Interview With Tim Lambesis From As I Lay Dying
Band Photo: As I Lay Dying (?)
Shortly after interviewing Phil from All That Remains on March 29, I interviewed As I Lay Dying singer, Tim Lambesis, about the the band, their touring life, their upcoming album and music in general. This is how it went down:
darkstar: How are you doing?
Tim: Pretty good.
darkstar: Cool. How’s the tour so far?
Tim: So far, pretty good. We had a hard time getting across the border today.
darkstar: Yeah? What happened?
Tim: There’s really no good reason. They just kept on sending us back and forth to different offices. There was one guy we were dealing with. He was in a really bad mood. Once we got past him, we were ok. The first 5 shows went really, really well. Life in Pictures, they were on those and they stopped yesterday.
darkstar: They’re on Clockwork Recordings?
darkstar: Can you tell us a bit more about that?
Tim: Yeah. We really started out the label because I saw a younger band who was really hungry and dedicated to their music but didn’t have the opportunity that we had when we started. So I wanted to get their record out and I know there’s going to be other bands like them that I’m going to run into.
darkstar: How did you meet them?
Tim: We played with them on tour a couple of times. They’re a great band that just never had the opportunity. They’re from a really small town so a lot of, you know, important industry kind of people never saw them.
darkstar: I saw you guys on tour with In Flames and Killswitch Engage last year. How was that tour?
Tim: That was a fun tour. I think that at the time, it was the biggest tour we’ve ever been on. Since then, a lot has changed. We’ve been able to grow a quite bit. So getting ready for Ozzfest, which we’re going to play after In Flames, is going to be interesting.
darkstar: Are you excited to be playing Ozzfest?
Tim: Yeah. Ozzfest has its positives and negatives things. But ultimately being able to play with Iron Maiden and some of these legendary bands is going to be a once-in-lifetime opportunity.
darkstar: Is it true that up-and-coming bands have to pay 80 grand to tour with Ozzfest?
Tim: It’s actually 75, which doesn’t make it that much less. Last year, we would’ve had the opportunity to play if we would’ve got together that money. But we decided it wasn’t worth that kind of money. I think it was the best decision we made because, this year, as a side-stage headliner, we actually get paid instead of having to pay. I mean, I understand the reason why they do it because there’s so much marketing, so much promotion that goes into it. But I just think some bands don’t benefit. It’s not worth that much money.
darkstar: Do you like playing in Vancouver?
Tim: Yeah actually. The only experience we was with Killswitch and In Flames. So far, so good. I like this city. Just walking around. I like Vancouver. It feels enough like home that I’m comfortable. But it’s different enough from home that it’s exciting.
darkstar: How would you say it’s different from home?
Tim: I’d say it’s more cultural. In San Diego, everybody has like this Southern California mentality and they’re real… I don’t know how to explain it. There’s one kind of person in San Diego. But up here, it seems like there’s a little more variety. In general, people are very open to other ideas and other points of views.
darkstar: So you’re saying we’re more diverse or something?
Tim: More diverse. Yeah.
darkstar: What’s your favourite city to play in?
Tim: I wasn’t talking trash, but I really do love playing in San Diego. It’s my favourite. Every place has its good and bad things. But overall, of course, playing at home.
darkstar: So you guys have a new album coming out June 14th. How’s it different from the other ones?
Tim: Because we’re such a young band, we grew a lot in our ability to play our instruments and as well as our ability to write songs. From a technical standpoint, everything is much more complicated, you know, guitar-wise. But at the same time, it’s more memorable. I think it’s progression, not maturing styles or anything like that, but we’ve just gotten a lot better as a band.
darkstar: Would you say it’s more like Frail Words Collapse or Beneath the Encasing of Ashes?
Tim: Definitely more like Frail Words Collapse.
darkstar: You guys have a lot of catchy melodic riffs in your songs that get you compared to In Flames a lot. Would you say you’re influenced by the Gothenburg sound at all?
Tim: Yes, I think the Gothenburg sound is just bringing memorable melodies from guitars to heavier-sounding music. In Flames, they do that very, very well and their focus is mainly on that. Ours, I think, is maybe a little more diverse. I don’t think we’re entirely focused on melody. I think there’s still a lot of aggression and energy we try to portray. The music’s a little more raw. I guess the best word would just be aggressive.
darkstar: When people first listen to As I Lay Dying, they always comment on the drummer. I know you’re not the drummer but do you have any comments on that?
Tim: Yeah. We keep growing and getting better and he seems to be growing the fastest. And so we wanted to showcase him on the last record. This record, I think that he’s grown and become a better drummer, but our guitar players have grown a lot. And so, I think, the new record, Shadows are Security, everybody gets to show off a little bit.
darkstar: What’s your favourite As I Lay Dying song?
Tim: My absolute favourite… I have favourites for different reasons. My favourite song to play live is… I enjoy playing “94 Hours” because it’s really the sound that we’re going for. Lyrically, there’s this song we have called “Behind Me Lies Another Fallen Soldier.” It’s a simple song and not a very exciting live song but it’s one of my favourite songs.
darkstar: Would you consider As I Lay Dying as a Christian metal band?
Tim: Yeah. I mean, all 5 of us are Christians so I don’t know make us not a Christian band. But at the same time, we’ve never been known as a band that’s extremely preachy on stage. I think that we intelligently represent what we believe and gain people’s respect by good musicians. You know, playing our music is the first thing that we do. When people get the chance to dig into the band and find out what we’re about, then they can learn we’re behind all of our music.
darkstar: How did you spend Easter?
Tim: On tour, actually. I normally don’t say a whole lot on stage but the one thing that I would say, for the past couple of nights, for those people who believe that Easter was the resurrection, that that should change their lives, if they do believe that really was a resurrection. For me, I don’t believe. Easter is just another day. You don’t have to go to work, I guess. It’s an excuse to have your friends over. I think it’s very pointless to consider yourself a Christian or believe in the resurrection and not be changed from it.
darkstar: Are you guys named after the William Faulkner novel?
Tim: We got the idea from the name. I wouldn’t say that there is a correlation in the meaning of the book and the meaning of the band. We stole the name from there.
darkstar: Do you like the story?
Tim: It’s kind of depressing but I guess it’s well-written. It’s not my style of novel.
darkstar: Why did you decide to use that name?
Tim: Coming up with a name is a lot harder than it seems. At the time, it was the best name that we could think of.
darkstar: Would you ever change your name if you didn’t like it?
Tim: If we didn’t like it. I do like the name. It’s very easy to apply your own meaning to the name. We’ve been able to adapt and make it really work for the band. I think just the ring of it sounds really cool.
darkstar: Do you or any member of the band personally run the MySpace page?
Tim: No, actually. The people who are on MySpace or has the MySpace page are in no way related to the band, but they pretend like they are us. So a lot of people go “Oh I talked to you on MySpace.” And I’m like “What are you talking about?” It’s not us.
darkstar: So you don’t have MySpace?
Tim: I personally don’t. Some of the other guys have personal MySpace accounts but there’s no real As I Lay Dying MySpace.
darkstar: Phil from All That Remains told us that they only make $200 a show and they don’t really make money off of it. I was wondering if you’re doing any better.
Tim: If you’re headlining, it’s different every night because it depends on how many people show up. In this tour, it’s probably the first tour in a while where we’ll actually go home and have a little money for ourselves personally. But most of the time, we just make enough money to pay our bills and that’s it. I don’t think this is the kind of music anybody should be playing. If there’s any of the younger bands that are starting, definitely don’t play this kind of music if you want to make money. You have to really love it to do it. Obviously that’s why we keep doing it.
darkstar: Do you have any other jobs?
Tim: The band’s been so full-time that we haven’t had the opportunity to. Because we’ve been so full-time, we haven’t needed regular jobs. When Frail Words Collapse first came out, we were touring and then working when we were home. And now we just keep focused 100% on the band.
darkstar: Who are your favourite non-metal artists?
Tim: For a while, I’ve been listening to a band on the way up here. They have one of the goofiest names ever. Frou Frou. They’re a great band. I think Kent is a good band. They’re from Sweden so maybe like indie rock meets Radiohead or something like that. They originally write everything in Swedish and then translate it. But those are two great bands. I really like even some really poppy stuff. Like Dido, I think, is a really great song writer.
darkstar: Do you like a lot of Swedish music?
Tim: Actually, Kent and some of those Swedish metal bands are really the only bands I know of. I don’t know. I mean, I’m sure I like some Swedish music and might not realize that they’re Swedish.
darkstar: Do you have anything else to say to your fans?
Tim: We’re really looking forward to releasing our new record and we’ll play a couple of songs on tour. I think it’s the best thing we’ve done. It’s a way for us to expand without actually changing our music style.
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