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Chris Adler: ‘I’m Considering Entering the Elections to the Lok Sabha’

The Lamb of God drummer returns to India later this week, behind the kit for recently reunited metallers Nitro on their first ever set of shows

Anurag Tagat Sep 19, 2017

Nitro - Chris Adler, Jim Gillette and Michael Angelo Batio (from left). Photo: Stephen Jensen

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Coffee houses, chaotic marketplaces and then some ”“ Chris Adler is a bona fide Indophile and more regular visitor than tourist when he’s not up behind his ginormous drum kit on a stage somewhere in India. The drummer extraordinaire–part of American metallers Lamb of God and now, glam metal band Nitro””last toured India in 2015 with thrash veterans Megadeth.

He says, “I’ve been very lucky to have been able to travel to India many times now. When you live somewhere it’s often difficult to know how different or special where you live is, but I can tell you as a fairly well traveled guy that all of India is incredibly unique””even each city within has its own look, feel and passions. It’s an honor for me to experience it.”

For the man who knows the country well enough, Adler is excited about coming back to India, especially as part of Nitro, who have picked the country (and Nepal) for their first ever set of reunion shows, between September 22nd and September 28th. Ahead of the tour, Adler spoke to Rolling Stone India in a hilarious, exclusive interview.

It definitely feels like your involvement in this project has led Nitro to become a bit more brutal and turn away from their glam metal roots – is that fair to say? Or is the new material dipping in both directions?

There’s no question the band is coming out swinging in all of the new material, but I wouldn’t go so far as to say that they have turned away from their roots. Nitro was always about the extreme. Sure they dressed funny and created the ozone problem, but that was the fashion of the day. I can’t blame my dad for having a polyester suit in the Seventies””and I certainly hope he wouldn’t buy one today!

I’m also aware that the guys weren’t happy with the idea of looking pretty to sell music””especially music that was crafted to show all the other pretty boys what could be done if you spent more time practicing than waxing your eyebrows.

It was clear to me from the start that Mike (Michael Angelo Batio, guitarist) and Jim (Gillette, vocalist) wanted to set the record straight””to get out from under the image association, but more importantly, craft songs instead of showing off.

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I think as we grow up and mature we gain perspective on our own ego and how it’s not always beneficial. To put it in perspective. Here’s an old quote that I think sums up where Nitro is today vs. where they were in the Eighties…

There’s two bulls standing on top of a mountain overlooking a grassy field full of cows grazing. The younger one says to the older one: “Hey, let’s run down there and fuck one of them cows.”

The older one says: “No. Lets walk down and fuck ’em all.”

 You were at the centre of the hilarious IndieGogo campaign video that was shot about the comeback and the album – it sounded like a lot of fun to shoot – did you ever crack up and break character while shooting?

It was absolutely a blast to make the video. You ask about cracking up””I think we shot for about 16 hours or so in total and as you can see the video is about six minutes long. So to answer the question – yes. Over and over. We all did. Basically, for 15 hours and 54 minutes we were all dying laughing.

Many of the ideas were random, improvised on the spot kind of things. Not that we hadn’t put a script together with the director, but once we were all in the same room and the ice was broken with Mike and Jim that we could really all laugh at each other and ourselves, it took on a life of its own.

It still cracks me up to see MAB out for a jog with a leather jacket on and two guitars on. I can’t watch it enough.


Coming to the new album, what are you bringing to this record and doing differently? Because you’re not a session player, but more of a collaborator, right?

It is correct that the guys are interested in and act on many of the musical suggestions that I’ve made – and I’ve certainly had every freedom to write all of the drum parts. It continues to be a highly supportive environment. We’re comfortable trusting that each of us knows our instrument and we are doing and what’s best for the song. That’s not a typical band environment – and certainly not any session environment.

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I’d like to make clear that [former members] Bobby Rock and Johnny Thunder were no slouches in the drum department””so I’m not at all suggesting I’m bringing chops to the table. I’d have to say the most important thing is actually what I don’t bring to the record, which are leather suspenders.

You’re coming back to India after your last time here with Megadeth – I’m guessing by now there are things you want to do or places you want to go every time you’re in India?

I’m big on the filter coffee houses, the temples and the spice markets, so I’m sure to be out exploring every chance I get.

Also, being pescatarian and a fan of cardamom – I can’t go wrong. Best food in the world.

I’m also considering entering the elections to the Lok Sabha in April/May 2019 and introducing a law that if you honk your car horn for any reason other than what appears to be certain death, you will surrender your vehicle and your clothes to someone cooler than you.

What is it going to be like managing time with Nitro and Lamb of God, and your other work? What is the schedule like for the rest of the year?

The hard part for me is finding time with my amazing daughter. I enjoy my work and I know it won’t last forever so it’s important that I do what I do and love while I can, but it does break my heart to leave her. I’m hoping after the Nitro tour to spend the rest of the year at home with her.

Then it all begins again… You know anyone that needs a drummer? Kidding…not really!

Nitro kick off their India tour at the Humming Tree, Bengaluru on September 22nd. More tour details here.

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