Interview: Randy Blythe on Teenage Time Killer, the Insane Supergroup with Dave Grohl
By Brian Ives
Lamb Of God frontman Randy Blythe has a lot on his mind these days: he’s currently promoting the film As The Palaces Burn, which documents his 2012 nightmarish ordeal in the Czech Republic, when he was arrested on charges of manslaughter, blamed for the death of one of Lamb Of God’s young fans. A happy spoiler here: he was exonerated, and he’s currently writing a book about the experience. Radio.com will have a more in-depth interview about the film next week.
We asked him about his insane supergroup that he’s apart of called Teenage Time Killer, which also features Dave Grohl, Corey Taylor of Slipknot, and former Dead Kennedys frontman Jello Biafria, among others. He told us that the entire project started when one of his favorite bands, Corrosion Of Conformity, invited him to guest on their next record.
“A while back, a mutual friend down in North Carolina reached out and said, ‘Hey, [C.O.C. drummer] Reed [Mullin] wants you to sing on the new C.O.C. record.’ I had a geek heart attack. I’m like, ‘Right on!’ And one thing led to another and it ended up being this project. Although I still might do a song with C.O.C.”
The most high-profile name associated with the project is easily Grohl, who knows a thing or two about putting together an all-star casts for an album (he did it in 2004 on his heavy metal project, Probot, and more recently on the soundtrack to his 2013 documentary Sound City).
“It’s recorded at Dave Grohl’s studio. Dave, a wonderful man, is the nicest guy in rock and roll, hands down. And an old school punk rocker: he was in Scream briefly,” Blythe notes, referring to the band that Grohl was in before joining Nirvana. “Reed started playing all these tracks, and Dave played bass and guitar on them. On the track that I’m on, it’s me, Reed and Dave Grohl. All the sudden, there’s all these people, all mixed in with the project,” mentioning legendary Fear frontman Lee Ving and Corey Taylor. Other names that have been associated with the project include former former Black Flag/Circle Jerks frontman Keith Morris, Max Cavalera of Soulfly and Neil Fallon of Clutch.
“I heard a mix of my song the other day, it’s killer, it’s real punk rock. It’s called ‘Hung Out To Dry.'” He says that it’s about the generation gap that he sees, between younger fans who have grown up online, and those who remember the pre-internet era.
“It’s easy to be a grumpy old man, and be like, ‘It’s not like the old days! These damn kids!’ [But] Their entire reality is contained right here,” he says, as he gestures to a cell phone in his hand. “Their whole perception of the universe is through the internet. There’s no mystery. I think science has proved, the more options that are in front of you, the more apt you are perhaps be overwhelmed and be depressed. I think that’s why the sad state of indie rock exists. ‘I’m so miserable!’ [mimes playing a guitar] Jangle, jangle, jangle. You don’t have any fight in you! But it’s not their fault. When you’re eight-years-old and you’re given an iPhone and it’s like, ‘This is your lifeline,’ what does that do to your psyche?
Blythe says that he’d love to do a brief tour for the album, if the opportunity came up —but notes that you need a Grohl-sized bank checkbook to fund it. “Dave Grohl can do that: I don’t think Reed can take us all on the road!”
For now, he’s ecstatic that he was able to collaborate with the C.O.C. guys. “[C.O.C.'s 1985 album] Animosity is the reason that I sing the way I do. I was in a car when I was 14, with these older dudes going skateboarding. and they were playing that [album] and I was singing along with it. They were like, ‘Wow, you should be in a band!’ And I was like, ‘Ding! Mental note!’ And then, 400 years later, here we are!”
As for the release date for Teenage Time Wasters? “I’m not sure when it’s coming out,” Blythe says.
As The Palaces Burn opens in theaters February 27. Get more information on the film at its official website.