LAMB OF GOD Finds Widespread Support In Dispute Over Old Moniker

February 9, 2005

Melissa Ruggieri of TimesDispatch.com has issued the following report:

It didn't surprise Chris Adler, drummer for LAMB OF GOD, that the band was unceremoniously yanked from an April gig at the Great Western Forum outside Los Angeles because of the band's name and its former moniker, BURN THE PRIEST.

What did surprise Adler was the attention and publicity given to the story since last week. Within a day of the announcement that Richmond-based LAMB OF GOD was banned from playing an April 9 show at the Forum (formerly home to the L.A. Lakers) with SLIPKNOT, media outlets as far as England and Germany — havens for metal bands — quickly publicized the ordeal, as did most U.S. newspapers.

"Publicity certainly wasn't the intent," said Adler earlier this week, back home in Richmond. "We were just sitting around thinking, 'Well, OK, we'll just deal with [being off the show],' and suddenly the story was everywhere."

The problem with LAMB OF GOD playing the Forum arose when the venue's owners, Faithful Central Bible Church, took issue with LAMB's current and former names. Messages left for the church's general counsel, Marc Little, have not been returned, but Little told The Associated Press last week that, "We do owe something to our congregants. A band formerly known as BURN THE PRIEST caused us pause. We have to draw the line somewhere."

The band, Adler said, has had protesters at its shows before, but the members are a bit annoyed that the Forum folks never took the time to examine the band's music or lyrics.

"The mistake that was made here was that they jumped to a conclusion about our name. The other bands on the bill, their lyrics have far more offensive content," Adler said. It should also be noted that hard rockers MÖTLEY CRÜE, themselves a magnet for religious protestors — at least in the '80s — have a March 23 date slated at the building.

So far, no other venues on LAMB's Subliminal Verses tour with SLIPKNOT and SHADOWS FALL have raised an issue about the band's name — something Adler admits crossed his mind — but he's also well aware of what the future could hold.

"I understand that being a privately owned venue, [the Forum owners] have the right to do whatever they want. But as more venues become privately owned, it could get to the point where situations like this arise," Adler said. "Besides, we changed the name of the band [from BURN THE PRIEST] on purpose because it didn't suit us anymore. When we were kind of young and dumb and starting out, it worked for the shock value, but then we grew into mature, professional musicians." Read more.

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