“Routes”: Lamb of God Debut New Song Featuring Testament’s Chuck Billy
If it feels as though “Routes,” the fourth single from Lamb of God’s forthcoming, self-titled album, seethes just that much harder than your average, already-seething LoG song, that may be because of the inspiration from which frontman Randy Blythe drew for his lyrics. The track is about Blythe’s time protesting at the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation in North Dakota during the No DAPL movement. It’s not hard to imagine the things Blythe experienced during that time giving him just that much extra edge. Explains the vocalist:
“I went to Standing Rock because I had heard reports of violence committed on the peaceful protestors there by both state law enforcement and private security contractors, and this violence was not reported in mainstream media for the most part. I went to bring supplies and support these people, who were trying to protect their water, and thereby protect everyone, as everything in the natural world is protected. I was there a week, made some great friends, and learned a lot. It was a very profound experience in my life, and I knew one day I would write a song about it.”
It seems safe to assume that the song also has some personal meaning for Testament singer Chuck Billy, who guests on the track: Billy was recruited for “Routes” specifically because of his Pomo Native American heritage. As Blythe puts it:
“My experience, although my own, was tempered and shaped by the hundreds of years of brutal oppression of Native peoples in our country. So, it was imperative for me to have a Native voice represented on the song, and Chuck Billy was happy to be that voice. At the end, there is a call and response section – Chuck calls and I respond. This is intentional. Musically, it is symbolic of my experience there. A native voice leads, bringing forth positive energy and calling to the people to unite, and I reply, providing support. That was my physical experience, and it is reflected in the song.”
“It was a great honor as a proud Pomo Native American to be asked by Lamb of God to do some guest vocals on this song. The No DAPL movement by the indigenous people of this country was a historic event. Being able to lend my voice to represent the Native American people, complementing Randy’s storytelling and lyrics, is something really special to me. I’m glad this movement was put in a musical message, and I am extremely happy to have been a part of it.”
Check out “Routes” below. Lamb of God comes out June 19 on Epic Records, and can be pre-ordered here.