CHIMAIRA: NOW 33% DAATHIER
Alright, so, as I predicted yesterday, I was not near a computer when Chimaira did their live chat last night, and so I did not get to hear first hand anything they said about their recent line-up changes, or the new album, or anything else. Lucky for me, though, that my fellow Chimaricans (Chimaniacs?) Ray Pecheone and Dan Santana e-mailed me to fill me in on the deets. And, frankly, the news is all, well… totally fucking awesome as far as I’m concerned. Here’s a recap, as reported by Misters Santana and Pecheone:
- Austin D’Amond from Bleed the Sky is the new drummer. Honestly, I can’t believe I didn’t see this coming a mile away — D’Amond also plays in The Elite with Chimaira guitarist Rob Arnold. Yet somehow D’Amond never even occurred to me as a possibility. I honestly thought that Kevin Talley might make a return to the group. (In all fairness to me, I was smart enough to guess that Ricky Evensand was not in the running.) Bleed the Sky’s Paradigm in Entropy came out a couple of years after Chimaira’s The Impossibility of Reason, and I honestly always thought that Paradigm owed a big debt to Reason… which is my way of saying I think D’Amond is a good fit for Chimaira. But apparently the new Chimaira album won’t be D’Amond’s recording debut with the band — producer Ben Schigel played all the drums on the album.
- Emil Werstler from Daath and Levi/Werstler is the new bass player. I think we all saw this one coming a mile away — Werstler has filled in for Chimaira on both guitar and bass before, so he obviously has a good relationship with them. Plus, he’s a fucking genius musician, and any band would be lucky to have him farting into a microphone for them, let alone playing bass. But, again, I don’t believe that Werstler will be on the album — Rob Arnold told us that he’s been playing bass on all the tracks.
- Speaking of Daath: that band’s vocalist, Sean Z., will be the new keyboardist/programmer. GREAT fucking news. For one thing, Chris Spicuzza also handled backing vocals for Chimaira, and Sean Z. is (duh) a way, way, way better screamer than Spicuzza, so, yeah, that part of the band’s live show just got 110% more awesome. But, yes, yet again, it sounds like Sean isn’t on the new Chimaira album — vocalist Mark Hunter and “a few friends” did keyboards/programming in place of the now-absent Spicuzza.
So these are all good things. I don’t know enough about D’Amond to make an intelligent comparison of him to Herrick just yet, but… man, I almost hate saying this, ’cause I don’t mean to talk shit about anybody, but holy fucking fuck did Chimaira trade up by enlisting Werstler and Sean Z. (And side note, to the people who love Daath as much as I do — Daath ain’t going anywhere, and neither is Levi/Werstler. Rob Arnold has multiple bands, and so will Werstler and Sean Z. So don’t sweat or anything.)
Other bits of interesting news from the live chat:
- Twelve new songs were written for the album, half of which were rewritten after Spicuzza and Herrick left the band. I don’t know if that means that twelve songs will appear on the finished record, though.
- Spicuzza quit via e-mail.
- Phil Bozeman from Whitechapel, as well as few other, unspecified musicians, will make a guest appearance on the album. I’m not the world’s biggest Whitechapel fan, but I also didn’t write “Six” so I’m just gonna keep my mouth shut on this one. Also, J. Mann from Mushroomhead made a guest appearance on The Infection bonus track “Convictions” and I didn’t even notice the first fifteen times I listened to the song, so these collaborations with dudes from bands I don’t like so much obviously don’t detract from my enjoyment of the music.
- A few shows have been lined up for May, and the band is looking to do a full tour in October. The only thought I have about this is Holy shit I might have to wait until October to see the Chimaira line-up???
So if you were worried about the state of Chimaira twenty-four hours ago, you should now feel at ease. And if, like me, you were never really worried in the first place, well, you should now feel twice as excited.
And in conclusion, all hail the unsung hero: