Band comes back from brink of breakup to rock the Fillmore
Jesus ain’t the only one being resurrected this Lenten season.
Cleveland-based Chimaira have returned with another blistering metal release, “Resurrection,” the follow-up to 2005’s self-titled “Chimaira.” “Resurrection” isn’t out to re-invent the wheel. But considering that Chimaira perfected the formula of groove-infused modern thrash metal with 2003’s “The Impossibility of Reason,” there’s no reason to teach this old dog new tricks.
But the guys in Chimaira – vocalist Mark Hunter, guitarists Rob Arnold and Matt DeVries, bassist Jim LaMarca, keyboardist Chris Spicuzza and drummer Andy Herrick – had to teeter on the brink of death to rise again, Spicuzza said in a telephone interview. They’ll return from the dead to play the Fillmore Auditorium, 1510 Clarkson St. in Denver, on March 31.
Roadrunner Records wasn’t meeting the band’s expectations, and in-fighting left Hunter and Spicuzza wanting to quit the band.
“We felt that the band almost ended,” Spicuzza said. “We weren’t having a good time with all the problems, with the label and this and that.”
But Andy Herrick, who sat behind the kit for all of Chimaira’s releases prior to the self-titled release, returned upon Talley’s exodus. The return of Herrick came as a welcome relief, at least for Spicuzza.
“It’s awesome. I didn’t like Kevin at all,” Spicuzza said. “The vibe is so positive now.”
When: 6:30 p.m. March 31
Where: Fillmore Auditorium, 1510 Clarkson St. in Denver
Cost: $25,general admission. Visit www.ticketmaster.com or stop by the Fillmore’s ticket office.
They managed to be released from their record contract with Roadrunner, finding a new home at Ferret Records, which has propelled bands like Every Time I Die and In Flames to success in the U.S. Things started to get better, and Spicuzza says things in the Chimaira camp have vastly improved.
“Everyone is on the same page now,” Spicuzza said. “If a problem arises, we know how to deal with it.”
The drama led the guys to just put their heads down and write a straight-up intense album. The atmosphere was more fun, Spicuzza said, and he even was impressed by the rough demos he heard. Spicuzza usually adds keyboards after the other instruments have been recorded.
“Basically, the way they wrote everything was just to have a good time with it,” Spicuzza said. “This time I liked everything, so it was awesome. It usually takes me a while to get into it.”
Spicuzza’s electronic additions sound much more organic this go-round, relying on haunting, horror-esque keyboards more than the synthetic electro-vibes that color previous albums.
“I like to think of it as when you see a horror movie, and the music has so much to do with that,” Spicuzza said. “When you hear the music, that’s what made the movie haunting. I try to accent the whole thing as a picture.”
The antics of Spicuzza and his fellow metalheads on stage range from the goofy to the downright brutal. Concertgoers at previous shows may have witnessed the “wall of death” – in which the crowd splits into opposite sides of the floor and run at each other at full-speed.
“There was a swordfight on stage the other day,” Spicuzza said. “So you never know what you’re going to get.”
Check out “Worthless” and “Resurrection from the new album, in stores now, at the band’s Myspace Web site.
Contact Campus Press staff writer Greg Schreier at firstname.lastname@example.org.