If you ain’t mad–you ain’t metal.
Jeremy Lambert, co-founder and screamer/singer of Intent, has had two years of rage building up inside him.
Back in late 2019 and early 2020, things were going great: shows, records, tours…In the small-but-loyal metal subgenre known as thrash, the band Lambert and his childhood buddy Garrett Looper formed in 2015 was getting some serious traction, with 6,000+ followers on their Facebook page. After releasing Vox Populi in 2018, Intent was even roaring ahead on a follow-up album.
“Then the pandemic hit,” Lambert groaned. “I got really bummed out–depressed and pissed off at everything.”
“It was just frustrating, we couldn’t do live shows anymore,” Loper, the drummer, said. “The last show we did before the pandemic was with DRI back in March 2020.”
Bad emotions became good Intent: The band turned its rage and frustrations into music.
With nowhere to play, nowhere to go, the Intent members poured their anger and angst into working on new songs.
But who would ever hear them?
Sure, you can put stuff on YouTube and Facebook and Instagram–but Intent thrived on playing live, delivering speed guitar riffs and pummeling drumbeats into the ears of mosh-pitting, head-snapping fans…
Now–finally–Intent is about to get back into action.
Then, Intent will pile in a van and hit the road, opening on a tour celebrating the 40th anniversary(!!!) of DRI. The tour starts in Wichita, Kansas, then hits the likes of Kansas City, Des Moines, Minneapolis and Cleveland, before ending in Grand Rapids, Michigan, May 17.
Lambert is eager to unveil new songs, which he says are “kind of angry but not unlistenable….We don’t do that ‘Cookie Monster thing,’” he added with a laugh.
“I feel our songwriting is balanced. I feel like we have a song for every kind of listener.”
Loper jumps in: “It’s not bland, It’s thrash–we know what thrash sounds like, right? But the songs feel like songs…The whole album doesn’t feel like one song.”
A chuckling Lambert promises fans “a lot of curveballs.”
During a noon Zoom, the two Intent members looked like they were just waking up–Lambert propped up against a bed in his east Mesa home, Loper lounging in his bed in a Chandler apartment.
The two met in sixth grade at Meridian Elementary–deep in the heart of suburban east Mesa.
“I could walk to Jeremy’s house,” Loper recalled with a grin. “When we first got instruments me and Jeremy would just jam.”
As preteens, neither had been introduced to thrash metal.
“My music taste wasn’t that developed,” Lambert said sheepishly. “Around the time I met Garret, I had an iPod shuffle, the only things on it were some stupid pop-punk songs, stuff like James Brown, other Motown stuff; I wasn’t into hard rock yet.”
Loper was listening to “whatever was on the radio”--until he got a drum kit. “I picked up metal music when I picked up drums – it was fast and energetic.”
On Guitar Hero, he learned to play along with Slayer’s Raining Blood, then got turned on to Judas Priest’s Painkiller.
“I was like, ‘Damn–that’s the most badass song I’ve ever heard!’ Just how energetic and dark it was.”
Years later, Intent fans are saying that, about songs like Tyrannicide and Number Twelve (Looks Just Like You).
“Saw these guys open for D.R.I. last month in Dallas and they KILLED IT!!!!!”
“Truly great album! Thrash metal played true to the classic era…”
“chiller shows you won't be disappointed”
“This is going to get big.”
“Killer thrash metal”
Now, how will Intent sound to fans who haven’t heard them in a few years?
“Way different,” Lambert promised–in a good way. “We’re so much tighter of a band. Throughout the years we’ve had lineup changes–this is the most solid; it’s super tight.”
Indeed, Lambert and Loper (pictured, below) are the only originals left in Intent.
With a new album coming in the spring, Saturday night and on the tour, Intent will unveil songs like Shallow Earth, Victims of Conquest and Fifth Column.
“Indirectly,” Lambert said, with a grimace.
Get ready, America: The frustrations and anger of two years of silence is about to be unleashed…