Lamb of God’s SWAT team terror
Lamb of God drummer Chris Adler has described the moment they realised they were in trouble as Randy Blythe was dramatically arrested for manslaughter.
The vocalist spent five weeks in jail in Prague after the band flew in for a tour date, without having been warned they were suspected of involvement in the death of fan Daniel Nosek in 2010.
Adler tells Metal Insider: “As soon as we walked off the plane, there were these two plainclothes officers pulling people aside. I didn’t notice it was only our band and crew. It was kind of odd because once the plane had stopped, it was almost an hour before they let people off the plane. I guess it was the authorities trying to figure out how to handle the situation.
“They’re pulling us aside one at a time. I notice that it’s not random – it’s just the band and the crew. Maybe somebody forgot something that they shouldn’t have put in their bag? Once they had all 12 of us corralled together they opened a door to another room. I assumed it was just to begin the process of telling us what the deal was, or what the fine was for carrying liquor or a joint in a bag.
“We walk in this room and there’s ten guys that look like they’re ready for the apocalypse. Scary, scary dudes with black ski masks on, huge machine guns, full body armour, guns strapped to thighs, calves and chests, and mace out. We realised it was something far more than what someone had in their bag.
“An officer explained in broken English that they were investigating a homicide. We’d been flying around the world for the last five and a half weeks – maybe something happened at one of these festivals, and they’re talking to all of the bands, or someone we know might be in trouble? We never thought they were investigating us.
“Then they hand us all a piece of paper that explains in broken English about the situation that happened in 2010. They said they needed us all for interrogation, but they’re taking Randy with them now. That’s when it hit us. No one had heard anything about this, and with the SWAT team standing around us there was nothing we could do about it.
“We stayed there the next night and the band and crew was interrogated the entire next day. As soon as we were let out, we drove to the German border and stayed there for the next two days, assuming common sense would sink in and they would let him out – because this was crazy.
“And that’s exactly how we felt for the next five weeks. Every day the information that we got was different from the day before. They’d ask for a certain amount of money, they’d change it the next day, we’d pay it, then nothing would happen. We did everything we could from this side to try to get him out.”
Blythe is due to return to Prague to stand trial in December or January, but meantime, Lamb of God will hit the road for a tour Adler describes as “therapy.”
He adds: “We live in this little metal bubble, and it was very humbling to see how many people supported us in their comments, in cancelling shows in Prague, and donating items for the auction we had, and donating money to his legal fund.
“People like Slash and Ozzy, who could easily sleep another day without worrying about us, coming out and saying something – it’s really humbling to know. It attracts that kind of attention not just because it’s the hard rock community, but it’s a very scary precedent.
“If this goes to trial, if Randy ends up being convicted, it sets a very dangerous precedent for performances: anybody that is willing to take the stage is now somehow responsible for the general well-being of anyone that walks through the door. That’s a scary notion.”