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RANDY BLYTHE ADMITS TO KILLING HIS DARLINGS

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RANDY BLYTHE ADMITS TO KILLING HIS DARLINGS

Yeah my headline is a little misleading. But it got your attention I bet!

ANYWAY, last week, Lamb of God vocalist Randy Blythe came to the conclusion that his Twitter account just wasn’t enough to express himself fully (which is understandable — dude tweets a LOT, and he’s really funny with that shit, too). And so he started his own Tumblr blog, called Randonesia. And while the first few posts he did were, in his own words, “just me figuring this thing out,” his most recent entry, published earlier this week, is an in-depth discussion of one of those topics which is incredibly important, but somehow seems to be rarely discussed in public: album sequencing.

Now, Blythe doesn’t really touch on ordering songs, which I think is an art unto itself which probably takes a ton of work — flow on an album is obviously important, even if it’s kind of “invisible” and not consciously perceived by much of the listening audience (kind of like editing in movies). I’m hoping Blythe discusses this facet of sequencing in greater detail in the future, but for now, he’s focused more on another painful aspect of putting a record together: cutting songs from the final release.

Blythe begins by utilizing the famous William Faulkner quote, “You must kill your darlings,” before continuing:

“Sequencing a record involves (at least in the case of my band, lamb of god) getting five very different, cantankerous, and aging dudes to kill their darlings for the better of the whole- THE ALBUM. We kill our darlings throughout the writing & recording process- a riff here, a lyric there, a drum fill here- in order to serve the song better. Sometimes it gets heated. Harsh words are said. Egos are bruised. Guitars are slammed around, beers are pounded, cigarettes are furiously smoked, yachts are sunk (ok, so we don’t have yachts, but you get the point). Sometimes it’s rough. Sometimes everyone magically agrees. Either way, at the end of many days we wind up with a bunch of tunes we are all proud of.

“The songs have been scrutinized, revised, criticized, victimized, pulverized- hell, a few have capsized, but they are still afloat in the sea of the writing process, and now they are in a race for shore, where they will set up camp, grill hotdogs, drink prodigious amounts of beer and finally chill out forever in their new home- the album. Each band member is rooting for his particular favorite songs to make the cut, and is campaigning and blowing wind into the sails of his preferred tunes.”

It’s no secret that the LoG dudes are passionate people whose disagreements can get a little, um, raucous, even when there isn’t something as important as deciding which songs will or will not appear on the final album at stake — so, yeah, I’m not surprised to hear such discussions get “heated.” That being said, the Lamb of Godudes obviously have a talent for making smart decisions, given the level of success, both creative and otherwise, which they’ve achieved over the past decade.

Read the rest of Randy’s blog here. I’d wager it will be worth adding to your regular reading list for the future.

-AR

[via Blythe’s Twitter account]

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