Chris Adler

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Chris Adler
Adler in 2015
Adler in 2015
Background information
Birth nameChristopher James Adler
Born (1972-11-23) November 23, 1972 (age 50)
OriginWashington, D.C., U.S.
  • Drums
  • percussion
Formerly of

Christopher James Adler (born November 23, 1972) is an American musician, best known as the founder and longtime drummer of heavy metal band Lamb of God from 1994 to 2019, and of Megadeth from 2015 to 2016.

Adler played drums on Megadeth's fifteenth album, Dystopia, and performed some touring dates in support of that album, as well as the touring and creative obligations with Lamb of God. Adler played in several local bands including Calibra, Jettison Charlie, Grouser and Darker Days before founding Lamb of God in 1994. He is also a former member of the glam metal band Nitro.

Adler is well recognized for his open-handed technique, his use of the heel-toe technique,[1] and his unusual approach to the drum kit as a left handed player on a right handed kit.

Early life and influences[edit]

Adler attended Bishop Ireton High School in Alexandria, Virginia; He attended college at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Virginia where he met former bandmates John Campbell and Mark Morton. His influences include former Wrathchild America and current Godsmack drummer Shannon Larkin,[2] and Stewart Copeland[3] of The Police. Other influences are John Bonham, Dave Lombardo, Gar Samuelson, Lars Ulrich, Billy Cobham, and Gene Hoglan.[4]

According to DRUM! Magazine, Adler describes his first drum kit as a disaster:

"The bass drum legs were different lengths so they wouldn't touch the ground at the same time. Every time I would hit it, it would wobble from left to right. The cymbal stands were duct taped together, and I think after two or three times playing the kit, the pedalboard actually broke in half because it was made of that crappy old fake metal."[5]


In 2006, Adler collaborated with progressive guitarist Ron Jarzombek and began the project Blotted Science. In 2013, Adler moved to Toronto, Canada to contribute to and record the album Volition with the progressive metal band Protest the Hero. The album went on to deliver Adler his first Juno Award (Canadian equivalent to the US Grammy).

In 2014, he contributed several drum tracks to the Testament album Dark Roots of Earth. On August 9, 2014, ABC News radio asked Adler in an interview if he did the drums for the new Slipknot single "The Negative One". Adler responded with "I can't confirm nor deny it". Adler later dismissed this in a later interview.[6]

Adler performing with Lamb of God at Rock am Ring 2015

In 2016, Adler recorded three songs with Jim Gillette, Michael Angelo Batio, and Victor Wooten in a California studio for a Nitro reunion album. As of October 2017, he left the Nitro reunion project to focus on a mid-2018 release and tour with Lamb of God.[citation needed]

Adler played on Megadeth's 2016 studio release Dystopia and on all live shows during the following world tour, juggling his time between Lamb of God and Megadeth. On July 1, 2016, Adler left Megadeth due to continued pressure to join full-time and leave Lamb of God.[citation needed] In lieu of leaving the band he started, Adler recommended his friend Dirk Verbeuren to Megadeth frontman Dave Mustaine who accepted his recommendation. Verbeuren took over after agreeing to quit Soilwork as well as his other projects.

On February 12, 2017, Adler won his first Grammy award for Dystopia which won the Best Metal Performance category at the 59th Grammy Awards.[7] As he was no longer a band member he did not attend the ceremony with current Megadeth drummer Verbeuren attending with the band instead.

In late 2017, Adler was involved in a motorcycle accident. He revealed the details of the accident a year later in September 2018, when questions were raised about his absence from the Lamb of God tour.[8]

On July 19, 2019, following a time period of a year where Adler was not touring with the band, Adler parted ways with Lamb of God. The band eventually announced Art Cruz as his permanent replacement.[9] Adler scheduled multiple international clinic dates in the back half of 2019 and joined a Richmond Virginia local project with the members of Kepone. In April 2018, Adler founded Kintsugi Management, an artist management firm.[citation needed]

On June 18, 2020, Adler announced his new project, Firstborne, with James LoMenzo (Megadeth, Black Label Society). Their debut track, "Anthem", along with the entire EP, released the same day on all streaming platforms, with Adler pledging to donate 100% of sales to the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund during the holiday of Juneteenth.[citation needed]

Personal life[edit]

In February 2019, Adler announced his engagement to his longtime girlfriend.[10] Adler is interested in animal rights and is a vegetarian.[11][12]


Adler uses Saturn Mapex Drums, his own signature Black Panther 12x5.5" snare, and Gibraltar Hardware. He also uses and endorses Evans Drumheads, Pro-Mark signature Sticks, Trick Pedals and Meinl Cymbals. Chris helped Meinl produce the 24" MB20 Pure Metal Ride for him and helped with the creation of the 12" Soundcaster Custom Distortion Splash. He also uses a Roland pad and two Roland trigger Modules linked to a Roland TR-808 drum machine. He also uses a Roland TD30k Kit at home and for warmups on tour.

Current tour kit[edit]

  • DrumsMapex Saturn in Satin Black Maple Burl[13]
    • 10"x9" Tom
    • 12"×10" Tom
    • 16"×16" Floor Tom
    • 18"×16" Floor Tom
    • 22"×18" Bass Drum (×2)
    • 12"×5.5" Mapex Warbird (Chris Adler Signature)
  • CymbalsMeinl[14]


    • 18" Byzance Traditional China
    • 14" Pure Alloy Medium Hihat
    • 8" HCS High Bell
    • 8" Byzance Traditional Splash
    • 16" Pure Alloy Medium Crash
    • 16" Pure Alloy Custom Medium Thin Crash
    • 10" Byzance Traditional Splash
    • 18" Byzance Traditional Medium Thin Crash
    • 14" Byzance Dark Hihat
    • 24" Byzance Brilliant Pure Metal Ride
    • 18" Byzance Traditional China

Cymbals circa 2016:

    • 14" Generation X Filter China
    • 16" Generation X Filter China
    • 14" Soundcaster Custom Medium Soundwave Hihat or 14" Byzance Dark Hihat
    • 8" Byzance Traditional Splash
    • 12" Soundcaster Custom Distortion Splash
    • 14" Soundcaster Custom Medium Crash
    • 8" Classics Custom High Bell
    • 14" Soundcaster Custom Medium Crash
    • 16" Mb8 Medium Crash
    • 8" Byzance Traditional Splash
    • 18" Byzance Traditional Medium Thin Crash
    • 24" MB20 Pure Metal Ride
    • 17" Byzance Traditional China (Prototype)
  • Drumheads[13]Evans
    • Toms: EC2S Clear – G1 Clear
    • Bass: EMAD Heavyweight – Custom Resonant
    • Snare: Heavyweight snare batter – 300 snare side
  • Hardware[1]
    • Trick Pro V pedals
    • Gibraltar Rack System and Clamps
    • Mapex Cymbal Boom Arms
  • Other[15]
    • Roland TD-7 Electronic Percussion Module and Single Trigger Pad
    • Roland trigger modules
    • Pro-Mark TX5AXW Chris Adler Signature Sticks


With Calibra
  • Demo Tape (1989, independently released)
With Cry Havoc
  • Demo Tape (1993, independently released)
With Jettison Charlie
  • Hitchhiking to Budapest (1994, Turn of the Century)
  • Legions of the Unjazzed / I Love You, You Bastard EP (1996, Peas Kor Records)
With EvilDeathInc.
With Burn the Priest
With Grouser
  • Demo tape (1996, independently released)
With Lamb of God
  • Drum Nation Volume 3 (2006, Magna Carta) feat. Ron Jarzombek
  • Chris Adler and Jason Bittner: Live at Modern Drummer Festival 2005 DVD (2006, Hudson Music)
With Testament
With Protest the Hero
With Megadeth
With Thaikkudam Bridge
With Firstborne
  • Firstborne (2020, Firstborne Records)


  1. ^ a b "Drummerworld video showing Adler talk about his pedals and bass drum technique". Pearl Drummers Forum. Retrieved October 1, 2011.
  2. ^ "Lamb of God's Chris Adler Talks Drums (w/ Audio) – in Interviews". Metal Retrieved October 1, 2011.
  3. ^ Linda Friedel (March 16, 2011). "Drum clinic rocks local music store – Wednesday Sun News Story – Kansas City". Archived from the original on March 26, 2011. Retrieved October 1, 2011.
  4. ^ Phil Freeman (February 24, 2012). "Lamb of God's Chris Adler's Five Favorite Drummers". Archived from the original on July 9, 2015. Retrieved April 21, 2015.
  5. ^ "Chris Adler: Working Man's Metal". DRUM! Magazine. Archived from the original on September 14, 2010.
  6. ^ "LAMB OF GOD's CHRIS ADLER: 'I Have No Involvement' In SLIPKNOT's New Album". BLABBERMOUTH.NET. August 14, 2014. Retrieved April 23, 2017.
  7. ^ "Chris Adler |". Archived from the original on February 22, 2017. Retrieved February 20, 2017.
  8. ^ "Lamb of God's Chris Adler Reveals 2017 Motorcycle Accident". MetalSucks. September 17, 2018. Retrieved July 28, 2019.
  9. ^ Hammer, Alice Pattillo2019-07-19T22:21:48Z Metal (July 19, 2019). "Lamb of God officially part ways with drummer Chris Adler". Metal Hammer Magazine. Retrieved July 28, 2019.
  10. ^ "Chris Adler on Instagram". Archived from the original on December 24, 2021.
  11. ^ "Lamb Of God's Chris Adler Is Proud Vegetarian". Retrieved March 6, 2021.
  12. ^ "Lamb of God drummer Chris Adler speaks up for animals". Retrieved March 6, 2021.
  13. ^ a b "Chris Adler". Chris Adler. Retrieved April 23, 2017.
  14. ^ "MEINL cymbals 2008.pdf" (PDF). Retrieved October 1, 2011.[permanent dead link]
  15. ^ "DRUMHEAD Magazine". Archived from the original on September 30, 2011. Retrieved October 1, 2011.
  16. ^ "Testament: New Album Title Revealed; Tour With Anthrax, Overkill, Death Angel Planned". Archived from the original on July 17, 2011.
  17. ^ Lamb Of God's Chris Adler Is Officially The Drummer For Megadeth's New Album
  18. ^ Shefeek, Afrin (November 30, 2019). "Namah, saluting the luminary". Deccan Chronicle. Retrieved June 24, 2020.

External links[edit]