Ten year strong, San Diego metal band, As I Lay Dying, chatted with us after their recent anniversary and Decade of Destruction Tour! These guys have toured extensively throughout the world, including headlining runs on Warped Tour, Sounds of the Underground, Bamboozle, Ozzfest and Taste of Chaos. They’ve shared stages with the likes of Iron Maiden, Heaven and Hell, Slipknot, Deftones, Shadows Fall, Hatebreed, Unearth, Mastodon, Black Sabbath, Killswitch Engage, In Flames, and Lamb of God (to name a few). In talks about their album, The Powerless Rise, front man Tim Lambesis has been quoted as saying, “There are so many things in society that we view as valuable, and each song’s lyrics sort of put that idea upside down in some way or another, and show an almost completely backward way of thinking, that might actually be more beneficial for us. The first song, ‘Beyond Our Suffering’ is about how if we constantly focus on our own problems and try to help ourselves, then we dig ourselves deeper into a rut. But if we focus on helping somebody else, it’s like our problems magically solve themselves.” We got to know the band a bit in our recent interview with them and what sorts of things they would want to see change in the world.
You recently completed your Decade of Destruction Tour, commemorating As I Lay Dying’s 10 year Anniversary! Would you say your relationship as band members is unique? How would you describe your relationship among each other and what has kept you strong as a band for so long?
Yes, I would say that our band relationship/dynamic is quite unique. As most bands that have lasted 10+ years could attest, good communication and mutual respect for each other and our art is crucial for keeping our band productive and true to its intent. Our individual relationships with each other vary from member to member; however, we all share a basic foundation of respect and care for one another as well as our individual circumstances, past and present.
What does your recent tour name (Decade of Destruction) signify?
Well first of all, it rhymes! Haha. There’s no real significance other than representing our 10 years as a band, while still sounding brutal and exciting to see.
When you are not in the process of touring/writing, what do you do for fun that is not musically related?
Golf! I love the game. Playing, studying, watching, as well as talking about golf is one of my favourite pastimes. I just can’t get enough of it. Other than that, I hang out with friends and family. I also enjoy working on my house from time to time. Home projects are always a good time, especially since I like working with my hands.
What sets you apart from other metal/hardcore/punk/rock bands? What is something your band takes pride in?
Not being wrapped up in the meaningless pursuit of social media glory is something we take pride in. That seems rare these days with a lot of bands. I get tired of bands that use social media to promote drama, negative lifestyles, and their own personal status and ego. Granted social media is great for all bands to promote/monetize their art and opinions on important issues, but I despise anything beyond that.
During a tour, have you guys ever wanted to stop/ discontinue a tour due to personal problems/stress etc? What made you push through it?
We’ve all been at that point at least one time on the road, but the love of music and live performance always keeps us going. At least for me.
The song “Beyond Our Suffering” asks: why won’t we look beyond our despair? It is a song about looking beyond ourselves and helping others. Who do you think is a great example of a modern hero, who you feel is selfless and remarkable?
Off the top of my head, I can’t think of anyone recognizable that has shown that characteristic, not to say there isn’t one though. I think the real hero’s are the people that do it everyday without being noticed, which is good since the advertisement of selflessness is a contradiction in my opinion.
It is no secret you took your band name from the novel written by William Faulkner. Have you read the novel or had an inclination to?
Sometimes I think it would be a good idea to read it one day, but I’m not in any rush. Haha.
What does your writing process consist of? Is there a special place or time you like to write? Do you write individually or as a group?
I think we all enjoy writing in our own homes, pass around ideas via email, and then eventually get together when we have a suitable amount of material to work on. It’s seems to be the most efficient use of our time.
Your song “Upside Down Kingdom” talks about the world as being broken and helpless. What are the changes/improvements you want to see in the World?
The abuse of money/power/resources is one of the biggest problems in my opinion, since it’s the cause for so many other problems. This includes governments all the way down to the individual. I’m guilty of it, and most everyone else is too. Being conscious and responsible with what you are given is a good way to start a much-needed change in the world.
With all band members being Christian, how does religion influence your writing and your lives?
Our beliefs don’t influence our music, just the way to live our lives. Notes on a guitar and sounds of a drum are not in any way spiritual as far as I’m concerned.
Your song “Paralyzed” talks about rebirth. When in your life have you felt reborn? In other words, when have you felt a sense of renewal?
Everyday when I wake up and realize how much I have to be thankful for.
What do you do to help balance your family life and career? How do you keep in touch when you are touring? (Do you use Skype?)
International Data Plans!
Do you guys listen to other genres of music other than metal/hardcore/punk/rock?
Of course. Our personal influences and musical tastes go beyond the heavy music genre. I’m a very moody music fan, meaning I like to sync my choice to music with the mood I’m in or want to be in.