A so-called Christian heavy metal band whose frontman was convicted of attempting to hire a hitman to murder his estranged wife has admitted that it duped fans into believing that they were Christian in order to sell their music.
“Truthfully, I was an atheist,” Tim Lambesis, the lead singer and founder of As I Lay Dying told the Alternative Press in a recent interview. “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.”
The publication noted that his wife, Meggan, had likewise divulged in divorce papers that Lambesis had become an atheist. Lambesis, in admitting his atheism, outlined that he turned away from Christianity as he majored in religious studies while attending college through a long distance program.
“In the process of trying to defend my faith, I started thinking the other point of view was the stronger one,” he said.
And one sin led to another, turning his renunciation of Christ into justification for his actions.
“The first time I cheated on my wife, my interpretation of morality was now convenient for me,” Lambesis explained. “I felt less guilty if I decided, “Well, marriage isn’t a real thing, because Christianity isn’t real. God isn’t real. Therefore, marriage is just a stupid piece of paper with the government.”
But he continued to profess to be a Christian, as did others in the band, in order to sell records to Christian music fans.
“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,” Lambesis recalled. “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,” he continued. “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.”
He said that during his tenure with As I Lay Dying, he realized that a number of bands that professed to be Christians were faking their faith just as he was.
“We toured with more ‘Christian bands’ who actually aren’t Christians than bands that are,” Lambesis stated. “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.”
As he continued to fall deeper into sin, Lambesis asked a personal trainer at his local gym if he knew any hitmen that could kill his wife. The lead singer was soon arrested and taken into custody following an undercover sting operation where he allegedly supplied police with directions and cash to carry out the murder. He was sentenced to six years in prison in March of this year.
But Lambesis just recently came forward with the truth about his atheism and the front that the band put on to sell records.
“A lot of Christian parents said, ‘Yes, you can buy this As I Lay Dying CD, because they’re a Christian band.’ They don’t even think to actually check the lyrics,” Lambesis stated. “So when you change your views, you kind of owe it to the fans to be honest.”