For two future icons of metal, growing up together in the DC suburb of Woodbridge, Virginia was not always the head-banging party it is today. Before they got on their respective instruments, Mrs. Adler made both Chris and younger brother Willie take piano lessons by the time they were six. As an extra slap in the face, Chris even had to take up saxophone.
“Chris was real into Aerosmith and Zeppelin and a lot of great bands,” says Willie. “And me being the punk-ass little brother, I always gave him a hard time because I was listening to the Sex Pistols and a lot of the hardcore stuff. I gave him a hard time and called him hippy.”
At the end of the day, both men give it up to their parents for fostering their musical inclinations, especially mom, herself an enthusiastic piano player. “They were both extremely supportive,” Willie recalls, “as far as buying instruments for us and letting us play in the basement.”
Though Willie didn’t join Lamb Of God until about four years after its inception, he says the dynamic between him and his brother are at the core of the band’s music. “It’s almost like in a marriage – you can finish each other’s sentences,” he explains. “Chris and I are on the same wavelength when it comes to what we want to hear and our approach to writing music, whereas Mark [Morton, lead guitar] has a real bluesy feel for what he does, and me and Chris are real metal purists.”
People say the drummer is the metronome for the band. But then, many drummers have told us they feed just as much off the bassist or guitarist or even the singer. So just who the hell is in charge? Willie laughs, “I know exactly what you mean. That’s funny because I definitely play off Chris. Whether he plays off me … I sure hope not.”
Chris Adler also uses Mapex hardware, Gibraltar rack, Trick pedals, Aquarian heads, and Pro-Mark sticks.