One of the few moments of levity during this awful pandemic was the release of the third and final Bill and Ted movie after a roughly three-decade hiatus. Bill & Ted Face The Music – which finds our hapless but lovable heroes trying to avert the apocalypse by finally writing a song to unify the universe – was praised by fans and critics alike. While the earlier Bill and Ted films featured songs by KISS and a famous cameo by Jim Martin of Faith No More we’re happy to report that the characters and film have changed with the times. Bill and Ted are dads and good husbands, even if the music career hasn’t worked out. There’s no hair metal but two of metal’s biggest current bands – Lamb of God and Mastodon – wrote new songs during the pandemic for the soundtrack. Who wouldn’t want to be featured next to the legendary Wild Stallyns? Decibel talked to Lamb of God‘s Willie Adler about the soundtrack, their song “The Death Of Us” and what else the band has been up to during the pandemic (tomorrow we’ll catch up with Mastodon about their featured song). Station!
Do you remember when you saw Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure?
I don’t remember exactly but it was when I was a kid. I have very fond memories of that movie and thought it was super awesome. I thought it was so cool these dudes were into rock and roll and traveled through time picking up these random people – just the whole fantastic element caught my young brain.
Were you at the point where you saw Wild Stallyns and thought you might be able to be in a band?
No, I don’t think I was ever at that point (laughs). I don’t think I ever consciously thought this is what I want to do it just sort of happened.
Did you see Bogus Journey when it came out?
I didn’t see it when it came out but did watch it years later. It didn’t grab me as much as the first one but maybe that was because I saw the first one when I was young. There is something about the original.
How would you classify your Bill and Ted fandom? Did you memorize parts of the movie?
No, I was never that deep with it. I never became a cinephile to the point where I’m collecting and memorizing lines from movies.
So how did Lamb Of God end up on the soundtrack?
We were approached. I think all the pandemic shit had just happened. We canceled a European run and were still wondering if a summer tour could happen. Management reached out and said the music supervisor for the new Bill And Ted wanted a totally new Lamb Of God song for the movie. They needed it done in like two and a half weeks. I think all of us were taken aback by the timeline but since I was a fan I was like “absolutely! What the fuck else are we doing right now?”
Was the rest of the band as excited as you were?
You’d have to ask them but I don’t think the rest of the band was as excited or as big of a fan as I am. But I can only speak for myself. There was definitely a certain element to my excitement I think they picked up.
What kind of guidance did the music supervisor give you?
Just that it was a dark scene. We wanted a clip of the scene but Hollywood is very tight-lipped. We were able to get an audio file. They said if we could use words from the scene in the song even better. A situation like this has never happened for us. Even on our major-label debut, no one told us what do to or had creative input. But when they came to us and asked us to incorporate some things we said we’d do our best. I think both parties were happy.
Everything was put together virtually?
It was all tracked at my house except the drums because Art [Cruz, drummer] is in Los Angeles.
What kind of feedback did you get from the people involved with the film?
The music supervisor loved it right from the jump. He said the more he listened to it the more he liked it. It went from being used in the final credits to being used in the movie. It took me back to young Willie so I really wanted to do this right.
On another note, how does Lamb Of God get in the coffee business? Was it the pandemic?
The pandemic allowed us to explore some things we wanted to do but hadn’t had time to explore. Coffee was sort of an obsession for Randy (Blythe, LOG vocalist), me, and our partner Paul Waggoner (Between The Buried And Me guitarist and owner of Nightflyer Roastworks). Paul helped us on plenty of tours and our love of coffee goes back a long way. On one worldwide tour, we went to check local coffee spots. On that tour, we talked about roasting coffee and I said I would go home and figure it out. At one point I bought a bunch of old popcorn machines and put them on my deck to roast coffee. It made sense for us to finally partner with Paul and do this.
How did you get the blend right so you were comfortable putting your name on it?
We wanted it to be a universal coffee and perform well no matter how you make it – drip machine or espresso machine. We wanted it to work well. It makes a great drip, a great pour-over, a great French press. It’s not super dark roast – it’s middle of the road. Coffee is all about freshness – when it is roasted. My biggest request was we need to keep it fresh.
Lamb Of God has two streaming shows beginning September 18 (the band will perform their new self-titled album on 9/18 and the 2004 fan favorite Ashes of the Wake on 9/25). It’s been over a half year since the pandemic started so why now?
We wanted to make sure we could do it right and stay true to the band. We didn’t want to be the first one to do this but instead be good at doing it. When we decided to do these we wanted to do things that made sense from a fan’s perspective. We wanted to tour to promote the new record but will do this instead. And Ashes makes complete sense because for many fans that is the Lamb Of God record.
It seems like you and the band are making the best of a bogus situation.
I really appreciate you using that term! We’re doing the best we can.
I think the appropriate way to sign off is to say “be excellent to each other.”
And party on, dude.