For his new project Anesthetic, Mark Morton didn't sit down this year and say he wanted to write a solo album. Instead, he's actually been writing some of this debut for years. "This album wasn't a concerted effort to start something outside Lamb of God," he explains. "Music is always in my head, and until I write and record it, it's stuck there. But once I record it, it's out. It's a catharsis, more for my own sanity."
Looking back, perhaps Morton's fondest memory of Anesthetic is the song "Cross Off," his collaboration with the late Linkin Park vocalist Chester Bennington. The song features Bennington on vocals, Morton on guitar, Paulo Gregoletto on bass, and Alex Bent on drums (Gregoletto and Bent are the rhythm section of Trivium). "Chester was one of the world's most amazing vocalists and an incredibly creative force. I just hope that 'Cross Off' celebrates that fact," says Morton.
"Cross Off" was the first time Morton and Bennington had worked together. It was also the first time they had ever met, but you'd never know it from the immediate bond between the two. "We spent the first two hours in the studio talking about things not even related to the project, things like our kids, family, stuff like that. Making music is very personal, so there must be a degree of trust between the artists," says Morton. The time the two spent together before recording "Cross Off" cemented that trust and made the process almost effortless. Honest feedback was easy-and surprisingly easy, stresses Morton, considering they had just met. They spent the studio time testing out new ideas on each other. "It was an open creative process. There were no bad ideas. That's what I hold on to. There was no ego to Chester. And I know for a fact that he loved this song," Morton remembers.