The classic lineup of Chimaira was set to perform a special one-off reunion show this week in their hometown of Cleveland, but it is not to be: drummer Andols Herrick, who revealed earlier this year he’d been suffering from a debilitating mystery illness, will not be able to participate. In his place at the show will be Austin D’Amond, who played with the band after Herrick left in 2011.
In a new statement, Herrick has gone into way more detail about the condition from which he’s suffering. It doesn’t sound good, and I genuinely feel for the guy; not only is he in rough physical shape, and not only have his doctors been unable to get to the bottom of it, but his inability to participate in the Chimaira reunion is clearly weighing heavily.
The GoFundMe his family launched earlier this year to help cover medical expenses is also still active, and you can donate to that right here.
Here’s Andols’ message:
I’ve been meaning to follow up on Chimaira Christmas and the world of yours truly. This is going to be lengthy, so here’s a tl:dr – debilitating digestive issues since July 2016 → MDs are blockheads → downstream issues pile up → catatonic depression → reunion show is confirmed and I find hope → physical decline continues with even more unusual and embarrassing symptoms → drive to CLE with incredible enthusiasm, but off of 2 all-nighters and in terrible shape on every level, play poorly, my Chimaira brothers showed incredible concern and love, and quickly determine I am a huge liability (100% correct) → continue physical degradation, bedridden almost all day → crying and typing out this post.
Last November when I was in free fall and just lost my job, my family had me come to stay with them in North Carolina from Las Vegas. They are my guardian angels and have been unwavering in their support. Somehow in the midst of this, I met a girl from 1000 miles away who is gorgeous, caring, patient, and warm. MegAnne saved my life, and I know we will spending ours together.
The more love and support they show me, the more I agonize over regressing further and further away from normal, the more I frantically research and try to make headway….because I don’t just want it for myself, I want them to see their son/brother/soulmate climb back from the basement of hell to a better version of myself. They’ve laid the foundation, they’ve helped me many times over, and every day I feel so ashamed of what I’ve become. Make no mistake, if not for the love and support from them, and the kind words and generous donations my Facebook family has given me I’d be dead in the backseat of a car in the middle of nowhere, first the vehicle and then myself out of gas.
When the talks of a Chimaira reunion became real, I was so incredibly excited. I’ve really missed performing, and its been a gap in my heart I tried to ignore. So my dream was becoming reality, and I would not have believed I’d be in the physical and emotional state I am now. I fully support Austin taking the reigns….that dude is re-fucking-diculous….and find solace in knowing the most special Chimaira show ever is guaranteed to be the best performance of its career. But fucking hell do I wish I was there rehearsing, instead of loathing what I will feel when my feet touch the ground and my 8-hour preparation to run a quick errand.
More and more I feel like this relentless discomfort, nausea, physical deterioration is my reality, and that I have to learn how to block the noise out of my mind, one that is like a bullhorn blaring in my face every waking second. I hope I’m wrong. I know there are things yet to be investigated. I’m taking as much of the healing process into my own hands, because MDs simply want to wash their own of me. I want to get behind a kit once more, honor the support of my family by regaining my autonomy, and be the best version of me for the girl who amazes me more daily.
Many of you contributed to the GoFundMe campaign my family set up in April. I’m going to share that link right here: https://www.gofundme.com/andols-herrick-medical-fund/donate
Share it if you feel so inclined, and I would be grateful. I have a lot of testing and treatments to do and I am limited in what I’m capable to explore. That’s the extent my pride will allow me to say. Just know that you guys have already lifted me up in a way that overwhelms me.
I’m trying to find light in the pitch black darkness, waiting for “rock bottom” to happen. I’m terrified, embarrassed, and my mind all to often falls into a dark place. But I’m also grateful, blessed, loved, and constantly marvel about the amount of support I’ve been given.
From the bottom of my heart: I’m sorry I let the fans and my Chimaira brethren down. As Rocky Balboa said: “It ain’t how hard you can hit, its how you can get hit and keep moving forward!” I love you all, and look forward to redeeming myself in every aspect.
With respect and humility,