Feb. 25, 2009
On the Set of "Set to Fail"
Author - Ayne Bales
“We need fans who are wiling to get slammed around for 12 hours in Richmond, VA on January 9.”
This was the casting call put out by RVA’s Lamb of God for their first video off the new album Wrath. They weren’t kidding either. Not only was this an extraordinary experience for the seventy or so friends and fans packed into the third floor of Sound of Music Studios, it was an exercise in endurance. Go find the largest clothes dryer you can. Put yourself, your iPod cranked as loud as it will go, a few random blunt objects (to simulate elbows and fists), and three or four pairs of sweaty gym socks into this dryer. Turn the dryer on, listen to the same song for eight hours, and you’ll start to have an idea what it was like to be in “Set to Fail”. The thing you’ll be missing is how much freaking fun it was.
Initially I figured this would be a ‘live’ shoot, with the band on a stage and the crowd in front. Instead we walked into a room with nothing but Chris’s drums on a low riser, a couple of prop amps, and plain white lighting. We were about to get up close and personal with one of the hottest metal acts out there today. Our instructions amounted to “mosh, don’t look directly into the camera, and try not to hurt the band members”.
Over the next eight hours we head-banged, slammed, crowd surfed, and generally wreaked havoc. I saw Willie accidentally give someone a black eye with his guitar. Randy broke three of my toes. We were having too much fun to care. The song absolutely rocked. If you haven’t heard it yet you need to go directly to the closest record store and pick up a copy of Wrath – you won’t be disappointed. This was a low budget shoot with only one camera, and I was impressed with not only the crowd but the video crew – they did an amazing job. Despite the close quarters and rather diverse crowd no one lost their cool, if someone went down twenty hands were there picking them up. This may have been due in part to another email sent to everyone invited to the shoot… “Don’t be a dick. Lamb of God will think you’re lame if you act like a dick.”
During our downtime I met fans from as far away as Dallas and Chicago. That’s dedication. The band members and crew were extremely gracious and friendly, as they always are. (Does Willie ever stop smiling?) Together the band and the fans made this a day no one there will soon forget. How often do you get to spend the day with your favorite band AND get to be in one of their videos? Whether you see them in the grocery store on a regular basis or only on television, it was honor to participate.
The end result is a video just as raw and gritty as the song itself. “Set to Fail” will not disappoint fans. In typical Lamb of God fashion it sounds like nothing they’ve done before, and the advances in musicianship and vocals are obvious. The new album is nothing short of amazing, even returning to the bands original instrumental roots on the opening track “The Passing”. The hometown boys continue to not only be some of the nicest guys in the business; they continue to be the best at what they do – making pure American metal.
Check out the bands MySpace Page for more!
Photo Credits – Ayne Bales and James Taylor
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