LAMB OF GOD guitarist Mark Morton spoke to U.K.'s Kerrang! magazine about the importance of accepting other people's opinions and respecting our differences in our divisive times. He also discussed how the media is both contributing to the polarization and reflective of the polarization.
He said: "I feel like lately there seems to be a lot of divisiveness, and people are sort of compartmentalizing everything by personal differences, ideological differences, and differences in identity. Some of those things are to be celebrated, but I think as human beings, we really all have more in common than we have things that separate us. In my travels and in my experiences, I've found most people generally want the same basic things, and I feel like there's room for us to be more in touch with our similarities. That can lead to a more compassionate mind-set.
"Politically in the United States — and I think it's probably safe to say that it’s the same in the U.K. too — people seem to be drawing lines and building literal and figurative walls, and that builds a very divisive atmosphere and creates conflict. I think the polarized political climate is both a symptom and cause of this; I think it's a cycle and a snowball effect, and I think the media plays a huge part in the divisiveness we're seeing right now. Now, of course, we're going to have differences, and again, we're not always the same and it's great to celebrate our diversity. I think it's great that people come from different cultures and have had different experiences, have different opinions and different insights. That's something to be cherished. But, that said, I don't always agree with someone's take on something, and I'm going to say as much. But I think even when we have differences of opinion, there are ways to respect someone else's opinion and their right to have it, and work on making a more inclusive society. Finding that common ground is not a permanent state of being. It's something you have to practice. I'm not always great at it, but for my part, I try to understand that if, for example, someone is being angry or aggressive, they're coming from a place of fear or pain, and they're usually hurting. I try to make a point of seeing them from a more compassionate overview. In trying to be more understanding of people in general, I've found that when I'm successful in doing that, it brings me a level of peace and a level of calm in my existence."
LAMB OF GOD's self-titled album is due May 8 via Epic Records. The follow-up to "VII: Sturm Und Drang", "Lamb Of God" marks LAMB OF GOD's first recordings with Art Cruz, who joined the band last July as the replacement for the group's founding drummer, Chris Adler.
"Lamb Of God" was recorded with longtime producer Josh Wilbur (KORN, MEGADETH, GOJIRA, TRIVIUM) and includes special guest appearances by Jamey Jasta (HATEBREED) and Chuck Billy (TESTAMENT).
LAMB OF GOD is scheduled to join forces with MEGADETH for a North American tour this summer and fall. The 55-date trek will be split into two legs, the first of which kicks off June 12 at Jiffy Lube Live in Bristow, Virginia, and wraps August 1 at the Concord Pavilion in Concord, California. The second run launches October 2 at iTHINK Financial Amphitheater in West Palm Beach, Florida, and runs through November 13 at the Reno Events Center in Reno, Nevada.