The owner of a local studio where the Grammy-nominated Christian metal band As I Lay Dying recorded two albums remembers lead singer Tim Lambesis as hard-working, mild-mannered and "gentlemanly."
Paul Waroff owns the Big Fish Recording Studio in Encinitas, where As I Lay Dying recorded their 2005 album, “Shadows Are Security.”
On Friday, Waroff took NBC 7 into his studio and shared his own personal memories about Lambesis, who’s accused of hiring someone to kill his estranged wife.
Lambesis has been in custody since his arrest on Tuesday. He was charged with solicitation of murder, and entered a not guilty plea on Thursday.
Waroff recalled interactions between Lambesis and his now estranged wife, saying the couple seemed very different when he knew them.
The studio owner described Mrs. Lambesis as being similar to a Sunday School Teacher.
"She seemed pretty straight, and he's a musician and touring his look of having longer hair, tattoos," recalled Waroff.
He said the couple would often talk during breaks in the recording session.
In court on Thursday, prosecutors said Lambesis gave an undercover officer whom he thought was a hit man an envelope containing money, photos of his estranged wife and the gate code to her home.
Waroff was shocked to hear about the accusations against Lambesis, saying it sounds out of character for the man he knows.
"If somebody would have told me the story and said, 'Who do you think recorded at your studio that was accused of that?' He wouldn't even come to my mind," Waroff said. "He would be one of the last people I would've thought of."
Waroff also described Lambesis as hard-working and organized.
He was also proud that a San Diego-based band would see enough success to go on a world tour. Blue Fish Studios have hosted performers like Megadeath, Ravi Shankar, Blink 182 and Switchfoot.