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ART CRUZ On The Toughest Part Of Joining LAMB OF GOD: "It Was A Challenge With The Fans"

"You're Jason Newsted, you're Robert Trujillo; it's crazy how they went back to back to convince fans."

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Art Cruz, the powerhouse drummer behind metal giants Lamb of God, isn't afraid to get his hands dirty. From sleeping on floors in touring bands to driving for bigger names, he's paid his dues in the trenches. But even a seasoned pro like Cruz wasn't fully prepared for the firestorm that awaited when he joined Lamb of God.

Stepping into the shoes of a beloved drummer isn't easy, especially when it comes to passionate fanbases like Lamb of God's. In a recent interview with Drumeo, Cruz candidly admitted that the "hardest part" wasn't the technical challenges, but the "dealing with fans who have opinions of the old band configuration."

"I was so confident with my playing, and not in an egotistical way. I was just very confident with where I was on my skill level. I had been touring for a long time in the trenches, man — from local bands to selling merchandise for bands to being a driver to just being the guy that 'let me help' kind of thing to playing in bands and sleeping on floors and doing all that good stuff. But it wasn't really that — it wasn't the playing; I was confident enough with my playing. It was a challenge with the fans. It's a big deal. And that goes for anybody."

Cruz likened the experience to the pressures faced by Metallica alumni like Jason Newsted and Robert Trujillo, highlighting the intense scrutiny that comes with replacing established members: "You're Jason Newsted, you're Robert Trujillo; it's crazy how they went back to back to convince fans. And you don't think about that until it's a reality, and you're getting blown up on social media and you're experiencing it. And those are probably the most challenging parts."

But Cruz isn't one to dwell on negativity. He credits the unwavering support of his bandmates with helping him navigate the storm.

"With a band and a brotherhood that I have, they've walked me, literally — pun intended — walked me through hell and helped to see me on the other side, so I don't have to really pay attention to that stuff anymore. And I don't. I'm here to inspire. That is my only goal in this world, is to show you where I came from — my vulnerabilities, my weaknesses, and show you how I grow from that and do what I can to be in this position. And thankfully I'm in a better place than I used to be before. It was hard to get through that stuff, man. But thankfully, it's a lot easier to avoid it. Yeah, I just don't go on social media. It's fun."

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