First: Judas Priest. How does it feel to be sharing the same stage with them?
‘Wow! [Pauses] You know what? We consider ourselves very lucky to get a chance to play alongside them. It’s really an honour. These guys are like gods! We played with them during the Ozzfest [in 2004] but didn’t really get to meet them. I would love to pick their brains a little. I hope we can in Singapore.’
You guys were here last April during your ‘Wrath’ world tour.
‘We have really good [US] friends over in Singapore. Some of them are teachers there and they showed us around. We love the local food. We dropped by Mustafa Centre for a little shopping.’
That must have been quite a riot. After 15 years as a band, have you got over, well, rioting?
‘[Laughs] I think we have definitely grown and evolved over the years. There were days when we didn’t expect to return to our hometown in Richmond. This was around ’96-’98. Our tour van broke down and we had to tow ourselves hundreds of miles by hitch-hiking, sleeping at friends’ houses and camp grounds, drinking a bunch of beers and heading home. That was the lifestyle.’
And now you’re laden with three Grammy nominations.
‘We haven’t won anything and I won’t hold my breath for it. But it was really nice to bring my wife to the Grammys. I think I am a really awesome man because of that.’
You started off with the name Burn the Priest. Is your current bandname taken from any religious context?
‘That really depends on your perspective. If anything, you have to blame Black Sabbath for that.’
Do you think that the music industry is recognising that heavy metal is not just about loud guitars and crazy people?
‘There are metal bands that have won mainstream awards for what they do. The industry realises that heavy metal is an artistic force and makes money. But they’ve grown to devour it while validating the artistic side. That said, heavy metal is still a very technical artform.’
So tell us about Resolution. We heard that it’s going to encompass the fastest, the slowest and the most symphonic Lamb of God songs ever.
‘It is going to be a very dynamic record. We just came off finalising the recording and are now taking a little break. I might sound clichéd, but this is really the best album we’ve ever done. I am really excited and keeping my fingers crossed.’
The album starts with a doomy, sludge-driven opener [‘Straight from the Sun’], and ends with an orchestra and an opera singer [‘King Me’]. Were you guys going for an album of epic proportions with a progressive narrative?
‘The songs were arranged based on how they sat sonically and less on lyrical content. The lyrics are darker and more personal, based on the years we’ve been together and the tours that we’ve been through.’
What do you have planned for your gig?
‘We had a grand time the last time we were here, but this time we’ll be up against giants. You can expect Lamb of God to blast from all cylinders. We will make Judas Priest look old [laughs].’
Lamb of God plays at Fort Canning Park on 20 Feb.