A few years ago, veteran artist manager Larry Mazer felt the industry changing, and at the forefront of that change were bands that hit the road hard.
Entertainment Services Unlimited’s Mazer, who’s managed the likes of KISS, Cinderella and Pat Benatar during his 35 years in the business, explained that a lifestyle genre was developing in the metal world and touring was an integral part of it.
"I’ve never managed anybody that wasn’t able to go out and do 300 to 400 shows a year to support themselves," Mazer told Pollstar. "I started noticing the success of a lot of bands that were not dependent upon record sales and not dependent upon radio airplay to sell tickets and to sell merchandise. And everybody said at the top of the food chain was this band from Richmond, Va., called Lamb of God."
The band had just signed with Epic Records when Mazer went to see Lamb of God perform for the first time, and he was amazed by the amount of tickets and merchandise the band moved. LOG had three independent albums under its belt and was already playing 500-600 seat clubs, but Mazer saw the potential for something even bigger and soon began managing the band.
Call it metalcore, call it groove metal; LOG’s unique sound has made it one of the forerunners of a new wave of American metal. And the band’s willingness to spend years touring helped build its following through word of mouth.
Drummer Chris Adler told Pollstar the band loves what it’s doing, which has made all the time on the road that much easier.
"We really enjoy it," Adler said. "We really enjoy each other’s company and going out and making this music and touring on this music. It’s not about how much I get paid every night or who’s the hired gun if somebody doesn’t feel like doing it."
The five-piece comprising lead singer Randy Blythe, Mark Morton and Will Adler on guitar, John Campbell on bass and Adler on drums has done multiple trips around the world and played support slots on Slayer, Megadeth and Slipknot outings. The band’s spring headline tour of clubs and ballrooms throughout the U.S. and Canada in support of Sacrament was a virtual sellout.
The Agency Group’s Tim Borror, who’s repped the band for about seven years, chalked it up to the fact LOG is willing to go where its fans are.
"We don’t just constantly play Philadelphia, New York, Chicago, L.A. and San Francisco," Borror told Pollstar. "We really get out there and play places that other bands aren’t playing, and try and come back to the band’s biggest markets at the right time as opposed to just beating a dead horse."
After securing a support slot on this summer’s free Ozzfest tour, LOG could very well see those markets expand.
The band won’t be paid for its Ozzfest performances, but Borror said the decision was a no-brainer considering the draw of the free tour.
"I think it’s a cool thing for bands to be able to do, to present themselves in that kind of way," he said. "I think also for Lamb of God, this is like the little band that built themselves from the ground floor their way and, all of a sudden, they’re getting the opportunity to play the main support slot on the big stage on a major tour."
"At the end of the day, the ability to go on right before Ozzy, the reality that by being free to 15,000 to 20,000 people every day we oughta sell a lot of merchandise, we just said, ‘OK, let’s do that.’"
And having the opportunity to tour with such a rock legend couldn’t hurt either.
Adler said the band has learned a lot from supporting such established bands.
"It’s cool, there’s a lot of lessons to be learned both in their successes and their failures," Adler said. "As a young band coming up, that’s all you want to do is play with some of your heroes. And we’re fortunate enough to be able to do that and we’re very lucky and feel very flattered to have that opportunity."
LOG will follow up the Ozzfest dates with a U.K. arena tour supporting Heaven And Hell in the fall. Mazer said a Christmas multiple-band package arena tour of the states is being discussed as well.