Sheila Pell 11 a.m., Oct. 22
As I Lay Dying Cover Judas Priest in New EP & Video
As I Lay Dying's new EP Decas, released last week, features three new songs, three covers (Slayer, Judas Priest, Descendents), and several remixes. They’ll headline the Decade of Destruction tour through their December 16 San Diego finale, alongside Of Mice & Men, the Ghost Inside, Iwrestledabearonce, and Sylosis.
The band released a new video this week for their cover version of the Judas Priest classic "Electric Eye". The clip was filmed with director Paul R. Brown (Motley Crue, Slipknot) at El Mirage Lake, a dry lake bed in the Mojave Desert of San Bernardino County.
"After a long day of sunburns and drought out in the desert, [I was] glad to be done fighting scorpions for the filming of 'Electric Eye'," says singerTim Lambesis. "We came out victorious, but we probably couldn't have done it without the classic metal inspiration of Halford and Priest's legendary guitar melodies."
The Decas EP has sold 9,500 U,S, copies in its first week of release to debut at position No. 61 on The Billboard 200 chart. The effort reached No. 2 on the iTunes Rock chart. iTunes also offered a free track ("Paralyzed"), which was downloaded by around 125,000 people in one week.
The EP is apparently meant to tide fans over until the release of the band's next studio full-length (due for release next year).
Says Lambesis, "We wanted to at least do an EP when the idea first came up. We were touring at the time and knew we wouldn't have time to put together an entire album of new material. 'Decas' literally means ten, and to me it is a collection of songs to celebrate our ten-year anniversary as a band."
"We were able to round up three new songs that we felt represented the different sides to our band. There's a song you'd generally expect from us, one on the heavier side, and then one of the most melodic songs we've ever done. We took a similar approach on the cover songs. We wanted one song that represented a thrashier, heavier influence."
"Interestingly enough, we were asked to do a Slayer cover song with an anti-war theme for a video game months earlier, so that worked out perfectly. Next, we represented the melodic guitar influence with Judas Priest, who is responsible for starting much of that within metal. Lastly, I came up with the idea to do a simple, raw, energetic song that was outside of our genre but still influential in some of our musical upbringing."
As I Lay Dying (named after the book by William Faulkner) formed in 2001. The classic lineup consisted of Tim Lambesis (vocals), Jordan Mancino (drums), guitarists Nick Hipa and Phil Sgrosso, and bassist Clint Norris, who was replaced by Josh Gilbert in May 2007.
Hipa describes the band’s music as “brutal, energetic, melodic metal”; Mancino calls it “metal with ska breakdowns.” The band signed with Metal Blade Records in 2003 and spent 2006 supporting their album Shadows Are Security with opening slots for Slipknot and performances at Ozzfest events around the country.
“I never realized, until Ozzfest, about our utterly weird fans,” says Lambesis. “We were signing autographs...this guy brought out his two-week-old baby, and he actually has us sign the baby — our autographs are right there on its body.”
Jordan Mancino recalls, “The hardest thing [about Ozzfest] was getting stuck on a dirt road with our bus in the middle of the Arizona desert.”
Nick Hipa: “Lots of sloppy, gross old ladies walking around with their gross old boobs painted. Definitely a bum-out.”
Asked about being occasionally called “Christian metal,” Hipa says “All of us in the band are Christian dudes and we’re vocal about it and I think our lifestyles and our lyrics reflect that. But at the same time, we also tend to opt to play in the normal music scene because that’s what we love doing.”
As I Lay Dying was named “Artist of the Year” at the 15th annual San Diego Music Awards in 2005. A few things about the band members you may not know:
Lambesis: “I often get anemic from a blood-iron deficiency, but you can’t tell just from looking at me. I haven’t fallen off the stage or anything.”
Hipa: “I’m Hawaiian-Japanese, not Mexican.”
Double-bass drummer Mancino: “I love Disney movies, theme parks...pretty much everything to do with Disney.”
In May 2007, freshly married bassist Clint Norris left the band and said he plans to attend school. He was replaced by Josh Gilbert. Lambesis posted a message online reading in part “Since we just put a new song up with Josh Gilbert’s vocals on the chorus, I thought I would explain the story of why Clint is gone and where Josh Gilbert came from...
“Clint wanted to pursue a lifelong career that he could be passionate about since he could not picture himself being in the band forever once he got married. His wedding was in March and he’s now able to stay home with his wife. For those of you who are just finding out now, we’ve been playing without him since November 2006...Our first recordings, Frail Words Collapse, and Shadows Are Security were all written and recorded without Clint, so the new CD isn’t any different in that respect. Although Clint was in the band during Shadows Are Security and we will always be thankful for his great live energy, he was not involved in the song-writing process. Therefore, he had a hard time learning the songs in the short amount of time we had while recording. Phil ended up playing bass, and our friend Dave Arthur (who is in an amazing band called Kings to You) did a guest vocal appearance on all of the clean singing. Dave is credited on the record along with other great guest vocalists like Dan Weyandt from Zao."
“We weren’t able to find Josh Gilbert until after we had finished writing [the new record], but he was able to make it to San Diego in time to record both bass and clean vocals on the new record. It feels good to know that the person recording bass and clean singing on our new record will be same person playing those songs live. Our guitar players have always played bass on every record...until now!” Gilbert came from the bands This Endearing and Gate City.
Their album An Ocean Between Us was released August 21, 2007, featuring guest guitarist Adam D from Killswitch Engage. The following week, it cracked the Billboard charts at #8. It lasted eight weeks on Billboard’s Top 200 Chart before dropping off.
They played on the 2007 Warped tour and then shot a video for “Nothing Left,” the first single off An Ocean between Us. The bleak, futuristic clip was shot in Van Nuys, California, at Sound City Studios with Brian Thompson (Killswitch Engage, Angels & Airwaves) directing. “The high concept storyline mixed with the band’s ripping performance should make this video a metal favorite,” says Thompson. The story, conceived as a collaboration between the band and Thompson, follows a female character through a series of events that take place within a decaying, future landscape.
At the 2007 San Diego Music Awards, the band took home the trophy for “Artist of the Year” and later that year embarked on a European tour. Their song “Nothing Left” was nominated for “Best Metal Performance” for the 50th Annual Grammy Awards in 2008.
In 2008, singer Tim Lambesis’ side band, Austrian Death Machine, released its debut album, Total Brutal, on Metal Blade Records. Lambesis also appeared on the TV show LA Ink, getting a tattoo Jesus rocking out, while As I Lay Dying won Artist of the Year at the '08 San Diego Music Awards.
The band filmed several November 2008 concerts for a DVD, This Is Who We Are, released in April 2009. In October of that year, the band took home the trophy for “Best Music Video” at the 13th Annual Hollywood Film Festival. The winning clip “The Sound of Truth” was directed by Brian Thompson, taking place in a “decaying, futuristic society.”
The Powerless Rise,, the band's fourth album for Metal Blade Records, was recorded in San Diego with producer Adam Dutkiewicz (Killswitch Engage) and released in 2010. It sold 38,000 U.S. copies in its first week, debuting at number 10 on the Billboard 200 chart. Their previous album An Ocean Between Us opened with 39,500 units in August 2007, to land at number 8.
In addition, The Powerless Rise reached number 2 on the Top Independent Albums chart, number 5 on the Top Rock Albums and Top Digital Albums charts, and number 3 on the Top Hard Rock Albums chart. The band subsequently toured Europe in November 2010 with Heaven Shall Burn.
Around the same time, Singer Tim Lambesis formed his own clothing line, Modern Rebellion. They headlined the California Metalfest V on March 19, 2011, at The Grove in Anaheim, before returning to a U.S. tour with Winds Of Plague and After the Burial.
A box set version of The Powerless Rise was released in May 2011, featuring the CD and a vinyl picture disc, a DVD documentary with in-studio footage and interviews, a bass and drum tab book, a hardcover book with lyrics, photos, and an editorial from the band, a 12" x 12" lithograph print, three AILD guitar picks, a mini drumstick keychain, a vest patch, a window cling, and an AILD jacket pin.
Around the same time, Lambesis told Australian metal webzine Disciples Of Metal “Instead of waiting two or three years to do a new full-length album, we’re going to put out something later this year for our tenth anniversary...it will be a combination of new songs, cover songs, and a few remixes. We have three new songs ready to mix.”
Singer Tim Lambesis guested on a solo album by Jamey Jasta of Hatebreed and Kingdom Of Sorrow, titled Jasta and released in July 2011 via eOne Music. AILD then departed on an Autumn 2011 tour of Europe with Amon Amarth, and took home a Best Hard Rock trophy at the 2011 San Diego Music Awards.
Here's their new "Electric Eye" vid, followed by the Judas Priest doing the original in concert: