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March 13, 2007 | Author: Reza Nasseri

Chimaira2007cCleveland metalcore outift Chimaira describe their sound as a “twelve testicle bulldozer” and this is probably an understatement when describing the bands’ forthcoming release, “Resurrection”. Reza Nasseri  spoke to lead guitarist, Rob Arnold about the new album, touring and other quirks associated with the band.

Reza: Explain the songwriting process within the band, and what you aimed to achieve with “Resurrection?”
Rob: Well there is no set formula for songwriting in this band. I wrote a couple of songs, Mark wrote a couple of songs, and Matt wrote some songs. We just write music we like and consider to be “badass”, and wanna see the crowd bob up and down and go crazy to our songs when we play them live. When we wrote this album we decided to stop touring for a while and focus solely on songwriting. We also wanted to experiment a bit more with and move into different territory with “Resurrection”, and we’re really happy with the album as a result.

It seems as though the band has moved away from the groove based riffs of “Pass Out Of Existence” to a faster, more “in your face”, thrash metal direction. Are you guys better than Metallica? (only joking!) What musical influences steered you in this direction?
I disagree. I think we’ve always had a groove element, and we’ve all changed so much since “Pass Out…”, that our music was bound to change so we just went with it. Having a variety of feel’s and grooves within a song creates more dynamics, so when we do break into a heavy section the impact is greater, as opposed to going full tilt the whole way through and becoming numb to it.
As far as musical influences go, we all have a large variety of music we enjoy and are open to experimenting with new things as long as we stay true to what we are as a band.

Satisfy my inner-geek by describing your guitar rig in detail.
I actually just went out and bought some new stuff, so bear with me. I use two Peavey 6505+ heads, into two Mesa 4 by 12 cabs. My guitars are ESP M1000’s, 302’s, and a custom ESP 7 string, all stocked with EMG ’81 pickups. The guitars are plugged into a Shure wireless system (I’m not sure of the model), a Boss Chromatic Tuner, Digitech Whammy Pedal, Zakk Wylde Wah, then into another Whammy Pedal (so I don’t have to change settings live), and finally into an ISP Decimator, which is the best noise gate I’ve come across.

What is the funniest thing that has happened to either you, or your band members on stage?
Hrrrm ? That’s a tough one because we are always injuring ourselves with our hectic live shows. One time, I went to press down on my wah for a solo and don’t know what happened, maybe it was the lights blinding me, but I fell off the front of the stage and the band and the crowd freaked out and thought I was really hurt, but I was okay. Then I jumped back on stage and hit the next riff without skipping a beat, I was actually kinda cool now when I think back on it.

Your latest video, “Resurrection” features cage fighter Maverick “the Soul Collector” kicking some guys arse, hot women playing strip poker and the band “ripping hot wads of metal”. Did you consciously appeal to the desires of metal-heads everywhere, or are you guys simply cool?
Both! (laughs) We’ve been making videos for some time now and didn’t want to just ‘jam out’ in a factory this time, we wanted to have some fun. The vibe in this band is at an all-time high now that we have Andols back on drums, and reflecting on the situation, I think his leaving the band was for the best. Now that he’s back, he realises that touring and playing shows with Chimaira is the best thing in the world for him and his attitude is totally different to what it used to be which in turn makes us a stronger unit.

The videos on ChimairaTube are hilarious. Have websites like “Myspace” and “Youtube” created a stronger bond between Chimaira and its audience?
Absolutely, the internet is such a powerful medium that anyone can log onto our websites and hear our music before it’s officially released. You could argue that this gives us an advantage over artists in the past, but there are also a lot of people downloading our music and not buying our albums. I strongly urge our fans to go out and buy “Resurrection” when it is released, because it has some great stuff on the DVD as well, so the whole package is killer, go buy it!

You are currently touring the pre-release of “Ressurection” in “the States”. When can we expect the “Twelve Testicle Bulldozer” to demolish us live?
Actually we just finished the “No Fear” tour with Killswitch Engage and Dragonforce over here, and that went really well, so we have a couple of weeks of “down-time” before we hit the road to tour “Resurrection”. I can’t say as of yet when we’ll make it to Australia, but we’ll definitely be there this time to make up for our absence when touring our previous self-titled release. We owe our Australian fans some great shows and will not disappoint them this time ‘round.

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