Former MACHINE HEAD and current VIO-LENCE guitarist Phil Demmel will be filling in for Willie Adler on nearly a dozen European LAMB OF GOD shows later this month. Demel previously stepped in for Adler during LOG‘s January appearance on the ShipRocked cruise and in May for the Canadian portion of LAMB OF GOD‘s “The Metal Tour Of The Year” with MEGADETH.
Earlier today (Tuesday, August 2), Demel shared an Instagram photo of him in front of the LAMB OF GOD backdrop, and he included the following message: “Next 3 weeks are with these fine folks from Richmond MFing Virginia. Mixing in some VIOLENCE as well!! See you soon!!!”
LAMB OF GOD summer 2022 European dates:
Aug. 05 – RO – Rasnov – Rockstadt Extreme Fest
Aug. 07 – BE – Lokeren – Lokerse Festival
Aug. 09 – SK – Ljubljana – Cvetličarna
Aug. 10 – HU – Budapest – Barba Negra Track
Aug. 12 – FI – Turku – Knotfest
Aug. 14 – UK – Walton-on-Trent – Bloodstock Open Air
Aug. 18 – DE – Nürnberg – Z-Bau
Aug. 19 – DE – Köln – Live Music Hall
Aug. 20 – DE – Sulingen – Reload Festival
Aug. 21 – NL – Eindhoven – Dynamo Metalfest
Although LAMB OF GOD has not officially commented on Adler‘s absence from the shows, VIO-LENCE singer Sean Killian revealed in an interview in April that Willie is “not down with doing the vaxx,” referring to the COVID-19 vaccine, and is being replaced by Demel for dates in those countries that still require proof of vaccination from US travelers.
In April, Demel also filled in for LAMB OF GOD‘s John Campbell when the bassist had to miss a couple of shows on “The Metal Tour Of The Year” in order to “take care of a family matter back home.”
Demel‘s appearance with LAMB OF GOD marks his third high-profile fill-in gig in four years. Demel stepped in for SLAYER guitarist Gary Holt for four European shows in the fall of 2018 after Gary returned home to be with his dying father. Demel also subbed for Dave Linsk at OVERKILL‘s November 13, 2021 concert at The Wellmont Theater in Montclair, New Jersey and on the band’s spring 2022 US tour.
In a February 2022 interview with BLABBERMOUTH.NET, Demel discussed how he became such an in-demand hired gun. “The SLAYER thing happened within 24 hours of me quitting MACHINE HEADhe said [SLAYER drummer] Paul Bostaph‘s girlfriend knew that MACHINE HEAD was done and knew that I was home, so they reached out for that. As the urban legend goes [laughs], I had three hours to learn 19 songs. It was pretty successful; a fill-in trip, one of the higher-profile things you can imagine — SLAYER on their final world tour. I filled in for my buddies in NONPOINT, too. The OVERKILL gig was more about me and Bobby [Ellsworth, vocals] doing the BPMD record together [2020’s ‘American Made’]. We’re familiar and I got the rep of being able to learn songs pretty quick. The METAL ALLEGIANCEOld guys too. I’ll play 25 songs with them in a night. It’s one of those quirky things where I can learn songs pretty quickly and I can pick them up pretty quick.”
Demel was then asked whether his nerves for the LAMB OF GOD and OVERKILL gigs were on the same level as playing with SLAYER. “I was pretty confident with the OVERKILL songs,” he said. “We had three good rehearsals. I didn’t rehearse with SLAYER at all. I played two songs at a soundcheck. [Laughs] ‘Okay, we’re good!’ It’s like, ‘Fuck!’ OVERKILL, we had a couple of days of rehearsal. I had two and a half, three weeks to prepare for that. I felt pretty strong with that.
“The LAMB OF GOD gig, that was a big deal. They had approached me before their MEGADETH States tour last summer and wanted me to learn both parts, Mark [Morton] and Willie‘s, just in case one got sick, they didn’t want to cancel their tour. That’s where I am: I’m their bullpen guy when one of them can’t make the shows, I’m ready to go. It’s such a high-profile band. I didn’t want to go out there and blow it. I wanted the band to sound good. I wanted to keep that pride in what they are and not have a drop-off. Willie and I play differently. There’s different vibrato in our left hand and pinkies. I didn’t want there to be a drop-off. I wanted people to be not bummed that he wasn’t there. And that’s not a slag on Willie. If I went to see one of my favorite bands, let’s say QUEENSR ŸCHE. I want to see [Chris] DeGarmóI want to see Michael Wilton. No slight against the other dudes, but they better fucking bring it if they’re not going to be out there.”