MARK HUNTER: 'It Hasn't Felt This Good Playing In CHIMAIRA For A Long Time'

Vocalist Mark Hunter of Cleveland, Ohio metallers CHIMAIRA recently spoke to AOL's Noisecreep about the band's recent lineup changes and its upcoming studio album, "The Age Of Hell", tentatively due in August in North America, South America and Japan via eOne Music

"Last year we did the [Rockstar Energy Drink] Mayhem Festival, which was an amazing opportunity for us, and I had a great time doing those shows," Hunter explained. "But somewhere in between, we all started taking different directions in our personal lives. It's like any relationship, really. I think after 12 years of playing in a band together you start experiencing things that you don't enjoy anymore. It just doesn't seem worth it to carry on like that. Even though we had just finished a big tour, we started feeling like that. It became a drag."

He continued, "Musically speaking, we felt that we needed to make something truly special this time out. It got frustrating when we weren't getting the same feedback from the drummer [Andols Herrick] we had at the time. We brought it up to him and we didn't like how the conversation went. So from there we decided it was best if we just parted ways with each other. Jim [LaMarca, bassist] quit late in 2010. If that weren't enough, the next thing I know our keyboardist [Chris Spicuzza] left and we're down to three members left out of a six-piece band. And we have to go into the studio [laughs]."

CHIMAIRA 2011 is:

Mark Hunter - Vocals
Rob Arnold - Guitar
Matt DeVries - Guitar
Emil Werstler (DAATH) - Bass
Sean Zatorsky (DAATH) - Keyboards/Samples
Austin D'Amond (BLEED THE SKY, THE ELITE) Drums

Although D'Amond is sitting behind the kit for all of CHIMAIRA's current shows, the drum tracks on "The Age Of Hell" were laid down by the CD's producer, Ben Schigel, who has previously worked with DROWNING POOL and WALLS OF JERICHO, among others. The effort was mixed by Chris "Zeuss" Harris (HATEBREED, SHADOWS FALL, MURDERDOLLS, 3 INCHES OF BLOOD).

"[Getting three new members] was huge deal, but we had to try and make it not be one," Hunter told Noisecreep. "We then enlisted our longtime producer, Ben Schigel, to come in and play drums for the recording and also be the conductor of sorts. Here we are with a new album and some new guys in the lineup. We played our first show together [late last month] and it felt like all of those bad things were supposed to happen.

"We wound making an album that we're all extremely proud of and we're out playing more shows.

"Look, we're from Cleveland, so we only see the sun three days a year, but today I feel the sunshine [laughs]. It hasn't felt this good playing in CHIMAIRA for a long time."

Read more from Noisecreep.

Fan-filmed video footage of the new lineup of CHIMAIRA performing a new song, "Trigger Finger", on May 28 in Cleveland, Ohio and on May 30 in Mentor, Ohio can be viewed below.

CHIMAIRA spent several days last month filming a new music video and DVD, to be released in connection with "The Age Of Hell".

Check out photos from the shoot at the group's Facebook page.

Photo credit: Todd Bell

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