Tim Lambesis

There were a couple posts in a row about a book discussion and parts of the latter were reposted out of context (it was not a press release by any means). Given the possibility of words being twisted on other sites, all posts have been taken down.

Clarification on “A Greater Foundation”

After the lyrics for “A Greater Foundation” were released I got a lot of questions about the meaning for the song. I was also told the lyrical commentary in the special edition was too vague. In short, tradition and truth are often at odds with each other. Here’s all of the information I’ve written about it posted in one place:

In response to some Facebook posts…

"The god I grew up learning about was more like a creation of the 4th century emperor Constantine than anything of 1st century Judeo origin. In fact, the book Pagan Christianity does a pretty good job showing that both Protestant and Catholic denominations have poisonous roots (though, I don’t agree with the books conclusions of how to deal with that problem). While I do not agree with any large religious institution, I do respect people who sincerely want to trace their beliefs down to their uncorrupted historical root. Men like NFL star Reggie White (at the end of his life) were persecuted for seeking what he believed to be as truth, yet the reality is that he got closer to understanding the Messiah that most refer to by the Greek name Jesus than almost any man I’ve seen stand behind a pulpit. There’s not a single human being who has it all right, but often those most sincere in their search for truth are the first to be considered heretics. Additionally, some great minds began their subversive thinking because they are slightly crazy (like Lew White for example). Then you have to separate brilliance from conspiracy. The point I’m getting to is that I don’t hate all religious belief, yet it is very difficult for me to outline exactly who it is that’s worth siding with. The line has been blurred, but one thing is certain. I am still inspired by the words of the man who told us to "love our enemies" and to serve "the least of these." Regardless of where a person stands religiously, that is simply a better way to live, full of compassion, and alleviating our selfish suffering as we put our energy into serving those worse off than ourselves."

From a recent press release…

"From a lyrical perspective, its always a bit surprising to see the fans reaction to the new songs.  Some people feel that new songs like A Greater Foundation are more provocative than anything we’ve done before.  Maybe its true - I wrote the lyrics, so I tend to only see how they apply to my life.  But, I feels its something our long time followers would have expected and can relate to.  I do not regret abandoning ritual or tradition in the search for truth.  Everything has a beginning, and it’s been my goal to track each of my beliefs to it’s uncorrupted historical root. As we evolve, so does our perspective."

The lyrics themselves…

reality no longer battles perception

this letter’s written to no one

sincere, i sought your truth and divine purpose

through myths of revelation

guidance all wrapped up in a paper box

supported only so long as my mind was the enemy

i could not in conscience hold on

as we face distress we must not lose heart

stand fast and press on, triumph awaits (us)

the powerful constant that i had once leaned on

is no longer there

you call this shameful disbelief

a process like losing my closest friend

as we face distress we must not lose heart

stand fast and press on, triumph awaits (us)

sometimes we have to watch our whole lives fall apart

before we can rebuild them again, a greater foundation

i wish there was another way

but no amount of devotion can fix this

triumph awaits

sometimes we have to watch our whole lives fall apart

before we can rebuild them again, a greater foundation

From the special edition commentary…

I wrote the lyrics to A Greater Foundation as a way to process some of the religious beliefs from my childhood that I had let go in exchange for finding truth. Every year that I had put toward my degree in Religious Studies caused me to see the god of tradition and ritual that I grew up with as less and less of a probable truth. By the time I graduated, my entire concept of the divine had changed as I sought to reconcile spirituality and reason. The more I sought truth uncorrupted by years of religious history, the more I kept finding answers I didn’t want to find. Emotionally, it would have been easiest for me to just hold on to what I grew up believing, but mentally that wasn’t an option anymore. In other words, my dedication couldn’t have been more earnest, but heart wasn’t the issue.

Though I had lost so much of my history and felt that my world was falling apart, that was a necessary step toward building my entire way of thinking on the absolute best possible foundation. The hope found in these lyrics is described in the aftermath of demolition for those willing to start from scratch. Unfortunately, most people accept what they have been taught by either their schools or churches without question. Overall, I know that I can do what’s best for myself and those around me by seeking truth above anything else, even when teachings claim to be from god. Education is not God, but truth certainly does set people free.

NEW Music from Austrian Death Machine?

Here’s a chance to test my theory one last time by seeing how the promotion of music compares to a picture.

That member is me (Tim) and Ahhnold in Austrian Death Machine and you should be able to check this out on most mobile phones even. While the idea behind Austrian Death Machine is somewhat light hearted (yet still totally brutal), this topic is good segue into the conversation I said I would start about good ways stay in shape with limited resources. Arnold was Mr Olympia seven times after all.

Every time I leave for a tour I have to get creative with what we call “prison style” workouts. I don’t claim to be the authority on this stuff at all, so I’m seeking advice as much as I am dishing it out. For starters, there are always the basics you can do in any prison cell (or backstage room).
- pushups (clap pushups, triangle, wide grip, etc.)
- abs (crunches, jackknives, leg raises, bicycles, planks, etc)
- chair dips for triceps
- lifting luggage for biceps
- jump squats
- lunges
- handstand presses for shoulders

I’ll be really up front about that fact that I haven’t been able to gain a noticeable amount of muscle doing any of these things. All of these exercises really only help me maintain what I’ve been able to do from real gym workouts while off tour. These type of workouts can certainly help a person tighten up, get stronger, and get in great shape overall though. To actually build bigger muscle though, you have to lift an amount of weight that can take that muscle all the way to failure, usually in under 12 reps. That’s why the hardest thing for me is putting on size.

When I do get the chance off of tour at my local gym, the idea is to completely tear down a muscle by hitting it from a minimum of three different angles. An example on an upper back day would be to do vertical pull downs, high rows with different widths to the grip, and also low rows. The weight I would try to use would be whatever is heavy enough that I can’t do over 12 reps and sometimes as low as 4. Also, to cause my muscles to full break down and fail, I often need a spotter to force me to do at least one or two more reps than what my body can handle on its own.

Those are the basic principle I work out by. I’m curious to get other peoples opinions since there are thousands of people who swear they know best at my gym alone. I also don’t recommend anyone lifting weights that way if they haven’t already done other simpler exercises to get the muscles used to the pressure before going for heavy weight. I’ve only been working out for under a year and at that only about three times a week. Most people try to overdue it and get hurt. If you’re new to this, then do more full body (crossfit, kettlebells, etc) type workouts for at least three months before trying to look like Ahhnold. In my year of working out, I personally spent the first six months or so dabbling in a variety of kettlebells and prison style workouts while on tour so that my body was ready for what I’m trying to do now.

Lastly, either be an athlete or just admit that working out is mainly for vanity. Simply being healthy requires eating healthy and jogging your butt around the block from time to time. I admit that I have no practical reason for getting in great shape other than for intimidating girly men in the front row at ADM shows. Ahhnold still intimidates me, so I have a small man’s complex at 6’3”. My saving grace is that I’ve picked up a number of other hobbies to balance out my meathead ways. Check out documentaryheaven.com and come talk to me about something new you’ve learned at one the upcoming AILD shows. Overall, I’d rather talk about documentaries and/or charities than I would protein shakes. Thoughts on some recent documentaries what I’ll be getting into with my next blog.

As promised

As promised, here is part two of my experiment on social networking. My transition and excuse for posting this picture, besides as follow up to my previous post, is that my next blog is going to be about trying to eat healthy and working out while traveling on tour. I’m sure I’m not the only one with limited time and resources trying to stay in shape. Of course I still have a mouthful to say about the previous post as well which can be read below.

——photo has been deleted——

So this is my follow up post to my last one on band and fan interaction. Most of what I have to say here is me regurgitating things I learned from listening to many of you. Your comments certainly further the discussion and make it more interesting. Unfortunately, since I’m on tour, I didn’t have enough internet time to read every post. It is my intention though moving forward to use this blog for more in depth and genuine interaction. A blog is an enjoyable contrast to the limited space in other social media sites but also a potentially huge time warp.

Anyway, I’ll start with a humbling realization. It seems like I missed a pretty obvious point in my last post. “Likes” and site views are only as sincere of a connection as something that catches my eye when I walk down the street. The store that I walk into or the persons house I choose to hang out at are much more of an indication of my true interests. There are dozens of factors that influence why the link to a song isn’t as visited as a picture and I appreciate the comments that help me understand that. I may be a technological dummy in some ways, but I rarely check music while viewing websites on my phone and I assume many other music lovers are the same way. Additionally, I’m positive that I’m not the only person in the world with very limited time who still wants some sort of quick connection. In the end, any type of interaction with fans that is not controlled by promotional budgets is a good thing. After all, Facebook and Twitter never really started with bands or music in mind so I shouldn’t be complaining about their lack of substance when it comes to musical interaction. In the end, the burden of substance lies on the band or people posting on their behalf.

Here are a couple quotes I liked that got me thinking. Creating discussion and getting people thinking is the point of this site for me anyway. I don’t have to be right.

"I think his point that ‘blurbs are more important than full songs’ is off base. If the songs aren’t there, then no one comes to look at every thing else in the first place."

"These social networks no longer work as a medium to share music and to attract people to a band in order to make them pick up their records and immerse in their art. Instead, it seems like social networking has become an end in itself…. Something is being compromised in the end - and more than anything, it is the idea of the album." - Robin Staps (The Ocean)

"I wouldn’t have expected the guy who came up with Austrian Death Machine to be so coherent." (haha, I just liked this one because it fed my ego and I took it as a compliment)

Thrice did “exactly the opposite of what their fans wanted.” This point was used to talk about a deeper connection that sometimes produces diehard fans that outlast the changing trends.

"The bands ACTUAL fans will have taken the time to check out new material." Those just curious to check out what’s floating through their news feeds are adding to the views on all of the small stuff.

"The problem with the social media age especially is not that people are less interested in music related things and more interested in personal things."

"I can’t headbang to a picture."

"They should just focus on getting real fans because 1 like is not correlative to 1 new fan of your music."

Changes in band and fan interaction

A few days ago I was checking the schedule of some friends bands to see if we’ll be crossing paths on tour anytime soon. For instance, I check the Evergreen Terrace Facebook page every once in a while in hopes that they’ll play San Diego while I’m home or that we’ll play Jacksonville while they’re home. I even have to check my own bands Facebook page at times to see where we’ll be on tours coming up because all of the traveling seems to blend together at times.

Anyway, all of my searching around led me to a very interesting new realization. Everyone knows that the music industry is rapidly changing and it’s talked about so much that it gets annoying at times. Yes, there are fewer places to buy physical CD’s and bands need to survive on merch money or live show income. Bands are adapting their products (and even their sound at times) to keep up with that. However, my newest realization is how much the fans themselves have changed.

I noticed in the news feed of one band in particular that they posted a new song last week. Since then they have also posted some random info/photos almost entirely unrelated to the sound of their music. Because Facebook lists stats everywhere, I couldn’t help but notice that the views, likes, and comments regarding some new photos were almost double the count of the brand new song. For a second I couldn’t believe it, but then I caught myself checking out a number of these shorter non-music posts as well.

When debuting music is less important to fans than a musicians thoughts on partying or fashion or whatever, then it’s natural for true music lovers to question how healthy the more direct interaction between bands and fans really is in information age. I used to talk to friend’s bands about the pressure from their label to write a record better than the last. Now there’s more pressure from some labels to post info on what we ate for breakfast, comment on trending topics, and take wild press photos.

I don’t want to simply complain though. There’s a lot of a good that comes from a direct band to fan relationship that isn’t controlled entirely by labels anymore. I’m able to think out loud through this blog and fans can help me digest the new things that I’m learning. Fans have a new perspective that can help musicians see themselves or their ideas from a different angle. However, I still think that even something noble like a musician commenting on his/her political position is somewhat irrelevant when it comes down to deciding if I will like their music. Music still should be the initial attraction and hopefully reading all of the semi-pointless non-musical updates will help us fall more in love with the music. 

On a related tangent, I actually like some bands less the more I learn about their personal lives. I put them in the same category as bands whose CDs are awesome but are disappointing live. Its easier to enjoy the music if I don’t go out of the context of what initially turned me onto them. The extra non-musical info posted by bands can sometimes be the internet equivalent of a reality TV show where you forget what the person you’re watching is famous for in the first place. Remember the days when someone had to patiently wait for an update or stalk interesting people to learn more about them? Now it’s like stalking a flasher who wants to expose himself anyway. It’s just plain confusing who is really being creepy in the band to fan relationship these days.

My last though on all of this is to question what information age band/fan interaction says about us. Statistically analyzing what fans are viewing reveals the truth. Most of us want something new that is easy to digest and appeals to a limited attention span. Short clips, pictures, and blurbs are more important than full, complex and beautiful songs in many cases. Should band’s change to interact with their fans the way that the majority are requesting? Or should bands purposefully ignore what their fans want at times to stretch the few who desire more/better content? I don’t want to admit that musical composition or though provoking lyrics and interaction is secondary to the fluff yet, but I also predict that a long winded blog like this one seeking a more intelligent dialogue with fans will have significantly less views than the shirtless picture I’m planning on posting next week.