Kyle McGinn of Dead Rhetoric recently conducted an interview with new LAMB OF GOD drummer Art Cruz. A few excerpts from the chat follow below.
Dead Rhetoric: You've been touring with the band for a few years. How's it feel to finally have some material on disc that is your own?
Art: "I'm very thankful. I'm very excited. This is the moment that I've been dreaming of my whole life. It's a big deal. Given the circumstances, and being a new guy in an iconic band like LAMB OF GOD, I'm just glad it's finally here! It's not my main thing in my life to do, but it's important to me to put it out there, with what I am putting to the table and let fans know that the sound is there. We haven't tainted the sound. It's still LAMB. We are just starting another chapter in the book."
Dead Rhetoric: What was the experience like, to write this album, as the new guy?
Art: "It's crazy, because my entire professional career of being a drummer has been involved with being 'the new guy' [laughs], so I'm fine-tuned in the sense of being new and/or the outsider, if you will. But this is definitely one of the first times in my career that I have definitely not felt like an outsider. I have been welcomed by everybody with open arms, from the band to the management and label…you name it. It's just been a really beautiful experience. So, it wasn't too difficult, other than for being a little bit nervous, and the shell shock of everything happening. How fast it happened, as well as having some keyboard warriors around the world who get upset about every situation. But at the end of the day, I'm very happy and I'm very excited. Internally, it's a beautiful time for the band."
Dead Rhetoric: So, what does LAMB OF GOD mean to you, as their newest member?
Art: "It means just continuing the legacy of this band. That's the biggest honor that I have is to be a part of this legacy for such an iconic band. This is a band that a lot of people look up to, myself included. It's so weird, I've grown as a musician playing in some many bands but there is something really weird in that I haven't truly heard too many bands sound like LAMB OF GOD. It's kind of a difficult task I feel. I don't know if it's shamed upon, or people are scared, or it's a blatant and obvious rip-off if you do, but it's the weirdest thing. It's such an iconic sound, and its own thing. They are so in their own lane. I feel like we just have to continue doing that. That's the goal, that's the big picture. To keep this sound alive forever. The band has been experimenting over the years, with the last few albums, and I've thoroughly enjoyed what they've done. Now that we are here, and I guess this is technically the tenth release, it's pretty wild. I think the goal is just to keep going. I don't see any speed bumps yet. Though this is a pretty big speed bump we are on right now without touring. But the major goal is to keep pushing forward. I'm younger than the guys, and I feel like I may have brought some extra youth in, but everyone is really inspired right now. We are going to just keep riding the wave."
Dead Rhetoric: What's going on for LAMB OF GOD once quarantine is over and done?
Art: "It's so hard, it's such a difficult time for not only us, but many bands. Let alone having to market a new record and get people to support you and buy a record. It's a weird time. We want to do things the right way and be sure that we are giving back, and at the same time we want to put a successful record out and celebrate with everybody. It's a big time in the band's career and I think it's just a weird time. From the way that we have been communicating as a band, we talk a lot and we are really tight, so I think that right now, we are in such a creative space that I wouldn't be surprised if we started writing new music. That's just how I feel, but I'm in a very creative space as a drummer. I created this space, and I'm playing drums a lot more. For much of my career, I have been learning music. That is kind of what defines me as a drummer. I've been learning. I haven't really had time to sit band and enjoy, to be creative. Lately, to be creative and just play drums without learning a song, it's a lot of fun! I am in a creative space and I know a lot of the guys are too. I'm trying to convince the guys of that. Everyone is in their own world right now, so we will see, but from the looks of it, we are all really creative right now so it would be great to write some new music."
You can read the entire interview at Dead Rhetoric.
LAMB OF GOD will release its new, self-titled album on June 19 via Epic Records in the U.S. and Nuclear Blast Records in Europe. The follow-up to 2015's "VII: Sturm Und Drang" marks LAMB OF GOD's first recordings with Cruz, who joined the band last year.
"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).