“There’s stories behind all the collaborations,” Lamb of God axman Mark Morton says with a laugh when asked about the guest artists featured on his debut solo album Anesthetic.
The 10-track record, which drops on March 1 via Spinefarm Records, sees Morton working with a slew of amazing vocalists ranging from the late Linkin Park singer Chester Bennington to Arch Enemy’s Alissa White-Gluz to Testament’s Chuck Billy.
“Josh [Wilbur, producer] and I had this concept where we’d write music and demo the music together and just listen to it and picture like, ‘If we had any choice in the world, who would we want to sing this song?’” explains Morton. “That’s how we wound up with people like Chester Bennington and Mark Lanegan because I’m like, ‘We can’t get these guys.’ And Josh would be like, ‘We won’t know unless we ask, so let’s try and do it.’”
Morton took Wilbur’s advice, and the guitarist proceed to, in his words, “cold-call” one of his favorite singers, Mark Lanegan — formerly of alt-rock greats Screaming Trees, Queens of the Stone Age and, of course, his own never-ending list of solo projects and collaborations.
“I didn’t expect him to know who I was or know anything about my work with Lamb of God. I still actually don’t know or not,” laughs Morton, “But he said yes. He’s a man of very few words, and I think the response was, ‘Send me the song.’ I sent him the song and he recorded the vocal.”
What Lanegan sent back inspired Morton so much that he ended up writing an entirely new song around it.
“When I heard it back, I had a completely new idea for the song,” reveals Morton. “So my dumb ass went and took the music off of it and had Josh give me just the vocal to a click. I wrote a whole new song to his vocal, which is the one you hear on the album. Then I had to send it back to him like, ‘Well … I changed the whole song — but your vocal’s great! You don’t have to do anything. Do you still dig it?’”
Luckily for Morton, Lanegan did.