'Who knows what will happen? But we believe that we are innocent of it and justice will sort itself out,' says drummer Chris Adler.
Heavy metal band Lamb of God is trudging along despite a looming manslaughter charge that frontman Randy Blythe faces in the Czech Republic. The future of the Richmond, Va.-based group may be uncertain, but drummer Chris Adler tells Billboard.com that he's in high-spirited rehearsals for its first U.S. tour in support of the act's seventh album, "Resolution," which was released in January and debuted at No. 3 on the Billboard 200.
Blythe was detained on June 27 and held in a Prague prison for about a month in connection with the death of a fan during a 2010 show at Prague's club Abaton. The singer, who has publicly stated his innocence in the matter, returned to America in early August on $400,000 bail and is currently set to stand trial in Prague sometime in January.
But the group is far from discouraged. Adler says Lamb of God's performances at Slipknot's inaugural Knotfest in late August -- its first since Blythe's prison release -- helped rejuvenate the band and provide inspiration for its upcoming stateside tour.
"It was almost therapeutic to get back on stage," Adler says of the Knotfest shows in Iowa and Wisconsin. "People were screaming the name of the band and, of course, screaming Randy's name. So it was very cathartic to hear that and have that support and take the stage again. It felt great."
Lamb of God's 38-date U.S. trek begins Oct. 30 at the Comerica Theatre in Phoenix and wraps Dec. 16 at the Showbox SoDo in Seattle. In Flames and Sylosis will support on all dates. Hatebreed will appear on the bill through Nov. 19, at which point Hellyeah will join for the remainder of the trek.
Lamb of God guitarists Mark Morton and Willie Adler have been working on new material for the band, and Blythe has been writing lyrics inspired by his recent legal problems. But even though the band's future hangs in the balance, fans shouldn't expect a new Lamb of God album anytime soon.
"We really haven't had the opportunity to tour on the album ('Resolution') that came out in January and debuted fairly strong," Adler says. "We may have the pieces in place to begin working on some sort of creative endeavor, but I think now is the time for us to get to work and get out there and support the record."
The drummer also notes that Lamb of God won't alter its stage show in response to its legal issues in the Czech Republic. "It's difficult for us to say in any way that this was something that was our fault and that we should change how we're doing things, because we're already trying to look out for those kinds of incidents," Adler says, noting that the band's concert contracts and riders call for ample security.
"We certainly don't want to change what it is we do," he continues. "This is obviously a terrible tragedy that nobody foresaw or intended to happen. But it's such a random series of events that caused it to happen that I don't think us changing what we do would necessarily stop it from happening again."
Blythe is scheduled to return to Prague in January to face trial. If convicted, he could face up to 10 years in prison, according to Adler. But the drummer is optimistic that the singer will be found innocent.
"They haven't really played their hand out in the case and what they have on us. Obviously this tragedy happened, but how they're going to go about prosecuting is a mystery to us," Adler says, noting that the legal bills are astronomical. "Not knowing how their justice system works and being repeatedly surprised by events from when we landed there, who knows what will happen? But we believe that we are innocent of it and justice will sort itself out."
If Blythe is acquitted, Adler says Lamb of God will embark on an international tour soon thereafter. Meanwhile, the incident has been a wakeup call for Adler and his bandmates.
"Overall, for me anyway, it really helped recapture what drives me to do this to begin with. After 10,000 shows and records that sell really well, you start to lose touch with," he says. "So when you're threatened with it being over in a blink of an eye, you realize how fragile and special it is. I've been really motivated to play harder and faster than I ever have, so I guess there's a silver lining there."