“Routes” has a personal connection to Randy Blythe. Randy became involved in a protest at Standing Rock Indian Reservation over the Dakota Access Pipeline project whcih was feared would be a threat to the Sioux Tribe’s local water supply. The experience left a lasting impression on Blythe and inspired him to write a song about the protest.
“I went to Standing Rock because I had heard reports of violence committed on the peaceful protestors there by both state law enforcement and private security contractors, and this violence was not reported in mainstream media for the most part. I went to bring supplies and support these people, who were trying to protect their water, and thereby protect everyone, as everything in the natural world is protected. I was there a week, made some great friends, and learned a lot. It was a very profound experience in my life, and I knew one day I would write a song about it.” commented the Lamb of God singer.
Blythe also added his reasons for recruiting Native American descentent Billy: “My experience, although my own, was tempered and shaped by the hundreds of years of brutal oppression of Native peoples in our country. So, it was imperative for me to have a Native voice represented on the song, and Chuck Billy was happy to be that voice,” he explained.
Whilst highlighting his influences on parts of the “Routes” track Blythe said “At the end, there is a call and response section – Chuck calls and I respond. This is intentional. Musically, it is symbolic of my experience there. A native voice leads, bringing forth positive energy and calling to the people to unite, and I reply, providing support. That was my physical experience, and it is reflected in the song.”
Billy in turn was extremely enthusaiastic to be asked to provide vocals on the track: “It was a great honor as a proud Pomo Native American to be asked by Lamb of God to do some guest vocals on this song. The No DAPL movement by the indigenous people of this country was a historic event. Being able to lend my voice to represent the Native American people, complementing Randy’s storytelling and lyrics, is something really special to me. I’m glad this movement was put in a musical message, and I am extremely happy to have been a part of it,” he concluded.