Priest to Lamb Of God. Does the fact that you are in the band create a sort of journalistic conflict of interest about also interviewing them? Furthermore, your use of the word ‘them’ in that particular sentence would lead me to believe that perhaps you were excluded in the renaming process. Did you have a preference for the original name, or did you perhaps have another name in mind?
Mark: No, I said the zine interviewed the band. Please pay attention to the verbiage. Steve Joh, who works or worked for Century Media actually did the interview. He was a fan of the band and wanted to give them some early support, because he had a feeling that they were going to break huge. He was apparently right. And of course I was excluded from the name-change process. As I have stated like a broken record now, I am not the guy who plays guitar for Lamb of God. I am a completely different person who coincidentally is cursed to share the same name as that guy. Look at my FB pics! Do I even LOOK like the bearded hillbilly who plays in LoG???
UNF: Who’s a more skilled guitar player, you or Will Adler?
Mark: Obviously Will, since I’ve already covered the fact that I’ve never played guitar. Are you even listening to me?
UNF: Exactly, my friend. I wouldn’t say that you merely play the guitar. Your axe is a conduit through which you express sound on a deeply spiritual level. Besides the obvious Dimebag Darrell and Nuno Bettencourt, who else would you count as major influences on your style?
Mark: Okay, dude, you’ve officially gone into Looney Tunes land. And even if I did play guitar, neither of those guys would come close to influencing or inspiring how I might play. Was the LoG guy really inspired by Extreme? I don’t think I’ve ever heard that come out in their music. That would be like John Gallagher (from Dying Fetus) saying he is influenced by Vito Bratta.
UNF: I agree, Vito Bratta was a very talented guitarist. I heard a rumor that John Gallagher was gonna join Raven as a second guitarist. That would’ve been interesting. OK Mark, is there one thing you’d like to say to all the Lamb Of God fans out there about Randy’s incarceration and the near future of the band?
Mark: It’s not really any of my business to presume anything about Randy’s situation in Europe, and I certainly have no inclination to incite vehemence from the LoG community. If they want to go and get Amnesty International involved or petitions from metal webzines, that’s their prerogative. I’m staying out of it
UNF: OK Mr. Morton, well thanks for your time. Just one more question before I let you run. What are five to ten heavy metal albums everyone should own?
Mark: Finally, something that actually matters to me. These are classics that go with me everywhere:
IRON MAIDEN – Number of the Beast
SUFFOCATION – Effigy of the Forgotten
SLAYER – Reign in Blood
MEGADETH – Peace Sells…But Who’s Buying
KING DIAMOND – Abigail
BOLT THROWER – War Master
DIO – Dream Evil
DEATH – Spiritual Healing
GWAR – Scumdogs of the Universe
TWISTED SISTER – Stay Hungry
From → Uncategorized