CHIMAIRA Guitarist Joins Forces With BLEED THE SKY Drummer In THE ELITE

THE ELITE, the brand new project featuring CHIMAIRA guitarist Rob Arnold and BLEED THE SKY drummer Austin D'Amond, has uploaded the first part of a five-part mini-movie chronicling the creation of the band's debut EP, "WW3". Check it out below.

Regarding THE ELITE's formation, Arnold stated, "One cold winter day, back in 2006, I was chillin' at the CHIMAIRA practice space, when a good friend, singer TJ Frost, stopped by to say hey. He had a young drummer with him... a guy named Austin D'Amond from the band BLEED THE SKY. After a brief introduction and some catching up, I asked Austin to hop up on the kit to show me what he was made of. I grabbed a guitar, cranked up my amp, and we went to work. The magic and spark between us was immediately apparent, and at that very moment, I knew that we had to create music together.

"TJ and I had shared the same feelings for quite some time before that day....He being a fan of my guitar work in CHIMAIRA, and me being a fan of his vocal and lyrical style in his former Buffalo-based bands BAPHOMET, FIVE YEARS GONE and STEMM. We knew that we'd do a project together one day, but never thought it could happen this soon. All it took was a carefree, happy-go-lucky, tasmanian devil from Southern California named Austin D'Amond to step into the room, and ignite the fire. Austin later told me that he knew this 'unexpected' and 'informal' audition was his chance to shine, and he knew that he had to let it all hang out. And let me tell you...that's exactly what he did.

"Unable to forge our sound in a typical band fashion, due to three band members living in three different states, we were forced to diversify our schedule. Writing, arranging, recording, and mixing were all completed over a two-year period of multiple three-to-five-day stints. Austin and TJ would fly into Cleveland where we'd work on material around the clock, trying to be as productive as possible... Always knowing that the time frame of our next meeting was completely uncertain. But it was that writing environment that helped shape the definition of our style.

"After our first couple of meetings, we had a compilation of impromptu jams that we had laid out on tape. And it was the series of coming months that allowed us to listen to and digest the material we had created. Then during future jam sessions, we were able to hone in on the jams we considered to be the sickest of the sick, and thus formed the songs we all hear today. This method was definitely unconventional in comparison to the typical writing style I had been used to with CHIMAIRA, but certainly opened up some new doors in terms of my thinking, and showed me that something like this was completely possible.

"With five songs polished and complete, the hunt for the perfect bass player ensued... I knew that whomever I selected had to mesh perfectly with Austin's crazy style and then everything else would fall into place. And so I planned to hold auditions with potential players where they'd free-jam with Austin, and Austin only... And if the vibe was there, we'd know we had our guy. Fortunately, I looked no further than a couple doors down the hall to find my old friend Mike 'Hippy' Drury of Cleveland's OHIO SKY. Mike and I had played together along with CHIMAIRA's Andy Herrick in a band called SANCTUM way back in the day... Plus Mike had everything I was looking for; ability, groove, attitude, a killer tone, and the desire to take it all the way.

"And so with the fourth and final pillar in place, THE ELITE was born.... Naturally, we took the project to long time friend and famed CHIMAIRA producer Ben Schigel. We knew that both sonically and physically Ben would maximize the potential of our 'WW3' EP.

"And so here we are... THE ELITE... Spread the word. Build the demand. And help our army grow.

"Jam it hard, jam it loud, and jam it often... Prepare the nation for a new age."


* Rob Arnold (CHIMAIRA) - Guitar
* Austin D'Amond (BLEED THE SKY) - Drums
* Mike Drury (OHIO SKY) - Bass

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