Chris Adler was born in Washington, DC on November 23, 1972. As a toddler, Chris began tapping around with broken sticks from his backyard on his parents coffee cans. As he grew he studied years of piano, vocal lessons, saxophone, tympani and acoustic guitar before settling on playing bass for several high school bands and recording projects.
Once in college at Virginia Commonwealth University beginning in 1990 Chris quickly met up with musicians in the local area (Richmond, VA). Chris played bass on several records and toured the U.S. from ’91-‘94. When at home, Chris tinkered with his first “trading post” drum kit in his apartment bed room while the neighbors were at work, but nothing serious developed until the end of 1994. In September of that year, Chris met back up with several members of his freshman dormatory experience interested in starting a band. A bass player was already in the mix, so Chris decided to put the bass in it's case and turn to the drums full-time for the first time at age 21. The learning curve was extreme for the progressive metal act, soon to be named, “Burn the Priest.”
Burn the Priest recorded two 7-inch records, one 14 song full length CD and played hundreds of shows across the US in their 5-1/2 year career. Chris’s drumming helped drive the band and his unorthodox playing choices and agility garnered much attention and praise. The band became the most downloaded metal band of all time MP3.com which caught the attention of several record labels. The band knew that they were breaking the seams of the underground scene and forced themselves to take a leap of faith.
In the winter of 1999, the band replaced a guitar player, changed their name to LAMB OF GOD and signed with Prosthetic records. By September 2000, the groups’ debut CD New American Gospel was in stores and Chris was quickly approached for his first article in Modern Drummer Magazine. Chris’s atypical style, timing and speed combined with the progressive guitar work made this release stand out from the many of the underground cookie cutter metal bands of the time. Two years on the road followed with Chris continuing a rigorous practice schedule throughout.
In May of 2003 the band released its sophomore effort As the Palaces Burn. Chris’s playing had vastly matured and his phenomenal performance on this album helped land the band a review in Rolling Stone magazine, claim the Record of the Year Award for 2003 in Revolver Magazine and put the band in contention for a Grammy nomination in the Hard Rock category.
It wasn’t long before the big players came knocking and in September of 2003 the band signed to Epic/Sony records. The bands fan base continued to multiply as the band spent the better part of the next 12 months on the road and now had four videos in rotation on MTV2. Chris was now well known in the scene for his playing ability and was termed “a landmark to judge all extreme players by” by Modern Drummer.
On August 31, 2004 the band released its full length offering Ashes of the Wake. Once again, Chris’s playing continued to evolve, this time branching further into progressive territory with more unusual and stylistic choices throughout the recording. The album’s first week sales landed the #27 spot on the Top 200 Billboard Charts. The album landed them on many high profile tours including a headlining slot on Ozzfest 2004. During this album cycle the band released the platinum selling DVD Killadelphia, highlighting the bands performance and personalities on and off stage.
In 2005 Chris was asked, and performed at the prestigious Modern Drummer festival, his performance garnered a standing ovation at the event and landed him on the ‘Best of’ Modern Drummer Festival DVD in 2008. In addition to apearing on the 2005 MD Festival DVD and the 'Best of' in 2008, Modern Drummer also broke out his performance at the festival for it's very own DVD.
In August of 2006, the band released ‘Sacrament’. The album landed at #8 on the Billboard charts, was nominated for a Grammy and was the highest selling metal album of the year. ‘Sacrament’ was praised as album of the year from critics across the world and Chris and the band toured for 20 months in support. Chris landed cover articles in Drum!, Rhythm (UK) and Modern Drummer magazine for the incredibly diverse and powerful drum recording. The band once again received a platinum award for the DVD chronicling the trek entitled ‘Walk With Me In Hell,’ and Chris was invited to write a regular column in Modern Drummer Magazine.
A drum clinic tour across Europe in 2008 expanded on the Modern Drummer performance in 2005 and played to sold out venues.
In February of 2009, the band released ‘Wrath.’ On this recording Chris has taken his greatest leap forward as a player from any one record to the next. Chris is well known for his footwork and unique rhythmic choices, which are once again represented well here, but the drumming on this album also showcases a significant growth in his hand speed and dexterity. Never satisfied, ‘wrath’ represents a balanced and intense effort to push into new ground and evolve as a player. The album landed at #2 on the Billboard charts, was nominated for a Grammy and, again, was the highest selling metal album of the year. ‘Wrath’ was praised by fans and critics alike as the band took a more aggressive approach in the song writing and recording. Most bands tend to lighten up or slow down as the career builds, but not Lamb of God. The band began touring in Dec. of 2008 and recently finished the world tour in Dec of 2010. The popularity of the album was undeniable and in addition to all of Europe, the Americas and Japan, the band was asked to perform in unusual places around the globe including China, Russia, Israel, India, Indonesia, Thailand, Singapore and Turkey. During the touring cycle, the band spent an entire year on the road and in the air with Metallica. Chris was nominated in 2010 for a Revolver Golden God award for 'best metal drummer' and continued his column in Modern Drummer Magazine.
2011 begins yet another chapter with Chris beginning the year with a new website, his first published book (1 of 6 scheduled to be published), a first ever US drum clinic tour set for March and preparations in the works for the new Lamb of God record, scheduled for release in February 2012.
Chris Adler made an appearance at Mom's Music in Louisville, KY on May 5th, 2009. Here, Chris tells us why he loves Gibraltar Hardware and Racks! Check it out!!
Steve Shelton, Stewar Copeland, Billy Cobham among others