Mark Carras of RockMyMonkey.com recently conducted an interview with guitarist Rob Arnold of CHIMAIRA. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow:
Rock My Monkey: How do you think CHIMAIRA has progressed as musicians and as songwriters since your self-titled release?
Rob Arnold: Well, every album cycle, every year and a half, two years, whatever you do between records, is certainly a big growing period for the band, and for the members individually, how we play together, how we gel together, and then just on our own how we become better musicians. Just, I'm a better guitar player than I was a year and a half ago. Matt's a better guitar player and so on and so on. And also, as you get older and you play more together, and you realize and become more educated about music and about songwriting, that's where things just really start to happen. When you realize it is more about the song than about how bad ass the riffs are, or how bad-ass the drums are. You need to make something interesting that's both memorable and provocative and heavy in our industry. We can look back at our prior releases and see the progression in our songwriting capabilities over the years. And I think that's just a natural progression. But there's a lot more with this record, as well, with the way it came out. It all comes down to just the weight of Roadrunner being lifted off our shoulders, and now signing with Ferret, and just feeling good about that. Also about getting Andols Herrick, our original drummer back into the band, which was the piece that was missing for the last two years while he was gone. He brought the family vibe back to the band, and just really raised the spirits of us all. We just knew then the door was open with those two elements in place, the label and Andols coming back, that the sky was the limit and we could just have a good time with things, and not worry about the business, and not worry about how long our songs are, how heavy or how light they are, if there's radio or this or that. We just had a good time and made a good record. I think that those contributing factors to that just made it all really come together as well as it did.
Rock My Monkey: I have heard that this album is more technical as far as the guitar parts go. This is the only CD by you guys I've ever heard, so I can't compare it to the last ones, because I was never sent a promo until you signed with Ferret. Compared to the older releases, I've heard that this is more technical. Would you say that's accurate?
Rob Arnold: I would say so. The recording of it, and the riffs themselves are definitely challenging. But like I said, I think it's just a progression of that. I think the riffs on the next record will be more technical than on this one, and so on and so on. It's just kind of the way it goes. If you're a band that keeps wanting to outdo everything you've done in the past and be the best you possibly can, I think it's just something that happens. Like, let's take a look at "...And Justice For All" from the "Black" album, or something like that. They dumbed it down a little bit, and became a lot more successful by making the riffs less technical, so maybe I was wrong in what I said about that, about how it happens with every band, you know what I mean?
Rock My Monkey: There's starting to be a few rumors going around that you guys are already confirmed for the free Ozzfest this summer. Is there any truth to that?
Rob Arnold: I would say no, because I haven't heard it. But then again I didn't know anything about the Newbury Comics, either. I haven't heard that, anything about that.
Rock My Monkey: Many people do like to give you guys the "nu-metal" tag.
Do you think this release will help bury that at all?
Rob Arnold: Yeah. I think everyday that the nu-metal thing dies more and more. I'd actually like to think that we shed that at the last record, but just kind of coming into our own as being one of the metal bands of the genre right now. But sure. Yeah, I mean, I think there's definitely a since of maturity on this record that anybody could segregate amongst nu-metal bands. I don't even know if there's nu-metal bands anymore. I don't know. I don't check out a lot of new things. I'm sure there's a ton of stuff on MySpace, but I'm not really familiar with it. I don't know. I think we've already separated ourselves.
Rock My Monkey: With Andols Herrick back on drums, do you think the SPINAL TAP drum rotations are finally over for the band, you guys are back as a family, and CHIMAIRA is more of a solid unit than you've ever been before?
Rob Arnold: Definitely. Without a doubt. Andols has got a new vigor and a new fire to him, new excitement and enthusiasm that he's never had in the past. And I maybe it took him taking a break from the band for him to realize what he was missing out on. And now things also are a lot better for the band, too, touring is a little more comfortable, and things like that. It's just easier. He's having a great time, and we're all having a great time. He's here to stay.
Rock My Monkey: Looking at the artwork on the new album, on "Resurrection", I got to ask, is that guy going to be your Eddie?
Rob Arnold: No, probably not. I mean, it's going to be our mascot in forms of the image for a while, you know, just on the backdrops or stickers, and things like that. But I haven't heard any talk like that, having an Eddie come out. But you never know.
Rock My Monkey: Fans can buy the regular version of the CD, or a version with a bonus DVD. What is on that DVD that makes it a must have for the fans?
Rob Arnold: Too much to describe. The content is totally killer. Especially for anybody that was a fan of "The Dehumanizing Process", our last DVD. That DVD basically just showed a great look into everything that goes on with CHIMAIRA, from the writing to the recording to the whole touring process of "The Impossibility of Reason". With this one, we kind of skipped over our last release, the self-titled, and jumped right ahead to the making of "Resurrection", the writing and recording of that. It explained everything about what happened with Roadrunner, about with Andols and Ricky and Kevin, just everything like that. It's just a great insight to what the studio experience was like for us this time. You can see a new energy and excitement in all the band members. Just having a good time with it. There's tons of comedy. Just tons of killer content. I don't think there's going to be anybody out there that could be disappointed with it. It's got the "Resurrection" video, it's got like photo reels, galleries you could go through, lots of funny stuff there, and an awesome Jim LaMarca reel, as we call it.
Check out the entire interview in text and MP3 format at this location.