Here’s an interview I did with Tim Lambesis in 2008. I was looking back at this the other day and found it interesting considering how the last few years have been for him. Lambesis was released from jail in December of 2016.
1. You have your hand in everything from being the vocalist of one of metal/hardcore’s biggest bands, producing the new War of Ages album, managing Destroy The Runner, and doing your side project, Austrian Death Machine, do you have any other talents you haven’t shared with us yet?
There are definitely days that are crazier than others where I wonder what I’m doing, but for the most part I’ve learned to balance things pretty well. I’m a pretty calm guy most of the time, so my attitude is to just do the best I can and that’s all I can really do. With the release of Austrian Death Machine coming up I am no longer managing Destroy the Runner. They’ve actually done their past tour on their own and have decided that they won’t be touring as full time after the summer, so it just seemed to make sense to split. We all still live in the same neighborhood and hang out recording stupid fun stuff in my studio though. I’d say that the recording side of my life is maybe one of the talents I haven’t shared fully and will hopefully be doing more records when I get time off between tours.
2. Please tell me about Austrian Death Machine, How did this project come about, how will it sound, and what is it about Arnold Schwarzenegger that inspired you to do this project in his honor?
Well, I finally got a full song up online for people to hear after teasing them with the preview for a while. The sound is much more trash oriented than As I Lay Dying and is an awesome outlet for the goofier side of me. The lyrics are 100% based on Arnold Schwarzenegger one liners in his movies, so part of the fun is that everyone already know the lyrics to the big sing alongs. The idea came up when talking with friends and impersonating those great one-liners. Then I started thinking how amazingly fun it would be to have a bands where that was every chorus.
3. Will you be playing any shows as Austrian Death Machine or is this an album only project?
At first it was supposed to be an album only project, but then friends of mine kept telling me they would join the band if we played some shows. There won’t be any crazy touring plans, but I want to put together enough shows to do the “Preda-TOUR.”
4. Did you play all of the instruments on the Austrian Death Machine album?
Yeah, I played all of the original studio version of everything except for the guitar solos, but then as time went on I had friends come in to help me get things a little tighter and sounding the way I want. I’m a perfectionist and the truth is that I haven’t been playing guitar enough regularly to play as tight as I wanted to on a lot of the fast parts.
5. With As I Lay Dying having a new album out and touring plus your other projects, where did you find the time to record the Austrian Death Machine album?
Every time I was home between tour I would record a little more. The whole recording process was about a month when you put it all together, but it was spread out over about three months.
6. When As I Lay Dying began did you have any idea that it would become such an important band in the metal and hardcore scene?
Definitely not, but I also didn’t think that metal would become an important genre again either. I just wanted to help write the best music I could for the genre which I thought was very underground at the time. In the big scheme of things metal is still very underground when you compare it to radio junk or hip hop, but it’s still crazy to think that some bands in our genre have gold records even though they scream and stuff.
7. What musical artists would you say have unfluenced you the most, personally?
I love the energy from punk and hardcore being so fast paced all of the time, but I like to combine that energy with stuff influences that are rhythmically intense like Living Sacrifice was. I’m really stoked they’re back together. The melody side of our music can be influenced a little by At the Gates to name one.
8. What will the schedule be like for As I Lay Dying this summer and for the rest of 2008?
We’re finishing up Van’s Warped Tour and then going to Europe for a bunch of festivals over there. Hopefully we can start writing a little after that, but that doesn’t mean our touring plans will stop. They’ll just slow down a little.
9. How do you feel about the current “christian” hardcore and metal scene? Is there anything about it that you think needs to change?
Just because a bunch of dudes grow up in a Christian home doesn’t mean that need to call themselves a Christian band or Christians in a band, or whatever the trend is. Either Jesus matters enough to all five members that He influences all of their lives (including music), or that band should just admit their faith is cultural and doesn’t affect their lives. I guess what I really wish I could change has to do with all of what we call Christianity in modern times. There are so many people that call themselves Christians that it really means nothing. It should be hard to make the Christian claim because it means that you actually believe what Jesus said and want to be held accountable to it. That’s pretty gnarly to think about because Jesus said more about people giving up their riches than He said about being born again. It’s comfortable to say we’re born again because that idea is so vague in our society, but how many of us can really say we’ve sold all we have to give to the poor or that we turn the other cheek to our enemies. Those ideas still challenge me as a US citizen where even the poorest of us are rich compared to most of the globe. I’ve done very little in my lifetime to bring justice to the poor and oppressed the Jesus loved so much, and I feel challenged to start meaning what I say when I call myself a Christian. Of course I would never be ashamed to associate myself with Jesus, but I am ashamed to associate myself with the Christian majority in the US because it seems they care less for following Christ’s teachings than they do for following the so-called culturally Christian empires of our time.
10. Would you call As I Lay Dying a “christian band” or would you say you are “christians in a band”?
We are a Christian band because my beliefs influence everything that I do.
11. What has God been teaching you lately?
“Whatever you’ve done unto the least of these, you’ve done unto Me.”
12. Is there anything you would like to say that we haven’t covered?
I tend to come across very serious when you get me on the right subject, but I also want people to see the other side of me just trashing around and having fun. Hopefully Austrian Death Machine will help get that across while it also gives me a chance to play a lot of the instruments I had to give up when I started singing in As I Lay Dying.