The intro to that track [“King Me”]
has this haunting, minor/major7-type
Adler: That’s my crazy, untrained and
un-theory-knowing brain. I just kind of
play completely outside the box and have
no idea what I’m doing other than it’s
It doesn’t really matter what it means,
theory-wise, because what it comes
down to at the end of the day is what
it sounds like.
Adler: Yeah, I don’t get caught up thinking,
“What mode is this in? What scale is this
in?” I don’t have those walls to confine me.
Any advice for someone looking to
develop the speed and endurance
needed to play songs like “Visitation,”
“Guilty,” and “Desolation?”
Morton: I’ve found that it’s useful to have
a very accurate and powerful upstroke.
If you can get your upstroke as powerful as your downstroke, it enables you to
have a more fluid sound. Another thing
you might try is playing a slower lick or
riff using all upstrokes. Force yourself
to do it with all upstrokes, and that will
really hyper-focus you on defining your
upstroke. It’s going to feel very awkward,
and it’s probably not something you would
do in a performance setting.
Do you use exercises like that to warm
up before a show?
Morton: I usually grab a guitar 15 minutes before we go onstage. I don’t know
why, but I’ve never really noticed a difference between playing for 45 minutes
before a show and playing for five minutes
before a show. I’ve had great shows where
I didn’t even touch a guitar before I went
onstage, and I’ve had terrible shows where
I’ve warmed up for 45 minutes before.
Have there ever been times where you
guys were playing live and the adrenaline was flowing and the drums sped
up so much that you couldn’t execute
some of your faster riffs?
Adler: It can happen. We would have
meetings afterwards, and we would be,
like, “Dude, you ramped that part up so
[expletive] fast, I couldn’t play it!” Thank
god, Chris is using a click now. He started using a click during the last touring
cycle for Wrath. He maintains his speeds
and the solidity of the songs, so it’s not up
and down, up and down, up and down.
Mark, even though you have chops to
spare, one thing you do that a lot of
shredders don’t do is play bluesy phrases
in between the fast stuff. Who are some
of your favorite lead players?
Morton: My favorite players are blues players. I
grew up on that stuff, as well as Southern rock
and classic rock. I’m in a metal band and I have
Bob Balch - Fu Manchu
FEATURE > LAMB OF GOD
a vast appreciation and respect for metal but,
honestly, my favorite players are Jimmy Page,
Billy Gibbons, Stevie Ray Vaughan, and Jimi
Hendrix. Certainly, those guys are rock players,
but they’re very heavily blues influenced. Those
are the masters to me. Those are the guys that
I look up to. I’d rather listen to Billy Gibbons
than Yngwie Malmsteen, any day.
Your solo in “Ghost Walking” has a
nice contrast between arpeggios, scalar
sequences, and soulful bending.
BE A PLAYER