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Interview with Rob Arnold of Chimaira

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Band Photo: Chimaira (?)

Chimaira has been a New Wave of American Metal favorite since their conception in 1998. Their fifth album called “The Infection” will be hitting the stores shortly and the band is touring with Disturbed, Lacuna Coil, and Killswitch Engage on the Music as a Weapon 4 tour to promote it. I met with lead guitarist Rob Arnold during their stop in New Orleans, Louisisana, to talk about the buzz behind the new album.

Buick Mckane: Welcome to New Orleans. Have you ever been here before?

Rob Arnold: Many times actually. We’ve been around Bourbon St.

Buick Mckane: So, you’ve got a new album coming out April 21st called “The Infection.” Are you really excited?

Rob: It’s going to be awesome. We look at each album as another chance to try again. Every album we put out, we think it’s our best work, it’s a culmination of everything we’ve been doing all these years, we put everything we’ve got into it. So when we put a record out, we tour on it and see how far we can take it and when that record is done we move on to the next one. We try to fix any mistakes from the past, things like that. We always think it’ll be the best one ever until we see how successful it actually is.

Buick Mckane: What did you try to do differently with this album?

Rob: Well, each album is a different time period, a different set of influences, different things going on in peoples’ lives. We’ve been together for two years longer, we’re better players as individuals. It was anything intentional we tried to go for, but it’s different where our last one was fast and aggressive this one is slower and heavier, and it’s probably more heavy because of the space that we allowed all the instruments to have. It’s got a slower, chuggier, drag-you-through-the-mud feeling that I think people are going to be stoked about.

Buick Mckane: I loved your promotion for this album. Your fans go hang posters advertising the album, they send a picture of it the SpreadTheInfection.com, and they get a sample of a song from the new album in return. Who came up with that?

Rob: I think it was a culmination of our singer Mark and the label brainstorming for a while. It’s cool because street teams came around in the early 2000s. Kids were on a payroll and got paid to promote the shows. But with this, they’re actually passionate fans that love the music and are doing it for free but with incentives like clips of songs or special meet-and-greets. People that love the music are out there spreading the word about the music instead of someone expecting a paycheck. So it’s worked out really well for us. It was a great idea.

Buick Mckane: Do you think that you’ll use this type of promotion for other albums?

Rob: Sure. I’m sure we’ll expand from there. We’re always trying to take advantage of the internet and all of the technology. You know the saying “If you can’t beat them, join them.”

Buick Mckane: Chimaira played the Dubai Desert Rock Festival last month. How did that go?

Rob: First of all, going to the Middle East is something that you worry about. All you hear about is “You’ll be jailed for life for this” or “You’ll be tortured for this.” But it ended up being super cool, it was totally westernized, the food was great, everything was lax, we went on safaris, drove on sand dunes, watched belly dancers. There were 10,000 kids from all surrounding countries that don’t get [any shows] over there until this annual festival so everybody was stocked to see us. It was badass. It’s like being Vegas but by the water.

Buick Mckane: Well, how many songs from the new album can we expect to hear tonight?

Rob: You can expect to hear two.

Buick Mckane: Do you prefer playing small venues or large festivals like the Dubai Desert Rock Fest?

Rob: They all have their pros and cons. A small packed club is totally awesome. But a huge packed fest sucks, so you want to find a happy medium. If you play at a festival that has 50,000 people there, you’re business is getting a ton of advertising, so to speak. There’s that many extra people seeing you, there’s that much more of a chance of making fans. But at the same time it’s cool being in a small club where it’s all your fans there to see you when it’s 800 kids jam-packed in there and they’re super excited to see you.

Buick Mckane: Okay, if we can’t hear more, is there anything else you would like to say?

Rob: Thanks to all fans in NOLA, tell your buddies about us, tell them to tell their buddies about us. Thanks for your patience and support. Our album comes out April 21st. SpreadTheInfection.com.

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Emily is an avid supporter of the New Orleans scene, often filming shows and conducting interviews with local bands to help promote their music. She also runs her own site dedicated to the New Orleans scene, Crescent City Chaos.

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7 Comments on "Interview with Rob Arnold of Chimaira"

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Diamond Oz's avatar

Senior News Correspondent

1. Diamond Oz writes:

Cool interview but I will forever stick by the fact that the "New Wave of American Metal" doesn't exist and never has. They're an American metal band. Once again, cool interview, was a good read.

# Apr 8, 2009 @ 11:30 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
That_One_Guy's avatar


2. That_One_Guy writes:

I've never heard the phrase "New Wave of American Metal" before. I don't think it really existed either, but it's a funny concept.

# Apr 8, 2009 @ 12:48 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
deathbringer's avatar

Founder, owner & programmer

3. deathbringer writes:

I've always said that it was really the New Wave Of American Metalcore. The big bands that spearheaded the resurgence are mostly in the arena of metalcore from Shadowsfall to KSE, to As I Lay Dying, Unearth, etc. and a million smaller bands who followed them. There weren't enough new non-core bands to represent a new wave of American heavy metal. In addition to those were Lamb of God and Chimaira, who often get lumped in with metalcore for whatever tiny similarities they may exhibit at times. Who's left for the NWOAHM? If there was one, it was a small wave. In any case, I enjoy all the above mentioned bands nonetheless.

# Apr 8, 2009 @ 1:10 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Blindgreed1's avatar


4. Blindgreed1 writes:

Hmmm. I've heard this phrase (or term) used before as well, but I think it's more along the lines of something that existed in someones mind more than it has on the scene. I like Shadowsfall, KSE, LOG and Chimaira, but I don't understand how the latter two can be lumped in with the first two on a clear conscience.

# Apr 8, 2009 @ 5:51 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
bbristowe's avatar


5. bbristowe writes:

Agree with 3 and 4. I think it mostly referred to their commercial success such as, metallicas/judas priests/ Iron Maiden etc. But in this decade those bands were replaced by metalcore acts which seem to be the most popular........sadly.

# Apr 8, 2009 @ 6:05 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
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6. StabbingTheDrama writes:

I think I actually remember seeing a cover of one of my Guitar World's with the words "New Wave of American Heavy Metal" and bands like Killswitch Engage, Lamb of God, Unearth, etc.

# Apr 9, 2009 @ 10:33 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
7. ZYNC writes:

They kicked a$$ in New Orleans.
I got two pictures with Buick on our myspace-zynctheband
Cheers see you at the next show and ZYNC wants to do a interview.

# Apr 10, 2009 @ 3:25 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address

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