Art Cruz of Lamb of God details the making of Omens and the greatness of Randy Blythe
With just a few days until the highly-anticipated arrival of the Omens LP and already on the road for the supporting Omens tour, Lamb of God drummer Art Cruz checked in from the road for a candid conversation on the most recent episode of the Talk Toomey podcast.
Touching on all things Lamb of God, Toomey first broached what the working chemistry was like in writing the new record and if Cruz had found his groove with the band given this is now his second studio project as the band's dummer. Cruz shared that during the self-titled cycle, he was still very green to how the band worked and how their flow was like. That made the idea of getting involved in the songwriting process muddy. He understood that he first needed to understand how the band worked before he would think to add another voice in the mix.
Cruz shared that with Omens, there was a creative rapport that was now well-established among the nucleus of the band and he was very much a part of that. The guys shared their confidence in him, incorporated Cruz into the workflow and were eager to hear his ideas for Lamb of God moving forward. Cruz explained how the progression was organic, felt natural and gave him a sense of creative freedom.
Still very much floored by the idea of drumming for a band that he idolized growing up, Cruz spoke candidly about how every night is still coupled with a surreal sense of awe. He explained how during the lead-up just prior to the band's introduction with "Memento Mori", as the band preps behind the kabuki curtain, the drummer still takes a moment to soak it all in. Given the song was one of the first he worked on with the band, and the slow build-up that comes with it, the big boom and massive reveal of the crowd really is a emotional rush and one he doesn't take for granted.
The guys also go into some of the adjustments that Lamb of God have had to make in recent months. With Covid sidelining Randy while the band was on tour, Lamb of God enlisted the likes of Joe Badolato of Fit For Autopsy, Mark Hunter of Chimaira, and have even had to have Phil Demmel take up the guitar for a stretch. When asked if there was ever any worry that things could unravel given how tight of a unit Lamb of God is live, Cruz explained that the level of professionalism that surrounds the band is such that anyone that comes into the fold, understands the level of expectation. Cruz praised not only his band but their associates and explained that there is a confidence the guys have in their craft. He also shared that at the end of the day, as Mark Morton would say, "It's just rock n roll".
Cruz elaborated further explaining how the band has a shortlist of personnel that are entrusted with taking on the role as fill-in should anyone get sick. Cruz expressed how thankful he was that he hasn't had to to make that call yet but did confirm that he has a few guys in mind that could get the job done should he not be able to make it.
That segued into Cruz heaving praise on his frontman, Randy Blythe. As the guys talked about the stable of fill-in vocalists and how amazing it would be to see a Howard Jones front Lamb of God for a night, Cruz explained that Blythe vocal prowess and hie command onstage make him one of the best metal frontmen of this generation. Compared with the likes of a Phil Anselmo during the height of Pantera, the guys agreed that Randy has the 'It' factor that makes a good frontman a true great. Attributing at least some of that to Randy's punk roots and his greater awareness outside of metal, Cruz shared that being able to see Blythe's greatness as a fan, a friend and now a bandmate has been "terrifying in the best way possible" - clarifying that sentiment by explaining, "it's scary how amazing his is".
Stream the complete interview with Art Cruz from Lamb of God on the Talk Toomey podcast below.
Omens arrives October 7th via Epic Records. Pre-order the album – HERE
Lamb of God w/ Killswitch Engage, Motionless In White, Fit For An Autopsy
Oct 07 – Sacramento, CA – Aftershock Festival *No Fit For An Autopsy
Lamb of God w/ Killswitch Engage, Spiritbox, Fit For An Autopsy
Oct 09 – Vancouver, BC – Doug Mitchell Thunderbird Sports Centre
Oct 10 – Kent (Seattle), WA – Accesso ShoWare Center
Oct 11 – Portland, OR – Theater of the Clouds
Lamb of God w/ Killswitch Engage, Animals As Leaders, Fit For An Autopsy
Oct 13 – Inglewood, CA – YouTube Theater
Oct 14 – Phoenix, AZ – Arizona Federal Theater
Oct 15 – Albuquerque, NM – Isleta Amphitheater
Oct 16 – El Paso, TX – UTEP Don Haskins Center
Oct 18 – San Antonio, TX – Freeman Coliseum
Oct 19 – Houston, TX – 713 Music Hall
Oct 20 – Irving, TX – The Pavilion at Toyota Music Factory
State Of Unrest Tour with Kreator, Thy Art Is Murder and Gatecreeper
Nov 18 – Copenhagen, Denmark – Forum Black Box
Nov 19 – Stockholm, Sweden – Fryshuset Arenan
Nov 21 – Oulu, Finland – Teatria
Nov 22 – Helsinki, Finland – Ice Hall Black Box
Nov 24 – Warsaw, Poland – Stodola
Nov 26 – Munich, Germany – Zenith
Nov 27 – Berlin, Berlin – Columbiahalle
Nov 29 – Tilburg, Netherlands – O13
Nov 30 – Brussels, Brussels – Ancienne Belgique
Dec 02 – Ludwigsburg, Bw – Mhp Arena (Arena Ludwigsburg)
Dec 03 – Essen, Germany – Grugahalle
Dec 04 – Saarbrücken, Germany – Saarlandhalle
Dec 06 – Madrid, Spain – Riviera
Dec 07 – Barcelona, Spain – Razzmatazz
Dec 09 – Wiesbaden, Germany – Schlachthof
Dec 10 – Hamburg, Germany – Edel Optics Arena
Dec 11 – Leipzig, Germany – Haus Auensee
Dec 13 – London – O2 Academy Brixton
Dec 14 – Glasgow – O2 Academy
Dec 15 – Birmingham – O2 Academy
Dec 16 – Bristol – O2 Academy
Dec 18 – Manchester – Academy
Dec 20 – Paris, France – L’olympia
Dec 21 – Dübendorf, Switzerland – Samsung Hall Zurich