Music Interview: Not taking it lying down

By Nolan Lewis

Don’t be deceived by their name, As I Lay Dying has never been more alive with a mission to go forth to wreak havoc with their majestic metal and hardcore attitude. With each album the band’s sound matures and their fan base grows with every balls-to-the-wall performance.

Headlining a tour through the U.S. and Canada, As I Lay Dying treats fans to some new material off their forthcoming album and a spectacular live set delivered with incredible intensity and raw emotion.

“This type of music isn’t really meant to be played standing around,” explains frontman Tim Lambesis. “In a lot of ways [it’s] a release and we’re just kind of letting it all go when we’re playing.”

Injecting new life into the band with the addition of three new members, this young band has evolved and matured in their songwriting. In the past, Lambesis carried most of the songwriting burden with drummer Jordan Manicino arranging the songs. But with the addition of the new members, the songwriting process became more collective and creative.

“They understood the direction the band was going and that was part of what excited them about joining the band,” says Lambesis. “Naturally there are slight changes. I’d say overall they’re better musicians so the guitar parts are a little more complex.”

The band’s last two albums and extensive touring of their incredible live show has garnered attention from fans of both the metal and hardcore punk underground. Admitting to more of a metal influence in the songwriting on their new album, the energy of hardcore is still present. Trying out new material for their fans on this tour, Lambesis notices an unusual enthusiasm for the new material.

“The new songs go over a little better than some of our old songs, which is awesome because usually when you play a new song live, the fans don’t know the lyrics or any of the parts so they just stand around more,” explains Lambesis. “But this tour we’ve gotten a really good reaction out of the songs.”

As I Lay Dying, labeled by some as a Christian metal act, don’t let their beliefs exclude them from a genre built on biting the heads off doves, burning churches and worshipping Satan. In fact, they are touring with the Prince of Fuckin’ Darkness himself on this year’s Ozzfest. Lambesis believes a lot of the dark history of metal arises out of shock value. Now bands have moved pass that to write songs about what they are truly passionate about and not just music to piss off parents to gain adoration from angst ridden teens.

“All of us are Christians and we’ve definitely felt out of place in certain situations, but overall I think that people in metal and hardcore as a whole have learnt to grow up a little bit and they’re not so ignorant about their views,” says Lambesis.

As I Lay Dying knows metal is not welcomed in the mainstream and will not be played on the radio to death like that annoying pop music–“music” used unwillingly. But by staying on the road and touring Lambesis hopes to gain more fans and recognition for what the band is trying to do.

With a new album, a sought-after spot in the Ozzfest lineup, coupled with their musical maturation and a incredible passion for what they do, As I Lay Dying are not ready to lay down and die; they’re only getting started.

“There are enough things and day to day circumstance that remind us how lucky we are to have this opportunity.”

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