Randy Blythe talks about why he quit Twitter and what got him interested in pursuing photography
Just yesterday, I was writing about the large part that social media plays in our day to day lives, and how certain artists can use it as a way to seek attention. Randy Blythe, the frontman of Lamb Of God, has become a metal personality that has transcended the metal label due to his recent trial and tribulations in the Czech Republic. Now, people that have never even listened to Lamb Of God, know his name, which is a pretty strange thing to consider.
Recently, Blythe has made a point of being a “voice of reason” in the scene, sharing very honest and frank views about his life and extrapolating them as warnings to others to not fall victim to his mistakes. It’s an admirable trait, one that has actually come about relatively recently. It may be hard to believe, but if you turn back time, Blythe wasn’t always known as the voice of reason in the metal community. More often than not, he showcased personality traits via his social media outlets that would indicate he was a less than desirable individual, one with a very bad temper and a high level of ignorance towards people.
However, times have changed and Blythe has gone through several dramatic life changes, such as quitting drinking alcohol, quitting social media, and of course his trial in the Czech Republic. His interests started to focus on more visual pursuits as he took up photography, and he also made a powerful short film in the Czech Republic that documented the emotions that he went through while on trial.
Now, Blythe has done an interview, detailing what made him take up photography seriously, and why he quit social media:
“About two-and-a-half years ago, I decided after a rough couple-year-long Twitter bender, that I had enough of this stuff, and I decided to unplug from social media. This Twitter thing, I started interacting with people, and I had 40-50,000 people following me. When you have that much humanity directed at one person–the hive mind–people become upset when you don’t talk to them or, if they say rude things to you, because I’m a public person, people seem to think that through the anonymity of the Internet they can say whatever they want.
I was becoming aggravated with these people, and I had this idea that I was going to unplug completely from the Internet and all mobile communication devices for exactly one year. I remember a time before–you can exist without this technology.
To that end, I was gonna write a book about it. I was telling my friend Jamey Jasta about it, and he was like, “OK, this is how we’re gonna do the movie,” we just immediately forgot about the book and started planning the movie.
So I talked to some friends of mine in the film-making business and I said, look, whats an affordable digital camera that I can get to film this stuff with? They recommended a Cannon EOS 60D…I bought that and started filming interviews with people. Then one day I was in my kitchen and I said “lemme use this thing for what its actually meant to be used for.”
I was looking at my French press and I saw my reflection in it and it was all bent. I put the camera on automatic with the kit lens, and I took a picture. From that second on it was over. I was like, that is so cool looking, I immediately started shooting tons of pictures.”
Of course, I can imagine that a lot of Blythe’s previous outbursts would have been relative to the amount of stupidity he probably came into daily contact with. In all honesty, I have a very low tolerance for the ridiculous stupidity of others, so I would have probably developed a similarly negative reputation if I was in his boots.
Also, it’s interesting to note his desire to make a film detailing a year removed from technology. While he obviously didn’t go through with it, it might be worth noting that there’s a reason why this day and age relies so heavily upon technology. We are the first generation that can legitimately inform our friends that we’ve “lost our phone”. Technology has increased so rapidly that we have become dependent on it, so much so that yes, while you can live a life without it, nobody would safely recommend it. By all means, limit your intake and exposure to the technology, but it’s probably not wise to completely isolate yourself from it, especially when you’re in a famous band that you need to help promote.
What’s more, a while back we actually wrote about Paul Miller, the tech blogger that managed to stay disconnected from the internet for a whole year, and his findings from the social experiment. Needless to say, as many people may have thought, it didn’t solve his problems and actually made his life incredibly difficult. It’s an interesting read, and one that may assist in quashing certain people who perhaps blithely say that their life would be easier without. I think that’s just taking for granted the amazing gift that you’ve been presented with.
Regardless, Blythe’s new found appreciation for photography has been entertaining his followers and he’s been taking some great photos. Check out his Instagram to see more.