MARK MORTON On Writing Songs With LAMB OF GOD: 'We Really Don't Have A Strategy At All'

June 28, 2022

During an appearance on the latest episode of "The Jasta Show", the video podcast hosted by HATEBREED frontman Jamey Jasta, LAMB OF GOD guitarist Mark Morton spoke about his band's songwriting process. He said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "We really don't have a strategy at all going in. There were a couple of records where we kind of wavered, maybe six [or] eight years ago… [But] almost always — pretty much always — are just really trying to be genuine and authentic. And for five of us to like something, it's really difficult. So when we all five like it, we know that that's what it is. There's no strategy, like, 'On this record we're gonna tune down and we're gonna be djent in this part and we're gonna do black metal in this part.' We just kind of throw riffs and stuff, and when they start sounding good strung together and Randy [Blythe, vocals] starts barking on it, it starts sounding like LAMB OF GOD at some point. And then we get excited. 'Oh, that's LAMB OF GOD. That's cool.'"

Two years ago, Morton told American Songwriter that the writing for LAMB OF GOD "usually starts with a guitar riff. We kind of build the song around riffs," he explained. "Our other guitar player Willie [Adler] and I both sort of approach it that way. Sometimes on our own individually, and then we'll bring it into the group as a more composed arrangement. And other times it's just a riff or two that we'll bounce off of each other and sort of build from that, add things or subtract things. I'm a songwriter, but I play guitar and I write songs primarily on guitar. So it starts usually with a riff. Lyrically, I just write about life experiences. I think I write lyrics regardless, kind of using that to navigate life experiences and things I've gone through. Some of that winds up making its way into songs [but] not all of it. I've had some solo releases as well, and I've written around a melody line before, but we're primarily writing riffs and music first. I think I used to be more focused on bedazzling, kind of acrobatic riffs, and now I'm more interested in song structure, how the instruments support each other and make room for each other, and the way the song moves. That's how it has evolved. I've just become more focused on songcraft. Rather than building a song out of riffs that exist, now I'm leaning more toward starting with the song and kind of inserting riffs to fit the bones and structure of what that song is."

LAMB OF GOD's new album, "Omens", will be released on October 7 via Epic Records. The band tracked the effort with longtime collaborator Josh Wilbur (KORN, MEGADETH) live in the room together at Henson Recording Studios (formerly A&M Studios) in Los Angeles, California, a location that birthed classics from THE DOORS, PINK FLOYD, RAMONES and SOUNDGARDEN, among others.

The "Omens" album pre-order is live now at Lamb-Of-God.com, boasting several exclusive items, including a signed colored vinyl variant, shirt, hoodie, and signed CDs with an alternate color cover. All physical CD and vinyl releases will include a free access code to watch the livestream viewing of "The Making Of Omens" documentary, which will premiere the week of album release.

LAMB OF GOD will support the new album with a massive Live Nation-produced U.S. headlining tour featuring special guests KILLSWITCH ENGAGE on all dates. Different legs will also see support from BARONESS, MOTIONLESS IN WHITE, SPIRITBOX, ANIMALS AS LEADERS as well as SUICIDE SILENCE and FIT FOR AN AUTOPSY. The tour kicks off September 9 in Brooklyn and runs through October 20.

"Omens" will be the follow-up to LAMB OF GOD's self-titled album, which was released in June 2020 via Epic Records in the U.S. and Nuclear Blast Records in Europe. That LP 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 Wilbur and included special guest appearances by Jasta and Chuck Billy (TESTAMENT).

Photo credit: Travis Shinn

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