LAMB OF GOD's WILLIE ADLER Sits Out SHIPROCKED Cruise, Ex-MACHINE HEAD Guitarist PHIL DEMMEL Steps In
January 25, 2022
LAMB OF GOD has recruited Phil Demmel (VIO-LENCE, ex-MACHINE HEAD) to play guitar for the band on this year's ShipRocked cruise, which set sail from Galveston, Texas on January 22 and includes stops in Costa Maya and Cozumel, Mexico. Demmel is filling in for LAMB OF GOD's regular guitarist Willie Adler who was unable to make the trip for reasons that have not been disclosed.
Since Carnival Cruise Line's Have Fun Be Safe protocols and procedures currently require that guests are fully vaccinated and tested before their cruise on all sailings through February 28, 2022, some fans have speculated that Adler's COVID-19 vaccination status was the main reason he was excluded from this year's ShipRocked.
Fan-filmed video footage and photos of LAMB OF GOD's January 24 performance aboard the Carnival Breeze ship can be seen below.
Last October, LAMB OF GOD frontman Randy Blythe urged everyone coming to see his band perform to get vaccinated against COVID-19. "I believe in fucking science," he said during an appearance on MACHINE HEAD frontman Robb Flynn's "No Fuckin' Regrets With Robb Flynn" podcast. "And I have friends who are doctors and scientists and nurses, and these are people I'm going to listen to — not someone on social media, not another musician, not a talking head on CNN, Fox News, USA Today, PBS; none of this stuff. I talk to my friends who are molecular biologists, immunologists, emergency room doctors, and I have friends who are nurses, one of whom works in a COVID ward — and someone very close to me. These are not my friends' neighbors' second cousin's buddy [saying], 'I heard this or that or the other'; these are people who are friends of mine I talk to directly. They're, like, 'This is real. This is the science. This is the data. This is what I see. These are the people I see dying.' So I'm going to listen to my friends 'cause they're a lot smarter than me.
"For me, everybody has to quote-unquote do their own research, I guess," he laughed. "My research involves talking to friends of mine who spent years of their lives pursuing degrees that cost them thousands and thousands of dollars, or who dedicate their lives to the service of others in the medical profession. And this is what these people are telling me. So I don't have to filter through all this data, through all these different media sources; I just talk to my friends. 'Are you vaccinated?' 'Yes.' 'Tell me about this vaccine. Tell me about the technology.' And I've had these conversations.
"When the vaccine came out very rapidly, comparatively, like anyone else, I was, like, 'Well, that's quick,'" Randy admitted. "But then some friends of mine explained to me, 'This is old technology. They've been working on this for 15 fucking years. It's not new. So cut it out with that.' And also, this is not just an American or one country's or one corporation's push; this is a massive international effort to get this vaccine ready — different ones ready — for distribution.
"I have a friend who works in intelligence — pretty high-level intelligence — and one of their jobs right now is helping out with COVAX, which is the international vaccine distribution arm. And he [was] talking to one of his co-workers from COVAX, and it was just, like, it's very frustrating with certain places where the vaccine is available and people don't wanna take it, and there are countries that are begging for it.
"All that aside, for me, like I said, it's a matter of talking to my friends and being, like, 'What's the deal with this?'" Blythe added. "Because these are people I trust, and they're a lot smarter than me… So I'm going to listen to them — I'm just gonna."
LAMB OF GOD's latest, self-titled album was released in June 2020 via Epic Records in the U.S. and Nuclear Blast Records in Europe. The follow-up to "VII: Sturm Und Drang" marked LAMB OF GOD's first recordings with Art Cruz, who joined the band in July 2019 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).