Lamb of God’s Randy Blythe Launches Blog for Upcoming ‘Dark Days’ Czech Trial Memoir
Lamb of God vocalist Randy Blythe has kept in close contact with his fans for many years, becoming somewhat of a social media king in the realm of metal. To promote his upcoming 'Dark Days: My Tribulations and Trials' memoir and to explain exactly what fans should and should not expect from the book, Blythe has launched a new Tumblr account, the first post of which details his life as Lamb of God's vocalist, his battle with substance abuse, his success in bringing justice to his Czech manslaughter case + much more.
For any metalhead, 'Dark Days' will prove to be a must-read. Blythe's 'Dark Days' Tumblr account promises to document the "process," "production" and "publication" stages of the memoir, which Blythe breaks down with his inaugural post.
The first post on Blythe's self-professed "blog/nervous breakdown" reads:
Obviously (as the name of this blog will lead the more astute amongst you to deduce), this is the official blog of my upcoming book, Dark Days, scheduled for publication later in this year of our lord, 2014. I even state that fact in greater detail over in the “about the author” section (the little box to the left of this post), just in case there is any confusion about what in the hell is going on here. In that box it also says “PROCESS. PRODUCTION. PUBLICATION.” That is because those are the three phases the life of this book will go through, and the three phases in which this blog will be chronologically updated. More on that shortly.
First, a brief explanation about myself and the basis of my book for those of you who are unfamiliar with me or the recent events that have occurred in my life during the last year and a half or so. My name is D. Randall Blythe, known to most simply as Randy. I make my living singing for the four-time Grammy losing international touring heavy metal act, lamb of god. We’ve been around for almost twenty years now, have several critically acclaimed albums (well, at least by a few critics at a couple of metal magazines), and have played on every continent on earth except Antarctica. It’s a good life.
I am also a sober alcoholic who hasn’t touched a drink or a drug (other than caffeine and nicotine) for well over three years as of this writing. For twenty-two years, I drank herculean amounts of alcohol (and drugged on the side just to make sure I was truly screwing myself up) in an attempt to alter reality to the point where I could deal with it. Surprise, surprise- that strategy did not work. That was NOT a good life, and I barely survived it. I’m much better now.
Everything was going just hunky-dory until about a year and a half ago. On June 27, 2012 my band flew from Norway to the Czech Republic to play a show. Upon landing in Prague, we were met at the end of the jetway by five masked and heavily armed large men in body armor, along with four plainclothes detectives. To the immense surprise of my bandmates and myself, I was arrested on suspicion of manslaughter concerning the death of a lamb of god fan. We had played Prague two years previously, and unbeknownst to any of us, a young man had sustained an injury to the head during our show, dying a month later. The police said that I was the cause of that injury. I was promptly incarcerated and spent the next thirty-seven days in a 123 year old crumbling prison on the outskirts of Prague. After a long and complex process during which my band had to borrow almost half a million bucks, I was released on bail and returned to the United States. Instead of hiding like a coward in the U.S., safe from extradition (the U.S. government had refused to cooperate with the Czechs after they requested assistance in investigating me immediately after the young man died. My government also did not deem it necessary to inform me that I was a wanted man in a foreign country. Your tax dollars at work.), I returned to Prague in early 2013 to stand trial. I did this for several reasons, first and foremost being I felt the family of this young man deserved some answers, and I was the only one who could provide them. I felt it unethical to hide from my problems while they grieved the loss of their son. As the father of a dead daughter, I understood their pain in a very visceral way. I had tried to hide from my problems for over twenty years by crawling into a bottle. I do not live that way anymore, so to hide from this would have been intolerable for me. I believe it would have lead me back to the drink, and from there, I would have surely died.
On March 5, 2013, I was found not guilty and acquitted of all charges. I have remained a free man every since.
This book will tell that story, the whole story, for the first time ever. I’m the only one who lived it, so I’m the only one capable of telling it. However, the tale of my arrest, incarceration, release, and trial are merely the vehicle I will be using to convey what I feel is an important message in today’s fast paced, high tech, self-centered world. I have something to say, and life has presented me with a tragic way to illustrate my point without being preachy or pedantic. I will not moralize or shout from some ludicrous ethical pedestal (I didn’t win the Olympics or cure cancer, I went to prison for Pete’s sake)- I just want to relate how I got through a very scary time and came out with my head held high. I think there is a lesson of value in the telling of my story, if only for myself. Therefore I will write it, and I hope some of you will read it.
That’s my basic story. What this blog is:
1) Process: I am a voracious reader, and have been since I was child. I love reading books about the people who write books. I love learning about their process. I love seeing pictures of their writing desks. I love hearing about the nervous break downs they had as they toiled in solitude to produce something worth reading. I love a glimpse into their great knotty craniums. That is what the first phase of this blog will attempt to do through writing, photos, video, and maybe even some original music. I have found that through my photography and Instagram account (@drandallblythe) that fans of my band and my photo work enjoy seeing what is going on in my life, as it has taken me to some pretty neat places and lead to some pretty interesting observations. The process phase will allow you a glimpse into what it’s like for me to become an author. I will not be taking questions during this phase, as I need to be writing. If you want to observe the train wreck in progress, by all means, hop aboard.
2) Production: In the second phase of the blog, I will be detailing what happens between submitting the manuscript to my publishers and the book hitting the shelves. This will include art work updates (galley covers, etc.), perhaps some advance reviews, book tour dates (I plan on doing a very interesting book tour), and what I learn about the business of publishing as I go along. This is a new area for me, and I hope to share what I learn as I fumble through this new field- who knows, maybe it will help some young aspiring author out! No questions will be taken here either.
3) Publication: Ok, the books out- now what? I guess we shall see! I will be opening up the questions section once the book is released, and we will be entering the publication phase of the blog. If anyone asks me something interesting CONCERNING THE BOOK, I will do my best to answer it. I also will be updating appearances and writing about anything different/funny/weird/hideous/painful/embarrassing that occurs as a result of being a published author. Maybe nothing will happen- who knows? Once again, I guess we shall see. I have a feeling all the above mentioned things will occur though. I am a magnet for wing nuts and bizarre situations. The book will only step that up, I’m sure.
WHAT THIS BLOG IS NOT:
A place to write about my band or answer any questions about it. There are other channels for that. I talk about band stuff when I am doing band stuff. Right now, I’m doing book stuff. The band stuff will come later.
So that’s the concept for this blog. In my next post I will tell the story of how this book deal thing came about; relating how I had to be convinced to write this book in the first place (it was not my idea- in fact, I really didn’t want to at first), and what finally made me agree to do it (no, it wasn’t money. I already have enough money for what I need. Plus, unless your King or Grisham or one of those folks, the book business is the wrong business to try and get rich in). Thanks for stopping by, and be sure to tell your friends, y’all hear me, now?
Stay tuned for more news on Lamb of God and Randy Blythe's 'Dark Days' memoir, which is set to be released June 24 according to Amazon. Lamb of God are also set to premiere their 'As the Palaces Burn' documentary, which will also cover Blythe's Czech manslaughter trail, on Feb. 16 in Philadelphia. Along with the premiere, the film will be shown in over 350 theaters worldwide. To find out where 'As the Palaces Burn' will be playing at a theater near you, click here.