Tim Lambesis, the front man of metalcore band As I Lay Dying, has pleaded guilty to the role of hiring a man to kill his wife, Meggan Lambesis. Lambesis, 33, has been sentenced to six years behind bars on May 16. Though As I Lay Dying has often been marketed as a Christian band, Lambesis adds to the further shock of his fans that he is an atheist and they have remained a "Christian band" in order to sell records.
As I Lay Dying was formed in 2000, together, they have released six albums, one split album and two compilation albums. Their fourth studio album "An Ocean Between Us" even peaked at #8 on Billboard 200 and #1 on the Top Rock Chart. In 2007, As I Lay Dying won the "Ultimate Metal God" award from MTV2 at the first annual "All That Rocks" special; and was nominated for a 2008 Grammy Award for the song "Nothing Left." Their most recent record "Awakened" (pictured above) also was a top 10 Billboard 200 entry.
Though they have never used the words "God" and "Jesus" explicitly in their songs, their themes about spiritual warfare and human depravity strike a chord with many Christian fans. This is why their concerts have attracted many young Christians; many even asking for prayers after the concerts. Further, the band has always stood for their Christian faith until recently.
This is what Lambesis has to say:"Truthfully, I was an atheist. The 'strategy' I had at the time was cowardly. Two of the songs on that record were about coming to grips with the idea that life has no purpose, no meaning. These were negative themes I wasn't 'allowed' to deal with in As I Lay Dying songs. I thought making As I Lay Dying darker would be bad for my career. That was my thinking,"
"We toured with more 'Christian bands' who actually aren't Christians than bands that are. In 12 years of touring with As I Lay Dying, I would say maybe one in 10 Christian bands we toured with were actually Christian bands,"
Lambesis also explained that he wasn't the first member of As I Lay Dying to give up on Christianity."I actually wasn't the first guy in As I Lay Dying to stop being a Christian. In fact, I think I was the third. The two who remained kind of stopped talking about it, and then I'm pretty sure they dropped it, too. We talked about whether to keep taking money from the 'Christian market.' We had this bizarrely 'noble' thing, like, 'Well, we're not passing along any bad ideas. We're just singing about real life stuff. Those kids need to hear about real life, because they live in a bubble,'" he added.
"I remember one Christian festival where an interviewer wanted one of the guys [in the band] to share his testimony, and he just froze up and let one of the guys who was still a Christian at the time answer the question. We laughed about it afterward, but we were only laughing because it was so awkward. When kids would want to pray with us after shows, I'd be like, 'Um, go ahead and pray!' I would just let them pray. I'd say 'Amen.' If praying while I have my hand on their shoulder makes them feel better, I didn't want to take that away from them. When they would specifically ask me to pray for something, I'd say, 'I don't really like to pray out loud, but I'll take that with me to the bus.""