LAMB OF GOD's MARK MORTON Stands By His Statement That RANDY BLYTHE Is 'One Of The Greatest Frontmen In Metal'

December 15, 2022

In a new interview with Consequence, LAMB OF GOD guitarist Mark Morton spoke about Randy Blythe's evolution as a frontman since the band's inception nearly 30 years ago. He said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "Well, it's just been awesome to have front-row seats to watch Randy — my friend Randy — evolve into one of the greatest frontmen in metal. And I stand by that statement. Anyone who has seen LAMB OF GOD knows how great Randy is on stage. He leaves it all up there, and it matters to him, and he cares. He's just phenomenal to watch. And we're lucky to have him. He's also a real team player when it comes to being in a band with him. Randy is the loudest guy in the room and he's abrasive and he barks a lot and talks over you, and that kind of thing, and that's who you want as a frontman. And I say all this with love. Randy is my brother; he's one of my best friends in the world. Everybody knows that. But that's what you want as a frontman. And that's why he's able to project and be that guy in front of a thousand, ten thousand or a hundred thousand people. He can do that."

Mark continued: "I'll share a story with you. [Back when we were] upping the ante and really increasing the priority of production [of our live shows], one of the things we've done over the last couple of years is we put 'follow' spots on Randy, so when he's being a tornado all over the stage, there's at least one, usually two, spotlights from the back of the arena or the amphitheater, or whatever, following him around so he's well lit, so you can see where he's going, 'cause he's always going somewhere. Well, when we were implementing that part of the production, Randy was really, really nervous about that, really apprehensive, very averse to the idea of having spotlights on him. And his words were, 'This is not the Randy Blythe band. I don't wanna look like I'm the star of the show up there.' And I was, like, 'Randy, we need you to be a rock star right now.' And he understood that. And he's a team player, and part of that is his own humility.

"I don't know if Randy will love that I told that story or not, but ultimately we put spotlights on him and he looks great," Morton added. "And he's the frontman of the band, and that's what we need, and that's part of that production you see and that's why it looks so massive and exciting. It's little things like that [that] start to add up. But Randy was uncomfortable with that, because he feels like he's in a band. I think his words were, 'I don't wanna look like Liza Minnelli up there.' And I was, like, 'I promise you…' It was a dialogue. But my input was, 'I promise you — you're not gonna look like that. It's gonna look great.' And it does."

Two months ago, Blythe told Metal Hammer magazine that he didn't intend on performing with LAMB OF GOD into his 70s.

"I plan on making music for as long as I possibly can," he said. "But nobody needs to see 70-year-old Randy Blythe up onstage jumping around and yelling 'this is a motherfucking invitation."

The 51-year-old Richmond, Virginia-based musician continued: "I'm such a physical performer; that's what it is for me. Total physical immersion in our music. I don't know how long I'll be able to do that. I know for a fact that, unless something horrible happens, if we make it to 2025, that'll be 30 years of the band. I gotta make it to 30 years, and I think my body can take that."

Blythe, who published his first book, "Dark Days: A Memoir", in 2015, previously discussed his retirement from LAMB OF GOD during a 2016 appearance on "The MetalSucks Podcast". At the time he said: "I think I'm a better writer than I am a musician. And I'm not gonna be in LAMB OF GOD when I'm 70 years old. But hopefully I'll still be writing books."

He continued: "I will bet you every penny in my bank account that you will not see a 60-year-old Randy hopping around, screaming 'walk me in hell.' Fuck that. That's not gonna happen… It's not gonna happen. God, that would be atrocious. No one needs to witness that.

"Can you imagine me at 60? I'm skinny enough as it is. By then I'll have a little gut. I'll look like a toothpick that swallowed a bowling ball, probably bald… My throat will probably fall out if I do that by then."

In 2015, Blythe told Revolver magazine that he didn't think it was possible for him and his LAMB OF GOD bandmates to play extreme music into their 60s.

"I'm not going to be doing this when I'm fucking 60 — no fucking way," he said. "We're not THE [ROLLING] STONES."

He added: "I'm always going to be doing music, but not something quite so aggressive, I'm sure.

"I don't think LAMB OF GOD ever has to break up," he clarified. "I think we can, like, gracefully move out to pasture."

"Dark Days: A Memoir" focused on Randy's ordeal in a Czech Republic prison and his subsequent acquittal.

In 2012, Blythe was arrested in the Czech Republic and charged with manslaughter for allegedly pushing a 19-year-old fan offstage at a show two year prior and causing injuries that led to the fan's death. Blythe spent 37 days in a Prague prison before ultimately being found not guilty in 2013.

Blythe's prison experience inspired two songs on LAMB OF GOD's 2015 album "VII: Sturm Und Drang": "512", one of his three prison cell numbers, and "Still Echoes", written while he was in Pankrac Prison, a dilapidated facility built in the 1880s that had been used for executions by the Nazis during World War II. It also led him to write the aforementioned "Dark Days", in which he shared his whole side of the story publicly for the first time.

In July 2021, Blythe said in an Instagram post that he was about to begin writing his second book. In October, he described the upcoming non-fiction tome as an inspirational memoir "about different perspectives from other people that I've tried to incorporate into my own life and take something from."

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