WILLIE ADLER Is 'One Thousand Percent' Still A Member Of LAMB OF GOD, Says JOHN CAMPBELL
September 22, 2022
In a new interview with Australia's "Scars And Guitars" podcast, LAMB OF GOD bassist John Campbell was asked if Willie Adler is still a member of LAMB OF GOD after former MACHINE HEAD and current VIO-LENCE guitarist Phil Demmel had filled in for the LAMB OF GOD guitarist at some of the Virginia metal band's recent non-U.S. concerts. John responded (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "Absolutely. Yeah. Willie has always been in the group. We have all had situations happen where we had to not be on tour when the band had stuff going on because of stuff happening that we needed to take care of. Willie is one thousand percent in the band. We are lucky to have Phil Demmel available to step in when needed.
"That's the first time I've been asked that, so I'm a little taken aback," Campbell admitted. "But, yeah, Willie is absolutely in the band. We had soundcheck earlier. We were on stage right together playing tunes."
At last month's Bloodstock Open Air festival, Demmel was asked by TotalRock if Willie's COVID-19 vaccination status is the reason Phil has been stepping in for the LAMB OF GOD guitarist at some of the recent shows. He responded: "I think Willie's just in a spot right now, and it's not really my spot to say, but I get the vibe that he's… I don't even think I should talk about it. I don't think it's my spot to say anything about Will. But he's making his decisions, and I am the contingent. So here I am."
Demmel went on to praise his involvement with LAMB OF GOD, saying: "They're one of the biggest metal bands in the world. And it feels good to be, like, 'Hey, we'd like for you to step into Willie's shoes,' which Willie writes those riffs and he's an awesome guitar player. And to be, like, 'Hey, we want you to be the guy,' or whatever… I get along well with the dudes. In a 'me' way, it feels good to be wanted… It's pretty cool. They're all fucking amazing dudes and a great band and a totally pro camp. I love the way they run things. So it's good to be part of that."
Demmel most recently filled in for Adler on nearly a dozen European LAMB OF GOD shows in August. Prior to that, Demmel stepped in for Adler during LOG's January appearance on the ShipRocked cruise and in May for the Canadian portion of LAMB OF GOD's "The Metal Tour Of The Year" with MEGADETH.
When Adler's absence from LAMB OF GOD's summer 2022 European tour was first announced, he released a statement saying that he wasn't able to make the trip" because he had "some things that I need to be home for". He also thanked his bandmates for "supporting my decision."
Although LAMB OF GOD has not officially commented on Adler's absence from the shows, VIO-LENCE singer Sean Killian revealed in an interview in April that Willie is "not down with doing the vaxx," referring to the COVID-19 vaccine, and is being replaced by Demmel for dates in those countries that still require proof of vaccination from U.S. travelers.
In April, Demmel also filled in for Campbell when the bassist had to miss a couple of shows on "The Metal Tour Of The Year" in order to "take care a family matter back home."
Demmel's appearance with LAMB OF GOD marked his third high-profile fill-in gig in four years. Demmel stepped in for SLAYER guitarist Gary Holt for four European shows in the fall of 2018 after Gary returned home to be with his dying father. Demmel also subbed for Dave Linsk at OVERKILL's November 13, 2021 concert at The Wellmont Theater in Montclair, New Jersey and on the band's spring 2022 U.S. tour.
LAMB OF GOD singer Randy Blythe discussed Demmel's involvement with the band during an interview with Bloodstock TV's Oran O'Beirne. After O'Beirne noted how talented Demmel is to be able to step in on a moment's notice, Blythe said: "We make him put in work, though, to be fair. The guitar parts aren't easy. We are playing a song tonight, 'The Faded Line', and that's a song that hasn't been in our set for a while because some guys are, like, 'Oh, this is hard.' And it's, like, 'No. We need to do this.' And even he was just, like, 'Oh. We've gotta learn that. That's a fucked up riff.' But we saw Phil fill in for SLAYER on, like, two days' notice in Europe at the end of the SLAYER tour, 'cause Gary Holt's dad was passing away. R.I.P. And Phil came over and killed it. We've known him for many years. There's never really been any question of whether he can do it. He's a phenomenally talented guy."