Lead Guitarist Emil Werstler Leaves Chimaira
“My time in Chimaira has, unfortunately, come to an end. It is time for me to move on as I continue to focus on harvesting my abilities as a musician. I’m very fond of everyone in the band and wish them all the best in the future.
“Although this was a difficult choice to make, I feel it was necessary in order to take the next step in my career. The best is still yet to come and I’m very excited for the multiple projects I am working on. I would like to thank the band, management, and, most importantly, all the fans for the endless support and understanding.”
Werstler has been working with Chimaira off and on since 2009, first as a temporary replacement for former guitarist Matt DeVries, then as a replacement for bassist Jim LaMarca, and, finally, as the band’s new lead guitar player following the departure of Rob Arnold. He was a major factor in the creative success of the band’s most recent release, Crown of Phantoms, which was one my personal favorite albums of 2013. So, yeah, this is a bummer.
All of that being said… just a few years ago, I would never have been able to imagine Chimaira without Rob Arnold, and Crown of Phantoms made me eat my hat in a big, big way. So it’s not at all unthinkable that the band will be able to soldier on and continue to make awesome music without Werstler.
As of this writing, Chimaira haven’t released a statement of their own, so we don’t know what their plans are for the future. In an ideal world, this would open the door for Arnold to return to the fold, but I don’t really see that happening right now. Will rhythm guitarist Matt Szlachta now take over lead duties? One way or the other, there should be a new face in Chimaira soon. We’ll let you know as soon as there’s some kind of announcement.