EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: MARK HUNTER GIVES METALSUCKS A WRAP-UP OF CHIMAIRA’S EUROPEAN TOUR!
While winding down their recent European trek with Unearth, Daath and Throwdown, Mark Hunter, vocalist of perennial MetalSucks favorites Chimaira, was cool enough to answer some questions via e-mail. After the jump, get Mark’s thoughts on European audiences versus American audiences, eating at McDonald’s abroad, the joys of Don “The Dragon” Wilson, showers in Germany, and more.
And by the way, there’s a NSFW image in this interview. You were warned.
Besides not being able to understand what people are yelling when they heckle you, what are the pros of playing Europe as opposed to America?
I really don’t see too much of a difference in the European audiences. It’s pretty much all the same to me. Some areas of the world go crazier than others and make the show feel better than usual, but for the most part, audiences are the same.
What I do find special is having the opportunity to play new exotic places. We just played Latvia and Estonia. Twenty years ago, we wouldn’t have been allowed in the country, now we are playing heavy metal there. It’s pretty amazing to have the opportunity to bring your music all over the world, especially parts that aren’t really known to accept metal.
One thing that European audiences need to learn is, when the lights go out for the intro, you need to make some fucking noise!
As I write this, Matt DeVries has left the tour early in order to be home for the birth of his child. DeVries predecessor in Chimaira, Jason Hagar, actually left the band altogether for similar reasons. So… how come you only hire rhythm guitarists who don’t know how to use a condom? On an unrelated note, do you ever worry about what it’ll be like when LaMarca has a kid? Because I do, and I don’t even know the dude.
We are proud to report that Matt had a healthy baby boy and everyone in his camp is doing well.
Jim having a child will be hysterical. I know he would mold the child to be just like him, an amazing individual. Imagine a five year old talking about full bush and farting non-stop while laughing. It will be great. He, like Matt, will make a great dad.
Emil Werstler from Daath is going to be filling in for Matt on the remaining dates. What’s it like to finally have a Jew in Chimaira?
I think you’ve been misinformed. Werstler is a strong German name most likely rooted in Nazi blood. We couldn’t be happier!
Because I’m an asshole, I missed your last US tour. I’m assuming you’ve started to incorporate more material from The Infection into the set? How has it been going over with the fans? Are they having a hard time moshing to slower material?
The fans really feel the new material. I don’t find it to be “slower” than the rest of the set with the exception of “Destroy and Dominate.” The fans get it. I can smell massive amounts of marijuana while that song is being played.
Any run-ins with the border patrol, or other European Forces of Evil?
Thankfully no. We had some shady borders we had to cross, but we snuck in unscathed. We had shirts ready to bribe them.
Which of the following movies best represent Chimaira’s experience touring Europe: National Lampoon’s European Vacation, Eurotrip, Hostel, or American Ninja III?
It’s a mix of all of them, minus having the black guy from American Ninja spin-kicking everyone. I walked into a place that reminded me of Hostel. You’ll have to wait for the [new Chimaira] DVD to see that.
Speaking of movies: I know you like to watch DVDs on the bus. But that whole region 1/region 2 thing is a bitch. How do you deal? Do you have an American DVD player on tour? Are there any movies you love so much you have versions for both regions?
I only brought shitty movies with me and luckily they seem to be region free. We were bummed out when we went to watch Hercules starring Lou Ferrigno and it didn’t work.
Check out Cybertracker starring Don “The Dragon” Wilson. It will ruin you. I had to take a lorazapam after that one.
What the fuck is this???
I think you mean what the fuck is this??
Since we obsessively follow you on Twitter, we’re aware that you ate a McDonald’s at least once while in Europe. Do you ever think, “Man, I traveled all this way for this? I could have terrible fast food and gotten the shits in Cleveland!”
I choose to eat McDonalds to feel a little less homesick. I have no problem eating “pigs head with music,” but sometimes you just want to feel like you’re at home. Europeans will scoff at you for going there, like “How dare you not try our food?”, yet, every McDonald’s is packed to the fucking gills when you go in it. They love it more than Americans do.
I was once present when a certain heavy metal media personality mistook Andols for European because of his name. Have you ever considered leaving Andols in Europe as a practical joke?
It’s funny how many people from America think he’s European. That doesn’t stop over here, either. When we were in Sweden the fans thought he was Swedish and were trying to speak to him in Swedish. For the record, Andols is a nickname. His real name is “Andy.” We wouldn’t leave him in Europe because we’d never find McDonald’s without him.
Todd Bell accompanied you on this tour, I’m assuming to document it for the next Chimaira DVD. Please tell us one story that you know a) Todd captured on film, and b) will definitely NOT be on the DVD.
Time-lapse shots of the ferry ride from Sweden to Finland will blow your mind and will make it for sure.
I can’t think of anything specific that won’t make it. We are a pretty open band and we like to show the fans what it’s like to be in the room with us.
This next series of questions will be asking you where the best and worst place certain events occurred. So… where was the best and worst place you played a gig?
The best gig so far was Helsinki, Finland. The worst was Hamburg, Germany. Hamburg sucked because we played like shit and the draw was a bit shot, but Helsinki was probably in the top ten best gigs of all time. It was our first time there, and dudes just lost their minds.
…met a fan or fans?
Meeting a fan from Cleveland in Germany was cool, some kid coming on stage asking me for my Conan the Barbarian shirt while playing was not.
…did press? (No, this interview doesn’t count.)
For Rock Hard magazine I had to listen to a bunch of random music and comment on it. I said this band whom I can’t recall their name made me want to jump out of a window and never listen to music again.
This was the worst interview because of the “chair” I had to sit on:
…ate a meal?
In Belgium they had this pepper sauce that I would have made love to. Worst looking food I saw was this:
…got fucked up? (Drugs, alcohol, pick your poison.)
As you all know, the weed in Europe is devastating. I couldn’t lift my arms the other night. We got free weed in Poland that smelled like Chinese food when you smoked it. I tried to sell it to Daath for sixty euros, but in the end I threw it away. Who throws away weed?
…took a shower?
Best shower was in Germany, LOL.
…took a shit?
Austria needs to learn that water helps hide the smell of shit.
On a completely unrelated note… Your Twitcon (or whatever it’s called) is a jar of Jif peanut brother. Care to explain?
I just like peanut butter, man. It’s bad-ass.
Finally, what’s next for Chimaira?
Touring through 2010 and releasing the new DVD in the summer. Living the dream as they say.
Chimaira’s North American tour with Trivium, Whitechapel and Dirge Within starts October 29. Get a complete list of dates here.