As The Palaces Burn
Last night I went to downtown Seattle, by myself, to the Showbox to see the premiere of the new Lamb of God documentary titled As The Palaces Burn. The film chronicles the events surrounding the manslaughter charges Randy Blythe faced in the Czech Republic in 2012. It was really an incredible film from start to finish. It began as a fan-centric documentary, picking out devoted Lamb of God fans from around the world and doing pieces on each of them. Then right in the middle of filming for this documentary about the fans, it suddenly becomes a documentary about the band again: the band steps off of a plane in Prague and steps into the custody of Czech police. They learn a fan had died after attending a Lamb of God show two years prior. Randy Blythe was accused of pushing him off of the stage which lead to his injuries that eventually lead to his death. As we all know by now, Randy was acquitted of all charges and went back to fronting one of the best metal bands of our time.
This film really put my mind into motion and between the walk back to my car and the moment I arrived home I couldn’t stop thinking about how much music has really affected my life and why I wanted to pursue a career in music in the first place. I had a little Twitter vent session to get it off my chest, so in case you missed that or wanted to read it in an easier to read format than on Twitter, I’m copying it here:
Just got back from As The Palaces Burn and I can’t even begin to describe how motivating and inspiring it was. It completely reinforced the reasons I got into music in the first place and in turn made me very sad I’m not making music anymore. There’s a LOT about the music industry I don’t like, any musician will have the same thing to say; but this film almost made me less jaded. If you are privileged enough to be in a band that either sustains itself and/or pays your bills you NEED to see this movie. You should see it regardless, but this film honestly changed my perspective on the music industry as a whole.
I firmly believe that if you are not taking full advantage of what you are privileged enough to be a part of as musician, you should not be doing it at all. Enjoy every moment of every day in every city, from the US to every country you are lucky enough to visit. Most people in the US don’t even get to Canada, let alone overseas, so sitting around on a bus or in a hotel all day on tour is just sad. Traveling the world with music has been one of my lifelong goals and I’ve been lucky enough to see a fair share of it so far. How someone could go out and be put into these places because other people wanted them there, not because they paid to go, and then not take advantage of what’s around them and see the world, our only world, and embrace what’s new and different completely astounds me.
I know this seems crazy that the LoG doc inspired these thoughts, but I couldn’t stop thinking about how privileged I’ve been and how so many people would give everything they have just to do the things I’ve done. I do not take a second of it for granted. I’m not happy with a lot of aspects of my life, but I wouldn’t change the opportunities I’ve had for anything in the world. If anything, this movie has made me hungry to travel and see more. The world is an incredible place filled with such passionate people. The world really sucks sometimes. Can’t argue that. But there’s so much out there and so much to experience. So much to see and so much to do. Whether it’s for bragging rights or for personal accomplishments, it’s worth it.
Music is what brought me where I am today. Music is such a powerful, uniting force. I’m really humbled by it all right now. I have stood feet away from Randy Blythe, even talked to him on Twitter, and to think that he’s been through all of this and is still a down-to-earth, stand up guy is amazing to me. He loves what he does and won’t let anything stop him. He is a truly inspiring man.
In airing out my thoughts I started speaking with someone who has followed me online for a while after he thanked me for giving him some inspiration. I shared with him what inspired me to pursue music in the first place:
Here’s why I got into music: I was a 13/14 year old fan that when I had puberty’s hormones running through me and I thought no one understood me, music DID. Music was all I had when I didn’t understand the world as a teenager. Hell, I’m 27 and STILL don’t understand the world. Music is something I can always fall back on to take me away from reality and change my mood. I wanted to be on the other side of that. I wanted to be the one providing that comfort to other people. I saw Linkin Park when I was 13 and I vividly remember Chester saying “one day we were on the other side of that barricade, and one day you can be on the other side of it too.” That changed my life. I wouldn’t be here if I didn’t go to that show. I’m seriously having those same feelings right now. It’s incredible how music can affect you. So thank you for taking something away from that. Giving people that feeling is all I have ever wanted.
I can only hope that Randy might be able to read this somehow and know that his determination, professionalism, and all-around likable character have really had an impact on me. I can’t even begin to thank him for that.