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As I Lay Dying Singer Tim Lambesis Discusses the Death of Mitch Lucker, How Bad Religion Changed His Life

Chelsea Lauren, Getty Images

As I Lay Dying and The Devil Wears Prada‘s North American co-headline tour kicks off Feb. 22 at Ventura, California’s Majestic Ventura Theater Half House and then continues through early April.

AILD is coming off a ferocious year that saw the release of their blockbuster album Awakened, hailed by many as the best record the band has released. Like the rest of the metal community, the band was also devastated by the loss of Suicide Silence frontman Mitch Lucker.

Noisecreep spoke with As I Lay Dying lead singer Tim Lambesis about the loss of his friend, among other things.

Tim, you performed at the Mitch Lucker tribute. That must’ve been a very intense thing for you.

It’s hard to describe. I really compliment the band and management for putting it together as quickly as they did. It was so organized for not having that much time. From the minute we started rehearsals until the after party the entire experience was unforgettable. It was an amazing combination of people that of course produced a lot of weird emotional moments. But there was just so much good feeling in the air about Mitch. When his parents thanked me it really made me realize what it happened; that a mother and father had outlived their child which is like the most tragic thing in the world.

Talk about the relationship between your band and Suicide Silence.

We’ve only shared buses with two other bands in our career. One of them is Suicide Silence, who we toured Europe with in around 2009. That’s what you do in Europe to save some money; you share a bus sometimes. Looking back on that now I wouldn’t trade one day of it. Our bands grew so close on that tour and it’s something that continued afterwards. What’s interesting is, we know how this loss affects his family, but then there is also the band and even people that work for the band that have to weigh how they’re going to move forward. It’s most tragic for the family of course, but so many are affected by it.

As I Lay Dying is 10 years old now. How would things change for you since the beginning?

For me, personally, things have changed a lot. In the beginning I was actually the band’s manager because I wanted to learn what it took to help make a band succeed. I got involved with the marketing, the booking, everything that it took for us to make it early on. Today, we have band management that takes care of all of that which I’m glad about because things have changed so much in the record business that I’m not sure I would be able to deal with it today, at least effectively. You just look around and see there are no more record stores, fewer radio stations – it’s just a very different world we live in and I’m happy to just be a musician now.

Watch ‘A Greater Foundation’ Video

Tim, was there an album you heard as a kid that really open your eyes up to the kind of music that you would eventually be creating?

Not really one record but there was a lot of music that I liked back then like Pantera, that really gave me an idea of how intense music could be. The first concert I ever saw was Tom Petty, which was a great show but I think that the real show that turned my head was a Bad Religion show that I saw here in San Diego where I grew up. The punk energy that those guys put out was amazing and I remember thinking that if I could learn how to play guitar I think that I could be up there doing something like what they were doing.

Finally, what do you think of all the focus the press have put on As I Lay Dying being a Christian metal band or not?

I think they try to. Five or so years ago when magazines would try and press that point we decided to stay silent on the spiritual topic so that they would have to pay attention to our music and nothing more. We didn’t preach at our shows, our goal has always been to just write the best music we can write. Of course religion has some influence on the things that we write about just like all of our life experiences do but as a band, we want to be judged on the music rather than what our personal beliefs are.

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Awakening is out now via Metal Blade on iTunes and Amazon.

As I Lay Dying, The Devil Wears Prada tour dates:

FEBRUARY
22 Ventura, CA Majestic Ventura Theater Half House
23 Santa Cruz, CA The Catalyst
24 Chico, CA Senator Theatre
26 Reno, NV Knitting Factory Concert House
27 Las Vegas, NV House of Blues
28 Los Angeles, CA Club Nokia

MARCH
1 San Diego, CA Soma
2 Tucson, AZ Rialto Theatre
3 El Paso, TX Tricky Falls
5 Corpus Christi, TX Concrete Street Amphitheater
6 San Antonio, TX Backstage Live
7 Dallas, TX House of Blues – Dallas
8 Lubbock, TX Lonestar Events Center
9 Oklahoma City, OK Diamond Ballroom
10 Memphis, TN New Daisy Theatre
12 Nashville, TN Rocketown
13 Charlotte, NC Amos’ Southend
14 Charleston, SC The Music Farm
15 Norfolk, VA The NorVa
16 Silver Spring, MD The Fillmore
17 Hartford, CT Webster Theatre
19 Allentown, PA Crocodile Rock
20 Huntington, NY Paramount Theater
21 Poughkeepsie, NY The Chance
22 Williamsville, NY Club Infinity
23 Toronto, ON The Sound Academy
24, 25 Millvale, PA Mr. Smalls Theater
27 Columbus, OH Newport Music Hall
28 Grand Rapids, MI The Intersection
29 Milwaukee, WI The Rave
30 Minneapolis, MN First Avenue

APRIL
2 Lawrence, KS The Granada Theatre
3, 4 Colorado Springs, CO Black Sheep

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